christian

The Land of Spiritual Rest

by danparton on February 14, 2012 · 0 comments

Learning the Epistles – Study 168

from Pastor Dan Parton | Timberline Baptist Church | Originally presented January 26, 2011 |

Hebrews 2:1-4

Introduction:  These verses contain the first of the five parenthetical warnings found in Hebrews.  We must pay careful attention to these warnings if we are to make it to spiritual Canaan, the land of spiritual rest.

We must keep in mind that no book in the Bible is addressed to the unsaved.  The books of the Bible are always addressed to the people of God, those who are born again.  Therefore, the warnings found in Hebrews are not warnings to the lost but warnings to the saved.  Heresy has come from teaching that the five warnings in Hebrews are parenthetical warnings written to the lost.  Two false doctrines in particular have come from Hebrews being taught out of context:

- That you can lose your salvation.

- That you can sin away your day of grace.

These warnings are to the saved and give a strong message to the backslider.  This particular passage deals with the neglecting of the salvation that every Christian has already received, not the rejecting of the salvation God is offering unbelievers.  It is a sin committed by the saved, not the lost.  We can understand this passage better if we examine four phrases carefully:

- “Therefore we ought.”  The phrase “we ought” emphasizes the fact that “we must.”  The writer is, no doubt, speaking here of essentials, not incidentals.  This passage speaks what a Christian must do, not what he may do.

- “Give the more earnest heed.”  This phrase means “to pay careful attention.”  No one becomes a good Christian automatically or accidentally.  If you are to become a good Christian, you will do so on purpose.  It will demand concentration and effort on your part.  “More earnest heed” refers to hard work and diligence.

- “The things which we have heard.”  This phrase refers to the Word of God, teaching, and preaching.  We must heed God’s Word or experience God’s judgment.

- “Slip” is a nautical term and refers to “drifting away.”

- “How shall we escape.”  Here, we are reminded that carelessness about our spiritual growth and spiritual matters in general will result in judgment from God.

  • Does God judge His people?  Yes, but not in the same way that He judges the lost.  A Christian needs to distinguish the judgment that God’s people experience from the judgment that the lost experience.
  • The difference is found in two words:  condemnation and chastisement.
  • Condemnation, that is, eternal death, refers to God’s judgment of the lost and results in spending eternity in Hell.  Chastisement refers to God’s judgment of the saved, and suggests the pictures of a father carefully and lovingly disciplining his children.
  • Hebrews 12 is a key chapter in the Bible that deals with the chastening of the saved.

- To “neglect so great salvation” refers to carelessness on our part in caring for the essential things in the Christian life.  (And there are a number of essential things in the Christian life!)

All five of the parenthetical warnings in Hebrews have to do with our relationship to the Word of God.  In this lesson, we will see the first warning for God’s people.

 

1.            Drifting from the Word of God through neglect.

 

- Hebrews 2:1-4, “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?”

- For most of us, drifting away from the Word of God goes unnoticed.  It happens slowly.

- The following illustration is nearly worn out, but it fits so perfectly here.  When I lived in Minnesota, I was the camp director at Camp Patterson in Mankato for four years.  Camp Patterson was located next to beautiful Lake Washington, one of the more than 10,000 lakes of Minnesota.

 

One day, while the campers were having their horizontal time, I went fishing in a canoe with another counsellor.  It was a windy day, and we didn’t have an anchor.  Before I knew it, our canoe had drifted close to the shore.  We neglected to anchor ourselves down and drifted away from where we needed to be.  So, we had to paddle back out to the middle of Lake Washington.  We did this several times, because we never put an anchor down.  We could have caught more fish if we hadn’t spent so much time paddling back to where we needed to be.

 

- This is clearly illustrated in Hebrews 2:1, “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.”

- Those, away from the Lord ask “What happened?  I was so close to God, and now I am so far away.”

- It is always a series of events and never just one thing that happens.  Proverbs 6:10-11 and 24:33-34 say, “Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.”

- The end result of this neglect is that we get further and further away from the Lord because we are further from His Word than we once were.

- This neglect is easily recognized though oft-ignored.  We need to stop neglecting:

  • Our walk with the Lord.
  • The Word of God.
  • Our prayer life.
  • Our witness.
  • Our faithfulness to church.
  • Our service for God.
  • Our tithing and other giving.
  • The godliness of our language and habits.
  • The control of our anger.
  • The guarding of our hearts.
  • Our response to the preaching of God’s Word.
  • The cleaning up of our lives.
  • Our Christian testimony.
  • Our lives as children of God and the making of excuse as to why we can’t live like Christians ought to live.

Conclusion:  Every Christian has been or is presently practicing the neglecting of their great salvation and, therefore, not growing.  If you have been neglectful, you can make it right starting right now.

This is why Peter wrote, And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue… (2 Peter 1:5) and why the author of Hebrews wrote, Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.

 

Here is a free desktop background for all to enjoy from Baptist.org!

January 25th, 2012 | Buen Consejo | for http://www.baptist.org

The right book!

1, 8, 3, 1…  which are you?  What is this about?  Read on and see –>>

   In the scriptures, in Matthew 26:36-46, we read about 13 people that I want to address.  Jesus and 11 of his disciples when to a place called Gethsemane.  At this time Judas was off betraying his Lord for some money.  Jesus brought Peter and the two sons of Zebedee closer and gave them an assignment to watch with him.  Jesus went on a little further and prayed to the Father.
   Here is our break down: 1 person is off betraying.  8 people are given no assignment. 3 are given an assignment and struggle with it.  1 goes on to the presence of God and perseveres.
   In our churches, Bible study groups, cell groups or gatherings we find within Christianity this same break down. Which are you?
   The bad 1.  Are you the one off running your mouth? Judging, condemning, running others down with your words?  Is there sin in your life that turns others away from the Lord? Are you giving non-Christians ammo to destroy confidence in Christ?  I saw a bumper sticker once that said, “Lord protect me….. from thy followers!” 
  The 8.  Are you just a pew-filler?  Are you one of those Christians that attends church or Bible study? You support financially, and there is no actual fault in your doings.  You just don’t actually do anything much for the Lord.  You’re just… there. This is the largest group.

The 3.  Are you a worker? Do you tell people about the Lord and his free gift of salvation? Do you actively do what the Lord wants in your life? Yes, you might struggle and mess up, but do you try to serve God? Do you take what you learn in your daily scripture reading and try to apply it? Do you actually do what you hear in church or read in the Bible? Or do you fall asleep and fail the Lord?  Do you serve God or expect to be served by him?

  The good 1.  Are you the one who goes on into a deeper relationship with God?  Not the work of the Lord only, but the Lord of the work.  Are you hungry for the presence of God in your life?  Do you continue in prayer, not to bring your shopping list of what you want from him, but to surrender yourself to him?   Do you want that closeness with God more than anything? Do you pray earnestly from the heart, honestly… until you are heard by him? Is loving him more important than anything else?  Are you willing (as Jesus was) to separate from the others enough to get alone with God and really focus on him and his will for you?

Are you a 1, 8, 3, or 1? 

  Here are the verses:
Matthew 26:36-46  “Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.  And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.  Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.   And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. 
And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?   Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. 
  He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.  And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy.  And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.
Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.  Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.” 

Straight ahead!

  December 12th, 2011 | Buen Consejo| for http://www.baptist.org
 Under the law securing an eternity with the Lord and not spending eternity burning in the lake of fire was set up differently than it is now under grace.
A confusion enters here: Someone asked Jesus (while under the law):  Matthew 19:16, 17  “And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?  And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.”  You might say, this was a trick question. He did not ask what is needed to have eternal life. He asked, “what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?” That is where confusion starts.
  It might seem well founded, if you don’t know enough about the scriptures. Simple requirement under the law: Leviticus 18:4, 5  “Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the LORD your God.  Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the LORD.”
  These are the “works” to do. But the works or deeds of the law are not going to get you to heaven. (I’m still talking old testament, under the law) Romans 3:20  “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”  The deeds or works did not and will not get anyone into heaven.
  Habbakuk 2:4  “Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.”  The law had to be “attempted” to be done perfectly as a demonstration and exercise of truly seeking him and his ways.  But it had to be done by faith.  Not the faith that says, “Jesus died for me, I’ll trust him.” But a faith that said, “God said to do these things, so I will try and live in them, trusting that, though I will fail, he will have a way to get me to him.”  But if you would not try to do the works and live in the holy law, you were not really seeking him.
  Under the law blood sacrifices and offerings of many kinds were prevalent.  They did not save anyone.  Hebrews 10:4  “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” These sacrifices did not take away sin, but covered it for the time being.  That is also why, when the old testament saints died they went to paradise in the center of the earth, not heaven. Their sin was covered, not taken away.  
   John 1:29  “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”  When Jesus paid the price of his precious blood (and presented his risen body to the Father), the salvation of old testament saints was complete.
   So under the law eternal life came by walking in the law of God by faith, trusting his sacrifice system and mercy to not give you what the law showed you you really deserved.
  Works are not “Wow, you built an orphanage, you deserve heaven!” Works are showing you trust the LORD, seek him and want his ways. But it’s still his grace that keeps anyone out of the lake of fire!
Buen Consejo | October 24, 2011 | for http://www.baptist.org
 
What is the difference between Redemption, Remission and Forgiveness?  Did you even know that they are different?  Which one saves you?? Can you have one of the other two and still be lost?
Many people say that if you ask God to forgive your sins, you’ll be saved. That is not how it works. Forgiveness only restores the relationship that wasthere before.  If some neighborhood kid breaks your window with a baseball, then comes to knock on the door to apologize, you might forgive him.  But that will not make him your son. That will not fix the window. If a lost sinner asks God to forgive him, his life will improve. He will not become God’s child or have his sin washed away.
  Remission means to be covered up or retained to not spread, increase or be in the way. But it is still there. Like a cancer in remission is still a cancer.
  Redemption means to actually buy something and go pick it up.  That is what saves you. Jesus Christ died for  your sins to purchase you and own you. He will also one day come and pick us up.
Let’s look at some scriptural evidences-  First came preparation. Luke 1:77  “To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,”  Through remission of sin (to get it out of the picture, but not gone) the way is prepared to receive knowledge.  Jesus cleared the way for your understanding of salvation so you could chose it, if you want. Matthew 26:28  “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”  Acts 10:43  “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.”
Next he would actually offer himself to take away that sin. John 1:29  “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” He would pay the price to buy us out- redemption.  Leviticus 25:51  “If there be yet many years behind, according unto them he shall give again the price of his redemption out of the money that he was bought for.”  Numbers 3:49  “And Moses took the redemption money of them that were over and above them that were redeemed by the Levites:”
  Romans 3:24  “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:” Ephesians 1:7  “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;”  Ephesians 1:14  “Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” (earnest means- down payment)
  We also get free forgiveness of sins.  Colossians 1:14   “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”   Romans 4:7  “Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.”  Acts 5:31  “Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.”  Forgiveness is only in there because of the repentance that allowed you to submit to him for redemption.
  After salvation remission is irrelevant and redemption is permanently fixed, but forgiveness to maintain and sustain a close, blessed walk with the Lord is a continual process.  It has nothing to do with going to heaven or  hell. It has to do with the personal relationship between you and the Lord.  If you have a son and he behaves poorly (imagine that!), you might punish him.  If he wants a new bike, you might deny him that. If he needs help with something, you might not help him…. but does not cease to be your son.
  In your personal walk as a Christian forgiveness is a daily, if not hourly process, even moment to moment, depending on the individual. You will not receive forgiveness with blanket prayers like, “Lord, forgive my sins..”, “Lord, forgive me for not doing what I should have and for doing what I should not have, and where I failed you…bla, bla..” The scriptures are clear: 1 John 1:9  “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  You don’t ask for forgiveness. You confess your sins to the Lord.  Confessing sins means enumerating  them, that is, name and itemize them.  “Lord, I lied.”, “Lord. I knew I should read my Bible and did not.”, “Lord, I felt I should talk to that person about you, but chickened out.”  This way, when you have agreed with the Lord that these items are sin, you get forgiveness and can’t claim next time that you did not know it was sin.
Summary:  Remission prepares the way for you to receive the knowledge of salvation.  Redemption gives you the actual salvation. Forgiveness is thrown in to start the relationship at a new beginning.  

 September 23, 2011 | Buen Consejo | for  http://www.baptist.org

Faith or Works?

Romans 4 says Abraham was justified by faith without works. Yet James 2 says Abraham was justified by works. Both refer to the same incident. They are both right and they both agree. How can that be?

Now, this issue of James’ verses has many theological britches on a knot.  It is so simple that people miss it.  Firstly, in order to not miss what the scriptures teach, one must not approach reading with fears and religious prejudiced.  Between the Catholics making people fear unless they have good works and the Baptists swinging the pendulum so far from works many feel they must choose sides.  Well, both are imbalanced views.

Number one method for a prayed-up Christian to understanding scriptures:  Re-read it, don’t re-write it.  Don’t change it, it changes you.  Let’s read it:

James 2:20-26  “But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?  Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?   Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?  And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.  Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.  Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?  For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”

First a basic understanding of faith and works in a generic definition:  If I had faith that this post would write itself, it would not.  I would have to put work to it.  If I assume by faith I will go to be with the Lord when I die, what is the work or function to bring me there?   In this case it is simple.  The post did not write itself.  I did the work and hoped God would lead the knowledge and give direction, being his work (especially with such a poor vessel).  In salvation Jesus supplied the work when he died, was buried and rose again.  Then, he did more work in presenting his risen body to the Father.  So, faith and works together saved me.  My faith… his works.

As to James’ verses specifically;  he is not referring to what most people claim he is.  Here’s the thing and the proof:   He said: “…Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? …”   Right away every insecure, religious person jumps up and cries out that he can’t be justified before God without works!   Yet James said, “….And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness..”  So you have to weasel, twist and, as Peter said, wrestle the scriptures to your own destruction to connect this to our eternal salvation.   2 Peter 3:16  “As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.”

Ok, ok, Proof?  Let’s look at scripture compared with scripture in the light of scripture: Romans 4:1, 2  “What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?  For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.”    Did you catch that?  “For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.”

Attempting to be justified before God by works is foolish and it won’t happen: Romans 4:4-8  “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.  But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.   Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.  Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.”

So then, what is James saying?  As Paul said: “…”What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?…”  John 3:6  “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”   “…he hath whereof to glory; but not before God…”  That would leave…. before men.

James said, James 2:18  “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.”  You show me, I show you.  That’s what James said.  James is talking about showing your faith to other people and being justified before people that your faith is real.  “pertaining to the flesh… not before God.”

Wanna do the works of God?  Listen to what Jesus said to do: John 6:28, 29  “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?  Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”

James and Paul are on the same team and on the same page.

November 29, 2010 | Da Yong –

Many of us have a lot of misunderstandings about missions work in China let alone China itself.  We probably all think of Hudson Taylor when we hear China and Missions.  But, what about these facts, do you know that…

The first recorded missionary to China was a man named Olepen (Alopen) a Nestorian Christian and a heretic.  He arrived in Chang ‘an, present day Xi’an, in the year 635.  He was welcomed by the emperor and Christianity grew until two centuries later Emperor Wu Tsung persecuted Christians and the church.

John of Monte Corvino, a Franciscan missionary, bought young boys from non-Christian parents and after baptizing them and training them sent them out as ministers in 1294.  He worked in China for 11 years and baptized more than 6,000 people.

Today we can call our travel agent and book a flight for Shanghai or Beijing in a matter of minutes and the flights to China usually last about 15 hours, not bad for traveling half way around the world.  A hundred years or more ago, travel to China took enormous amounts of patience and even more courage!  From England to China it took travelers at least 6 months by boat.  Many people never made it to China because they often got sick and died on their way there.

It was a capital offense to print evangelistic and Christian literature in the early 1800′s.  It was even forbidden for foreigners to learn Chinese! Chinese Tutors of foreigners often carried poison to swallow in case they were caught to avoid torture by the Chinese officials.

Robert Morrison was the first protestant missionary to China in 1807.  His pioneering work produced a 6 volume Chinese dictionary and a translation of the Bible.  These two accomplishments opened the door for other protestant missionaries to share the Gospel across China!

Early Protestant missionaries served as international diplomats because they were fluent in Chinese.  They played key roles in much of the international issues China and the Western powers were dealing with.  William A.P. Martin was responsible for writing a clause in the Treaty of Tianjin, which, allowed missionaries to enter the interior of China.  This treaty opened the door for Hudson Taylor and the China Inland Mission to win thousands to Christ in the unreached parts of China.  Today English is everywhere in China!  In fact by law children must begin learning English in kindergarten.  It is required that every child spend 3 hours a week learning English in school.

Early Catholic missions focused on converting the elite class of China.  Matteo Ricci arrived in Beijing in 1601 and made immediate inroads with the literati because of his fluency in classical and spoken Chinese.  Protestant missionaries did the exact opposite.  They reached out to the poor masses in the 19th and 20th centuries.

China was the largest Protestant mission field from 1830 to 1949.  There were over 8,000 missionaries in China at its height, which was the 1920′s.  In spite of the Chinese government expelling missionaries in the 1950′s the church in China grew steadily until the 1980′s.

The official church of China is called the Three-Self Church.  The first self stands for self-governing.  As a communist government the officials certainly do not want outside influence to run a portion of the population.  Self-supporting is the second self and again no outside monetary influence that might cause an uprising of some kind.  The last self is self-propagating.  The Three-Self idea was actually the invention of a missionary named John Nevius who desired to plant indigenous churches!

The largest massacre of Protestant missionaries took place in China.  During the Boxer Rebellion, 188 adults as well as children were martyred.  John and Betty Stam were martyred in 1934.  In a note to the mission head-quarters he wrote that they were taken prisoner and finished the letter by quoting Phil. 1:20 whether life or death, Christ be glorified.

Are you willing to glorify Christ in life as well as death?  For more information about helping with the harvest in China contact the author of this article.


Amazon.com Widgets

Da Yong
American serving the Lord in China
Contributor – Baptist.org

Featuring : Little-Known Facts About Missions and China
email: [email protected]

Mon, Oct. 18 2010 08:59 AM EDT | By Lillian Kwon | Christian Post Reporter

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Some 2,000 people from around the world convened at a Charlotte megachurch over the weekend to hear renowned apologists defend the Christian faith.

(Photo: The Christian Post) Some 2,000 people attend the National Conference on Christian Apologetics at Northside Baptist Church in Charlotte, N.C., Oct. 15-16, 2010.

While the National Conference on Christian Apologetics addressed the usual topics of intelligent design, evidence of the resurrection and atheism, one of the highlights of this year’s event was a talk on President Barack Obama and his ideology.

“President Obama is in some ways a mystery man. He was perhaps the most unknown guy to come into the White House,” said bestselling author and renowned apologist Dinesh D’Souza.

D’Souza isn’t a stranger to the annual apologetics conference, organized by Southern Evangelical Seminary. As one of the most requested speakers, he has previously spoken on the evidence of Christianity, the existence of God, the topic of suffering and life after death.

But with the release of his new book, The Roots of Obama’s Rage, the Indian-born scholar turned his attention to the man leading America.

Christians, he said, are called to understand the world so that they can be a positive influence in it.

“We need to be aware of how our leaders think and [be] active in our culture,” he told attendees Saturday at Northside Baptist Church as he stressed the importance of engaging the public debate.

So what motivates Obama? he posed.

It’s neither the American dream nor Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream. Rather, his dreams come from his Kenyan father who was an anticolonialist.

Obama did not follow his father as a man – his father had four wives and was often drunk. He also hardly knew his father since he left when the younger Obama was two years old.

But D’Souza concludes, mainly from reading Obama’s autobiography, that Obama has chosen to take on his father’s mission.

Obama Sr. was an economist. He wrote an article titled “Problems Facing Our Socialism” that was published in 1965 in the East Africa Journal. In the article, he proposes eliminating power structures and raising taxes with no upper limit.

The proposals are based on the anticolonial assumption that the rich got rich by ripping off the poor and thus whatever they have is undeserved.

This “helps us a little bit to understand our debates now,” D’Souza said.

If you plug in the anticolonial assumption, he noted, much of what Obama does makes sense.

D’Souza clarified that his argument is not that Obama is an anticolonialist, but that in some way, “he is frozen in the time machine of his father’s anticolonialism.”

“My fear is, in some sense, America today is being governed by the dreams of a Luo tribesman from the 1950s who was in a sense locked into a view of the world that is completely irrelevant in the world today,” he said.

D’Souza, who was recently named president of The King’s College in New York City, emphasized that he isn’t trying to bash Obama.

“I’m trying to understand him,” he said. “As Christians and as citizens, I think that we always have to look at our leaders and try to understand them.

“When you know a man’s compass, you can not only explain what he’s doing but you can help to predict what he’s going to do in the future.”

(Photo: The Christian Post) Alex McFarland, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary, addresses thousands at the National Conference on Christian Apologetics at Northside Baptist Church in Charlotte, N.C., Oct. 15-16, 2010.

Alex McFarland, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary, also sees the need for Christians to be involved in public life, especially as it relates to government. It’s what the Bible says, he underscored.

And to get involved, they must understand the worldview of the people they elect, he said.

“If we didn’t present this … they probably otherwise wouldn’t have heard it,” McFarland said of D’Souza’s talk.

The U.S. preamble starts with “We the people,” he added. “In the United States of America, we the people are the authority. So I believe that Christians who aren’t informed on the political issues of the day, not only are they not fulfilling their duty as an American, I really think that they’re leaving undone some of the responsibilities of what it means to be a disciple of Christ.”

The National Conference on Christian Apologetics was held Oct. 15-16. For 17 years, Christians have gathered in North Carolina every year to learn how to defend their faith philosophically, scientifically and evidentially.

But while providing the “intellectual tools” to help Christians engage the public sphere, McFarland provided believers with two important reminders: love and the Holy Spirit.

“I’ll tell you what apologetics is not: Apologetics is not a license to be abrasive or to be a jerk,” McFarland stated. “Can we blow the doors off an atheist in a debate? Absolutely. But in our walk and in our witness, we are to be winsome and Christ-like and an argument to be won is never more important than a person to be loved.”

And the key ingredient to it all is the Holy Spirit.

“All of the great apologetics, the arguments … would amount to nothing without the Holy Spirit,” he stressed.

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Becky Yeh – OneNewsNow California correspondent – 10/14/2010 4:00:00 AM

A Christian constitutional expert thinks the Internal Revenue Service’s lack of response to a recent initiative shows there is no longer any reason for pastors to be silent on political issues when standing behind the pulpit. (See earlier story)

Current law prohibits pastors from speaking on politics or endorsing a political candidate, but David Barton of WallBuilders says the IRS’s intimidation of removing a church’s tax exemption status is unconstitutional. Even though some pastors have intentionally crossed the line, Barton does not think the IRS wants to take them to court because it may lose.

“The IRS doesn’t have any interest in doing this because if they do, I believe they know they are going to lose. And if they lose, you have 370,000 pastors in America who suddenly find out that there’s no restriction on them,” Barton suggests.

David Barton - WallBuilders

The WallBuilders president explains that churches are guaranteed tax exemption status under the Constitution, but he believes many pastors are afraid to speak about politics because they fear they will lose their letter of tax exemption.

“You cannot lose your tax exemption as a church because as a church, you have a constitutional standing for tax exemption,” he points out. “So with that basis, losing your letter means absolutely nothing — and that’s something pastors are now figuring out.”

Barton argues that the pulpit was and should continue to be the news perspective for America, so he encourages all pastors to speak out and stand for truth.

Read more at One News Now…..

Becky Yeh – OneNewsNow California correspondent – 10/12/2010 3:50:00 AM

By participating in a recent pulpit initiative, pastors across the nation are begging the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to take them to court.

Nearly 100 pastors, backed by the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), participated in “Pulpit Freedom Sunday” September 26 and challenged the IRS by speaking about politics in church. David Barton, founder and president of WallBuilders, believes it is necessary for outspoken pastors to speak out in order to prove that the IRS is prohibiting their First Amendment rights. (See related story)

“The IRS regulation, which was added in the 1950s and 1960s, is probably blatantly unconstitutional on its face, but we’ll never be able to prove that if we don’t have an instance whereby to take them into court and have it really adjudicated,” Barton explains.

David Barton - WallBuilders

He says the list of pastors who respond to the call grows every year — and includes one Iowa pastor who has essentially challenged the IRS to sue him. Barton likes the trend he is seeing.

“For the last three years, we have clearly had dozens and dozens…of pastors intentionally step across the line and…turn themselves into the IRS and say, ‘Ok — we’ve stepped across your line; come after us,’” the WallBuilders founder shares. “The IRS has refused to do that for three years, and that pretty much validates what we knew — that this restriction is blatantly unconstitutional.”

Barton points out that the church used to be the news source for the public during the days of the Founding Fathers, but the regulation brought on by the IRS has had a major role in changing that.

Read more at One News Now…..

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