Grace and Truth

…all the words of this life…


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Tish B’Av …Israel’s National Day Of Sorrow

GraceandTruth:

This is very timely, and important…

Originally posted on Pastor Bill Randles Blog:

(Tish B’Av, the ninth of the Hebrew month of Av comes this year between August 4-5. I am republishing an earlier article for this occassion. Keep looking up everybody!)

How hath the LORD covered the daughter of Zion with a cloud in his anger, and cast down from heaven unto the earth the beauty of Israel, and remembered not his footstool in the day of his anger!

The LORD hath swallowed up all the habitations of Jacob, and hath not pitied: he hath thrown down in his wrath the strong holds of the daughter of Judah; he hath brought them down to the ground: he hath polluted the kingdom and the princes thereof.

He hath cut off in his fierce anger all the horn of Israel: he hath drawn back his right hand from before the enemy, and he burned against Jacob like a flaming fire, which devoureth round about.

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Bible Prophecy: In the News?

As we sit in front of our televisions and observe the present conflict going on between Israel and

Source:wikipedia

Source:wikipedia

Hamas in Gaza, one cannot help but recall that Gaza is sometimes mentioned in God’s Word, the Holy Bible. Following are a few important scriptures concerning Gaza and we cautiously ask whether any of these scriptures have any relevance to this present conflict?

Firstly, we wish to point out that some of these scriptures prophesied events that were to take place shortly after those prophecies were given; when God was angry at the way the Philistines had treated His Covenant People. However, it is also worth pointing out that the Bible is often written with “multiple fulfillment” in mind; that is there may be numerous fulfillments of a particular prophecy until the final prophetic fulfillment occurs. The classic example is the appearance of the antichrist. A number of antichrists have already appeared, such as Antiochus Epiphanes, until the “final” antichrist appears. This is confirmed in 1 John 2:18 where we are told that many antichrists have already come. So is it possible that those prophecies of old have any relevance to the situation in Gaza today?

Whether they point to the present conflict or not, they are nevertheless important to consider in the light of this present conflict.

Jeremiah 47:5

Verse 1 of chapter 47 of Jeremiah tells us that the prophecy was written before Pharaoh attacked Gaza and in verse 5 it was fulfilled when Pharaoh attacked. Yet we have to ask the question whether it is not being fulfilled yet again at this point in time? It reads:

“ Gaza will shave her head in mourning; . . . “

Gaza is presently in a terrible state; much of it because its own foolish behaviour towards Israel.

Amos 1:6-7

6 This is what the Lord says: “For three sins of Gaza, even for four, I will not turn back my wrath. Because she took captive whole communities and sold them to Edom, 7I will send fire upon the walls of Gaza that will consume her fortresses. . . . . “”

It is thought that the “whole communities” referred to in that scripture were in south Judah. Yet, in many ways does this not describe what has been going on there now? Certainly through use of their tunnels, Hamas operatives planned to abduct Israelis and take them back to Gaza where they were to be held hostage and possibly even killed. Certainly Gaza has had reprisal heaped upon her.

 

Zephaniah 1:14 reads:

“The great day of the Lord is near- near and coming quickly.”

Verses 4 to 7 of chapter 2 are about judgment on Philistia, of which Gaza was a part. Here we specifically look at verse 4 of chapter 2 which reads:

Gaza will be abandoned . . . “

In these passages Zephaniah is exhorting all to repent, not only Gaza, before the destruction comes that will sweep over the earth in the day of God’s wrath.

Zechariah 9:5

Zechariah chapter 9 is a Judgment on Israel’s enemies. In verse 9 we read:

“. . . . ; Gaza will writhe in agony, . . . “

Surely we can say that at this time Gaza is in agony; presently as the Israelis try to destroy the bases from which rockets and other acts of war have been aimed at her. But there will come a time when God Himself does it – for His own name’s sake.

Chris, from our fellowship, has an interest in Bible prophecy and from time to time will share his views with us on current events and how they relate to prophecy in this new series “Bible Prophecy”.


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Missionary Quotations: CT Studd3

“Christ’s call is to save the lost, not the stiff-necked; He came not to call scoffers but sinners ctstuddto repentance; not to build and furnish comfortable chapels, churches, and cathedrals at home in which to rock Christian professors to sleep by means of clever essays, stereotyped prayers, and artistic musical performances, but to capture men from the devil’s clutches and the very jaws of Hell. This can be accomplished only by a red-hot, unconventional, unfettered devotion, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to the Lord Jesus Christ.”

 

Oh hallelujah!


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The Evolution of the Emergent Church

In my last post in this series A Harlot, An Emergent and a Pope Walked into a Bar… we looked at how Ken Wilber’s Integral Consciousness is becoming instrumental in bringing together the Emergent Church and the Mystery religions. The end goal being of course, the creation of the One-World Religion.

When we talk about the Emergent Church we must understand that nothing is by emergentaccident, nor coincidence. Even the terms “Emergent”/ “emergence” /“emerging” have greater significance than we are led to believe.  In this post I would like to examine the use of the word “Emergent/Emergence”.  I would also like to prove it’s atheistic and New Age roots.

Emergent Church leader Doug Pagitt says:

doug pagitt“Five years ago or so when numbers of us started using this phrase “emergent,” there were a number of reasons why we thought this word worked well. The reason I was most excited about it is the use in a forestry term or an agriculture term. Emergent growth is the growth in a forest that is growing below the surface, that if you were to knock away the dead pine needles and leaves and branches, you would see the growth that’s happening there …. So it’s not against, it’s not over in another field, it’s not something that wants to destroy the forest; in fact, it’s going to grow because of the protection of it — the idea that there was this emergent growth that was happening in Christianity, that was protected and that was going to have the chance to survive because of the environment. We wanted to talk about what is the nature of that emergent growth of Christianity in the world…” (source: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/2005/07/08/july-8-2005-doug-pagitt-extended-interview/11764/)

As lovely and organic as that all sounds, “emergent” has a much greater meaning and a wider application than Pagitt acknowledges here.

The term “emergent” was coined by philosopher and skeptic G. H. Lewes, who wrote:

“Every resultant is either a sum or a difference of the co-operant forces; their sum, when their directions are the same — their difference, when their directions are contrary. Further, every resultant is clearly traceable in its components, because these are homogeneous and commensurable. It is otherwise with emergents, when, instead of adding measurable motion to measurable motion, or things of one kind to other individuals of their kind, there is a co-operation of things of unlike kinds. The emergent is unlike its components insofar as these are incommensurable, and it cannot be reduced to their sum or their difference.”

 

To apply this philosophical Theory of Emergence to a religious context: one might say that typically two opposing elements, or religions, such as Christianity and Islam when compared, have differences between the two that are easily detectable and measurable.

However, as Lewes says, it is otherwise with “emergents”. Within the Emergent philosophical framework, the two religions are not compared as two opposing elements but rather become a “co-operation of things of unlike kinds”. And “The emergent is unlike its components insofar as these are incommensurable, and it cannot be reduced to their sum or their difference”. The differences therefore become immeasurable, undetectable as the two opposing elements are merged.

(Sounds a lot to me like the Hegellian Principle…you may remember from Satan’s Tool in the Emergent Church: a “thesis” combined with an “antithesis” makes a “synthesis”.)

Does philosophy have the ability to influence? Is the Emergence Theory of Lewes affecting Christianity?

Well…Berlin will soon be building the world’s first “House of One”, a synagogue, mosque and church all in one:  http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-27872551

Lewes’ Emergent Theory underpins the “emerging area of discourse” that is Integral Consciousness.

“..in philosophy, systems theory, science, and art, emergence is the way complex systems and patterns arise out of a multiplicity of relatively simple interactions. Emergence is central to the theories of integrative levels and of complex systems.” (source: Wikiepdia)

ken wilberKen Wilber’s Integral Consciousness theory seeks to build a new platform of truth and reality. This new platform is created by bringing together a synthesis of the “best of pre-modern, modern, and postmodern reality. It is portrayed as a “theory of everything” and offers an approach “to draw together an already existing number of separate paradigms into an interrelated network of approaches that are mutually enriching.” (source: wikipedia)

As we saw in the last post the Emergent Church is heartily promoting Ken Wilber and his New Age ideas and philosophies.  This is no surprise considering that both Ken Wilber’s Integral Consciousness and the Emergent church are based on Emergent Theory.

An integrative level, or level of organization, is a set of phenomena emerging on pre-existing phenomena of lower level. Typical examples include life emerging on non-living substances, and consciousness emerging on nervous systems….The sequence of levels is often described as one of increasing complexity….” (Corning: Wikipedia, emphasis mine)

 

Doug Pagitt addresses this very topic here:

“But emergence theory also began to be used in this conversation at the same time, and emergence theory has to do with complexity and that which is going to develop out of chaos and complexity — that what we would look at and think is just random actually starts to form patterns to it, and that’s a helpful way to think about this, too, that there seems to be this chaos that’s happening, but if you were to study it long enough you begin to see the patterns…. That’s not a bad way to talk about it as well” (source: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/2005/07/08/july-8-2005-doug-pagitt-extended-interview/11764/)

If Doug Pagitt’s quote sounds alarmingly like the Theory of Evolution it’s because Emergent Theory and Evolutionary Theory go hand in hand.  In fact Emergent Theory was one philosophy that paved the way to Darwinism.

 

“[In] evolutionary processes, causation is iterative; effects are also causes. And this is equally true of the synergistic effects produced by emergent systems. In other words, emergence itself… has been the underlying cause of the evolution of emergent phenomena in biological evolution; it is the synergies produced by organized systems that are the key.” (Corning: wikipedia)

The premise of evolutionary theory is that a higher set of phenomena arises or emerges out of a pre-existing lower level of phenomena.

This is the basis of both Emergent and Integral Consciousness theories. That out of a lower order comes higher order. You know, like apes turning into humans…

SO in summary:

  • Ken Wilber’s Integral Consciousness theory says that humans Altitude handout. Pagesevolve to a higher level of consciousness. (This is standard New Age doctrine.)

“Some see the process of integration as incarnating Christ consciousness, some call it becoming the Divine Human, but perhaps it is most accurate to think of it as a “new normal” for those of us who want to be pioneers and begin to live in a new way, fully connected with our divine potential.

What is clear is that integrating aspects of this higher octave of our being HAS been demonstrated by historical mystics and that we are getting closer to being able to replicate this in a wider way.” Barbara Marx Hubbard, New Ager, occultist (http://theshiftnetwork.com/NextStageOfHumanEvolution)

 

  • Emergent theory says that there is a “co-operation of unlike kinds” and that distinctions and measurable differences between unlike kinds disappear.

 

  • Emergent theory lead to Evolutionary theory.  And Integral Consciousness is based on Evolutionary theory.

 

And the main point of it all:

  • The Emergent church promotes Ken Wilber’s Integral consciousness. Integral Consciousness is the evolution of human consciousness into godhood or divinity; 

 

  • The Emergent church have deliberately called themselves by the name of “emergent” because they see themselves as the next level, the higher level of a “set of phenomena emerging on pre-existing phenomena of lower level” in the “evolution” of Christianity. Christianity as we have known it is outdated, irrelevant, politically incorrect, low-level. But through these “emergents” a new relevant, higher-level of Christianity is evolving. 

 

  • Ultimately this higher-level of Christianity is heading towards “emergence”: the “co-operation of unlike kinds” as consistent with emerging theory. In other words: the creation of a one-world religion.

 

Once again the devil is using human pride to further his plans. Pride in intellect, pride in attaining to “higher levels”, pride in reaching “god-hood.” There is nothing new under the sun…

And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil…” Genesis 3:4,5

 

 

Of interest:   Brian McLaren, in collaboration with a New Age yoga teacher, has recently brought out a video series “integrating Naked spirituality, Yoga, Tai Chi and Chi Gong” ( http://brianmclaren.net/archives/get-involved/).  

 

 

 

 

 


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Of Fine Minds…

GraceandTruth:

I love this…

Originally posted on Cross of Christ:

There are some things that my spirit understands that I don’t. When I say “I”, I mean my mind. I am sure God has something against our intelligence which we still do not fully understand. But from reading scripture we can begin to get a grip on why God considers the human mind his enemy no.1.
I do not intend to go into that discussion in this post; I will do so in another post. For now, I just want to say how wonderful it is that there are things which my spirit understands perfectly well, but of which my mind is in the dark.
For example, I can find myself crying for no reason at all. That means my spirit understands something which my mind does not.
Sometimes I can feel led to do something which my mind is totally against. I can feel, sometimes, that I ought to…

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Bible Prophecy: Brother Against Brother

When we look at what has been going on in Syria since the beginning

Image courtesy of transconflict.com

Image courtesy of transconflict.com

of 2011 and when we look at what is going on in Iraq at present, we surely cannot help but be horrified by all the seemingly senseless killing going on: faction against faction, each wanting to be in absolute control. We know that religiously all the combatants essentially follow the same faith, although we know they have split into two main groups, Sunni and Shia, and mostly they also have the same ethnic heritage; the majority of Syrians referring to themselves as Arabs while Iraq’s dominant ethnic group are regarded as the Iraqi Arabs.

This is not about who is right or who is wrong in the conflicts taking place there at present, nor is it about the involvement of the US, Russia, Britain or Europe, whether directly or from behind the scenes, but it is an attempt to try to get some understanding of the root causes of the whole situation there.

As Christians we cannot help but be reminded of Ishmael and Esau from whom the Arabs are descended. At this point it will be meaningful to look at a few scriptures regarding these two “patriarch’s” of the Arab people.

Firstly, and importantly, we learn that through “the angel of the Lord” God granted a special blessing to Ishmael. Speaking to Hagar, who was then pregnant with Ishmael, “the angel of the Lord” said:

“I will so increase your descendents that they will be too numerous to count”. (Gen. 16:10.)

Later in Genesis 17:20, God reaffirms this promise to Ishmael.

hagar

However, in Genesis 16:12 the angel of the Lord also announced to Hagar that her son, Ishmael,

“will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers. (Gen 16:12.)

As for Esau, we learn that included in Isaac’s blessing to him, were the words that he was destined to “live by the sword”. (Gen 27:40.)

In both these scriptures, without being too simplistic, we seem to find a fitting and vivid description of the incessant feuding that goes on between the Arabs themselves, their neighbours and others: a situation that has been going on since those words were spoken by God and by Isaac and one which we surely are witnessing going on now in Syria and Iraq?

In time to come we will see this happen again; but on this occasion it will be a much larger conflict than any the world has witnessed to date. It will also be a conflict in which God Himself gets directly involved on Israel’s behalf. At that time God will intervene and through His intervention he will magnify His Name. As a result both Israel and the nations will know that He is the Lord; that it was He who defeated Israel’s enemies.

Here we refer to the war described by Ezekiel in chapters 38 and 39 of his book, when he tells of a vast army led by Gog of Magog which comes against Israel: most commentators interpret this army as being a coalition of Arabic nations led by Russia.

God uses a number of supernatural events to all but wipe out this vast army. However, one interesting method God uses is found in Ezekiel 38:21 where He says: “I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains, declares the Sovereign Lord. Every man’s sword will be against his brother.” Not only will God use a number of supernatural means to defeat the coalition led by Gog, but the coalition of Israel’s enemies will turn on itself!

It will surely be a repeat of what we are witnessing now and what has been foretold in God’s Word and, in view of what we see going on at present as well as noting who the parties are that are now involved, dare we ask whether we are even now seeing the build up to this terrible war?

Chris, from our fellowship, has an interest in Bible prophecy and from time to time will share his views with us on current events and how they relate to prophecy in this new series “Bible Prophecy”.

(Note: All quotes are from the NIV Bible.)

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