8
Oct

Suppose Your Child Was Dying

   Posted by: jmueller   in Dead Theologians, James Smith

(James Smith, “Our Father and Comforter”)

Surely, if parents realized the value of their children’s souls; if they had a vivid sight of the danger to which they are exposed; if they felt that they must be saved by the Lord Jesus–or perish for ever–then they would act very differently toward them!

Could a parent, if he believed the Scriptural representation of hell, as a place of torment; and saw that his child hung over that ever-burning lake as by a thread–and might, at any moment, by some accident, be plunged into the bottomless abyss; I say, if he saw and believed this–could he let his child go on, day after day, and month after month, without the tender expostulation, the affectionate appeal, and the heart-felt prayer with him? I think not!

Alas! alas! We do not half believe . . .
in the horrors of hell,
in the danger of our children, and
in the absolute necessity of faith in Christ, in order to for them to be saved–or we could never live as we do!

What anxiety is manifested about their health and their education; and what indifference about their never-dying souls! One feels at times ready to conclude that many professing Christian parents must be half infidels, or wholly insane–to act as they do!

Reader, suppose your child was dying. His pulses are faint and few. He breathes short and hard. You approach his bedside. You take his hand in yours. He asks, “Father, did you believe I was a sinner? Did you know that it was possible I might die young? Were you aware that, without faith in Christ–I must perish forever? Did you, father?”

“I did, my child.”

“Then how could you be so cruel, so hard-hearted, as to treat me in the way you have? You never took me aside to talk to me seriously. You never endeavored to impress upon my mind the importance of spiritual things. You never earnestly warned me to flee from the wrath to come. You never lovingly invited me to the Lord Jesus Christ. You never prayed with me as if you believed I was in danger of going to hell, and could only be saved by the grace of God. You were very earnest about temporal things–but indifferent about spiritual realities. You knew that I was going to hell–and you did not try to prevent it. Now I am lost! Lost for ever–and you are the cause of it! Or, at least, you are accessory to my everlasting damnation!”

Or, suppose you were before the Great White Throne, and the Judge seated thereon, and you meet your children there. One of them points to you, and says, “There is my mother! She showed great concern about my body–but she never showed anxiety about my soul. She never knelt by my side in prayer. I never heard her plead with God for my soul, nor did she ever, in downright earnest, plead with me. I charge her, before the Judge of all–with cruelty to my soul; and throughout eternity I shall curse the day that ever I had such a parent! No name will excite my enmity, or draw forth my bitter reproaches, like the name of my mother! I am lost, lost forever–and my mother never heartily tried to prevent it!”

Parents, how could you bear this? Parents, parents! By all the tender ties that unite you to your children, I beseech you to seek, first, principally, and most earnestly–the conversion of your children!

Did you like this? Share it:
2
Oct

Can Yoga be Christian?

   Posted by: jmueller   in Media, Miscellany

I recently had lunch with a friend that told me that a close relative of his is practicing Yoga.  This relative is a Christian, and feels that it is alright to practice Yoga, as well.

I thought I would compile some of the things that I know of that address this issue, as it seems to be so prevalent, today.  I have even seen churches advertise that they have Yoga courses.

I think that the main question here is this:  What is Yoga?  In answering this, I feel that we can then determine whether it is right to practice this as a Christian.

The Elder Council of my church addressed this very issue just a few years ago.  Here is an excerpt of that.  It is only an excerpt, as I do not want to expose the people that this was addressed to or about.

Here is the excerpt:

Second, and more importantly, the Elders have a biblical responsibility to watch over the flock, uphold the truth of scripture, and guard against anything which sets itself against the glory of God.  Several passages from the Bible are instructive here.

2 Corinthians 6:14-18 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” 17 “Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” 18 “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”

Isaiah 5:20-21 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. 21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.

The Elders of Grosse Pointe Baptist Church want you to know that we have your best interests in mind and because of this we do NOT endorse Christian “Yoga”.  “Yoga”, by definition, is a “school of Hindu philosophy advocating and prescribing a course of physical and mental disciplines for attaining liberation from the material world and union of the self with the Supreme Being or ultimate principle” Dictionary.com. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “Yoga” as “a Hindu theistic philosophy teaching the suppression of the activity of body, mind, and will in order that the self may realize its distinction from them and attain liberation.”

To claim that “Yoga” is not linked to any particular religion is false.

Without question, we know that God teaches us that healthy minds and healthy bodies are a gift from Him to be used for His glory.  (See Rom. 12:2; I Cor. 6:19-20).  If you want to exercise, we encourage you to do so.  But why would Christians want to borrow an expression from a false religion, from pantheism (god is everything, your everything is god), when we believe there’s only one true God–the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ)!  Many promote Christian Yoga as a harmless exercise, but the word Yoga carries with it a very specific meaning.  We cannot endorse Christian Yoga any more than we can endorse Christian Astrology, Christian Goddess Worship, Christian Kabbalah, Christian New Age, Christian Shamanism, Christian Reincarnation, Christian Tai Chi, Christian Wicca, Christian Witchcraft, or Christian Zen Buddhism. 

I think this explains very well what the Christian position should be in regard to Yoga.  There have also been several items from prominent Evangelical Christian Theologians.  Here are the links to them.

The Subtle Body — Should Christians Practice Yoga? by Dr. Albert Mohler

Albert Mohler – ‘Thinking In Public – Yoga’


Feel free to watch the video on this page, but I would also encourage you to go this video on YouTube.

Did you like this? Share it:
29
Sep

Wavering Faith

   Posted by: jmueller   in Dead Theologians, Prayer

For several weeks now,  I have been struggling with feelings that God is distant from me, or to be more precise, that I have been distant from Him. And that many of the things I do with the church are empty and pointless in regard to furthering the Gospel of Christ.

I received this Grace Gem this morning, and it is exactly the reading that I needed.  I have read it about a half dozen times whenever I have had a break in the action while visiting a customer in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.  I felt the need to post it and share it with others.

The grand secret!

(Octavius Winslow, “Evening Thoughts”)

“This is real love. It is not that we loved God–but that He loved us and sent His Son as a  sacrifice to take away our sins.” 1 John 4:10

Deal much and closely with a crucified Savior! This is the grand secret of a constant ascending of the affections to God. If you find it difficult to comprehend the love of God towards you–then read it in the cross of His dear Son!

Dwell upon this amazing fact,
drink into this precious truth,
muse upon it,
ponder it,
search into it,
pray over it,
until your heart is melted down, and broken, and overwhelmed with God’s wondrous love to you, in the gift of Jesus!

Oh, how will this rekindle the flame that is ready to die in your bosom! How it will draw you up in a holy and unreserved surrender of body, soul, and spirit!

Deal much with Jesus!

Whenever you detect . . .
a waning of love,
a reluctance to take up the daily cross,
a shrinking from the precept
–go immediately to Calvary!

Go simply and directly to Jesus!

Get your heart warmed with ardent love by contemplating Him upon the cross–and soon will the frosts that gather round it melt away, and the congealed current shall begin to flow!

“Who loved me–and gave Himself for me!” Galatians 2:20

We must keep our eyes focused on the Cross of Christ and and what he did for us as the Holy wrath of the Father was poured onto him, utterly breaking him.  This needs to be so much more than just words, though it so often seems to fall into that.

Lord, please help me to keep the Cross centered in my vision and let it guide all that I do.  Amen.

Did you like this? Share it:

It’s been awhile since we had a meeting.

We met briefly with the newest graduating class so that we could decide on a good night and time. Everyone decided that a weekly meeting on Monday night from 8-9:30 pm would be alright.

We met and discussed many topics about our families and things going on in our lives. Pastor decided that we need to do a study on guarding our tongues, based on the conversation.

Pastor Matt handed out the following CD message for us to listen to.

John MacArthur – ‘Thinking Biblically About The Economy, Government, and Your Money’

Did you like this? Share it:
8
Sep

Emerging Leaders Grads Meeting August 29, 2010

   Posted by: jmueller   in Emerging Leaders

Well, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything.  Things have been hectic with the boys going back to school, work around the yard, enjoying the last bit of summer before school started, trying to get ready for going to two services, enjoying the new hobby of running regularly, and most of all trying to stay faithful in my walk with the Lord.

Our last meeting turned in to a great opportunity for John and me to visit for a couple of hours.  We were the only ones that showed up.  I gave him a CD that I made with a couple of messages on ‘Moralistic, Therapeutic Deism’.

Matt Chandler – ‘2010 SBC Pastor’s Conference’

Albert Mohler – ‘The Albert Mohler Program – 04-29-2005′

And then I also found this from Wretched Radio on the subject:

Todd Friel and Ray Comfort on Wretched Radio

Did you like this? Share it:
18
Aug

Exploited Miss America. Empowered Miss USA.

   Posted by: jmueller   in ReBlog

In 1968, a group of “women-libbers” protested the Miss America Beauty Pageant. They argued that the pageant symbolized the cultural problem of men chauvinistically defining and exploiting women as sex objects. The protesters crowned a live sheep “Miss America” to parody that men treated women like animals at a county fair. They chained themselves to a life-size Miss America puppet which was paraded and auctioned off by a woman dressed up as a male Wall Street financier. “Step right up, gentlemen, get your late model woman right here–a lovely paper dolly to call your very own property … She can push your product, push your ego, or push your lawnmower …”

The highlight of the afternoon was the famous “Burn Your Bra” Freedom Trash Can. With elaborate ceremony and shouts of joy, the protesters threw away what they identified as male-promoted “instruments of torture”–high-heeled shoes, corsets, girdles, padded bras, stockings, false eyelashes, curlers, and copies of Playboy, Cosmopolitan, and Ladies Home Journal. They shouted “Freedom for Women!” and “No More Miss America” and hung a banner from the balcony reading “Women’s Liberation.”

The display marked the cultural launch of feminism—the philosophy that women have the right to define their own existence. Feminists argued that women had been wrongly defined by men as housewives and/or sex objects. They reasoned that women would find happiness, wholeness, and self-respect when they had the freedom to define themselves. And culture promptly set about giving them the power and right to do so.

Fast forward to 2010.

Last week, Miss USA released the official contestant photos of  51 pageant hopefuls. The look? Lacy black lingerie, fishnets, smudged kohl eyeliner, knee-high boots, stilettos, voluptuous cleavage, and naked flesh, the like of which have traditionally been associated with prostitutes and porn stars, not beauty queens.  The photo shoot, entitled “Waking up in Vegas,” featured steamy, seductive Playboy-like poses on a large bed and other bedroom furniture.

Rima Fakih made history as the first Arab-American to win the pageant. Besides being crowned Miss USA, she also has the dubious distinction of procuring top honors in a pole dancing competition. What’s even more startling than her lewd behavior, is that this behavior is supported by women. It’s women who uphold the right of Fakih and other contestants to break the “princess, good-girl” stereotype. According to female organizers, princess is passé – but the woman who exerts her sexual power is smart, sophisticated, and worthy of a Miss USA title.

What was once considered exploitative is now considered empowering.

How did this happen? The feminists of the past protested against the sexual objectification of women. Thus, it would appear that modern women have rejected the tenets of feminism. Ironically, however, quite the opposite is true. The raunch culture of today is due to the fact that young women have so thoroughly embraced feminist thought.

Feminism taught the new generation that:

  1. Men have historically deprived women of power and freedom
  2. Women need to reclaim their power and freedom
  3. Women exert power and freedom by rejecting the restrictive, male-defined roles and boundaries of Judeo-Christianity
  4. Women have the right to define their own behavior
  5. Women have the right to define what womanhood is all about

The daughters of the feminist generation were raised on these ideas. They embraced them and took them to heart. Since sex is power, what better way for women to exert their power than through sexuality? They concluded that Girl Power is best expressed by throwing off all boundaries and becoming brazenly sexual. The Spice Girls, The Sex & the City stars, and celebrities such as Britney Spears, Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan all modeled the idea that empowerment equals the right to be raunchy. The idea quickly caught on.

Joe Francis, the Hugh Hefner of Gen X and founder of the Girls Gone Wild porn video series, capitalized on the trend. Accompanied by his camera crews, Francis visited beaches, nightclubs, and parties across America seeking “everyday” college-age women who would flash their breasts, make out with each other, and be sexually lewd on camera in exchange for GGW-emblazoned T-shirts or hats. Francis raked in as much as forty million dollars a year from the sale of these videos. When asked why he thought thousands of young women were so eager to exhibit themselves for his cameras, so willing to objectify themselves in exchange for trucker hats and tank tops, Francis simply said: “It’s empowering. It’s freedom.”

This generation thinks that raunch equals power and freedom. Newsweek has dubbed this, “The Girls Gone Wild Effect.” Nowadays, raunchy sexuality has become the prevalent expression of a woman’s freedom and power.

Joe Francis sees the Girl-Gone-Wild phenomenon as the ultimate expression of feminism. Muzi Mei, the Carrie Bradshaw of Beijing who became a superstar by blogging about her sexual conquests, agrees. She told a reporter, “I express my freedom through sex. It’s my life, and I can do what I want.”

It’s the ultimate irony that the foundational beliefs of feminism have contributed to the increased sexual objectification and pornographication of women. Society’s thorough acceptance of feminist precepts is one of the reasons why behavior that was seen as destructive in 1968 is celebrated as desirable in 2010. When Miss America 1968 appeared in an evening gown and swimwear at the bequest of men, feminism identified her as “exploited.” But when Miss USA 2010 appears in fishnet stockings in sexy bedroom porn, and boldly rejects social convention by entering a pole dancing competition—and does so of her own choice, self-determination and exerting her right to freedom—she embraces and lives out feminism’s core tenets. Given a feminist belief system, culture has no choice but to identify her brash, immoral behavior as“empowered.”

Feminism didn’t provide the answer for woman’s happiness, wholeness, and self-identity. It’s just led us further away from the truth. Girls, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…. I think the time is ripe for a new movement—a seismic holy quake of counter-cultural men and women who dare to take God at his word, those who have the courage to stand against the popular tide, and believe and delight in God’s plan for male and female. A revolution of women embracing God’s design is the needed antidote to counter the self-deterministic feminist mindset that unwittingly justifies the Miss USA type of madness.

© Mary A. Kassian, Girls Gone Wise. Visit Mary’s Website at: GirlsGoneWise.com

Did you like this? Share it:

Tags:

This article is from Compass Direct News:

Muslim Mob Kills Wife, Children of Christian in Pakistan

Fearing local religious leader, area police refuse to file murder complaint.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, July 8 (CDN) — A Muslim mob in Jhelum, Pakistan murdered the wife and four children of a Christian last month, but local authorities are too afraid of the local Muslim leader to file charges, according to area Muslim and Christian sources.

Jamshed Masih, a police officer who was transferred 50 kilometers (31 miles) from Gujrat to Jhelum, Punjab Province, said a mob led by Muslim religious leader Maulana Mahfooz Khan killed his family on June 21 after Khan called him to the local mosque and told him to leave the predominantly Muslim colony. Jhelum is 85 kilometers (53 miles) south of Islamabad.

“You must leave with your family, no non-Muslim has ever been allowed to live in this colony – we want to keep our colony safe from scum,” Khan told Masih, the bereaved Christian told Compass.

Masih had moved to Mustafa Colony in Jhelum with his wife, two sons and two daughters and were living in a rented house. Masih said that a Muslim neighbor, Ali Murtaza, told him that area Muslims notified Khan, telling the religious leader, “We cannot allow these non-Muslims to live here, they will be a bad influence on our children.”

An anxious Masih told his wife Razia Jamshed about the local Muslim response, and they decided to bring their concern to the pastor of a local Presbyterian church, Saleem Mall.

“Pastor Saleem said, ‘I will also advise you to vacate the house, as it can be dangerous living there – these people can harm your family,” Masih said.

Masih’s neighbor, Murtaza, confirmed to Compass the response of the local Muslims and related incidents that led up to the murders. Murtaza told Compass that after Masih went to work at 7 a.m. on June 21, his children could be heard singing hymns before breakfast.

“Razia sent their eldest son to buy a packet of Surf [detergent], and he was singing a hymn on his way to buy the Surf,” Murtaza said.

Neighbors saw Masih’s s 11-year-old son come into the store, he said. The shopkeeper asked him if he was a Christian; the child responded that he was.

“The shopkeeper refused to give him the packet of Surf and spoke very harshly to him, ‘I don’t sell to any non-Muslim, you are not welcome here, don’t you dare ever come to my shop again,’” Murtaza said.

The boy went home, upset, and told his mother about the encounter; she grew worried and called her husband, saying, “Jamshed, please come home quickly, the kids and I are very worried, we must leave this house today,” Masih said.

His neighbor, Murtaza, said that shortly afterward some area residents came to the door with the Muslim religious leader, Khan.

“Your son has committed blasphemy against Muhammad, our beloved prophet – we can’t allow him to live, he should be punished,” Khan told Razia Masih, Murtaza said. “Razia got scared and said, ‘My son couldn’t do such a thing, he is only 11 years old.’”

Khan became furious and said, “Are we lying to you? You call us liars, how dare you insult us,” Murtaza said. “Someone from the crowd hit something hard on her head, and she started bleeding. The children started crying and shouted for help. Razia kept shouting for help, ‘Please have mercy on us, please let my husband come, then we can talk.’”

Jamshed Masih said his daughter telephoned police as the mob attacked his wife and children. He said he later learned that “the people kept shouting, ‘This family has committed blasphemy, they should be killed.”

Before police arrived, his family was murdered, he said.

Murtaza said Masih rushed home and was devastated to find the dead bodies of his wife and four children.

When Masih tried to file a complaint against Khan for the murder, Station House Officer (SHO) Ramzan Mumtaz refused to do so, according to Murtaza and Mall, the Presbyterian clergyman.

“He said, ‘Khan is an influential man, and he said your son has committed blasphemy – we cannot do anything against him,’” Mall said.

Murtaza added, “The SHO just said, ‘I am a poor man, I have a family, and I was pressured by higher authorities not to register the FIR [First Information Report] as Khan is a very influential man. I am sorry, I don’t have anything in my hands.’”

Contacted by Compass, SHO Mumtaz confirmed that he responded to the request to file the complaint against Khan in these exact words.

Masih has filed a complaint with the chief minister of Punjab Province begging him for justice, Mall told Compass.

“We condemn this brutal murder of innocent children in the name of Islam,” Mall said. “This has to stop now. We appeal to the government to let us live in peace.”

Did you like this? Share it:

(James Smith, “CONSIDER!” 1859)

“This is what the Lord Almighty says: Consider your ways!” Haggai 1:7

God commands you to consider–and you cannot neglect to do so, but you sin. Your circumstances require it of you–and you cannot neglect to do so, but you must be losers thereby. God complains, “My people do not consider!”

Inconsideration has ruined thousands–and will ruin thousands more. But shall it ruin you? It will–if you give way to it. Let me entreat you to do so no longer.

Consider that you are immortal–and must live forever.
Your BODY will die–and perhaps soon.
But not so your SOUL–it never dies.
Death changes its place–but not its nature.
It leaves earth for Heaven–or for Hell! It lives as much when the body is dead–as it did before. It is conscious–and capable of enjoying the highest pleasures–or of enduring the most dreadful torments! And one or the other will be its lot.

Heaven–or Hell,
happiness–or misery,
always follows upon death!

Surely an immortal being ought to consider:

Where shall I be after death?

What shall I be?

Among whom shall I have my eternal portion?

Is it rational to confine our attention to the present time, and the present world–when time bears no comparison to eternity; and our stay in this present world must be brief?

Consider that you are a sinner.
You have broken God’s law.
You have incurred God’s displeasure.
You are condemned by God’s Word.
You deserve God’s wrath.
Your heart is alienated from God.
You act in opposition to God.
You lie absolutely at God’s mercy–and at any moment He could cut you down, and send you to Hell.
You have no right to expect anything but justice at His hands! And if He dealt with you after your sins, and rewarded you according to your iniquities–your doom would be indescribably dreadful!

Reader! “Consider your ways!”

Consider that you are immortal–and that you must live somewhere forever!

Consider that you are a sinner–and that you cannot live in Heaven as such!

Consider that you may be saved–for the Lord Jesus Christ is both able and willing to save sinners!

Consider that you can only be saved by sincere faith in Christ!

Consider that you must denounce your own righteousness, and rely solely on His finished work!

Consider that if you are saved by Christ–you will live to Christ.
He will be your Lord–as well as your Savior.
He will be your example–as well as your atoning sacrifice!

Consider that faith is the root of holiness, and a holy life alone proves our faith to be genuine.

“This is what the Lord Almighty says: Consider your ways!”

Did you like this? Share it:
7
Aug

Emerging Leader Grads Meeting August 1, 2010

   Posted by: jmueller   in Emerging Leaders

We watched a video call ‘The Star of Bethlehem’.

Pastor Matt handed out a new CD with a message from Tim Keller.

Tim Keller – ‘Sin and Temptation’

Did you like this? Share it:

(James Smith, “Keep Close to Christ” 1857)

A Christian minister was dying. He had a young sister whom he tenderly loved, and in whose welfare he felt the deepest interest. She came to pay the last visit, and receive from his lips the last words of advice. The words of a dying minister, realizing the value of the soul, and the solemnity of eternity, are important words. Taking her by the hand, and fixing his eyes upon her with a loving look, he said, “Keep close to Christ!”

What could he say of more import? Her life-lesson was comprised in four words, “Keep close to Christ!” She had come to Jesus, she  loved Jesus, she found happiness in Jesus; but the dying brother knew . . .
the deceitfulness of the human heart;
the power of the world’s fascinations,
and the craft and subtlety of Satan,
therefore he exhorts, “Keep close to Christ!”

May the Lord give us grace to get near to Him; and then give us more grace, to keep near to Him; for alas! how many of us, like Peter, follow Him afar off!

What must we do–to keep close to Jesus?

We must keep close to His Word. Here He . . .
reveals His mind,
displays His love, and
exhibits His beauty!

It is a revelation of His deepest, sweetest, kindest thoughts!

It is an exhibition of His infinite, eternal, deathless love!

It is a mirror in which we may see His unparalleled beauty and excellency!

No one can keep close to Jesus–who does not daily, seriously, and prayerfully read His Word. That Word . . .
received into the heart by faith,
digested by meditation, and
reduced to practice in the life,
will bring the soul and Christ together!

For the more we know of Christ–the more we shall love Him, the more we shall prize, pant for, and seek to enjoy His presence!

Blessed Spirit, help us so to read the Word–as always to find Christ in it; and by it endear Him more and more unto us, and bring us into closer fellowship with Him!

Did you like this? Share it: