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Out to lunch…for now…

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m not blogging much anymore.

Not because the pulpit pimps and profiteers have left pulpits across the globe, or because I’ve been stricken with a curse because I dared “put my mouth on the mand/womand of God.”

I’m just tired, and I’m busy in other areas of my life.

Since 2008, I’ve written just about as much as I could to keep you away from false prophets. I’ve warned, investigated, publicly shamed (or attempted to because these wolves have no shame), openly named and challenged all manner of vile perpetrators…and I feel as though I’ve hit the wall.

So, I’m on hiatus until God wills me to drop back in from time to time and share my thoughts as He leads. I encourage you to continue visiting the links to sermons and other blogs that are listed along the right-edge of this blog (and Melvin Jones over at Pulpit Pimps is BACK!!!).

As always, be vigilant and continue to defend this great Gospel…

Happy New Year…

I’m grateful to God to be able to look back on another year.

This blog has been in existence since February 2008, and more than 460,000 visits later I’m thankful that God has sent you here to comment, criticize, to be enlightened, to be angered, and to be informed.

Most of all, I thank God for allowing me to continue to speak (or write) His truth.

I’m not particularly nostalgic, nor do I make new year resolutions, so I wish you all Godspeed in 2011 – and God’s best for your lives according to His Will and good pleasure for you.

So (as has been the “tradition” for the past few years) here are the top 20 articles viewed on the blog for 2010:

Article & number of views

“Why Aren’t More Blacks Interested In Reformed Theology?” 5,567
The Black Value System Vs. The Bible 5,377
Studying The Bible: The Topical Method 4,920
Is Hillsong Church A Cult? 3,573
The Cursing Preacher and the $900,000 “Donation” 3,388
Why I Speak Truth 3,307
Are “Armor Bearers” Biblical? 3,203
The Prince Pimp Of Baltimore Endorses Obama 3,050
“Pulpit Pimps”…Too Harsh? 2,914
Pimps – The Gathering 2,513
Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy… 2,159
Another “Spiritual Daddy” Demands “Submission” 2,088
Eddie Long is a CEO…NOT a “Bishop” 1,824
Roman Catholicism Is A False Religion 1,770
Fred K.C. Price…Apostle? 1,492
“Moneeeeeey Cometh…To Me…NOW! 1,398
Surprise, Surprise…Another Gay “Bishop” in Metro Atlanta 1,393
“I’m Still The Man!” 1,381
D.E. Paulk Has Officially Lost His Mind 1,358
You KNOW You’re In A Cult If… 1,342
So, Eddie Doesn’t “Understand” Homosexuality? 1,329

Sola Dei Gloria!

Related Posts:

A Housekeeping Note…

It’s been awhile since I did some housecleaning around here, and now is as good a time as any. I’ve written well over 260 articles on this blog in the last 2 years – and I’ve received almost 4,000 comments on those articles. Subsequently, I find it laborious to argue points that I made in an article written over 2 years ago – especially when the article has over 2,000 words and I believe I made my point within the article itself.

As such, I’ve decided to close comments on articles older than 180 days (that’s 6 months for those of us who went to state college). While this move will certainly keep the dialogue “fresh” and “relevant”, it’ll save me from getting worked up over something written long ago.

C’mon folks – I promise to give you fresh material to piss you off make you uncomfortable…don’t make me go into history to get you all worked up…

That is all…

“…He’s not dead”

Why do you cry? He is risen…Why are you weeping? He’s not dead

- “Don’t Cry” by Kirk Franklin

As we who claim the Name of the Lord ponder His supreme sacrifice this weekend (and our Blood-bought right as heirs to His Kingdom), I found an article from Gotquestions.org that nicely sums up the significance of Jesus’ propitiation for our sins.

Happy Resurrection Day, saints!:

Question: “Why is the resurrection of Jesus Christ important?”

The resurrection of Jesus is important for several reasons. First, it witnesses to the immense power of God Himself. To believe in the resurrection is to believe in God. If God exists, and if He created the universe and has power over it, He has power to raise the dead. If He does not have such power, He is not a God worthy of our faith and worship. Only He who created life can resurrect it after death, only He can reverse the hideousness that is death itself, and only He can remove the sting that is death and the victory that is the grave’s (1 Corinthians 15:54-55). In resurrecting Jesus from the grave, God reminds us of His absolute sovereignty over life and death.

Second, the resurrection of Jesus is a testimony to the resurrection of human beings, which is a basic tenet of the Christian faith. Unlike all other religions, Christianity alone possesses a founder who transcends death and who promises that His followers will do the same. All other religions were founded by men and prophets whose end was the grave. As Christians, we take comfort in the fact that our God became man, died for our sins, and was resurrected the third day. The grave could not hold Him. He lives, and He sits today at the right hand of God the Father in heaven.

In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul explains in detail the importance of the resurrection of Christ. Some in Corinth did not believe in the resurrection of the dead, and in this chapter Paul gives six disastrous consequences if there were no resurrection: 1) preaching Christ would be senseless (v. 14); 2) faith in Christ would be useless (v. 14); 3) all the witnesses and preachers of the resurrection would be liars (v. 15); 4) no one would be redeemed from sin (v. 17); 5) all former believers would have perished (v.18); and 6) Christians would be the most pitiable people on the earth (v. 19). But Christ indeed has risen from the dead and “has become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep” (v. 20), assuring that we will follow Him in resurrection.

The inspired Word of God guarantees the believer’s resurrection at the coming of Jesus Christ for His Body (the Church) at the Rapture. Such hope and assurance results in a great song of triumph as Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:55, “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”

How do these concluding verses relate to the importance of the resurrection? Paul answers, “…you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (v. 58). He reminds us that because we know we will be resurrected to new life, we can suffer persecution and danger for Christ’s sake (vv. 29-31), just as He did. We can follow the example of the thousands of martyrs through history who gladly traded their earthly lives for everlasting life via the resurrection.

The resurrection is the triumphant and glorious victory for every believer. Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose the third day according to the Scripture. And, He is coming again! The dead in Christ will be raised up, and those who remain and are alive at His coming will be changed and receive new, glorified bodies (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Why is the resurrection of Jesus Christ important to salvation? It demonstrated that God accepted Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf. It proves that God has the power to raise us from the dead. It guarantees that those who believe in Christ will not remain dead, but will be resurrected unto eternal life. That is our blessed hope!

Related Posts:

Give Obama A Break (this time, at least)!

obama education speech

OK – you regular readers already know that I am no fan of Barack Obama. So, here’s an early warning: you may want to sit down, brace yourselves – and put down any glassware or sharp objects.

I agree with those who think this “Obama Indoctrination Speech” controversy is devoid of worth for serious discussion.

There, I said it. And I’d say it again. This isn’t a political blog – and my vast disagreements with Obama are primarily grounded in my religious convictions. But I’m man enough to stand up when I disagree with him, and I’m man enough to defend him when I think the criticism is a bit far-fetched.

It’s a stupid “non-issue” issue that makes great political theater, but unfortunately overshadows the intent of the speech (to inspire kids to do better) and more pressing issues (the risk of full-scale government healthcare being ram-rodded down the throats of taxpayers).

Here’s a link to the full text of the speech that was given today, and here’s a link to the “suggested resources” that are available as well. Here are a few highlights of the speech:

I’m here because I want to talk with you about your education and what’s expected of all of you in this new school year.

Now, I’ve given a lot of speeches about education. And I’ve talked about responsibility a lot.

I’ve talked about teachers’ responsibility for inspiring students and pushing you to learn.

I’ve talked about your parents’ responsibility for making sure you stay on track, and you get your homework done, and don’t spend every waking hour in front of the TV or with the Xbox.

I’ve talked a lot about your government’s responsibility for setting high standards, and supporting teachers and principals, and turning around schools that aren’t working, where students aren’t getting the opportunities that they deserve.

But at the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, the best schools in the world — and none of it will make a difference, none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities, unless you show up to those schools, unless you pay attention to those teachers, unless you listen to your parents and grandparents and other adults and put in the hard work it takes to succeed. That’s what I want to focus on today: the responsibility each of you has for your education.

What an inglorious bastard!

You mean, the President has the unmitigated gall to strongly suggest that (gulp) students are responsible for actively participating in their own education?

COMMUNIST! FASCIST! MUSLIM!

Bill Cosby has been giving his version of this same speech (plus a bit more on not having babies out-of-wedlock and more) for the past few years. Would Obama had been more embraced if he gave the speech in a brightly colored sweater and eating Jell-O at the same time?

For those who argue that the “resource materials” were a form of government indoctrination because the President asked kids to document how they would commit to staying in school, I still believe that’s a stretch, but I’ll give you that one.

For those who pulled their kids out of school – and protested in tears – because they thought the kids ears would bleed while listening to a positive message, I ask: Aren’t your kids ALREADY in government school? What do you do when they bring home condoms that they got in gym class, or “Heather Has Two Mommies” books?

I am the Chief Role Model in the lives of my children. I set the tone for what they are to expect when they encounter adults inside and outside of our home. As such, my children are highly intelligent critical thinkers. If they heard something off-base in Obama’s speech, then they would ask me for clarification (as they do when they hear about same-sex marriage, abortion, and other controversial topics).  

If Obama could get my kids to sign up for his “youth brigade” after one speech, then I’m a horrible parent with no ability to influence their decisions at a young age. If he’s that persuasive, then maybe he should also tell my children to make their beds, pick their clothes up off the floor – and flush the toilet!

I VIGOROUSLY disagree with Obama on abortion, gay marriage, school vouchers, government-run health insurance (beyond Medicare), support of teachers unions, and a myriad of other things. And I will continue to be a vocal critic as the Lord wills – yet I have to give him a thumbs up for using the bully pulpit of the presidency to advocate for self-responsibility.

C’mon – Nixon gave speeches to school kids before. Even Bill Clinton (the Horndog in Chief) is still revered as a role-model. For goodness sake – doesn’t the Office of the Presidency give the POTUS the right to give an innocuous speech to the nations children?

Alright – I’ll stop before pigs start flying and locusts and frogs rain from the sky.

The Sacred Sanctuary?

twitterchurch

Psalm 5:7 (New American Standard Bible)

7But as for me, by Your abundant lovingkindness I will enter Your house,
  At Your holy temple I will bow in reverence for You.

For many, the church sanctuary is a symbol of reverence and holy worship unto the Lord. The speaking elder stands in the pulpit with the sober responsibility to preach the Word as Paul directed Timothy (2  Timothy 4:2). The assembly joins together in prayer, singing songs of praise and worship to God, and to receive instruction for righteous living to the glory of God.

Now, some pastors have added “tweeting” to the assembly’s activity list:

Twittering in Church, with the Pastor’s O.K.

John Voelz isn’t trying to brag, but it’s fair to say he was down with Twitterbefore most people knew it was a proper noun. Last year, Voelz, a pastor, was tweeting at a conference outside Nashville about ways to make the church experience more creative — ways to “make it not suck” — when suddenly it hit him: Twitter.

Voelz and David McDonald, the other senior pastor at WestwindsCommunity Church in Jackson, Mich., spent two weeks educating their congregation about Twitter, the microblogging site that challenges users to communicate in 140 characters or less. They held training sessions where congregants brought in their laptops, iPhones and Blackberrys. They upped the bandwidth in the auditorium.

As expected, banter flourished. Tweets like “Nice shirt JVo” and “So glad they are doing Lenny Kravitz” flashed across three large video screens. But there was heartfelt stuff, too.

“I have a hard time recognizing God in the middle of everything.”

“The more I press in to Him, the more He presses me out to be useful”

“sometimes healing is painful”

Call it the latest salvo in the “seeker-sensitive” movement, or the church needing to remain “relevant to the culture of today”, the reality is that technological advances will continue to make their way into the sacred sanctuary. And you thought the lady sitting next to you speaking in tongues was distracting during service? Imagine ignoring the sermon while daydreaming and watching all of the “tweets” flash across the large monitors in the sanctuary.

I have a hard enough time trying to concentrate while making my youngest sit still, now this? For those who consider me to be a legalist – especially since I have stated my objections/reservations to the entire seeker-sensitive movement, this post will probably soldify that label.

To me, the presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a very sober and sacred affair. While it should not be done in a whisper chamber were cracking a smile could get you sent to the hallways, sound preaching and teaching works best in a distraction-free zone. I contend that when pastors allow (and encourage) “tweeting” during services (and broadcast those tweets across the Jumbo-Tron for all to see), they take the focus off of Christ and place it on the latest nifty technology. Much like I disdain the wanna-be Grammy-award wining soloist’s extended LP version of the latest Gospel jam, tweeting places another layer of distraction between congregants and the unfettered Word of God.

I asked about the pros and cons of “tweeting in church” on Twitter (why not go straight to the community in question, right?) and got back a few interesting responses:

Re: tweeting in church. I often do not, not for my sake, but because of others. There is quite a bit of stigma attached.

I will go out on a limb and say that I am not a fan of the idea. Isn’t our minds meant to be on God during worship service?

Well, I suppose one pro is that it allows people to think through points of the message as they share ‘em

Perhaps in the right context and with full support from the pulpit the stigma will be removed from t*ing in church.

Saw it with my own eyes… some dude tweeting in church. Funny thing: he looked up Romans 3:23. You think not paying attention in church is a sin?! Just a thought.

I posed the question to Dr. Albert Mohler (ok, I “tweeted” him). Dr. Mohler is a noted Thelogian, and the President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary – he’s also an avid twitterer.  Dr. Mohler tweets before and after sermons, from the lecture circuit, from banquets and dinners, and more – and he even sends pictures from his travels. I haven’t revecieved a “tweet back”, but I suspect that Mohler frowns upon the idea of tweeting during church service – and encouraging the act from the pulpit.

Mark Lamprecht over at the blog Sweet Tea & Theology wrote an interesting article on the subject as well, stating (emphasis added):

Twitter Church and Classroom

Recently, a local news station reported on using Twitter at church: ‘Twittering’ encouraged at Seattle church.  It’s an interesting report and I might like to hear more about it.  However, is that really helpful to one’s spiritual growth?  I have to wonder that if we cannot even sit and listen to a sermon which is normally less than an hour how will we ever study and pray at home with ourselves and family?  Just because tweeting is silent does this mean it is now acceptable to whisper on your cell phone during the worship time?  Why not?  I mean, would we stop in the middle of a prayer to re-tweet?  This is just all strange to me.  What is it that makes tweeting acceptable and ever other medium off limits?  Can you see the pastor stopping in the middle of a corporate prayer to tweet something?On the other hand, if your pastor encourages you to tweet and every is pretty much on board, go for it!  I still don’t get it, but that’s okay.  I just don’t see how it adds anything to God feeding you through worship.

And therein lies my concern – if we encourage “microbursts” of information sharing during worship services, are we making it even more difficult to encourage sacred quiet time with the Lord and His Word? Are we sending conflicting messages – “take deliberate time to study and know the person and work of Jesus Christ, but be prepared to discuss it in less than 140 characters”

That said (as Mark point’s out), you’re not “out of order” if the pastor encourages and facilitates the activity.

Still, I can’t help but think that it is distracting.

But hey, what do I know? I’m just a legalistic prude…with a blog…and a twitter account…and two BlackBerries…I’ll stop there.

Related Posts

A Few Housekeeping Notes…

I am appreciative that WordPress allows me (and others) to blog for free, otherwise I’d be forced to solicit extort all manner of offering and covering from you dear regular readers. Alas, WordPress has seen fit to make a significant enhancement to the “comment” options, so I guess I’ll keep my “free account”. Please note a few “housekeeping” updates to the blog:

  • Now you can click the “reply” link directly below every comment posted to the blog IF you want to reply to a specific commenter. Your replies will be “nested” under the original comment.
  • You can also subscribe to the comment section of an article (or articles) when you leave a comment AND you want to be alerted when someone replies directly to you (or makes a general comment on the blog).
  • In an effort to aid those of you who have fled a degenerate pulpit viper and are searching for sound biblical teaching and preaching, I have introduced “Sermon Series RSS Feeds”along the right-hand column of this blog (directly under the “You Said…” comment tag). The list will grow as I continue to uncover sound biblical teachers (past and present), but for now, open your bibles and follow along with two Spirit-filled vessels: John MacArthur and John Piper.
  • I’m also adding a new posting series: “Fun With Search Engine Terms”. I get a hearty laugh when I see some of the terms that you folks use to find this blog, and I just have to add my snarky comments – so look out for that very soon (after my expose on “First Fruits”…I haven’t forgotten…)

That’s it for now…


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