Archive for May 2, 2012
Tags: Apostle Paul, Bible, Glossolalia, God, holyspirit, Jesus, Southern Baptist Convention, Spiritual gift
A Durham, N.C., megachurch pastor recently asserted that he would not forbid people from speaking in tongues and to do so is a sin.
“You’re never going to hear me either publicly or privately tell somebody that they should not be speaking in tongues in their private prayer times,” The Summit Church Pastor J. D. Greear stated on Sunday to his congregation, noting that the Apostle Paul was clear on this. “That’s not going to be forbidden at our church.”
Greear made the statement as he was ending a message series focused on the Holy Spirit and spiritual gifts such as prophesying and speaking in tongues, which he defined as a form of prayer and praise in a language that is unknown to the speaker that is spoken to God.
During the series, Greear noted that his denomination – the Southern Baptist Convention – has in many ways restricted speaking in tongues and believes “they are wrong and they are in sin for doing that.”
The SBC does not have an official stance on the issue of charismatic gifts. At the same time, the denomination says that “probably most believe that the gift of tongues as described in the Bible ceased upon the completion of the Bible” and that only a very small minority might accept it as valid.
Greear described his church as “charismatics with a seatbelt” – that is, they honor and want to receive spiritual gifts but cautiously.
Addressing those who may be uncomfortable with spiritual gifts, he posed, “Do you believe that God is alive and that He supernaturally moves on the earth, that He works through His church, that He puts thoughts in your mind?”
While he desires for his church, which draws some 6,500 weekly attendees, to become more Spirit-filled where people use their gifts to contribute to the church and the community, he noted that they will not be a church where people smack each other and fall to the ground or where congregants holler out prayers in tongues in the middle of worship.
Spiritual gifts, he preached, must be used to edify or benefit others.
“If you’re speaking a language no one understands, you’re not benefitting anybody,” he pointed out.
“If you speak in tongues … pray for interpretation,” he advised, saying it would be a “whole lot more edifying” if they heard it in English.
The purpose of the gift of tongues, the Durham pastor stressed, is not to make you feel close to God, though that might be a side effect.
“It’s not a private prayer language where the Spirit makes you feel close to God. You’ve got the blood of Jesus for that,” he underscored. “You don’t need anything else.”
Rather, the gift is “a sign of the new frontiers of the Gospel.” It signifies the spread of the Gospel into non-Jewish peoples, he added.
Greear clarified that not all Christians speak in tongues. It’s a gift that God doesn’t give to everybody and it’s something that can be desired but does not have to be sought after. “The Bible never tells you one time to seek for the gift of tongue,” he said.
Tags: Bible, Fear the Lord, Fearing God, God, Jehovah, Lord, Psalm, Wisdom
I’ll never forget the time I had my picture taken with Shaquille O’Neal, one of the giants of professional basketball. I never thought of myself as short until I stood next to his 7’1″ frame. With my head tucked under his arm, I suddenly realized that I wasn’t as tall as I thought I was, at least not when standing next to the Shaq!
The psalmist wrote, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Psalm 111:10). Fearing God requires that we get things in the proper proportion, like the fact that He is so much greater in every way than we are. “The works of the Lord are great” (Psalm 111:2). They are the outworking of His love, strength, wisdom, foresight, will, and faithfulness. Fearing God means coming to grips with this truth.
But it’s easy to miss the point when we don’t stay close to God. The closer we get to Him, the more we realize how much we are lacking, and how desperately we need His far greater wisdom to direct our lives. Left to our little selves, we get everything out of sync. If we’re honest, we have to admit that our limited perspective is often wrong and sometimes can be destructive.
Wise people realize how little they know and how much they need the great wisdom of God.
The wise will recognize their limitations and God’s unlimited power.
Tags: David, Ein Gedi, God, Jesu, King Saul, Psalm, Saul, You Are My Hiding Place (Rekindling the Inner Fire)
Maybe as a child you had a special place where you could go to be alone — a hiding place. Maybe it was a tree house, or a closet in your bedroom. Maybe it was even under your bed along with all the dust bunnies. Wherever it might have been, it was a place where you felt protected and safe.
It was the place you would go after a spat with your best friend. Or when you were the victim of taunts on the playground. It was where you went when you got mad at your mom or dad. It was where you hid with your feelings of rejection, injustice, and pain.
For many years, David roamed the rocky hills outside Ein Gedi and hid in the numerous caves from the murderous intent of King Saul. It was his hiding place, where he felt safe and protected — at least until he had to move on to the next one. David knew that while the caves and hills provided a physical place to hide, it was only temporary.
Ultimately, David knew that his true hiding place, the place where he would find complete protection and safekeeping, was with God. In Psalm 32, he writes, “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.”
It is a theme repeated throughout the psalms: “Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge’ (16:1); “For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock” (Psalm 27:5); and “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1), to mention a few.
David knew that the true Source of his security was in God. Wherever he was, David was confident that God would provide him with comfort and courage to withstand whatever trials or circumstances he faced. And it was not a temporary place to hide, but “an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).
We can be encouraged in our own difficulties, in those moments when we wish we could hide safely under the bed again, that God offers us that same place of protection, that same shelter, and that same help as He did for David. As we trust in Him and come to Him with our troubles, God promises to be our safe hiding place as well.
Tags: Cleveland, Cleveland Brown Jr., Cleveland Show, Family Guy, Fox, Fox Broadcasting Company, Sarah Palin, Seth MacFarlane
Writing about Seth MacFarlane’s shows on Fox TV at this point is about as formulaic as Seth MacFarlane’s jokes. Unfortunately, however, until he stops repackaging the same inappropriate, offensive jokes, he needs to be called out on it.
MacFarlane’s predictable brand of “humor” consists of finding a subject that is pretty widely recognized as serious or sacred and creating a cartoon character to joke about it, thereby making the offended party the punch line. His trinity of shows (three in timeslot, one in essence) are the television equivalent of a whoopee cushion at a funeral. The prankster may laugh at everyone else’s expense, but he’s still the idiot in the room.
Take Action! Click here to send a message to the corporations that empowered this latest offensive trash on Fox TV.
Family Guy alone has targeted Terri Schiavo, 9/11 victims, Sarah Palin’s Down’s Syndrome child, Christians (of course), and, in an unaired episode which was included on the season’s DVDs, abortion and China’s one child policy which results in the killing of thousands of unborn baby girls.
So, unfortunately, it comes as no surprise when this week’s Cleveland Show set its sights on Christian teens and the church with a swipe at handicapped people at the same time.
The episode centers on the main character’s son, Cleveland Jr., who has a crush on a girl who sings at church. To impress her, the young man decides to go on a mission trip to build houses for the poor, but soon finds out he has competition in another kid. They expose each other as an unbeliever and a Jew, respectively, who were only pretending to love Jesus to get close to her.
That’s when the “Christian” girl turns into some kind of sex freak, apparently excited by the fact that they were being so sinful just to get closer to her. She tells both of them, “When I am done with you, you will both see God.”
Now intimidated by their former object of interest, the boys tell each that they don’t want to have sex, but the girl tells them, “you guys are both sinners and I’m going to suck the devil out of you.”
Just as she’s about to rape Cleveland Jr. in the house they just started to build, his Jewish friend sets the house on fire.
In the mean time, Cleveland Sr., thinks his wife is cheating on him after she tries to get him out of the house for a weekend. He finds out that one of her old boyfriends who is a former marine is coming to visit. He decides to stand up to the guy until he realizes that the ex-marine is in a wheelchair. Instead, Cleveland tells his wife’s old boyfriend that he is her brother.
When the wheelchair bound ex-boyfriend asks Cleveland’s wife to marry him, they are forced to tell him that they are, in fact, husband and wife. The handicapped ex-marine then tries to leave, but can’t get through the doors in his chair, so he falls out of the chair and drags himself out the door.
The episode ends with Cleveland and his wife throwing the ex-marine a parade to make him feel better, but he is still mad until Cleveland punches him in the face. He says it’s the first time anyone has treated him like a man since he was wheelchair bound.
What does it say about a culture when it considers child rape and wheelchair bound veterans to be punch lines? If MacFarlane didn’t hide behind cartoon characters, Fox wouldn’t dream of poking fun at these subjects.
Let the people who pay to air this show know that you find it disgusting and disturbing that they support such offensive programming.
Take Action! Click here to send a message to the corporations that align with the mocking of Christianity.
Tags: Cloud, God, Israel, Lord, Lord's Cricket Ground, Old Testament, Psalm, Tabernacle
This was the supreme test of obedience. It was comparatively easy to strike tents, when the fleecy folds of the cloud were slowly gathering from off the Tabernacle, and it floated majestically before the host. Change is always delightful; and there was excitement and interest in the route, the scenery, and the locality of the next halting-place. But, ah, the tarrying.
Then, however uninviting and sultry the location, however trying to flesh and blood, however irksome to the impatient disposition, however perilously exposed to danger–there was no option but to remain encamped.
Still God often keeps us waiting. Face to face with threatening foes, in the midst of alarms, encircled by perils, beneath the impending rock. May we not go? Is it not time to strike our tents? Have we not suffered to the point of utter collapse? May we not exchange the glare and heat for green pastures and still waters?
There is no answer. The cloud tarries, and we must remain, though sure of manna, rock-water, shelter, and defense. God never keeps us at post without assuring us of His presence, and sending us daily supplies.
Wait, young man, do not be in a hurry to make a change! Minister, remain at your post! Until the cloud clearly moves, you must tarry. Wait, then, thy Lord’s good pleasure! He will be in plenty of time!–Daily Devotional Commentary
An hour of waiting!
Yet there seems such need
To reach that spot sublime!
I long to reach them–but I long far more
To trust HIS time!
“Sit still, my daughter”–
Yet the heathen die,
They perish while I stay!
I long to reach them–but I long far more
To trust HIS way!
‘Tis good to get,
‘Tis good indeed to give!
Yet is it better still–
thro’ length, down length, up height,
To trust HIS will!
–F. M. N.