Tuesday, July 29, 2008

THE MESSAGE: Should have just been called "The Mess"!

Have you wasted your money bought a copy of Eugene Peterson's "The Message" yet? If it's good enough for Rick Warren and his pal, Bono of U2, it's GOTTA be good, right? Not so fast...

An article about The Message wound up on a U2 fan site since the lead singer of U2, Bono, is a huge fan of Eugene Peterson and The Message. The article states:

The seed for The Message was planted during his pastoral work, (Eugene) Peterson says in a press release. He was trying to get across the fire and wild words of Paul's letter to the Galatians in a Bible study class, but his parishioners were paying more attention to the pot of coffee in the church basement. "It was just awful. They'd fill up their coffee cups and stir in sugar and cream and look at their cups and they weren't getting it. It was just really bad.

So did Peterson plan to write the Message at that point? No... Let's continue his story...

"I went home after the third week and said to my wife that I was going to teach them Greek. If they could read it in Greek they would get it, they'd understand what a revolutionary text it is and couldn't just keep living in their ruts. She agreed that would empty the class out fast."

Whoa! Does Mr. Peterson really intend to imply that he is a Greek Scholar who highly values and uses the original Greek for Biblical translative clarification? I sincerely hope that's not what he intends to imply because if so, ten years of his life re-writing the Bible were a complete failure since "The Message" repeatedly fails miserably in being in alignment with the original Greek texts!

Still, it SURELY can't be all bad, since the Irish rocker turned global activist, Bono himself, says that he thinks "The Message" is a "remarkable work"! In a video-taped message to Eugene Peterson, Bono said:

"Hi Mr. Peterson, Eugene. My name is Bono. I'm a singer with the group U2. I wanted to sort of video message you my thanks, and our thanks in the band, for this remarkable work you've done translating the Scriptures. Really, really a remarkable work... There have been some great translations, some very literary translations, but no translations that I've read that speaks to me in my own language. So I want to thank you for that."

Is Bono a Christian? Far from it. Contradicting Jesus' own words, Bono believes Jesus is NOT the only way to eternal life. Check out the following quotes by Bono from an article HERE:

"God's Spirit moves through us and the world at a pace that can never be constricted by any one religious paradigm."

"Be wary of people who think theirs is the only way. Unilateralism before God is dangerous."

"Unless tolerance comes with fervor, you'll see (war) in the U.S."

In a move toward bridging all faiths, U2'S 2005 Vertigo tour promoted Bono's New Age, All-Faith agenda. (Which coexists with Rick Warren's P.E.A.C.E. Plan) In fact, on the tour, the word "coexist" appeared on a giant screen - the "c" represented by the Islamic crescent, the "x" by the Star of David and the "t" by the Christian cross. Then the big screen displayed the favorite mantra/lie of the
Emergent/New Age Church, -"EVERYTHING YOU KNOW IS WRONG". (Bono) led the audience in a chant ―"Jesus, Jew, Mohammed- All True!"


Is this the "message" of The Message? It certainly is NOT the message of "The Bible"! If he loves Mr. Peterson's work so much, Bono's doctrines and understanding of scripture either prove that (A) The Message is A-OK and Bono hasn't really read it, or (B) The Message is a highly flawed, lousy artistic interpretation of the Word of God. I submit that it is the latter.

From Kjos Ministries:

"But isn't most of The Message accurate?" ask some. Probably. So is the Jehovah's Witnesses' Bible. However, it only takes the distortion of a few key passages to reflect an entirely different message. When any part -- even "the smallest letter" -- of God's Word is changed, the integrity of the whole is lost.

If The Message is accepted as Biblical truth, three distortions of New Testament teachings could spread and permeate the Church, conforming "truth" to popular consensus and false unity:

1. Since God is love, He wouldn't be so cruel as to cause someone to suffer, perish or burn in hell. So don't mention Biblical consequences or punishment.

2. Since God forgives, don't be too concerned about specific sins such as homosexuality or adultery. Jesus wouldn't want you to offend someone.

3. Since God is tolerant, don't correct others. Be tolerant of all, except those who criticize something you like. (This politically correct attitude censors much-needed rational, objective criticism as a corrective force.)


Finally, the problem is made crystal clear by our pal "Ed" at THE GREAT APOSTASY:

"It’s like Eugene Peterson, the guy who paraphrased The Message, took scissors to the Bible and cut out references to holiness, living righteously, and serving the One True God.

That’s sort of scary."

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Monday, July 28, 2008

RICHARD ABANES: Driven to an hypocritical purpose?

I'm usually not one to speak about people I don't know anything about and I can honestly say that I don't know anything about Richard Abanes. But I'm going to make an exception in the present case based on the threat of legal action that a "brother" has made against one of my friends, Pastor Ken Silva.

I have recently been made aware of the fact that Mr. Abanes coerced Pastor Silva's website hosting company (ipowerweb.net) to shut down his web/blog site at Apprising.org.

Under the guise of "defamation/libel" and a "Terms of Service" violation, and simply because Pastor Silva disagrees Biblically with Mr. Abanes on numerous issues and because Pastor Silva wrote about such topics on his Apprising Ministries blog, Mr. Abanes threatened legal suit against ipowerweb.net unless they immediately "remove(d)this particular article from (their) servers, and notify Ken Silva to cease and desist the posting similar articles".

It seems that Pastor Silva's article entitled "A PASTOR’S ASSESSMENT OF RICHARD ABANES" was not viewed favorably by Mr. Abanes and instead of rolling up his sleeves and continuing the charge into the discussion and debate at hand, Mr. Abanes decided to take the easy and cowardly path...

...of attempting to forcefully shut down the discussion that offended him. In his e-mail to ipowerweb.net, Mr. Abanes called for the hosting company to forcibly have Pastor Silva clean up the offending information from the Apprising Ministries website, citing his "public reputation". He claimed that his reputation was at stake and he stated that he wanted the offending article removed since his reputation "is of paramount importance to (his) livelihood and career".

I can understand how Mr. Abanes feels, and I'm sure Pastor Silva would also agree. Preachers, teachers, and bloggers (like Ken Silva) and websites and blogs (like Apprising.com) which attempt to bring unbiblical teaching and teachers into the light of Biblical Truth are constantly and consistently attacked in the blogosphere... and "defamation" with comments that hurt (if not pointedly libelous and potentially damaging to book sales) is the daily course for those who choose to stand for Biblical Truth in a post-modern world "driven" by an unbiblical "purpose".

BUT what is our response? Should we seek legal means of shutting the mouths of those who do not agree with our views, doctrines, or beliefs? No. The debate only clarifies Truth! A stirring debate between two parties in disagreement is consistently the formula that brings Truth to the top of the pot of the truth-and-error goulash.

On the other hand, it actually seems that Richard Abanes is more concerned with his "livelihood and career" (book sales etc.?) than if his views (or those of his buddy, Rick Warren) are aligned with the Truth of the Word of God. Pastor Silva is lovingly bringing what he views as Pastor Warren's and Mr. Abanes' Biblical error into the light. A concerned Berean's response would have been to debate Pastor Silva utilizing the Bible while prayerfully seeking God's help in revealing to him where he may be incorrect doctrinally.

Kind of hypocritical since Mr. Abanes himself has written books dealing with the error of the DaVinci Code and Mormonism. So it seems that, at least in those arenas, he desires to clarify truth for his readers, but when it comes to his own affiliation with Rick Warren and his erronious and ecumenical Purpose Driven drivel, he refuses to concede to the Word of God. Has he been driven to this hypocritical purpose by a fear of "loss of revenue", or simply because he truly believes what and who he defends, regardless of what the scriptures say?

Jesus called the Pharisees a guilty "brood of vipers"! Were they vipers? YES! Otherwise Jesus was a liar!

In Matthew 23:31-33 Jesus said; "Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers' guilt. Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?"

Would the Pharisee courts have considered Jesus' words libelous? Sure, because the courts did not agree with the Truth. Were Jesus' words truthful? Without a doubt!!

Jesus also called the Pharisees hypocrites. Was the Savior guilty of "defamation"? I guess so. He was defaming those who saw themselves as "perfect" keepers of the Law.

Matthew 23:1-5 says; "Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: "The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do to be seen by men."

Those hypocritical Pharisees who called themselves "Men of God" desperately wanted to shut Jesus up. But instead of just desiring to "shut down His website", the religious leaders plotted to kill Jesus. Their very reaction to the Truth of His words was anger, hate and vengence.

I'm not going to make a judgment call on whether or not Mr. Abanes is afraid of the Truth since I know nothing about him. I also won't go so far as to say that his response to "a Pastor's assesment" of him was angry, hateful, or vengeful. But I will say that I can plainly see by his actions that his attitude and response toward my friend Ken Silva's comments were the response of a Pharisee who claims to desire truth then does all he can to shut down those who seek to actively proclaim Truth.

The Word of God was the basis for Pastor Silva's so-called "attack" on Mr. Abanes' views, teachings and alignments with the Purpose Driven movement and the other-gospel-preaching Rick Warren.

Thankfully, men like Ken Silva who love the Truth will never back down, and will never be silenced by threat of legal action, violence or even death because they KNOW the Truth which has set them free. One can't un-know truth! So one who knows the Truth can NEVER back down from declaring Truth from God's Word!

Thankfully, there are always alternate ways, venues, and forums (as well as hosting providers) through which Pastor Silva and the rest of us will continue to proclaim the Truth until we are with Him.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

TODD BENTLEY: Rested, Relaxed and READY TO REPENT!

... NOT REALLY! But he is coming back to Lakeland. So here we go again. His absence was shorter than expected and GodTV is resuming broadcasting starting the 18th of July.

Here's the OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:

After taking a short break to rest after nearly 100 days of back-to-back ministry, Todd Bentley has announced he will be back ministering at the Lakeland Outpouring from Friday this week.

Our coverage of the Lakeland Outpouring has continued every night, LIVE on our webstream (www.god.tv/stream), and we are now going to resume our LIVE on-air coverage of the Lakeland Outpouring from this Friday 18 July.

We will also broadcast a special one-off Healing Revival with Todd Bentley - LIVE from Louisville, Kentucky on 17 July (the day before our Outpouring broadcasts resume). This will also be available online at www.god.tv/stream.


I knew Todd's absence was too good to last. :(

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Does your "faith" prove you're a deluded unbeliever?

Excerpted from Martin Luther's German Bible of 1522 -- "An Introduction to St. Paul's Letter to the Romans,"

Faith is not what some people think it is. Their human dream is a delusion. Because they observe that faith is not followed by good works or a better life, they fall into error, even though they speak and hear much about faith. “Faith is not enough,” they say, “You must do good works, you must be pious to be saved.” They think that, when you hear the gospel, you start working, creating by your own strength a thankful heart which says, “I believe.” That is what they think true faith is. But, because this is a human idea, a dream, the heart never learns anything from it, so it does nothing and reform doesn’t come from this “faith,” either.

Instead, faith is God’s work in us, that changes us and gives new birth from God. (John 1:13). It kills the Old Adam and makes us completely different people. It changes our hearts, our spirits, our thoughts and all our powers. It brings the Holy Spirit with it. Yes, it is a living, creative, active and powerful thing, this faith.

Faith cannot help doing good works constantly. It doesn’t stop to ask if good works ought to be done, but before anyone asks, it already has done them and continues to do them without ceasing. Anyone who does not do good works in this manner is an unbeliever. He stumbles around and looks for faith and good works, even though he does not know what faith or good works are. Yet he gossips and chatters about faith and good works with many words.

Faith is a living, bold trust in God’s grace, so certain of God’s favor that it would risk death a thousand times trusting in it. Such confidence and knowledge of God’s grace makes you happy, joyful and bold in your relationship to God and all creatures. The Holy Spirit makes this happen through faith.

Because of it, you freely, willingly and joyfully do good to everyone, serve everyone, suffer all kinds of things, love and praise the God who has shown you such grace. Thus, it is just as impossible to separate faith and works as it is to separate heat and light from fire! Therefore, watch out for your own false ideas and guard against good-for-nothing gossips, who think they’re smart enough to define faith and works, but really are the greatest of fools. Ask God to work faith in you, or you will remain forever without faith, no matter what you wish, say or can do.

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Friday, July 11, 2008

Spurgeon Quotes- Thus Says The Lord

From Spurgeon’s sermon, "Thus Says the Lord" Ezekiel 11:5

"Thus says the Lord" is the only authority in God’s Church.

The faintest whisper of Jehovah's voice should fill us with solemn awe, and command the deepest obedience of our souls.

Brethren, how careful should we be that we do not set up in God’s church
anything in opposition to his Word,...



...that we do not permit the teachings of a creature
to usurp the honor due to the Lord alone.

"Thus says antiquity.
""Thus says authority.
""Thus says learning.
""Thus says experience."
-these are but idol
-gods which defile the church of God!

Be it yours and mine as bold warriors to dash them in pieces without mercy,
seeing that they usurp the place of the Word of God.

"Thus says the Lord,"
-this is the motto of our standard;
the war-cry of our spiritual conflict;
the sword with which we hope yet to smite through the loins of the mighty whorise up against God’s truth.

"Thus says the Lord God."
This is the trowel, and this the hammer of God’s builders;
this the trumpet of his watchmen and the sword of his warriors.
Woe to the man who comes in any other name!

If we, or an angel from heaven, shall preach unto you anything but a "Thus says the Lord," no matter what our character or standing,give no heed to us, but cleave unto the truth as it is in Jesus.

To the law and to the testimony, if we speak not accordingto this word, it is because there is no light in us.

That test which we demand to be exercised upon others we cheerfully consent to be exercised upon ourselves, prayingthat we may have grace to forsake our errors as we wouldhave other men forsake theirs.

We will listen to the opinions of great men with the respectwhich they deserve as men, but having so done, we deny that we have anything to do with these men as authorities in theChurch of God, for there nothing has any authority, but "Thus says the Lord of hosts."

Yes, if you shall bring us the concurrent consent of all tradition
-if you shall quote precedents venerable with fifteen, sixteen, or seventeen centuries of antiquity, we burn the whole as so muchworthless lumber, unless you put your finger upon the passage of Holy Writ which warrants the matter to be of God.

To the true Church of God the only question is this, is there"Thus says the Lord" for it?

And if divine authority be not forthcoming, faithful men thrust forth the intruder as the cunning craftiness of men. Let us use much of Scripture, much of the pure silver of sacred revelation, and no human alloy. "What is the chaff to the wheat, says the Lord?" Many sorrows shall be to those who dare to dash themselves against the thick bosses of Jehovah's buckler by opposing his"Thus says the Lord."

Upon whomsoever this stone shall fall it shall grind him to powder, and whosoever shall fall upon it shall be broken to his own lasting damage. O! my brethren, I would that we trembled and stood more in awe of God’s Word.

I fear that many treat the things of God as though they were merely matters of opinion, but remember that opinion cannot govern in God’s house.

God’s Word, not man’s opinion, claims your allegiance.

O for a stern integrity that will hold the Word and will never depart from it, come what may.

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PRAISE THE LORD!... A TRUE Lakeland Miracle??

As some of my friends know, I have been working on getting an interview with Todd Bentley for about a month and a half now. It looked like things were just about to be set as I was making arrangements with Todd's media director Lynne Breidenbach.

I was going to interview Todd when he was in Dallas, but due to Todd's schedule he was not available. Then I was trying to schedule a trip to Lakeland and just yesterday got this message in an e-mail from Mrs. Breidenbach:

"Todd Bentley is taking a rest from the revival, and there will be no interviews scheduled for several weeks. Once he returns, I will again process your request."

I was actually dumbfounded. After several weeks of trying to get this set up, I didn't understand what she meant, whether she meant he was going to be GONE for several weeks, or simply not doing interviews for several weeks...

I immediately wrote back telling Mrs. Breidenbach that I was confused and asked her to clarify it for me. Here's what I wrote:

Ms. Breidenbach,

I just need some clarification of your e-mail. I'm confused. Since you wrote "Once he returns,"... am I correct in assuming that you mean Mr. Bentley is leaving the revival for several weeks,... or is he simply not doing interviews for several weeks? I have friends who were going to visit the revival between July 21st - July 26th specifically to see Todd Bentley. Will he be there (as his itinerary shows) on those dates?

Will you please contact me when you "re-process" my request?

I appreciate your help so far, and sincerely look forward to getting this interview scheduled at some point in the near future.

Pastor Jon Sharp
The Way Christian Fellowship
ChristianResearchNetwork.com


She then responded to that e-mail in a fairly testy way,... I guess it was because I have corresponded with her repeatedly trying to set up an interview with Todd Bentley. I'm quite sure Todd didn't want to be interviewed by us, but was unable to say so since he had regularly invited "all media" to come check out what was going on. Here's her rather testy e-mail:

Jon,
What about this is hard to understand? When he gets back after his break, we will consider your request. I can not attempt to accommodate your request, or anyone else, at this time.
Mrs. Breidenbach


So,... I knew about Todd's "vacation" yesterday but had to leave town and had no time to blog about this exciting development,... then TODAY I got the e-mail from GodTV (Yes,... I subscribed to their updates!) which said this:

Fresh Fire Ministries announced yesterday that Todd Bentley would be taking some time off to refresh and to rest from the Florida Outpouring after nearly one hundred days of ministry. The Lakeland meetings will continue and Todd will remain the leader of this move of God.

GOD TV as the exclusive broadcast partner in the outpouring knows our viewers have been incredibly blessed through our nightly broadcasts with many lives changed, bodies healed and souls refreshed - we have thousands of e-mails testifying to the work of God in your lives.

We will continue to stream the LIVE services from Lakeland every night on our website (www.god.tv/stream – the Florida Healing Stream) and also make available the most recent service via our on demand platform. However we will take the opportunity to rearrange our broadcast schedules and bring you some incredible primetime programming - including the 2008 Hillsong Australia Conference EXCLUSIVELY on GOD TV, Rodney Howard Browne's Summer Campmeetings LIVE and many more programmes - PLUS highlights of some of the best nights from the Lakeland Outpouring - this will also all form part of our Battle For Britain initiative in the UK.


We will make another announcement once Todd is fully refreshed and rested about the resumption of our LIVE broadcasts from Lakeland - but until then, you can continue to enjoy the nightly meetings LIVE at www.god.tv/stream and if you are watching on GOD TV then you have lots of great programmes to look forward to plus highlights from the outpouring.

Eli Miller, a senior leader of Fresh Fire Ministries and a long time associate of Todd Bentley announced today that Todd Bentley, leader of the Florida Outpouring, will be taking some time off. “We are grateful for our partnership with GOD TV that has allowed this revival to go around the world”, Miller said. While the revival will continue, the leaders of Fresh Fire believe it is important for Todd to take some time to re-fresh and to rest.

During this tim e, the revival broadcast will still be available LIVE on the GOD TV website and at Fresh Fire’s website www.freshfire.ca.


WHAT!?!! Do you realize what this means??? The "Florida Outpouring" is NOT going to be available LIVE on DirecTV for at least awhile! We should all praise the Lord for this true, verifiable, Lakeland Miracle!

However,... isn't it strange that Todd is starting his "time off" the very next night after his failed Nightline segment AND in the direct middle of the time (June 22 - July 22) that was prophesied to be the BIGGEST & BEST outpouring of God's presence since Acts 2, when "the Glory" would fall in its FULLEST, according to Todd Bentley and Bob Jones?

I believe this is a GOOD SIGN. I pray that without Todd Bentley in the limelight that many will quit watching and quit following the "fire" in Lakeland.

What I'm really only worried about is the possiblity of WHICH heretic or false prophet will be in the forefront in Lakeland during Todd's "rest time"!

Those of us who have internet access must make sure to keep an eye on the live feed at www.God.tv and www.freshfire.ca! Don't let this victory stop you from fighting until the war is over!

Jon

PS... I also agree with sheepyweepy over at Wolf Tracks... "Regardless of all that has been going on, I think the Lord would have His sheep pray for Todd Bentley." The guy is a human and a soul in need of the Good Shepherd's mercy and grace. I pray that Todd seeks Him.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

JUST IN: AoG's Dr. George Wood DENIES a Bentley "Letter of Rebuke"

Here's a story update concerning an alleged "Letter of Rebuke" that was said to have been sent to Todd Bentley by Assemblies of God General Superintendent Dr. George O Wood. An anonymous "Living in The Way" comment to our posting of Dr. Wood's statement to this blog claimed that a letter of rebuke was sent to Mr. Bentley.

Another anonymous comment to THIS POST stated that the letter was discussed at an Assemblies of God district meeting in New York.

I immediately wrote Dr. Wood to get details to assess whether these comments were true or not. My letter follows:

Dr. Wood,

I am Pastor Jon Sharp, who several weeks ago wrote an "open letter" to you which you responded to after returning from Korea. I am now writing again for the readers of my blog "Living in The Way" as well as the blog to which I contribute "Christian Research Net". I am writing in the hope of gaining more details to help me provide clear biblical information to friends and relatives of mine who are both Assemblies of God members and also who are being deceived by Todd Bentley's ungodly agenda.

First, I would like to say that I appreciated your "Statement of Revival". It was a Biblical guide that your churches needed and it dealt with many of the important issues of this time.
However, I would also like to state my disappointment that you did not "name names" and clearly show your disappointment and concern with Todd Bentley and the "Florida Outpouring".
I sincerely believe that if you do not specifically call out Mr. Bentley and his associates as false teachers, many AG pastors and members who are misled and deceived by this false spirituality will perpetuate the desire for this "strange fire" and continue to lead your churches into error.

Just tonight (6-19-08) at the "Florida Outpouring" one of Todd Bentley's students, Ryan Wyatt, (like Todd Bentley, a disciple of Bob Jones)...
...addressed the Florida crowd about rising up as the Manifest Sons of God, the "New Breed", Joel's Army of the Latter Rain Movement. He was preaching the EXACT MESSAGE of false prophet Bob Jones from the 1989 Vineyard Prophecy Conference where Bob Jones gave his message under the guise of "thus saith the Lord":

"I have called the best of every blood line in earth unto this generation…I have elected to bring them forth in this generation…the elect generation…even the bloodline of Paul…of David…of Peter, James and John…They will even be superior to them in heart, stature and love for me’…Your children will possess the spirit without measure…They will move into things of the supernatural that no one has ever moved in before…coming into the divine nature of Jesus Christ…a Church that has reached the full maturity of the GodMan! This generation…is going to see the beginning of this WORLD WIDE NEW ORDER." ("The New Order," Jewel van der Merwe, p.7)

{{Here is a forum post from a few months ago detailing much of what this movement is trying to "birth": http://www.christian-forum.net/index.php?showtopic=18933}}

Dr. Wood, I pray that you see my heart. I am not "going after" you or the Assemblies of God. I am doing whatever it takes to go after these false teachers, false prophets and heretics who are doing whatever it takes to "go after" YOUR Assemblies of God pastors and congregations! I think you can see that they are succeeding... while you, in being vague in your Statement on Revival, are effectively shielding your churches from receiving much needed Truth!

Right now I am trying to get the details on the "letter of rebuke" which you told the AG New York District you wrote to Todd Bentley. Since you spoke about this letter to a general audience, and since the knowledge that you wrote the letter is not confidential, I would like to know several things. I hope you will share them with me. I have MANY people landing on my blog by searching "Assemblies of God position on Todd Bentley" and related searches. I am trying to help get the truth about Todd Bentley out and I believe I have a fairly large group of AG (and relatives of AG) readers.

I pray that you see it as the right thing to do...please give me some details about your letter to Todd Bentley. I'd like any details you would give me, including, if possible:

(1) The general details of what the letter dealt with.
(2) For what specifically did you rebuke Todd Bentley?
(3) Did you specifically request that Todd Bentley reply to your letter?
(4) As of this date, has he replied to your letter?
(5) Does Stephen Strader have the "blessings" of the Assemblies of God to continue hosting Todd Bentley?
(6) What will be the action you will take if you do not receive a response from Mr. Bentley, or if he does not heed any instruction you might have given him.
(7) Are you going to give more clear guidance to your congregation's pastors and members than you did with your "Statement on Revival"?

I wrote on my blog:

If (the "letter of rebuke") exists, I commend Dr. Wood. HOWEVER, if he has enough of a concern to rebuke Todd Bentley, he must see some severe problems with Mr. Bentley. And if Dr. Wood indeed sent a letter of rebuke to Mr. Bentley, it is concrete proof that Dr. Wood is UTTERLY FAILING to faithfully lead tens of thousands of AG members who have embraced the "Florida Outpouring" AWAY from Todd Bentley's deeds or teachings that prompted his rebuke. AND if Todd Bentley has DELAYED in responding to a rebuke from an international denominational leader, then HE shows utter disregard and disrespect for the rebuke and the Assemblies of God which gave him his platform for this so-called revival!

Dr. Wood, now is the time to help free many from this deception and heresy. Even if the Assemblies of God lost some membership, pastors and/or churches, it is the Biblical thing to do to boldly stand FOR the Word of God and AGAINST the roaring lion who is even now devouring many of those we love.

In Christ, and looking forward to your response,

Pastor Jon Sharp

The Way Christian Fellowship
McCamey, Texas


This was sent on June 19th. As soon as I pressed the send button I received an automated response saying that Dr. Wood would be on vacation until July 7th.
Yesterday, Dr. Wood finally responded to my e-mail. His letter follows:

Pastor Sharp,

Thank you for your email.

I don’t know who gave you the information about a letter of rebuke, but that is not true. Todd Bentley is not a credentialed Assemblies of God minister and I never have talked with or corresponded with him.

My statement on revival speaks for itself. I have sufficient confidence in the overwhelming majority of our pastors and lay people that they can exercise discernment based on Biblical principles.

In my years of ministry I have found that sometimes a defensive posture only energizes those who are critiqued, and gives public relations ammunition to present themselves as martyrs.

At this point, with the counsel of many leaders, I have chosen to stay on principle rather than personality.

Blessings to you.

George O. Wood


Okay, so Dr. Wood DENIED sending a letter of rebuke. However, I was still concerned about the truthfulness of our "anonymous commenter" that spoke of Dr. Wood's statements at the Assemblies of God New York District meeting. So I wrote a note back to Dr. Wood which follows:

Dr. Wood,

Thank you so much for writing back to clarify this. I just have a couple more questions. But first, please note that I refer to what a commenter on our blog wrote concerning you. The comment follows:

"Dr. Wood recently visited the A/G New York District Office where he shared that he sent a letter to Todd Bentley to which he has not yet received a reply although he believes that Todd had replied in a roundabout way on one of the broadcasts.

I don't remember all that he said, but do remember that he mentioned that angels are good for two things: jail breaks and confirmations. He also mentioned that when Todd spoke of William Branham (and the angel on him) he immediately knew something was wrong as Branham was a well-known heretic.

As this was not one of the more important or interesting topics during the discussion I took no notes and am not remembering exactly what else was said, but he did mention the letter and he brought up some issues he had with this so-called revival."

Dr. Wood, would you please tell me how much of and/or which of the above statements are true?


I would like you to know that I sincerely appreciated your "Statement on Revival". It was biblical and dealt with the issue nicely... I only wish that you would further publicize it, noting that what you said in that statement should be applied to the "Florida Outpouring" (the principle)... even if you don't want to deal with Mr. Bentley (the personality) himself.

I agree that a statement by the Assemblies of God against the personality could cause him to present himself as a martyr furthering his foothold in the minds of many. But there are so many Assembly of God members and churches that are falling into this that I really think that it is vital that somebody in the AG organization deal with publicizing the views of your statement and applying them to the "Florida Outpouring".

Again, I must state that the local AG pastor is now planning his third trip to see Mr. Bentley and this time he will be taking a group of his church members. He is also currently showing videos of Todd Bentley, the Florida Outpouring services, and Patricia King/Joshua Mills in his church to entice his members to want "more" of what those ministries offer. This shows, that at least in our area, the discernment of the pastor is dysfunctional.

Also, the local members to whom I have spoken knew nothing about your statement on revival. And I have had AG members from around the nation contact me via my blog to ask questions about whether Todd Bentley's teachings are Biblical, so this is not isolated and it is not getting any better.

If you are going to rest your case concerning Florida on your statement, please do something to publicize it to every Assembly of God congregation and member.

Thanks again for your response.

Pastor Jon Sharp

The Way Christian Fellowship
McCamey, Texas



I very quickly received another note from Dr. Wood in response. In this note he VERIFIES the New York meeting and clarifies the details. And again he DENIES writing a letter to Todd Bentley. In his follow up note he wrote "betweeen the lines" of my e-mail to him to clarify what the anonymous commenter said. His note follows:

Pastor Jon,
See below for my comments.
George Wood

(from the previous letter:) Dr. Wood, ...please note that I refer to what a commenter on our blog wrote concerning you. The comment follows:

Commenter: "Dr. Wood recently visited the A/G New York District Office where he shared that he sent a letter to Todd Bentley to which he has not yet received a reply although he believes that Todd had replied in a roundabout way on one of the broadcasts.

George Wood Replied: I DID NOT SAY THIS.

Commenter: I don't remember all that he said, but do remember that he mentioned that angels are good for two things: jail breaks and confirmations.

George Wood Replied: I made an off handed comment that in the book of Acts angels did two things: jail breaks and confirmations (Acts 27:23). They did not bring doctrinal truth. Of course, in the nativity and passion, they are present for specific reasons.

Commenter: He also mentioned that when Todd spoke of William Branham (and the angel on him) he immediately knew something was wrong as Branham was a well-known heretic.

George Wood Replied: I’ve been at Branham’s grave in Jeffersonville, IN, a town I lived in as a teenager. Garish. Pyramid structure with eagle on top. He definitely was off-center theologically, heretical would be an appropriate word and I think I used it.
I am continuing to assess whether a further response (concerning the revival) is needed by me. Thanks for your input.


So there you go. Dr. George Wood admits that he believes Todd Bentley's hero, William Branham, was a heretic... and since Todd Bentley preaches the same things as Branham, what would that make Todd?

Also, Dr. Wood says in his statement (in effect) that the Florida Outpouring and Todd Bentley "should be avoided".

The "Letter of Rebuke" issue is cleared up, and I think Dr. Wood's stance is a little more clear, even though he still refuses to stand directly against Todd Bentley and directly call the Florida Outpouring false.

Please PRAY for Dr. George O. Wood during his "assesment of whether a further response is needed." There are so many who are being led astray.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

LIES and MORE LIES: Todd Bentley & Stephen Strader

On June 22nd, the Lakeland Florida "Ledger" Newspaper published an article written by Cary McMullen called "Florida Outpouring Revival Concerns Pentecostal Leaders" in which both Assemblies of God General Superintendent George O. Wood, and Lakeland's "Ignited Church" Assemblies of God Pastor, Stephen Strader were quoted, as was Todd Bentley.

We'll start with the following quote from Todd Bentley:

"We're preaching and teaching the gospel and praying and healing the sick," he said in an interview just before the recent service began.

First off, Todd Bentley is a liar. While there is some minimal evangelism training and witnessing going on in Lakeland, (at the 1:00 services) "preaching the gospel" is NOT coming from Todd Bentley's mouth. Period. I would nearly be willing to wager (not because I'm a gambler... but because this is NO GAMBLE!) that the percentage of Todd's spoken words that have anything to do with Jesus Christ would be in the low single digits... 1-5% maximum... and that's being generous.

Also, a great many of the healings are false, a great many are arguable and some are said to be authentic. But regardless of whether they are real or not, if healings are occuring "they" (Todd & Associates) are "stealing God's Glory" because it is not "they" who are "healing the sick"... Only God heals the sick. And God does not appreciate Todd stealing glory He is due if the healings are true. Isaiah 42:8 says "I am the LORD, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another.

Todd continued...

"Jesus said a tree is known by its fruit. What's the fruit we've produced? Thousands are coming to praise God."

What??? Since when is "praising God" fruit of a true ministry? This is absurd misdirection and shows Todd Bentley sadly twisting and misapplying the Scriptural Words of Jesus.

Let's look at a few of the groups who have historically "Praised God".

Muslims, Mormons, Catholics, Jehovah's Witnesses, Branch Davidians, Members of People's Temple, Armstrong's Worldwide Church of God, Christian Scientists, etc, etc,...

Do/Did those groups bear TRUE FRUIT of the Gospel of Jesus Christ? No!...but they ALL "praise(d) God"!



The ONLY fruit of a true ministry is SOULS. All that we do, all that we say, should point people to JESUS CHRIST (Plow & furrow), lead people to Jesus Christ (seed & plant), and teach them (water & fertilize) until they become FRUIT of all that we say & do by repenting and putting their faith in Jesus, thus receiving their salvation! The only "fruit" a ministry bears is souls!

The Ledger's article continues:

(On June 6th, 2008), the Assemblies of God, the largest predominantly white Pentecostal fellowship in the country, claiming 2.8 million adherents, issued a statement about revivals that, while not targeting the Florida Outpouring specifically, seems to caution people about it.

For example, one guideline warns against Christians being "overly enamored with charismatic manifestations." The statement goes on: "Miraculous manifestations are never the test of a true revival - fidelity to God's Word is the test. Jesus Himself said there would be many who would do miracles in His name and even cast out demons, but He does not know them."

Reached by phone from Springfield, Mo., the Rev. George Wood, general superintendent of the Assemblies of God, said the guidelines are intended to instruct church members about any revival but his office had received a number of queries about the Florida Outpouring. Wood, who said he had watched YouTube video clips of the revival, said one concern related to a claim Bentley has made in the past about encounters with angels named Emma and Wind of Change, from whom he received messages.

"I'm concerned anytime someone reports to have special revelations from angels or a deceased person like the apostle Paul. That sort of information is not in the Bible," he said. "We need to make sure there is adherence to Scripture in any spiritual movement."


The Rev. Stephen Strader, pastor of Ignited Church, who invited Bentley to Lakeland, is a minister in the Assemblies of God, and his church is part of the Peninsular Florida District of the Assemblies. He said he agreed with Wood and the statement from the Assemblies headquarters.


(But Pastor Strader LIES... or he would follow Dr. Wood's advice and "avoid" Todd Bentley)

"We have the exact same concerns. (LIES) We watch over everything. Everything that happens on the platform is scriptural," he said. (MORE LIES - just watch the revival any night) Strader and Bentley say there has been very little talk about angels at the Florida Outpouring. (EVEN MORE LIES)

"Emma has never been part of this outpouring.(LIES - Bob Jones discussed Emma -by name- ON STAGE, with Todd Bentley, saying she was vital to the revival.)

It was an experience Todd had seven years ago, and it's been totally blown out of proportion," Strader said.

(Yeah... like Ted Haggard's homosexuality and Jim Bakker's fraud and conspiracy were blown out of proportion! Sin and false teaching CAN'T be "blown out of proportion"- they are GIGANTIC in the eyes of God. What if I said Ananias & Saphira's "lying to the Holy Spirit" thing was blown out of proportion?... What's are the lies Todd is telling less serious?)

Pastor Strader continued:
"The nightly message has been totally 100 percent nothing but Jesus. (LIES, LIES, LIES!!!) People looking for a problem or a heresy, they're going to find it." (Whoops, this is TRUTH! We will find it because you can't cover false teaching up!)

The Ledger continues-
Bentley said he doesn't understand the controversy. (Really? Then it's because he is blind, deceived, biblically illiterate, and/or a liar)

"I'm not having weekly or daily experiences of angels. (LIE! This goes against things Todd has said many times) I believe they're present at every service. I have felt them, (OKAY?!- Here he contradicts his prior sentence. He "feels" them because they are at every service yet he says he's not having regular experiences! And then he also says...) "but this revival hasn't focused on angels at all,"...
LIES, LIES AND MORE LIES! What is THIS if it is not "focused on angels"??

The Ledger article continues:
Strader acknowledged there have been some missteps and that the leaders have made "a small amount of adjustments." They no longer say people have been healed, only that people are "claiming to be healed," he said.

Stephen Strader is a liar. Todd Bentley (even since this article was published) continues to not only "claim" healings, but to tell people they are healed or are being healed, as well as saying to his TV audience (while reaching out to and looking into the camera) "you are being healed!".

Finally, the ledger article quotes Assemblies of God Peninsular Florida District superintendent, Terry Raburn who said:

"In a spiritually charged atmosphere, there is the possibility of excesses - astral travel, out-of-body experiences, healings that can't be verified," he said.

Yep... all of that and more are regular experiences for Todd, the Lakeland revival bunch and Todd Bentley's friends and associates.

Mr. Raburn continued:
"Half the people calling our office want me to shut it down, which I would not be inclined to do even if I could. I have no authority over (Bentley).

No, he can not shut down Todd Bentley... but he CAN and SHOULD deal quickly and finally with Stephen Strader and Ignited Church Assembly of God... why do you suppose Mr. Raburn would not want to "shut down" a false teacher, false prophet, blasphemer who is drawing the members of his denomination and churches into error? That scares me for the Florida Assemblies of God under Mr. Raburn.

But fortunately, all is not lost... Thankfully, SOME pentecostal ministers in Lakeland seem to have some understanding of the Word of God.

Wayne Blackburn, an Assemblies of God district official and pastor of Victory Church in Lakeland said: "From what I understand, these services are different because at Brownsville, every night someone preached about the Lord Jesus Christ. It's amazing that this one is called a healing revival. That's the focus..."

Brother Blackburn understands that if a revival is not focused on Jesus that something is wrong... and something is DEFINITELY wrong at the "Florida Outpouring"!

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Monday, July 7, 2008

TODD BENTLEY: Emma is Back! - Or is he her brother??

Wow! Miriam at EndTimesProphetic posted new developments concerning Todd's "angel". You know,... the one he used to call "Emma" and described as a "mothering" she-angel... Well, it seems that now Emma has become a he-angel, which much more closely matches the description of Emma-O, the male demon "King of Hell". And since this demon has a twin sister, Todd's back-and-forth story now actually makes more sense... because Todd's angel is a demon(s?) from hell... not an angel from heaven! (See Pat Holliday's paper concerning "Emma-o"

(See our original post where Todd changed his story the first time HERE!)

Here’s the latest account of Todd’s encounter with Emma, now an unnamed male angel, taken from his recently published "Reality of the Supernatural World":

“A while ago, Bob Jones told me about an angel that helped birth the entire prophetic movement in Kansas City in the 1980s. The Lord had sent this angel to help nurture the prophetic ministry (and gift), at a time when it was being re-established in the modern-day church in North America.

“A few weeks after our conversation, I attended a church service in Beulah, North Dakota. In the middle of the meeting an angel glided in. As I stared wide-eyed at the angel, I heard the Lord tell me that this was the same angel that was involved with the prophetic movement in Kansas City. The angel floated a couple of inches off the floor emitting a brilliant light and colors. He appeared young–about 22 years old–but old at the same time. It was as though he carried the wisdom, virtue, and grace of Proverbs 31.

“He carried bags and pulled gold out of them...

...Then as he walked up and down the aisles, he put gold dust on people. “God, what is happening?” The Lord answered that the angel was releasing gold, which represents both the revelation and the financial breakthrough that He was bringing into that church. At the Lord’s direction, I announced that the same angel that appeared in Kansas City had showed up in the meeting as a sign that the Lord was endorsing and releasing a prophetic spirit in the church.”

***

This account seems suspiciously familiar with something else I read. This is virtually word for word the same as Todd’s original claims re Emma, angel of the prophetic as per here http://www.etpv.org/2003/angho.html.

Same prophet Bob Jones who tells Todd about this angel,

same job and identity for the angel as one who births the prophetic in Kansas City,

same place Beulah where Todd sees the angel,

same story and description,

same wording -

virtually everything is the same except the angel’s sex and name.


However, Todd Bentley or his editor is stupid enough to have left in the reference to Proverbs 31 which is about the wife of noble character - how on earth can this apply to a male angel?

(HERE IS TODD'S PREVIOUS DESCRIPTION OF EMMA)

“Now let me talk about an angelic experience with Emma. Twice Bob Jones asked me about this angel that was in Kansas City in 1980: “Todd, have you ever seen the angel by the name of Emma?” He asked me as if he expected that this angel was appearing to me. Surprised, I said, “Bob, who is Emma?” He told me that Emma was the angel that helped birth and start the whole prophetic movement in Kansas City in the 1980s. She was a mothering-type angel that helped nurture the prophetic as it broke out. Within a few weeks of Bob asking me about Emma, I was in a service in Beulah, North Dakota. In the middle of the service I was in conversation with Ivan and another person when in walks Emma. As I stared at the angel with open eyes, the Lord said, “Here’s Emma.” I’m not kidding. She floated a couple of inches off the floor. It was almost like Kathryn Khulman in those old videos when she wore a white dress and looked like she was gliding across the platform. Emma appeared beautiful and young-about 22 years old-but she was old at the same time. She seemed to carry the wisdom, virtue and grace of Proverbs 31 on her life.
She glided into the room, emitting brilliant light and colors. Emma carried these bags and began pulling gold out of them. Then, as she walked up and down the aisles of the church, she began putting gold dust on people. “God, what is happening?” I asked. The Lord answered: “She is releasing the gold, which is both the revelation and the financial breakthrough that I am bringing into this church. I want you to prophecy that Emma showed up in this service-the same angel that appeared in Kansas city-as a sign that I am endorsing and releasing a prophetic spirit in the church.” See, when angels come, they always come for a reason; we need to actually ask God what the purpose is. Within three weeks of that visitation, the church had given me the biggest offering I had ever received to that point in my ministry. Thousands of dollars! Thousands! Even though the entire community consisted of only three thousand people, weeks after I left the church the pastor testified that the church offerings had either doubled or tripled.

I believe Emma released a financial and prophetic anointing in that place. That was the first angel that I have ever seen in the form of a woman. Some angels I’ve seen seemed like they were neither male nor female. However, Emma appeared as a woman who was like a Deborah, like a mother in Zion. When she came, she began to mentor, nurture and opened up a prophetic well. The people in the church began having trances and visions and the pastor began getting words of knowledge and moving in healing. That congregation also saw more financial breakthrough than they had ever seen before.”

How on earth can any Todd Bentley fan defend this type of consistent and persistant lying? Really?

I have recorded literally dozens of brazen lies coming out of Todd Bentley’s mouth in the past few weeks (and I do not mean the scriptural lies which are numerous on top of this). How can this possibly be a man of God?


NOTE FROM "LIVING IN THE WAY": Come on, Todd! Get your story straight and tell us if you saw Emma or his sister!

Todd's problem is not that he has no power, miracles, signs or wonders to claim as backing for his ministry,... Todd's problem is that he has the Word of God knocking down nearly everything he tries to make stand as backing for the authenticity of his ministry!

And all you who defend Todd as being a "man of God"... FIRST tell us how you defend this constantly changing yarn of lies and deception Todd keeps spinning,... then maybe we'll listen to you try to defend Todd's false prophecies, unbiblical teachings, blasphemies, etc!

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Thursday, July 3, 2008

GOD IS ANGRY: Are you preaching it?

From Arthur Pink's "Gleanings in the Godhead"

When I consider how the goodness of God is abused by the greatest part of mankind, I cannot but be of his mind that said, The greatest miracle in the world is God’s patience and bounty to an ungrateful world.

If a prince hath an enemy got into one of his towns, he doth not send them in provision, but lays close siege to the place, and doth what he can to starve them. But the great God, that could wink all His enemies into destruction, bears with them, and is at daily cost to maintain them.

Well may He command us to bless them that curse us, who Himself does good to the evil and unthankful. But think not, sinners, that you shall escape thus; God’s mill goes slow, but grinds small; the more admirable His patience and bounty now is, the more dreadful and unsupportable will that fury be which ariseth out of His abused goodness.

Nothing smoother than the sea, yet when stirred into a tempest, nothing rageth more. Nothing so sweet as the patience and goodness of God, and nothing so terrible as His wrath when it takes fire (William Gurnall, 1660).

Then flee, my reader, flee to Christ; "flee from the wrath to come" (Matthew 3:7) ere it is too late.

A word to preachers: Do we in our oral ministry preach on this solemn subject as much as we ought? The Old Testament prophets frequently told their hearers that their wicked lives provoked the Holy One of Israel, and that they were treasuring up to themselves wrath against the day of wrath. Conditions in the world are no better now than they were then! Nothing is so calculated to arouse the careless and cause carnal professors to search their hearts, as to enlarge upon the fact that "God is angry with the wicked every day" (Ps. 7:11).

The forerunner of Christ warned his hearers to "flee from the wrath to come" (Matthew 3:7). The Savior bade His auditors, "Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him" (Luke 12:5). Paul said, "Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men" (2 Cor. 5:11). Faithfulness demands that we speak as plainly about hell as about heaven.

Jon's note: Read Jeremiah chapter 28 to see...


...how God feels about preachers speaking words of love, peace, liberty and freedom to the unrepentant and rebellious children of the devil!

Then read below what God promised those who give words of love to the unrepentant:

Jeremiah 20:4-6 says: For thus says the LORD: ‘Behold, I will make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends; and they shall fall by the sword of their enemies, and your eyes shall see it. I will give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall carry them captive to Babylon and slay them with the sword.
Moreover I will deliver all the wealth of this city, all its produce, and all its precious things; all the treasures of the kings of Judah I will give into the hand of their enemies, who will plunder them, seize them, and carry them to Babylon.
And you,...shall go into captivity. You shall go to Babylon, and there you shall die, and be buried there, you and all your friends, to whom you have prophesied lies.’”
America has been guilty of "prophecying lies" to "our friends", the rebellious and unrepentant sinners, for over 100 years, giving them a false hope, telling them that God loves them and has a wonderful plan for their life, when God plainly told us to tell them to "repent from their wicked ways."

How much longer will you so-called preachers break the wooden yokes (Jeremiah 28:13) off of the wicked by continuing to preach this false, loving, squishy god who winks at sin and who watched His Son be crucified for nothing?

You who preach that sinners need not repent, and offer them salvation if they come "Just as I am" are the guilty parties... because statistically, that's how most sinners come to get their fire insurance these days... as unrepentant sinners, yet holding on to the assurance of their "sinner's prayer", the wooden yoke that was broken!

I can't believe God has shown such mercy to the United States for so long when we have forsaken teaching sin and repentance and have so cheapened the Gospel of Jesus Christ... Pray for the true preachers of the Gospel to be strengthened and pray for the False Preachers to repent, get saved, and preach the Word of the Lord,... before our nation is "carried off to Baylon".

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

LINCOLN or DARWIN: Who was more important?



From the new issue of Newsweek: Who Was More Important: Lincoln or Darwin? Is Newsweek serious? This is the most absurd question and pairing I have ever heard.

I believe the only reason writer Malcolm Jones paired Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin at all was due to the trivial fact that they were born on the same date in history, Feb. 12, 1809... and they were both famous. Big coincidence. Big deal.

I was born April 1st, 1970. Which do you think was more important? My birth or one of the following events which also occured on April 1st, 1970:

• Odessa, Texas (where I was raised) was the first city in Texas to have the Emergency 911 Dialing System which began on April 1st, 1970

• Phil Spector brought in Ringo Starr to add drum fills to the track "The Long and Winding Road" on April 1st, 1970, the very last session where any work on a Beatles track was done featuring a member of the band. Therefore, this counts as the Beatles' last session.

• President Nixon signed a bill into law banning cigarette ads from radio and television on April 1st, 1970

• Color TV was first broadcast in Sweden on April 1st 1970

• The unbelievably ugly AMC Gremlin was introduced to the world on April 1st 1970

You see,... I was born the same day that these things happened, yet there is no way to consider which of these things were "more important" until we define what is "important".

The question asked about Lincoln and Darwin is "Who was more important?". That is strictly a matter of opinion based on what one deems to be "important".

To a Beatles fan,...

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...the "last session" is worlds more important than "Jon Sharp's birth". But then go ask my mother and see what she thinks!

To the Body of Christ, Lincoln held up and defended some Biblical principles while Darwin tore them down, desperately trying to do damage to our Savior's name. Who will WE see as more important?

To the atheist, Darwin fought for a new era of humanistic understanding destroying the long-held stance of "radical" Christians that a Supreme Deity created all things and is therefore to be regarded as Owner/Creator and Lord. Who will THEY see as more important?

Concerning Lincoln, Jones writes: http://www.newsweek.com/id/143742/page/1

Lincoln's religious history is perhaps the most tangled aspect of his life. His law partner, William Herndon, swore Lincoln was an atheist, and to be sure, there are plenty of boilerplate references to the Almighty scattered through Lincoln's speeches. But as the war wears on, and the speeches grow more spiritual, they become less conventional. Lincoln was a believer, but it is hard to say just what he believed. He speaks often of the will of God, but just as often adamantly refuses to decipher God's purpose. And he never, ever claims that God is on his side...

Then (Lincoln) delivers what biographer David Herbert Donald has called "one of the most terrible statements ever made by an American public official":

"Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said 'the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether'."

Lincoln sounds correct in his stance to me! No matter what, even if God destroys us all, His judgments are true and righteous. But what will be the atheist reply?

FROM http://www.greatamericanhistory.net/lincolnsfaith.htm

Lincoln's relationship with God is a subject highly debated by historians. Some say Lincoln was an unbeliever, or at least a skeptic, of Christianity. Many say he was a "deeply religious" man that daily sought God's guidance. Many books have been written on the subject. When one reads Lincoln's presidential speeches, filled with his pleas to the American people to seek God's aid and guidance, and demonstrative of his own dependence on God's mercy, it is difficult to comprehend any scholar that would see Lincoln as anything but a man that sincerely depended on God.
It is true that Lincoln never did join a church, although he attended church services regularly while President. The reason he gave for never joining a church was that he could never be satisfied with all the dogmas and creeds that the denominational churches of his day required. On this subject Lincoln wrote:
"When any church will inscribe over its altar, as its sole qualification for membership, the Savior's condensed statement of the substance of both law and Gospel, 'Thou shalt love the lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul and thy neighbor as thyself' that church will I join with all my heart and all my soul."
One of Lincoln's earliest statements on the subject of his faith came in 1846:
"That I am not a member of any Christian church is true; but I have never denied the truth of the Scriptures; and I have never spoken with intentional disrespect of religion in general, or of any denomination of Christians in particular....I do not think I could myself be brought to support a man for office whom I knew to be an open enemy of, or scoffer at, religion." [July 31, 1846]

Lincoln stated the following upon receiving a gift of a Bible from a group of African-Americans from Baltimore:

"In regard to this great book, I have but to say, it is the best gift God has given to men. All the good Savior gave to the world was communicated through this book. But for it we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man's welfare, here and hereafter, are to be found portrayed in it." [Sept. 9, 1864]

Below is one of Lincoln's many proclamations, as president, for a national day of fasting and prayer. Few ministers of the gospel could have done better:

"It is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, and to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon, and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in Holy Scripture, and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.

And, insomuch (sic) as we know that by His divine law nations, like individuals, are subjected to punishments and chastisement in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war which now desolates the land may be but a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people? We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown.

But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which has preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us. It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended power, to confess our national sins and to pray for clemency and forgiveness." [March 30, 1863]

Now, let's look at CHARLES DARWIN:

Charles Darwin was raised in the Anglican church and was taught early to pray. Later in life he discussed his "childlike faith".

"I often had to run very quickly to be on time, and from being a fleet runner was generally successful; but when in doubt I prayed earnestly to God to help me, and I well remember that I attributed my success to the prayers and not to my quick running, and marvelled how generally I was aided."

Darwin even entertained the idea of becoming an Anglical minister and attended Christ's College in Cambridge for three years studying for the ministry. He said:

"I liked the thought of being a country clergyman. Accordingly I read with care Pearson on the Creed and a few other books on divinity; and as I did not then in the least doubt the strict and literal truth of every word in the Bible, I soon persuaded myself that our Creed must be fully accepted."

Darwin's favorite books at this time books were by William Paley. The first was Evidences of Christianity and the second was Natural Theology which seeks to prove the existence of God showing design as the evidence.

From ChristianAnswers.net:

Despite all of the...religious influences in his life, the decline of Darwin's faith began when he first started to doubt the truth of the first chapters of Genesis. This unwillingness to accept the Bible as meaning what it said probably started with and certainly was greatly influenced by his shipboard reading matter--the newly published first volume of Charles Lyell's Principles of Geology (the second volume, published after the Beagle left England, was sent on to Darwin in Montevideo). This was a revolutionary book for that time. It subtly ridiculed belief in recent creation in favor of an old earth, and denied that Noah's flood was world-wide; this, of course, was also a denial of divine judgment.

Surrounded as he was by unbelievers, and having soaked his mind in literature that rejected the concept of divine judgment in earth's history, Charles mused,
“I can hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so, the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my Father, Brother, and almost all my best friends, will be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine.”

In 1876, in his Autobiography, Darwin wrote,
“Formerly I was led... to the firm conviction of the existence of God and the immortality of the soul. In my Journal I wrote that whilst standing in the midst of the grandeur of a Brazilian forest, 'it is not possible to give an adequate idea of the higher feelings of wonder, admiration, and devotion, which fill and elevate the mind.' I well remember my conviction that there is more in man than the mere breath of his body. But now the grandest scenes would not cause any such convictions and feelings to rise in my mind.”

In 1880, in reply to a correspondent, Charles wrote, “I am sorry to have to inform you that I do not believe in the Bible as a divine revelation, & therefore not in Jesus Christ as the Son of God.”

Now, I'll readily admit that both Lincoln and Darwin changed the world and the effects of each of their teachings and writings are still changing lives for better or worse. And both had obvious theological beliefs that cause alarm.

However, Charles Darwin's sole life purpose and goal was thus turning people away from an Almighty God Who is Creator and Judge.

Abraham Lincoln's sole life purpose and goal was to lead men from bondage into liberty and from war and death into peace and life and though he may have had personal spiritual questions he was regardless obviously erring toward faith, giving God the glory for each victory rather than shunning the notion of God and giving glory to humanity or to the Northern troops.

Charles Darwin died at a nice old age and had plenty of time to repent... yet he did not. (Despite many sermons and legends stating that he did repent on his deathbed, there is no reason to believe that he repented. Again, from ChristianAnswers.net, "He merely is said to have expressed concern over the fate of his youthful speculations and to have spoken in favor of a few people's attending a religious meeting.")

Lincoln was shot down by an assassin during dark, troublesome days during which he stated:

"I went to my room one day and locked the door and got down on my knees before Almighty God and prayed to Him mightily for victory at Gettysburg. I told Him that this war was His war, and our cause His cause, but we could not stand another Fredericksburg or Chancellorsville... And after that, I don't know how it was, and I cannot explain it, but soon a sweet comfort crept into my soul."

I'm not saying Lincoln was an evangelist preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ... but he surely was an infinitely more important person to humanity, leading the United States toward faith in a Deity rather than away from any type of faith into darkness. As I said, Lincoln had some theological problems, but would he have been a candidate for repentance possibly putting his faith in Christ alone, had he lived? Who knows, but he definately showed signs of being "drawn" to repentance and reliance on God rather than outwardly denouncing God like Darwin.

Darwin with his skewed and disproved theory could only lead men further into darkness and confusion without allowing them a God to pull them out of it! And yet the world pats him on the back for his "enlightening" theories which only an utter moron should accept. Darwin was highly successful in moving men to forsake the simplicity of creation by an all-powerful God to instead deduce (by failed and illogical human reasoning) that monkeys and dogs and fish and algae are our ancestors!

NOTE TO NEWSWEEK:
Lincoln wins this one hands-down and Darwin should not have even been in the running.

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TEST YOURSELF: The Words of Jesus

How well do you know the Words of Jesus? Here are three tests from Trevin Wax at "Red Letters" to help you test yourself. Here's a sample from the Intermediate Test:

Which of the following did Jesus NOT say?
( )Make friends for yourselve by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails, they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.
( )God is love.
( )Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.
( )Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's


• BEGINNER TEST

• INTERMEDIATE TEST

• ADVANCED TEST


My score?... 10/9/7... I'm ashamed that I didn't ace it! Bad pastor :(

Leave a comment to let us know how you did!

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U-JUDGE-IT - Are these true miracles?

Today I am starting a new periodic feature. This will be an on-line discernment forum called "U-JUDGE-IT". Occasionally I will post a different video, audio, or text based question for you, the "Living in the Way" readers, to JUDGE. You will then give commentary either FOR or AGAINST what I post while backing your statements with Biblical reasoning.

The only rule for this installment is that you make a BIBLE BASED argument giving at least one scripture reference.

In this installment I submit to you an Extreme Prophetic Pathetic video featuring Todd Bentley's "spiritual mother" Patricia King, as well as his revival buddy Joshua Mills.
The video supposedly documents some heaven-sent gold and oil manifestations from supernatural superstar Joshua Mills' meetings.

So let's hear your take! U-JUDGE-IT... Is the following video a true documentation of miraculous works of God? Why or why not?

AN INCENTIVE TO SOLICIT COMMENTS: I have an original (antique) cloth-covered, hard-bound copy of "The Blood of Jesus" by William Reid, (Read it HERE) which was originally published in 1860. (Look at the pretty gold work on the front!)

I have no idea what it is worth, but it is in BEAUTIFUL condition and would be a wonderful addition to any Christian library... I will send it as a prize to the person who, in my opinion, gives the best biblical reasoning for or against this video. Just be sure to check "E-mail follow-up comments" when you comment since I will comment stating who gets the book. It will be your responsibility to e-mail me your mailing address if I choose your comment. DEADLINE FOR COMMENTS IS JULY 18, 2008

Here we go...

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