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News stories you should be praying about

There are serious issues Christians and churches are facing. They may not affect you now, but that does not matter. We need to pray regardless even if the issue does not touch our lives.We will only be giving snippets here so please click on the links to get the full story. Also, these requests should be giving ideas to those who live outside of the United States on what to pray for and who to pray for.

Copy and paste if the link does not work

#1.Has California Lost Its Mind?–  https://www.christianpost.com/voice/has-california-lost-its-mind-shane-idleman.html

Google “California school district says parents can’t pull kids from new LGBT sex ed,” and you can read the alarming article for yourself. A “toolkit” that offers kids tips on using sex toys and doing things that cannot be written in this article is one of the controversial aspects, and parents may not be able to opt out. Our arrogance as a state, and as a nation, is appalling. School districts throughout California should be held accountable

#2.Atheists Looking to Impose $1B Taxes on Churches as Pastors Warn of Devastating Impacthttps://www.christianpost.com/news/atheists-impose-1b-taxes-churches-pastors-ministerial-housing-tax-exemption-223302/

A group of Chicago pastors are speaking up on behalf of clergy everywhere in America in their latest federal appeals court effort fighting against a lawsuit that they say could cost houses of worship as much as $1 billion in new taxes.

The non-profit law firm Becket explained in a press release last week that Pastor Chris Butler of Chicago Embassy Church went before an appeals court on Thursday in the latest chapter of the Gaylor v. Mnuchin case, looking for a reversal on an earlier decision that went against the clergy.

The case is significant, because the Freedom From Religion Coalition is suing the IRS in the hopes of ending a 64-year-old federal tax provision, the ministerial housing tax exemption, that allows faith leaders to receive tax-free housing allowances

Why is this the FFRC’s business? They go too far in their hatred of religion.

#3.Atlanta Pastor Says He’ll Make Aerialists Regular Part of Worship; Some Say He’s Gone Too Farhttps://www.christianpost.com/news/atlanta-pastor-says-hell-make-aerialists-regular-part-of-worship-some-say-hes-gone-too-far-223319/

An Atlanta pastor who announced on social media that he plans to make performances by aerialists a regular part of his church’s worship service has raised concern among some critics who believe the gymnasts might be too distracting for the public.

The pastor, Apostle Bryan Meadows who founded Embassy Church International five years ago, made the announcement on Instagram on April 9 where he posted both photos and video of an aerialist performing at a Christian conference during a worship service.

Do pastors and churches realize who they are worshipping? Do they understand what worship really is? This article serves as an example  only.

#4.Courts and the Cause of Christ: Why Christians Need to Carehttps://www.christianpost.com/voice/courts-and-the-cause-of-christ-why-christians-need-to-care.html

Sometime between now and June, the U.S. Supreme Court will render its decision in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case. This is the case in which owner and cake artist Jack Phillips was taken to court because he could not in good conscience design custom items that celebrate events or express messages in conflict with his religious beliefs. Jack Phillips is motivated by his Christian beliefs and is attempting to faithfully fulfill his deeply rooted religious beliefs. He is seeking justice in the arena of law.

We need to pray for our court system and that God’s justice and wisdom prevail. This case is also an example, as all courts and judges, lawyers etc., need prayer.

#5.Youth, Schools and Violence: Where Has Society Gone Wrong?https://www.christianpost.com/news/youth-schools-and-violence-where-has-society-gone-wrong-222811/

As the United States has by far more deadly shootings occurring in its schools than any other developed nation, many are left wondering if there are elements of today’s American society that are partially to blame, or at least play a factor, when it comes to the troubling influx of deadly school massacres.

“Where has our society gone wrong?” some might ask.

The sincere prayers of parents go a long way in preventing youth problems. Let your kids hear you prayer for them. Show them that you care by praying for them all the time. Not just for good grades or protection from violence ptray for their spiritual health

#6.Pastor Tim Challies Warns Christians Against Using Virtual Reality Pornhttps://www.christianpost.com/news/pastor-tim-challies-warns-christians-against-using-virtual-reality-porn-223300/

Pastor Tim Challies of Grace Fellowship Church in Toronto, Ontario, has said that virtual reality pornography is the “next frontier” in technology, and is warning Christians about its harms.

Challies said on his website Monday that he’s had many opportunities in the last few years to talk about pornography and technology, and the risks that have emerged.

“The rise of the internet provides a ready example. When the internet first came along, we all dutifully signed up for accounts and began to explore this new medium. We surfed and chatted and downloaded and shopped,” he wrote.

Men you need to get your sexual desires and lusts under control. You need to learn some boundaries, especially those pastors who like to touch women who are not their wives. Let God help you resist temptation. It is not okay to look at the menu when you are married or involved seriously with a woman.

Women, how you treat your husband or boyfriend either makes this issue worse or it can help make it better. The choice is yours on how you treat your loved one.

#7.Pastor Jailed and Tortured for Preaching Shares Horrors Christian Prisoners Face in Vietnamhttps://www.christianpost.com/news/pastor-jailed-and-tortured-for-preaching-shares-horrors-christian-prisoners-face-in-vietnam-223166/

Evangelical pastor Nguyen Cong Chinh will always have the scar on top of his head to remind him of the years that he was imprisoned, beaten and tortured for daring to advocate on behalf of indigenous people groups being denied human rights by Vietnam’s communist government.

Having been arrested over 200 times for his human rights advocacy over a span of three decades, it wasn’t until Chinh was jailed in 2011 and sentenced to 11 years’ imprisonment for “undermining national solidarity” by violating a preaching ban in the Central Highlands that his persecution started gaining international attention.

Another example touching on a broad subject. But remember being persecuted and martyred does not make one a Christian. Salvation is only through Jesus.

#8.GQ Editors Bash Bible as ‘Foolish Book’ Not Worth Reading-https://www.christianpost.com/news/gq-editors-bash-bible-sententious-foolish-book-you-dont-have-to-read-223223/

GQ magazine editors have published a list of 21 books they say aren’t worth reading despite them being seen as the great books. The Bible is listed at No. 12 because, they claim, it’s “not the finest thing that man has ever produced,” and it’s “self-contradictory” and “foolish.”

“The Holy Bible is rated very highly by all the people who supposedly live by it but who in actuality have not read it,” the editors write in an article titled, “21 Books You Don’t Have to Read,” published this week.

People’s attitude concerning God, Jesus, the Bible and the Christian faith. Both Christians and non-Christians need these prayers.

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The Biblical Framework Of Race

It seems some pastors want to have their names in the news. So they speak about controversial topics and make sure the news media hears about it. That seems to be the case for the pastor who is the subject of the following article:

https://www.christianpost.com/news/matt-chandler-says-pastors-who-address-racism-outside-of-biblical-framework-sabotage-chance-of-change-223266/

Matt Chandler, pastor of The Village Church in Highland Village, Texas, said that pastors who fail to address the issue of racial injustice within the framework of the Gospel ultimately “sabotage” any chance for true change.

Yet throughout the article, we do not get an inside look at what is the biblical framework Mr. Chandler talks about. We do get a lot of rhetoric though:

So if the atoning work of Jesus Christ is an offense to accomplish racial harmony, then let’s get rid of the atoning work of Jesus Christ and simply make Jesus’s platform one of social embetterment, and that has happened on repeat,” he continued. “Monsters have come through this door before and ultimately sabotaged the hope of those that got involved in these movements. I think that by keeping the social aspects tied to the Gospel and to the atoning work of Jesus Christ, we’ve gotten the best bet at actually seeing movement in these movements.”

One would think that if anyone is speaking on the biblical framework, they would at least quote some scriptures to illustrate their idea of the biblical framework. What we get is Mr. Chandler’s ideas not the Bible’s. In looking up the word race in the NASB we were given  a few verses that included the term. In Ezra we read

For they have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and for their sons, so that the holy race has intermingled with the peoples of the lands; indeed, the hands of the princes and the rulers have been foremost in this unfaithfulness.” (9:2)

What we are seeing is not God agreeing with the evolutionist and stating that there are several different human races. Instead, we see God telling us that the people are divided. There is the holy group and the unholy group. Both make up multiple nations, colors, genetic structures, languages and so on. We say the OT holy race was not limited to the Israelites because people from other nations did join them. Rahab is the most famous.

The book of Nahum uses the word race to refer to actual competitions:

The chariots race madly in the streets, They rush wildly in the squares, Their appearance is like torches, They dash to and fro like lightning flashes. (2:4)

Mark comes the closest to the modern use of the term when he said:

Now the woman was a Gentile, of the Syrophoenician race. And she kept asking Him to cast the demon out of her daughter. (7:26)

But we see that the term is used to indicate nationality not another human race that had evolved over the millennia. So if Mr. Chandler wants to say there is a biblical framework, then maybe he should leave the secular world’s ideas about humans and their nationalities out of his thinking. His and so many other people claiming to be Christian distort the real issue of racism.

It is not as they claim a matter of racism, race and so on. It can’t be as there is only one human race and everyone descended from Adam & Eve. But here is what they say:

Chandler added that the first step the Church must take in addressing racism is to simply talk about it.

If we look at the Bible we see the real issue and it is, as we have said, not about race or racism. It is about hatred and other sins. When we label the problem correctly, then we have the right solution. If we do not, as Mr. Chandler and others like him do, then we can never find the right solution. The idea of more than one race originated with evolutionists and other unbelievers. It is not taught by God. God has taught us that there is only one human race, the one he created in the beginning.

Since the issue, then, is not about race relations, we know that it has to be a sin issue. Now that we know that the origin of this supposed racism, we know that evil is behind the whole mess. Once we identify that, we know what to do. We lead people to Christ and we get rid of the evil and sin in people. When the evil and sin are gone, then racial issues disappear. people see the truth and that the supposed racism was just sin and hatred for differences

But as long as supposed and real Christians keep using the unbeliever’s thinking of multiple human races then they will not solve the problem. They will just divert it and let it continue. The Bible tells us not to follow the secular world. They are the ones who are lost, blind and deceived. They are the ones that need the light. it is not the Christian world.

The Christian world could solve the issue of racism if they accepted the truth of God which tells us that there is only one human race. Then preach the truth to the lost world. Christians preaching the message of the lost world only confuses God’s people and leads them to false teaching.

Does this men that the black people and other people of color must reassess and change what they have staked their identities on? Of course it does. If their preachers are not going to preach the truth and lead their people to God’s knowledge, then the White pastor needs to do it. The White pastor does not join those going the wrong way.

“There is no way forward if white pulpits won’t talk,” heh said. “King said rightly in the end that ‘we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.'”

If the White Christians are supposed to say something, then let it be the truth of God. They need to cast the light so others can see the right way to go. The biblical framework of racism is that there is no such thing as racism, just sin. We know how to handle sin- lead people to the cross of Jesus and let him redeem them and make them new creatures.

 

Youth Ministry

We have indirectly talked about youth ministries in the past. But we doubt we have directly focused articles on that ministry. We are sure we were hard on youth pastors and we probably will be again. Why? Because most of  them are not properly trained nor have the correct attitude. These two issues are a topic for another day. We are not targeting those church members who volunteer to work with youth. Their efforts should be commended but unfortunately, they may not be up to the task.

Our purpose for writing is the following article

https://www.christianpost.com/voice/3-reasons-why-you-should-consider-serving-in-youth-ministry.html

We hope not to criticize or condemn but to merely add our comments to those given and then  address a few points raised by that article.

That one student you loved on that one Wednesday night….that same Wednesday night you had a horrible day at work, were tired, and didn’t feel like serving…that one student could be the next Billy Graham, the next President, a missionary who leads hundreds to Jesus, a pastor, a youth pastor, or just someone the Lord uses to reach a whole generation.

We are actually starting at the bottom of that article because it highlights a danger that comes with youth ministry. These are the WRONG reasons to enter the ministry with youth. We are not saying it can’t happen but these issues should not be part of any youth ministry. They are distractions and can lead to confusion, disappointment and disillusionment in the youth leader.

The youth leader should be getting involved with young people because there is a need to develop the young minds spiritually. The burden of the youth leader should be to get the young people the truth, the correct answers to their questions, and to help them mature and grow up. Life is not easy and the parents may appreciate the extra help preparing their children.

This brings us to another issue which needs another article to deal with it properly. I believe it was Ken Ham who has written on the loss of young people once they have entered college. Many, many young people toss away their faith because they were not properly trained to face the skepticism, the unbelief, the hate-filled attitudes of their professors. This is a growing concern.

REASON #1: THERE’S A NEED

Yes there is a need. Sadly, parents are not always equipped to hamdle the spiritual needs of their children and that is the fault of Senior pastors, church leaders and so on. As well as the parents themselves. The parents were given the charge to teach their children but that does not stop the whole community from teaching young people the ways of God, his commandments and his instructions. If you read Deut. 4 you will see God’s teaching instructions to his people.

God also provides the reasons for his instructions. If you do not want to stop at Deut. you can do a word study on education, learning, teaching and similar words and see what God wants parents, youth ministers and pastors to do.

And, if I may speak openly, our children are our biggest commodity. Why wouldn’t we want to invest as much as we can into them? They literally are the future!

This we disagree with. Young people are not a commodity and should not be thought of in such terms. They should be thought of as sinful people who need Jesus as their savior. Then after conversion, they need to be taught correctly so that they fear God and obey his instructions correctly. Adults are the children’s future. How adults teach their chilren will be how they act when  the yong person grows up. The Bible tells us this- raise up the child in the path that he shall go and he will not depart from it (we paraphrased a bit).

Parents are to train their children correctly if the child is going to have a good future. The responsibility to train young people falls to the parents first.

REASON #2: BY SERVING YOU SERVE GOD

This is also true. You do serve God by working with youth correctly. We need to add the word correctly because if what you do is not of God or you teach that God is wrong, then you are not servig God but serving someone else. The Bible speaks of false teachers and these people teach youth today. False teachers claim to be Christian, yet willfully teach things God, Jesus and the Bible did not teach. The word willfully has to be added because some people do make mistakes or do not understand scripture fully but they are not false teachers, they are merely mistaken, misguided or do not know enough to teach others.

I dare say, would we be hindering students coming to Jesus by choosing not to invest in them if God has clearly told us He wants us to serve in student ministry?

This we do not totally agree with because of the wording. The writer may not understand the passage he is alluding to and quoted earlier in the paragraph. it is doubtful if you say no to the call to serve God in youth ministry that you are hindering anyone from knowing Jesus. You are just being disobedient. God can and will raise someone else up to do the ministry.

The heavy-handed phrasing in that quote is not right and it is laying guilt on those who may not feel that call nor have the desire to work with youth. Pastors tend to go a little overboard in their application of the Bible when they see a need they want filled.

REASON #3: IT PAYS DIVIDENDS

While this does take place, it is the wrong reason to get involved with youth. We do not go into youth minstry to get rewards, etc. We go in because we love God and we want to bring the truth to the lives of the young. We want to teach them correctly, answer thier questions with the truth, and guide them through life until they know how to do it themselves.

We do not go into ministry for our own selfish ideas.

Are you the type of person who likes to make investments and make a profit on such investments? Investing in the lives of students pays dividends. Student ministry is considered both the hardest ministry in the church, the most often overlooked and under appreciated ministry, and yet, at the same time, one of the most rewarding ministries in the church

We will disagree with all of this and a lot more that is not quoted but found in that paragraph. These are the wrong reasons to go into any ministry. Plus, every ministry is difficult, under-appreciated but still rewarding. These words are mere manipulation not God-given reasons to enter youth ministry. One main thing we do not like about this article is that God’s word seems to be absent and not supporting their plea.

I’m not writing this to make you feel guilty, to sway you, or make you feel like you have to serve in youth ministry. I just wanted to share three reasons why you should consider serving. The first step is to seek the Lord. Ask God if He wants you to serve in youth ministry. If He does, don’t hesitate. Jump in as soon a possible.

Too late.  He should have started the article and his 3 reasons with the rest of that quote. But as we heard in a lecture from Dr.Jimmy Dirrado in our undergrad days, sometimes you can volunteer and say to God, I want to serve you. The Bible backs that up when Paul wrote the words “if any man desires the office…” Serving in the ministry does not depend on a call. You can have a simple desire to do that work. BUT you need to meet the requirements first.

Teaching the truth is not easy and James warns us about becoming a teacher. You need to make sure you understand what you are getting yourself into. Youth or any ministry is not just any other type of job. It is important, you are representing God and his words and need to lead the people to God correctly.

Besides, as a youth pastor, we will never turn down someone who genuinely wants to serve and is able. Of course, there are background checks, screenings, and such before we let someone serve in our student ministry. We don’t just let anyone just show up and serve at M2L Students without first talking with us

The problem with this process is that it leaves God out of the mix. It also stops people who have had their lives changed by Jesus from entering the ministry and serving God. The secular world does not place the requirements on God’s work. God does and we need to look to him for confirmation and direction. The disciples did not look to secular government when they sought to replace Judas or other disciples.

Jesus did not follow secular government when he changed the life of Paul and then sent him into ministry. We are not to look at the surface and disqualify someone God has cleansed and appointed to be a minister. We follow God and his requirements.

But anyone that show interests we inquire about and we allow the Lord to direct us from there. Wherever you…whatever church you call home….will you allow the Lord to direct your next steps if you feel the Holy Spirit nudging you to serve in your church’s youth minsitry?

No one can change their past. It should not be held over their heads. The past is often used to ignore the truth, the work of evil and the redemptive nature of Christ. But this does not mean we blindly accept people either. We need discretion, discernment, and look to God for help when appointing someone to ministry. The disciples did,so should we. We need to recognize our limitations when it comes to the hearts of men.

Also, do a word study on  the term ‘truth’ and see who God is and what he wants taught to his creation.

 

Nahum’s Tomb

For those who may not know about this topic, we offer the following quoted information from a newsletter we receive regularly:

Not every old thing is buried deep in the dirt. The 2,700-year old tomb of the Hebrew prophet Nahum, many believe, is located in the northern Iraqi town of Al Qosh, in an abandoned synagogue which is about to collapse. A local Christian church and a restoration group based in the U.S. are trying to save and restore the synagogue.

Al-Monitor reports that the local Chaldean church put a roof over the crumbling structure a couple years ago to stop further deterioration by winter rains. This spring, a team of engineers with ARCH (Alliance for the Restoration of Cultural Heritage) traveled to Iraq to add scaffolding, ropes and support beans which should hold the structure together for at least three years while plans are made and money is raised for restoration.

The synagogue was deserted in the 1950’s when Jews left under Iraqi persecution–a response to the creation of the State of Israel, according to Al Monitor. A local Christian family was handed the keys to the synagogue and has opened it faithfully throughout three generations for visitors coming to pray at the tomb of the minor prophet Nahum, writer of the Bible’s Book of Nahum.

 

Sexual Allegations 2

The headline says it all

Former Willow Creek Leader Nancy Beach, Others Say Bill Hybels’ Resignation Is Not Enough

This is what undermines any credibility that the metoo movement and other sexual allegations accusers think they have. They are greedy and not content when they receive their desired result. They always want more. Here is what that former leader said:

Nancy Beach, Willow Creek Community Church’s first female teaching pastor said the resignation of the church’s founder, Bill Hybels, over multiple allegations of sexual misconduct is not enough to rectify the damage caused by his alleged actions as others in the church community called for more contrition and accountability.

How much is enough? Since the damage to the victim and the demand for contrition and accountability are all subjective where is the line drawn so these people will be satisfied with the action taken? The damage is subjective as it registers with different victims in different ways. Some know how to deal with the issue, others exaggerate it and still more apply drama to the problem.

Then the people like Ms. Beach thinks that justice is there to serve them and they get to dictate what is or isn’t just. They seem to think that they alone can determine when justice has been done. They seem to forget about God and that he is the one who created justice and it is his opinion only that matters when justice has been done. But these advocates tend to place themselves higher than God and demand more.

They are not for justice but their own idea of it which seems to include revenge, a lack of forgiveness and more punishment than is needed. These people use generic words like ‘damage’ to build the issue into more than it really is. Then since the word ‘alleged’ is used, they are demanding a penalty for crime that has not been committed. This is wrong. Until an actual crime has been committed and proven so through proper evidence and legal means, no punishment can be meted out.

This fact seems lost on those who want their pound of flesh

Hybels adamantly denied a number of the sexual misconduct allegations against him, which include a consensual affair with a married woman, who retracted her claims. The Tribune report also alleged a pattern of behavior against Hybels that includes suggestive comments, extended hugs, an unwanted kiss, and invitations to some of the women to hotel rooms. Investigations commissioned by the church, however, could not substantiate the allegations.

We understand the rejection of those unwanted touches. We do not like people touching us either, including church people. They weren’t invited to touch us and they have no right to do it. BUT that attitude does not give us the right to demand that the unwanted toucher lose their jobs, be made to pay penalties and so on. Because it happens to women does not alter that lack of right.

Part of the problem comes in when too many pastors and church leaders think that showing love to their congregation means touching them. This is not so. There is no call for men pastors to be hugging women who are not their wives or daughters. There are more constructive, more spiritual ways to show love. If you want to appeal to Jesus to defend those unwanted embraces, then please point to chapter and verse in the Bible showing everyone where Jesus actually did it or taught his disciples to do it.

The last we looked there are none.

There can be no healing until the truth is all brought into the light. I know you don’t want to hear this..

This is a loaded statement because the words are stating that healing depends on the okay of people not involved in the situation. It is also saying that the speaker will only accept a truth that they like. It is not that we do not want to hear it, it is the fact that those accusing Mr. Hybels are not willing to listen to the truth or accept the justice meted out. Whether either are wrong or not has not been established. It is merely Ms. Beach’s opinion that it hasn’t.

We do not like the idea that Ms. Beach thinks she is in charge of when healing takes place.

but there’s more to come. And we must not ignore the voices of these women or they will be abused all over again. Bill Hybels is not the victim here!” Beach declared.

Instead of making these types of statements, do an honest investigation and produce that real evidence. The opponents to Ms. Beach must be able to substantiate those pieces of evidence and make sure a crime was committed. They will not be abused all over again. That is part of the drama that comes when misguided people start distorting the issue to fit their ideas and ignore God’s.  They do not help the healing but keep the wounds open and festering.

Last night I heard no confession of deceit or admission of guilt for sexual misconduct. For the church and its leaders to move on there must be full ownership of what was sinful and flawed in the process

The last we looked, Mr. Hybels and the Willow Creek Church are not under the authority of Ms. Beach. She seems to place herself in a position she has no right to be. Whether she hears what she wants to hear or not does not matter.

The goal for me was never connected to Bill resigning. The goal is to usher in the truth, to reveal an abuse of power that spans over 30 years, with women who are scarred and in some cases, terrified to come forward,” she said

How does she know this? Where is her supporting documentation that this is taking place? Then why are not those women going to their husbands or fathers for help? Where is the evidence that this is taking place? It is not that women are not scared, just prove the accusation and statement with real evidence not innuendo.

He admitted to being sometimes naïve in his relations with others and noted some of his actions were misinterpreted.

This does happen. Pastors and church leaders can be very naive and do things they should not do. But the other side is also correct. Too many people misunderstand the action and apply their own ideas to what took place. Then they or others seek to penalize the supposed offender for something they have not done. They are being penalized for the mistaken thinking on the part of those who received the unwanted action.

In that brief analysis of Ms. Beach’s words, there is a common theme that resides throughout her statements. God and his ways are excluded. What matters to Ms. Beach is what Ms. Beach wants to see not what God wants to see. She does not address the issue with God’s help but does so on her own strength and ability. She is not applying any scripture to the issue to guide her words or demand for justice.

Christians cannot exclude God from any process for he alone knows the truth and he alone can reveal it, without the aid of a confession. He also knows what true justice is. What bothers people like Ms. Beach is that God’s justice may be different from their idea of it. Yes God has told us to be just but where do we learn what true justice is?

Certainly not from the secular world or other subjective human thought or theory. We learn what true justice is from God. When people like Ms. Beach do not include God in the process then do not expect true justice to take place. Men and women do not have separate forms of justice. There is not one rule or penalty for men and another for women.

As you read Rev. 20, you will see that all people, men, women and children, are judged the same. If we want to be a light unto a dark world, then we need to put down our own ideas of justice and learn from God what true justice is and how to practice it correctly. People like MS. Beach are not following God nor wanting true justice.

If you want to be heard and have credibility, then you cannot rely on personal subjective feelings or ideas. You need to use God’s objective standards under God’s guidance. One human’s idea of justice is not greater than another’s. They are all still subjective and human sourced.They do not have the support of the hly, incorruptible, honest God who created all things.

Source: https://www.christianpost.com/news/former-willow-creek-leader-nancy-beach-bill-hybels-resignation-not-enough-222837/

 

Willow Creek Church

If you read our previous post, you would have seen where we said we are not a fan of or a supporter of Mr. Hybels. We are also not a fan of Willow Creek Church either. It was not appropriate to deal with that topic within the context of the subject matter. We do not like what we see taking place. Whether the investigation was mishandled or not is none of our business and not what we are talking about.

Church investigations usually fall into two categories- not enough is done, little honesty is applied or they go overboard to show the unchurched world how spiritual the church can be. Neither serve God or the people involved well. But again, that is not the focus of this post. We will be taking our points from two sources:

https://www.christianpost.com/news/willow-creek-members-react-to-bill-hybels-resignation-as-accuser-stands-by-story-222796/

https://www.willowcreek.org/en/about/beliefs-and-values

We will deal with the obvious first in the first source:

#1. Heather Larson, the new lead pastor of Willow Creek,

There is no scriptural basis for this to take place. Not one woman in God’s kingdom violated God’s rules when mentioned about their roles in the church or other spiritual activities. God did not write his rules for church leadership because he had nothing better to do. He also did not write them so his followers could violate them. God’s rules are not meant to be broken.

#2.including an elder, Betty Schmidt, within a few months. Schmidt, who was an elder at Willow Creek for 30 years

The rules on elders are the same as the rules on pastors,approx. Women are not to be elders in the church or leaders of men. Read #1 again to get the reasoning for this rule. Also, when you look at how God appointed leaders to his temple in the OT you will see that women were excluded, like they are in the New, from church leadership.

God has a different role for women. God also does not call people to disobey his word.

The rest of the points come from the second souorce.

#3. We believe the church should be culturally relevant while remaining doctrinally pure

This idea flies in the face of biblical teaching where God said be ye in the world not of it. A church cannot be culturally relevant because it belongs to a different culture. It has different rules to follow and a different master to serve. It is also to be a light unto a dark world. The church cannot be that light if it is doing the exact same things as the unbelieving world does.

#4. We believe life-change happens best in community

This is not necessarily so. As we read the book of Acts, we do not see the teaching of having a community to facilitate spiritual evangelism. We see people doing things that the secular world did not do, as well as staying with the truth. But not this idea of modern community.

#5. We believe churches should be led by men and women with God-given leadership gifts.

See points #1 & 2 above. Women do have a ministry but church leadership is not one of them. God has outlined very clearly the role of women in the church and secular culture and opinion do not trump God.

#6. All who acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord are united with Him as members of His body, the one true church.

This is not true. The Bible is very clear that many who claim to be a follower of Christ will be rejected by Christ because he did not know them. Also to be a Christian one has to give up their sins and obey Jesus’ commands. Many people claiming to be of Christ do not do that.

These are just some of the specific examples pointing out why we are not a fan of or a supporter of Mr. Hybels and Willow Creek. Space does not allow us to get into some more specific details. We are not sure where they stand on creation, the flood and other important details of the Bible that must be accepted to be part of the kingdom of God.

Of course, since they have many pastors, elders and teachers, etc., on staff we are sure not all hold to erroneous doctrines like the ones cited above. We will give them the benefit of the doubt until evidence says otherwise.

The key is once you change the message of the Bible you are no longer representing the author of the Bible. You are representing your version of Him and that is a mistake. You are not calling people to the God of the Bible but your idea of who God is. Then you cannot expect unbelievers to repent and change their ways and start following God correctly when the church does not do it

Anyone can be part of a church, they can even start their own church but not every every church or Christian is part of the true church or representing God correctly.

 

Sexual Allegations

Whether it is found in the secular world, the metoo movement, or the church world we are not happy that certain accusers like to avoid following the rules of legal justice. The idea of using sexual allegations to mar the reputation or destroy the life of a famous people is not right. In recent months and possibly years unsubstantiated sexual allegations from 20 to 30 or more years ago are being used to get revenge on people.

In America and most western countries the accuser needs to have evidence to support their claim. So far not one woman has produced real evidence for the alleged episode. We have followed those stories because they have entered the spiritual world as well and now have entrapped Mr. Hybels.  We are not a fan or a supporter of Mr. Hybels but we do not like injustice no matter where it is done.

Saying something took place 20 or 30 years ago is not evidence. The Bible tells us

A single witness shall not rise up against a man on account of any iniquity or any sin which he has committed; on the evidence of two or three witnesses a matter shall be confirmed. Deut. 19:15

Now some may say that, for example, Mr. Cosby has over 50 witnesses against him. Thus their allegations must be true. That is not so. What Mr. Cosby has is 50 individual witnesses for each individual account. There is no one backing up the stories of those women on each alleged incident. Telling a husband is not evidence or adding a witness because the women may be lying to her husband and protecting herself and he did not witness the event in question. The same goes for telling other people about the supposed event.

Getting revenge for a supposed bad sexual encounter is not biblical either. Revenge is God’s and the legal system was not set up so women have a sledgehammer to use to get back at those men who may have hurt them in some way. Or for the fact that the men did not perform sexually to the satisfaction of the woman or did not keep a promise. The legal system was set up so that everyone, rich or poor, could receive justice.

Then we have the problem where men and women of authority automatically believe the woman’s story just because she is a woman. This is not the right attitude to take because women are not immune from lying. They are also not immune from becoming false witnesses

Do not deliver me over to the desire of my adversaries, For false witnesses have risen against me, And such as breathe out violence. Ps. 27:12

There is nothing in that verse or similar ones that exclude women from being a false witness.

If you ever have witnessed a trial or been involved in one as a witness you know that in  America and other western countries, people are asked to swear to tell the truth. The legal system is supposed to work by being told the truth. That is why there are perjury laws. Lying to court officials is a crime. Even God has lets us know that only the truth matters

Then the king said to him, “How many times must I adjure you to speak to me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord? 1 Kings 22:16

I was very glad to find some of your children walking in truth, just as we have received commandment to do from the Father. 2 John 4

Without more witnesses in these sexual allegation cases how can anyone, including court officials, know what is the truth. Basically all these women have is their word against the man’s word. We do not care aboout the principle of ‘a woman’s honor’. Obviously that outdated notion is being used to harm possibly innocent men and pervert justice. It is also not a biblical teaching, since so many women have been recorded as sinning greatly against God in the Bible and in history.

Christians are not to take a woman’s account lightly and brush it off. Their stories need an honest investigation in order to find the truth of a matter. BUT nor should their words be blindly accepted and believed, especially if there is no physical evidence to support her account. If you recall the story of the Jewish man whose daughter-in-law disguised herself as a prostitute, etc., even she did not make an accusation without real physical evidence to support her story.

Sorry ladies but being traumatized, scared and afraid are not excuses to be believed and to support the failure to gather physical evidence.There has to be real evidence to make sure a crime has actually been committed. One person’s word is not good enough. 30 people’s words are not good enough unless they were actually witnesses to the same event in question.

We cannot allow for the perversion of justice because God explicitly told us to be just– Mich 6:8. It does not matter who is making the accusation justice must be preserved at all costs if we want to be in obedience to God. It also des not matter if the alleged crime is secular or spiritual. If pastors or church leaders are accused or commit a crime then justice must exhonerate or convict them. Not a single allegation from decades past.

What we have seen in this metoo and the attacks on men like Mr. Hybel is basically the Salem witch trials, communism and totalitarianism. It is not Chrstian, spiritual or of God. Those 3 examples should serve as sufficient evidence as to how far justice has fallen in the modern age. Those events and governing styles did not nor do not seek to be just. They seek excuses.

When you read the Bible and do a word study on the words justice, truth, witnesses etc., you will find that God has already laid out the procedure for how justice is to take place. Then when you read about the last judgment, you see God following his own rules

12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds Rev. 20

God uses real evidence to judge those who disobeyed him and rejected Jesus as their savior. We are not better than God.

Unfortunately, the world’s legal authorities and church leaders are not as holy and as incorruptible as God is. Injustice will occur and hurt many innocent people. Unless the church starts getting ocurageous and sets the right example. They have to set the right example first before raising their voices to the unchurched world and telling the blind, the deceived and the lost that they are in error.

The church has to obey God correctly if they want to make any impact on the lost world for God.

 
 
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