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Death & Dying

We got an early morning phone call today informing us one of our good friends had died suddenly. Most people do not know what to say  when a friend or relative suffers a loss, we are no different. We offer the following to help our friends and others in their time of mourning.

Corrie Ten Boom,,, wrote of her experiences in a now classic book The Hiding Place. In it she recalls a particular time in her childhood when she was nearly overcome by a fear of death and being separated from her loved ones. Her father comforted her with these loving and kind words:

Corrie, he began gently, when you and I go to Amsterdam when do I give you the ticket?…

Why just before we get on the train.

Exactly. And our wise father in heaven knows when we are going to need things. Don’t run ahead of him… When the time comes that some of us will have to die you will look in your heart and find the strength you need

There is an old saying, a friend in need is a friend indeed and James and Nerissa have been our friend when we have been in need many times over the past year. We are deeply grateful for their contribution to our lives. Yet when good people die, someone always asks where was Jesus so he could prevent the deaths of such good people?  There are two answers to that question

#1. Jesus cannot alter or change the rules that his father set up to govern this life. It is appointed unto man to die once and we cannot escape from that rule till the rapture happens. Lazarus, The Shumanite woman’s son, Dorca, and others raised from the dead, all died again. They were not given an exemption to God’s rules. WE all have to face death.

#2. When I was younger I counseled many times at bible camps and one particular camp at the fireside time I would stretch out my arms wide and would get about 6-7 children gathered under each arm.  They were comforted.  When we suffer loss, Jesus is there with his arms open wide waiting for those in mourning to come into them and be comforted. We cannot experience Jesus’ comfort if we do not suffer loss. So instead of blaming Jesus for a death, run into his arms and experience the comfort he brings that no human can do.

Jesus is there when we need him, take him up on his offer of open arms.

 

Our Situation

You may have noticed that we have not published our next issue of our magazine and that our posts here have been very brief for the most part. That is because we had to pawn our computer to meet personal needs.  The church where I preach does not pay a salary and has often left us without food or money to buy food yet expect us to preach as if nothing is wrong. They also expect us to pay certain utility bills even though we do not get a salary.

You may ask why don’t you leave? We hope to but any money we have been able to get has been drained for personal needs before we can save enough to depart. We are stuck. Sadly my wife’s family is part of the problem so we cannot get help from them and my own family does not respond to e-mails. My wife has become very discouraged and I am not in the greatest of moods either. I certainly would like to continue the magazine as I found out earlier this week that we have one bona fide reader which makes me feel good. BUT given our situation it is unlikely.

I have posted my bank account information on our special needs page and if you can send a gift you can go to your nearest Citibank and deposit it there. I am not sure if the branch is in Ilsan or Goyang but it originated in Eumsong all three are in Gyeonggi province of South Korea where my bank is. We only need $10,000 to cover one year here so hopefully that is a realistic goal.

 

Thank you for your help

 
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Posted by on December 7, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Distorted View Of The Church

When the church is off track, however, it’s a massive discouragement to many who want to follow Jesus (Mere Churchianity by Mark Spencer pg. 153)

There is so much wrong with the attitude expressed in that quote. It is far too subjective for one and such thinking comes from those people who  usually do not like the fact that the church is not doing what they want to see done or that they have been rebuked for some sin or acceptance of sin and they do not like that. These people always demand that the church change even though their alternatives may not be biblical themselves.

Mark Spencer did mention a couple of things we liked in his book, particularly about meeting hurting people needs but even that is far more complicated than Mr. Spencer mentions in his book. Instead of rolling up their sleeves or getting properly trained in the truth and filling the void they see in the church ministry, the people like Mr. Spencer turn to criticizing and attacking the church.

They do this because they have a distorted view of the church, its purpose and a distorted view of Jesus and his ministry. They want the pastoral staff to do most if not all of the work failing to realize that God did not create the positions of pastor and elders so that they do all of the spiritual work in the church.The last line bothers us a lot because following Jesus does not mean we criticize and attack the church. Jesus never attacked the sacrificial system or the temple and its positions but only went after the sins of the religious leaders. He did not say that the temple had to change and be more contemporary either to attract new members.

We have a problem with people like Mr. Spencer simply because they ignore biblical teaching and then think they are ‘following Jesus’. They ignore sin and the need of repentance before acceptance into the kingdom of God and feel their ‘progressive’ ideology is of God when everyone else knows that neither God nor Jesus change nor does their word.

Granted the church is not perfect but people need to stop expecting perfect behavior from fallible people and this includes other Christians. The solution to this problem is for people like Mr. Spencer to learn the truth correctly first, apply it to their lives and be a shining light to even the church world. Attacking and criticizing the church in the manner that they do is not a gift of the Holy Spirit. Changing the biblical instructions is not a divine mandate given to a few people who are discontented with the way their church is run.

Putting correctly into practice what God taught in the Bible is and this may lead some people to leave their current congregations but it does not grant them permission to point a finger and attack the members of the church they just left or are members of. They still have to practice what Jesus taught and loving your neighbor does not exclude the supposedly error-filled church and its members. They still need to experience the love of God correctly but not with false teaching, which so many like Mr. Spencer adopt when they become dissatisfied with how their church operates.

A distorted view of the church leads people to sin and false teaching. It does not allow them to correctly follow Jesus. These people need to double-check their enlightenment first before accusing the church of being in error. For the errors they see may be their own.

 

Distorted View of Jesus

Many of you ay have heard of the internet monk, Mark Spencer, who died in 2010. We became acquainted with hi this year when we came across a copy of his book Mere Churchianity. His work. and we are not including is blog as we never read it, is the typical product of those who become disillusioned with the church in general.

It is not a great book as it includes the same rhetoric we come across when we read the websites of those who are dissatisfied with the organized church.  For some reason both Mr. Spencer and those like him, develop a distorted view of Jesus and the Bible as they search for the ultimate way to live Christianity. They all want biblical teaching applied to them but refuse to grant the same to those they attack, criticize and malign with so many unsupported accusations and over-generalizations.

These people seem to try to separate Jesus and his words from the rest of the Bible in hopes of being more spiritual than those they are disgusted with and fail to see that all the Bible are the words of Jesus. As Jesus prayed to his father  in John17:8

For I have given them the words which you have given to me and they have received them

All the words of the biblical authors come from Jesus and cannot be separated from the red letters found in most versions of the gospels. But these disillusioned people try anyways. Then they make outrageous statements such as

When I finally abandoned the search for the real church and recognized that Jesus was leading people way from hidebound, rules based religion…’ (pg. 109)

all the while forgetting that Jesus made rules.  i.e. no divorce except in the case of adultery, do unto others and so many more.These people in their haste to get to a purer form of religion miss it because they have become blind to what the Bible says. They want Christianity to be the way they want it to be not the way God designed it.

They do not follow the Holy Spirit to the truth but seek what appeals to them ignoring the words of Jesus concerning false teachers, and evil’s attempts to destroy their faith. They also ignore sin and how God excludes that from his kingdom in their rush to practice a very distorted version of ‘love thy neighbor’. They are deceived about those who claim to be believers yet refuse to give up their sins to be an actual believer.

People like Mr. Spencer are part of the problem for the church as their distorted views of Jesus lead many astray and to destruction.

 

A.W. Tozer On Science

Taken from Mysteries of the Holy Spirit by A.W. Tozer pg. 132-33

Next there is science. Science is called upon to prove Christianity. We just came through one of those long tunnels, when the evangelical church was running to science to get some sort of help, not knowing that everything that is divine in Christianity is exactly what science has no technique for investigating. The thing science can investigate is not divine and the thing that is divine science cannot investigate. Science can make sputniks and science can make tape recorders. Science can do those things, but all of that is nothing. Christianity is a miracle, a wonderous thing out of heaven. It is something from the throne of God…And science knows nothing about that. Science stands back, looks it over and does not know what to say.

 

 

A.W. Tozer On Evangelism

Taken from Mysteries of the Holy Spirit by A.W Tozer pgs. 40-41 and the words apply to all age groups

I think a big mistake we make with our young people is, as soon as they are converted to Christ, we start them out right away in some Christian activity. My brethren, we are not prepared to do the work of the Lord when we re just born again…But as soon as a young person is born again, we give him a bunch of tracts and say ‘Now Bud, get going.’ And the result is Christianity has taken on the spirit of amateurism… Christianity has leveled down and the high quality is gone. We are as light as butterflies. We flit around in the sunshine, imagining we are eagles flapping our wings above the rocks of God. Instead of that we are butterflies. We are trying to work when we are not prepared to work

 

 

Christianity’s Gifts

We are taking the following list from Why People Don’t Believe Chapter 8 Christianity’s Gifts to the World pg. 129ff. You will have ot secure a copy to read all the details, we just do not have the time to put more information here.

 

Battled Infanticide

Struggled to end child Abandonment

Built orphanages

Did Child Care

Created the Salvation Army

Created the YM/YWCAs

Created the Red Cross

Built Hospitals and did Health Care

Fought Against Slavery

Established Universities– in 1932… 92% of the 182 in existence were founded by Christian denominations

Christians do a lot more good in the world than the secularist will give them credit

 
 
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