Sunday, March 23, 2014

Answers in Genesis: Update on Hobby Lobby and Obamacare

Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis has a new blog post up about Hobby Lobby's fight against the Obamacare Healthcare Mandate. The mandate would require them to offer health insurance that provides abortion-inducing drugs (abortifacients) to its employees. This case is to be argued before the Supreme Court on Tuesday, March 25. Please be in prayer about this case, and for the Green family that owns Hobby Lobby, as they stand for God's Word and the sanctity of human life.

Eddie Snipes: When Grace Becomes a Threat

My husband Eddie has a blog post up about one of his newest books, Abounding Grace:Dispelling Myths and Clarifying the Biblical Message of God's Overflowing Grace. There is much misinformation being spread around recently about the resurgence of grace teaching, calling it 'hyper grace' and saying that this is a danger to the body of Christ that must be stamped out with fierce attacks. I believe that this 'attack mode' is the danger, which causes division in the body of Christ because people then think they have a right and duty to spew hatred at other believers with impunity, because 'they think they are doing God a service' (John 16:2). I have been a part of this 'attack mode' thinking in the past, and I don't want to get caught up in it again. It is something that has been happening throughout church history, and is one of the greatest tools that the enemy has to render us ineffective as witnesses and lights in this dark world. When we fall prey to this, we become worse than useless. We become part of the darkness that plagues the world, which Christ died to dispel. At this time of the year when we remember Christ's death and resurrection, let's die to our own pride and our own works, and allow Christ to shine through us as we love one another. Jesus said "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:35)
Eddie writes about his book:

People like the idea of grace being a tool God puts into our hands, because this makes us the acheiver--which feeds our pride. It’s when you unveil the full teaching of God’s grace, which calls us to trust completely in what Christ has done, that people call grace hyper. People are not comfortable with being completely dependent upon Christ alone. Religious people would rather believe that God is proud of their efforts.
The truth that the only way we can please God is to trust and receive what He has accomplished is not palatable to religion. God is love, and because of His desire to express His love, God gave the gift of Himself through the promise, “His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness.” That is grace. Anything that replaces His gift of ‘all things’ has replaced grace with a cheap counterfeit. This substitute then denies God the pleasure of expressing love, and denies us the joy of experiencing all things. The counterfeit may call itself grace, but it is nothing more than a fading form of religion.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Deeper with Jesus in Rhode Island: They'll Be Dead by Morning (What Difference Will it Make?)

Please pray for the 33 North Korean Christians that are sentenced to death by Kim Jong-un for setting up 500 underground churches in North Korea. I can't say it better than Lori Roeleveld in the following links. If you don't follow her blog, you should. As Lori writes: "Let's bring them before the throne of the High King that they would be bold, brave, strong, and know they are not alone." I would add, please pray that they will live to continue the work they began, but if not, pray that in their deaths they will be like Gideon's pitchers which when broken shone out the light that was contained within, and like the grains of wheat that Jesus described in John 12:24: "unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain". I also pray and hope that if it comes to this in our country that God will call brothers and sisters to pray for us in the same way. Thank you.

Deeper with Jesus in Rhode Island: They'll Be Dead by Morning (What Difference Will it Make?)

Deeper with Jesus in Rhode Island: Jesus Lives in North Korea and He Reigns in His People There

Saturday, March 01, 2014

The Last Hiker: The "Son of God" Movie is Not What We Think

The Last Hiker posted this blog recently about the film 'Son of God' which opened this weekend. In reading the blog, I was disappointed to see how many protestant leaders are promoting this film, which looks, according to examples from sources listed in the blog post, to be dangerously inaccurate and misleading. The blog also states that several Catholic bishops are promoting the film and saying how good it is. I hope to see some sign of discernment coming from leaders and lay people, both protestant and Catholic, as the film is reviewed.

UPDATE:  A reader brought to my attention that the tone of the blog post I linked to here is uncharitable and that my post is in contrast to the earlier one I posted about the Mexican Catholics ostracizing their protestant neighbors. In the earlier post, I stressed my concern that these Catholics are not behaving as Christians should and are hurting the unity of the church. I was inconsistent in posting an article in which the author has an uncharitable tone and criticizes fellow believers, even saying that Roma Downey and her husband are not Christians and are hurting the cause of Christ.  I am posting this update because I agree that I was being inconsistent, and admit that I hastily posted the link to the Son of God blog post without thinking it through. I am linking here to a more reasonable and charitable review and critique of the Son of God movie by Answers in Genesis. Here is the link: Answers in Genesis: Movie Review: Son of God

25 Protestant Families in Mexico have Water and Electricity Cut Off by Catholic Village Authorities: When will we be one? posted an article about a situation in southern Mexico in which protestant families in a village are being ostracized by fellow villagers and have had their water and electricity cut off, because they will not participate in and contribute financially to traditional Catholic festivities. This happened also in 2010 and was reported on. I don't know if this is a situation in which the Catholic villagers are acting on their own out of ill-will toward protestants, or with the blessing of the Roman Catholic Church authorities in their area. What I want to know in the interests of unity in the Body of Christ is: don't these Catholic villagers have priests that teach them about the love of God, and love for neighbor? Do the priests, and villagers, understand that Christ said Christians would be known by their love for one another? Do they recognize that protestants are part of the Body of Christ, and do the protestants recognize this also? I do, of course, know that some people that claim to be Christians really are not. I hope and pray that the ones who truly are believers in this village, on both sides, will be moved to show Christ's love to one another, so that the unity Christ prayed for will be realized in our time, and those that are not believers will see this and be saved.
The photo above: Graves of a Catholic woman and her Protestant husband, who were not allowed to be buried together. Roermond, NL, 1888