Don’t Miss List: Hello, December Edition

ChristmasTreeI picked up our Christmas tree last night, so I’m in a Christmas-y mood. That might be obvious with some, but not all, of this Don’t Miss List:

Rev. Kevin DeYoung pleads with pastors: Don’t cancel Sunday services for Christmas!

I LOVE THIS! As someone who loves Christmas Eve service but usually has to miss it in order to see all my cousins at our family party, I often wish more churches still held Christmas Day services (yes — that used to be a thing). Since this year, Christmas falls on a Sunday I really want to find  a service to attend.

I greatly appreciated DeYoung’s letter here and the reasons he gives for not cancelling Christmas Sunday services at your church.

Here’s one of them: “It’s Christmas for crying out loud! It’s the day we celebrate the incarnation, the birth of the Messiah, the entrance into our world of the second Person of Trinity. Don’t we want to sing? Don’t we want to celebrate? Don’t we want to preach and praise and pray?”

I do want to sing and celebrate and hear the word. Pastors, please know that some of us really do want to be in your church this Christmas!

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Don’t Miss List: “Favorite” Heresies, Don’t Trust Your Heart, How to Reach the Suffering and More

This list has been a long time coming. Quite a bit of ground to cover, since I haven’t done this for awhile. I’ll start with the most timely subjects:

“This is the last spastic breath from the Religious Right before its overdue death” – Collin Hansen

I generally avoid political issues like the plague around here. I believe the gospel and the truth contained in God’s word matter more than politics ever could. However, this opinion piece by Collin Hansen of TGC speaks directly to Christians about the latest Trump scandal and, is, in my view an essential read. Read it even if you don’t love the headline (I didn’t like the headline) – a better one would have been from the end “Woe to the hypocrites.”

The passage I found most pertinent:

To the older evangelicals planning to vote for Trump: You can try to explain the difference in electing a president and hiring a 23-year-old college graduate to evangelize students. You can say we’re electing a commander in chief and not a Sunday school teacher. You can say that God often raises up pagan leaders to deliver his people from their enemies. But no one is fooled by your arguments.

They can see you will apparently excuse anything in a Republican nominee so long as the alternative is a manifestly unqualified Clinton. And they will conclude that they don’t really need to listen to you when it comes to “traditional, biblical ethics.”

Keep reading at The Washington Post Continue reading

When Someone Claims God Will Make You Rich, or Happy …

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The next time someone like Joel Osteen (author of Your Best Life Now) claims God just wants to make you happy, or healthy or rich and try to claim that is what the Bible promises, ask them why Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 11:

“Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one — I am talking like a madman — with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger  from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.”

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Don’t Miss List: Paula White Twists Scripture, Spiritual Growth, Embryo Adoption and a Book Review

Christian Post Reports Paula White’s Easter Sermon Offered ‘Resurrection’ for $$$$

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 9.13.00 PMI was not shocked, but I was absolutely infuriated to hear that this Easter Pastrix Paula White “offered her followers an Easter Sunday deliverance from a spiritual death sentence for a $1,144 ‘resurrection seed’ she says was set by God,” based a twisted rendering of the resurrection of Lazarus.

THIS is not Christianity! This is not true. Nowhere in the Bible does God say anyone can buy things from Him whether that is health, wealth, wisdom or more importantly than any of that — new life in Jesus Christ.

Repent of your sins, believe in Jesus and be saved. God will raise you to new life in Christ. You cannot buy that gift of God’s grace paid by the blood of Jesus.

Sadly, this is an utterly shameful, but all-too-common tactic of making big promises to people if they pour money into your church coffers. And sadly, plenty of people naively give and when nothing comes of it they think it was their weak faith at fault. I was just talking with someone about this yesterday and they pointed out the other problem: people who aren’t Christians see it and think that nonsense is Christianity and it repels them. For both of those reasons this sort of thing simultaneously infuriates and saddens me.

If you’re in a church that does this, run, do not walk to the nearest exit. And dig deep into the Scriptures for yourself so that you are not led astray by such people again.

Ultimately, God will hold people like White accountable. But true Christians need to do expose this for what it is. Thankfully, Fighting for the Faith often does.

UMC and Episcopals Grow Closer, Advocate Interfaith Cooperation Bordering on ‘Syncretism’

Both of these denominations have been compromising on Scripture for years, so it’s no surprise to see the United Methodist Church and Episcopal Church treading ever closer to universalism or full syncretism. Story by Joseph Rossell of IRD.

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Don’t Miss List: Stanley Bashes Small Churches, Break up with Osteen and More

Andy Stanley Claims People are ‘Selfish’ for Choosing Small Churches

There’s an uproar going on after North Point pastor Andy Stanley bashed small churches and insulted people who choose them by calling them “selfish” and claiming they don’t love their kids.

There’s a ton of reaction online, including this one.

Here’s mine … the Bible tells pastors to be shepherds, not CEOs. Stanley and other mega-church pastors are CEOs due to the sheer size of their churches. I’ll take my tiny little church and its verse-by-verse Bible teaching and pastor who knows my heart for truth and actually listens if I’m concerned by a song we’ve used or if I don’t agree with something he says. I’ll take that anytime over a megachurch and a false teacher like Stanley who openly rejects the biblical calling for a pastor.

10 Reasons to Break Up with Joel Osteen

The Messed Up Church blog has 10 compelling reasons to “break up” with Joel Ostend’s teaching.

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