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Rosario Champagne Butterfield’s Testimony: “My Train Wreck Conversion”

I clicked over to Facebook today, just to quickly peruse the latest trivia of the various postings, most of which make me ask questions like this one: “Why do you think I’m interested in knowing how long the line was at Starbucks in the Philadelphia airport?”  I’m usually hoping for something truly profound, but am usually disappointed.  Of course, I think anything that I post on Facebook is important and is usually quite profound, but I suspect that others look at my postings with a yawn and the same questions that I ask of their trivia.  Occasionally, I’m pleasantly surprised as I was today, when my old friend and Arminian brother in Christ, Eric Hulet, posted the article below about Rosario Champagne Butterfield and her conversion.  I was stunned after reading this wonderful testimony and of the gentle witness of a gentle pastor and his wife, going to “dine with sinners”, just as our Lord.  Dear Father, thank you for the atoning sacrifice of Jesus, and that you saved me from my depravity and forgive me for how often I have a sense of disdain for other sinners, rather than a heart centered on the Gospel and filled with the irresistible, gentle, kind love that you used to draw me to the flame.  Thank you for that forgiveness!

From Christianity Today:

My Train Wreck Conversion

As a leftist lesbian professor, I despised Christians. Then I somehow became one.

rbutterfieldThe word Jesus stuck in my throat like an elephant tusk; no matter how hard I choked, I couldn’t hack it out. Those who professed the name commanded my pity and wrath. As a university professor, I tired of students who seemed to believe that “knowing Jesus” meant knowing little else. Christians in particular were bad readers, always seizing opportunities to insert a Bible verse into a conversation with the same point as a punctuation mark: to end it rather than deepen it.

Stupid. Pointless. Menacing. That’s what I thought of Christians and their god Jesus…(read more)

I Gave Up Ammo Hording for the Last Week of Lent

Dr_EvilAmmoAs we approach Easter during the last week of Lent, or as some would say, Holy Week, I was seriously pondering what I could give up in order to deny myself worldly pleasures so that I can be more in tune spiritually and be able to hear God more acutely in order to be a much more holy, spiritual Christian who is much closer to God than you, has much more wisdom than you, have my prayers heard more readily than yours, understand the scripture better than you and be much more mature in my faith than you.  You see, unlike most Christians, I’m quite serious about my spirituality and I am making sure that I achieve the highest level of maturity and sanctification that I can possibly achieve in order to make sure that I am the best witness that I can be so that others will see Jesus in me.  Because of this, I take Lent quite seriously and am always looking for new ways to deny my flesh in order to profit my soul.

As I was going through this exercise of analyzing my life to look for stuff I really like that I could give up for Holy Week, I was also multitasking by scouring the internet looking for ammunition.  You see, I take my responsibility to be prepared for the coming collapse of our Christian nation almost as seriously as denying my flesh for my continued growth and sanctification.  After all, we are told clearly in James that pure religion is looking out for widows and orphans in their distress and, we all would agree, that the most vulnerable people on the planet after the collapse of the U.S. of A. will be, who else, widows and orphans!  How would I be able to protect the widows & orphans (or my own family for that matter) if I didn’t have 30 or 40 thousand rounds of ammo to fight off the atheist-commie-Muslim-Democrat-leftist-fascists-post modern-new age-“R” rated movie going- HBO watching-medical marijuana smoking, food stamp using, unemployed, dread locked, tattooed hordes who will try to break into my house in order to eat all my food, wear my clothes and (worst of all) use my fishing gear?

Of course, we all know that the reason for the coming collapse is all the fault of the Democrat controlled Senate &  none other than President Obama! (it hurts, but I must use his proper title out of respect for our leaders)  Where’s that good Mormon, Mitt Romney, when you need him? We all know that President Obama is a closet Muslim, hell-bent on forcing trips to Mecca, redistributing the wealth, blowing up evangelical churches with drone strikes, taxing our swimming pools AND our pickup trucks, forcing us to recycle, banning hair spray in Texas, Tennessee and Georgia to prevent global warming (if he would just ban Rick Perry from using hair spray it might have the desired effect), taking away ALL our guns & ammo, making us listen to NPR and watch Celtic Women on PBS, making Ebonics the official language of the U.S. of A…….but I digress.

Yes, I’m giving up hording ammo for Lent, even though it’s a righteous, pleasurable and necessary pursuit (just like food) so that I can have my ammo-deprived senses more acute in order to more effectively hear from God during my 4 A.M. daily quiet time & devotional (with at least 30 minutes a week dedicated to memorizing the book of Numbers).  Amen & Hallelujah!  I think I’ll raise my hands & maybe even do a little jig in the aisle at church this week because of my heightened spirituality!

PS: somebody please remind me to post this on Facebook and send it out in a tweet, not so that I can call attention to myself, but so that I can be a good and righteous example to new Christians who might be wondering about the observance of Lent.

Matthew 6:1, 16-18, Galatians 4:10-11, Colossians 2:16-22, Romans 14:5-8, 1 Corinthians 9:19-23

Tim Challies on Modern Idolatry

wireless_heroWhat a great article that addresses what we tend to hold dear.  Oh Lord Jesus, please forgive me for setting my sights so low and for clinging to things that are so temporary!

I Bought Some Joy (But Dropped It Down the Stairs)

From Challies.com

It must have been six months or a year ago that I watched my iPhone—my brand new iPhone—sliding, then flipping, down a flight of stairs. I had just pulled it from my pocket and somehow lost my grip on it. It clattered down one step, then the next, then the next, all the way to bottom.

Idolatry has been much on my mind lately, idolatry ancient and modern. In the Old Testament there must be a hundred stories of the Israelites raising idols and then cutting them down again. The story repeats itself all through their history. Time and again they abandon God in favor of idols of wood and stone, violating the terms of the covenant they have made with him. The Lord is patient and through priests and judges and prophets calls his people to repent, to return. Eventually they do, and as a sign of their repentance they cut down those idols.

Have you ever considered what it would have been like to actually cut down an idol? (read more here)

D.A. Carson on the Intolerance of Tolerance

D.A. Carson has provided three clear and, frankly, eye opening illustrations of the new “tolerance” as it is practiced by those who would seek to redefine societal norms that are/were based on clear, biblical teaching.

VOLUME 37 ISSUE 3
Nov 2012

More Examples of Intolerant Tolerance

D. A. Carson
D. A. Carson is research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois.

Since The Intolerance of Tolerance was published,1 readers have been sending me new examples they have spotted-examples of egregious intolerance masquerading in the name of tolerance. Sometimes these examples have been accompanied with a plea to incorporate them in any revised edition that might be called for. Of course, I too have spotted a handful of examples myself. In this editorial I’d like to comment briefly on three of them, probing a little to uncover what we should learn from them. Although the book drew on examples in both Europe and America, the follow three have surfaced in the United States. (read more here)

Sufficient or Not? Take a Stand!

This post by Dan Phillips on the Pyromaniacs site is refreshingly simple.  It addresses the issue of continuous revelation in the mushy, ambiguous world of the modern, evangelical ecosystem by stating what Scripture says about itself, and then asking a simple question.  It’s a quick read and perfect for a Saturday afternoon.

What we confess as our sufficient, complete Bible: what’s missing?

by Dan Phillips

Oncet upon a time, I wrote a constitution for a church I was attempting to plant, and along with it a Statement of Faith. The latter is available online for the curious and idle and, you know, whoever.

What I’m doing here is what I’ve long meant to do but never done. I am simply posting that portion of the statement that deals with the Bible, and then I shall ask one question in two ways. Mainly, I just want this post here for future reference.

The sixty-six books of the Protestant canon, in their original writings, comprise the verbally inspired, inerrant Word of God. The thirty-nine books known as the Hebrew Old Testament are God-breathed, products of the Holy Spirit’s inspiration, and thus free from error in all that they affirm (cf. Deuteronomy 18:1819Psalms 19:78119:89142151160Matthew 5:17-19John 10:352 Timothy 3:162 Peter 1:2021). (Read the rest here…)

Still Selling Indulgences in 2012

Below is an interesting article from the Associated Press about the “church tax” in Germany.  That’s right, “church tax”.  At first glance, I thought this was only about the Roman Catholic church, but I quickly discovered that Germany collects a tax from those who claim church affiliation and then redistributes that money to the churches/synagogues based on the affiliation of the tax payer.  Many have disavowed church membership to avoid paying this tax.  The article states that the Catholic church refuses to perform baptisms, etc. to those who don’t pay the tax.  I wouldn’t be surprised if many of the protestant churches have similar practices.  The practice of the government having financial control of money intended for a church has all kinds of possible negative ramifications (see the establishment clause  and the free exercise clause in the first amendment of the US constitution), but the one that comes to mind here is the similarity to the practice of selling indulgences.  While technically, these aren’t “indulgences” which was paying money to avoid penance or shorten the stint in purgatory (and which the Catholic church has reinstituted, by the way), the practice of withholding the ministry of the church from non-tax payers is essentially the same thing, if you believe the false teaching that somehow an institutional church has authority over your salvation.

No tax, no blessing: German church insists on levy

No sacraments without taxation: German churches exclude believers who won’t pay religious tax

BERLIN (AP) — The road to heaven is paved with more than good intentions for Germany’s 24 million Catholics. If they don’t pay their religious taxes, they will be denied sacraments, including weddings, baptisms and funerals.

A decree issued last week by the country’s bishops cast a spotlight on the longstanding practice in Germany and a handful of other European countries in which governments tax registered believers and then hand over the money to the religious institutions.

In Germany, the surcharge for Catholics, Protestants and Jews is a surcharge of up to nine percent on their income tax bills — or about €56 ($72) a month for a single person earning a pre-tax monthly salary of about €3,500 ($4,500).

For religious institutions, struggling to maintain their congregations in a secular society where the Protestant Reformation began 500 years ago, the tax revenues are vital.  (read the entire story here)

What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.  Ecclesiastes 1:9 (ESV)

Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7 (ESV)

Chris Rosebrough on Mark Driscoll’s Abuse of Power

Revised: a thoughtfull and timely word. Somehow, men like Driscoll believe that all others should be held accountable to biblical principals, but their cause or vision puts them on a level where they are above any authentic, biblical accountability, as long as they can use the excuse that they are following the vision that God gave them.

Politics and God’s Sovereignty: Standing Against Injustice

God’s church universal, as well as the church local, has the privilege and duty to glorify God as its primary mission.  While edification of the saints and evangelism of the lost are preeminent activities within our mission, we cannot forget that we are to make a difference socially as well.  Not the social gospel that simply seeks to meet the external needs, but the true Gospel that seeks to meet the external needs of the suffering as evidence of Godly compassion, all the while consistently communicating the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His propitiation by His atoning death as our substitute and His subsequent resurrection.  James makes it clear and Jesus leaves no room for doubt:

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction,and to keep oneself unstained from the world. James 1:27

If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?  James 2:15-16

And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’  Matthew 25:40

God’s word instructs us to minister to the “least of these” as part of our mandate as salt and light in this distasteful and dark world.  For those of us living in the United States and those living under similar governmental systems that recognize basic human rights & dignity, we must also use the freedoms we have been provided to speak out against injustice against the weak, the poor, the suffering, the “least of these.”  The fact that we live under a governmental system where we have the freedom to take political action is part of God’s sovereign design.  If we have the freedom to pressure our government to act on behalf of those who cannot protect themselves from injustice, then it is our solemn duty to do so.

In that vain, I’ve re-posted a blog from The Gospel Coalition that brings to light the injustice occurring in Pakistan against one of “the least of these.”  Please resolve to write, email & call your government representatives to pressure them to take a stand and act against this evil.

By JOE CARTER, The Gospel Coalition

Mentally Disabled Christian Girl Faces Life Imprisonment for ‘Blasphemy’ 

The Story: In Pakistan, a twelve-year-old mentally disabled Christian girl is in jail on charges of blasphemy. If convicted, she could face life in prison.

The Background: Although details about the incident remain unclear, the girl, Rimsha Masih, is claimed to have burned a Koran for cooking fuel. The child is said to have confessed, but she is believed to have Down Syndromeand is not aware of her actions. (read more)

Politics and God’s Sovereignty: Dishonorable Disclosure

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a firm believer in God’s sovereignty, not only in my personal life, but in all the affairs of men including the politicians and rulers that lead nations.  I often see those who also hold a high view of God’s sovereignty using it as an excuse not to engage in the political arena in any manner whatsoever.  I would argue that, on the contrary, it is our Christian duty to participate at least to the degree that we take advantage of the freedom that God’s sovereignty has granted us within the governmental system that He has established to rule over us.  For me, living in the USA, not only does this mean that I should be informed and exercise my right to vote, but that I should also exercise my right to freedom of speech in order to inform others of ideologies, policies and actions of those who are or who would desire to be in authority over us when those ideologies or actions threaten the freedom that God has so graciously provided.  I believe that this is consistent with God’s sovereignty because it is God who has given me a political system that allows this freedom.  This is why I posted the video below, which I believe is a must watch for anyone who appreciates living in the USA and is thankful for the freedom that God has granted.  You can also go to the website here: Special Ops OPSEC.

A Story of Depravity & Redemption

When I came across this story by Tony Anderson on the Resurgence blog, I was both sickened and encouraged: sickened by the exploitation that so many Christian men help fund and encouraged at how God works, even in the darkest circumstances.

ARE YOU READY FOR AN EYE-OPENING, GUT-WRENCHING FILM?

by Tony Anderson

THE ROOT OF TRAFFICKING

We all have responsibility to the victims of this injustice, and we’re thrilled that 85% of the money that comes into our doors goes right back out to some of the best organizations in the world that rescue, rehabilitate, and reintegrate the women & children that live in this hell.

But who’s going after the victimizers? Really…who’s made it their ambition to kill this thing at the root? If we rescued every victim today, we’d wake up to a demand for 100+ million new slaves tomorrow. If a victim’s care is the only weapon in this battle, it’ll continue to do a cyclically miserable job of winning.

If we rescued every victim today, we’d wake up to a demand for 100+ million new slaves tomorrow.

We’ve got to go after the heart of the issue, and that is the hearts of men. Men perpetuate the demand in sex slavery. Men in our cities, backyards, and churches can fuel the global sex trade with their “private” sexual decisions, which often create massive global impact. (read the complete story here)

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