Saturday, January 31, 2009

TWO COMPETING KINGDOMS! Christians abroad are being killed. Is this a Church wake-up Call?

Christians, what do you think of the following?

Erwin Raphael McManus wrote:

“Domesticated Christians are far too willing to abdicate the battle for the soul of the world. Civility focuses our energy on all the wrong places. We spend our lives emphasizing our personal development and spiritual well-being….In contrast Jesus calls us to a different way. He tells us this is a battle of kingdoms….To see from a kingdom perspective is to know that there is a conflict of invisible kingdoms and that people’s lives are forever changed by what happens in the unseen. We are called to be warriors of light in dark places.” (The Barbarian Way, pp. 108-109.)

I got the above from the director’s article by Tom White in the Voice of the Martyrs magazine, Feb. 09.

I have always said that, contrary to the charge that we are only railing against homosexuality and abortion, the American evangelical churches are focused on personal piety, spiritual ecstacy in worship, feeling love for all people and that we do not like to get our feathers ruffled or our feelings riled. Hence,the move by some away from political action and discussions regarding abortion and gay rights. After all, there are angry foes on the other side defending these sins as legitimate choices. The challenge for us is the same as for the wife of a polygamous cult: Staying sweet. Never showing tempers. Always feeling love and showing forgiveness –always feeling the joy of the Lord. So, many of us avoid conflict and the resulting unpopularity. Being civil in disagreement IS Christian --no name-calling or insulting of others' intelligence. But I think being so civil as to avoid controversy is to cater to the wrong kingdom.

Many such Christians are also involved in ministry to each other, to their extended families, active in church activities/ministries and givers to charity and missions. They may be prayer warriors. So, I'm not meaning to judge those who don't contend for the faith or confront the culture openly --but to challenge us to do so.

Love over hate and temper is part of the continual battle between the kingdoms ---personal spiritual well-being would include that as described by the above author. But the director of VOM cites John, author of Revelations, who goes back into the persecuted church instead of staying in exile where God gave him the Revelation of Heaven. Instead of biding His time on the Isle of Patmos, waiting for his transport to paradise, he chose to “identify with those who carried their crosses in the steps of the Savior.” This was when Emperor Domitian infamously executed Jews, Christians and his own relatives for not worshipping the emperor.

Then White tells that the VOM has a video tape they don’t show because of the horror and tragedy of it –a video of a 12-year-old girl stoned to death in Egypt because she accepted Jesus. He then calls us to be co-participants, helpmates and encouragers to those who suffer tribulation in dozens of nations.

He notes that “Muslim converts to Islam are usually very bold; such is the liberating joy that flows out of them.” He quotes a Christian convert from Islam, “If you think there is a place you will be safe when you follow Christ, you are wrong….but Islam is cracking. The crack is becoming bigger with those who want to know Christ the Lord. This is why the fundamentalists (Muslims) are angry.”

I think this is not a day in OUR nation to retreat from proclaiming the Truth of the Gospel where people hate Christians for their doctrines and their definitions of sin and the message to repent. This is a time to shine the light of truth in dark places –to be that shining city on the hill –that light on the lampstand –where all can see it. We ought not retreat from proclamation of the whole truth –including Biblical definition of sin vs. righteousness

And just because they hate us doesn’t mean our method is wrong or that we have truly behaved hatefully as charged. St. Paul proclaimed the truth about homosexuality in ROME where it was an issue. In the U.S., it is again an issue –as is abortion. No matter how you say it, liberals want to cast you as a “gaycist” –just as wrong as racists.

Yes, if people would truly convert and follow Christ, they would all agree on the social issues. The Bible is full of preaching and teaching against the sins of the day –that we may know what displeases a Holy God. We CANNOT avoid the issue of sin in our culture –we must stand against it in public square, in government, as well as in the church. The majority of those who are calling evil good are not IN the church to hear the messages –so how will they know what it is that they should repent of, if we aren’t salt and light speaking Truth to power and to our culture –even on places like blogs?

Read more about today's Christian martyrs:

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible


Jeanette said...

My feeling on this is it is not my place to condemn someone else's sin when I still sin even though I am saved by the shed blood of Christ.

I see my role more as someone who is trying to reap the harvest of lost souls because I believe the time is near for the Tribulation and all that follows.

People who will live during that time will not have an easy life if they convert, but the conversions will take place when the 144,000 Jews are indwelt by the Spirit and even the angels preach to the lost flock in remote areas that have never heard the gospel.

Read the signs spoken of throughout the Bible, but more methodically in Revelation. Zechariah says "And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it." (Zechariah 12:3)

We already have wars and rumors of wars in Israel and it centers around the entire country of Israel, but there is a big battle over who controls Jerusalem and has been for over forty years. Israel wants it for their traditional capital but there is resistance from the world because they don't want to offend the Palestinians and other Muslims.

Jack Kinsella's Omega Letter, a prophecy study, says in Friday's edition: "Historically, the stock market crashed in 1929. The resulting Great Depression didn't set in until about 1933 and lasted for seven years. It culminated in world war.

There is a parallel between history and prophecy as well. The Tribulation opens with the breaking of the first of the Seven Seal Judgments represented by the Rider on the White Horse [antichrist].

He is followed by the Rider on the Red Horse [War] who is followed by the Rider on the Black Horse [Famine].

The Tribulation Period to follow lasts seven years and concludes at the final Battle of Armageddon.
The stock market crashed in 2008. Applying the 1930's as a template, that would put the revelation of the antichrist and the onset of the Tribulation around 2012 with the Battle of Armageddon seven years later in 2020.

Did I just predict the date of the Rapture? Not exactly. I could be wrong. This is 2009, not 1929 and the parallels could all be in my head.

But between you and me, I believe with all my heart that the Rapture is near. Very near. The Bible tells me so.

"So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." (Matthew 24:33-34)"

Being a homosexual or having an abortion is no greater sin than stealing a penny. Why? Because it is all sin and God only sees sin. He will judge the punishment of that sin through Jesus Christ, Who died that we might not suffer spiritual, eternal death and hell.

God did it because He loves us and the only sacrifice acceptable to Him is Himself and His shed blood, in the human and God form of His Only Begotten Son.

I feel that if I tell someone they are committing a sin that alienates them, but if I explain we have all sinned and get into a discussion where we can actually talk (the work of the Holy Spirit) I can point out that, just as murder is a sin, so are homosexuality, abortion, lying, stealing, adultery etc.

The only unforgivable sin is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit---giving blame to God the things of Satan and giving credit to Satan the works of God.

Those of us who are saved will not have to worry about committing the unforgivable sin or we wouldn't be saved, but Paul does tell us to be careful because if it were possible, "even the very elect" would be fooled.

I can relate to certain sins but not to others because I have not committed them, but I cannot point a finger at someone whose sins are different from mine because in God's eyes we are both sinners. I've been saved by His Grace and that's the only difference between me and the lost.

I am concerned for the lost souls of this world. I am concerned for people of all faiths and no faith that the Lord will return and the Church will be lifted from the earth, making it more difficult for non-Jews to be saved.

I keep DVDs in my house to be found easily if the Rapture comes and some lost soul comes here to rest and maybe feed my pets. If they want to know where everyone went then they can pull the DVDs out and see. Bibles are also in plain view.

I don't know if this is following the train of thought you had when you made this post, but it was what I feel the Lord led me to say.

I'm as big a sinner as Adolph Hitler or Stalin or any other terrible person. The difference is my sins have been forgiven even before I commit them and I commit them everyday because I still have my human side. We all do.

I truly believe we are headed to the beginning of the end, but many people throughout the ages have felt the same in their day. The biblical signs point to it now. Otherwise, we wouldn't be understanding end-times prophecies in Revelation, Daniel or any of the other prophets. Those secrets were to be revealed at the right time.

I don't know if my Baptist belief differs from your Methodist belief, but I think we're compatible.

Let's win souls while the harvest is ready and work hard because the night will soon fall.

I sound like someone with a sandwich board in the old cartoons telling people to repent for the end has come. :)

Sorry for the long speech.

Jeanette said...

The whole point of my previous post is to remind us "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God". If I break one commandment (and I've broken a few in my lifetime) I have broken them all. No one can faithfully keep all the commandments all the time.

The saved are to strive to keep them and repent of their sins, but we do still have our old inborn sin nature and do things to hurt other people in anger or on purpose.

This is why I had to get away from PP. I was ruining my witness there and no one was interested in what you and I were saying.

One on one we might have made some headway for the Lord, but when there is a cheering section telling them there is no God and insulting us for believing what they say are fairy tales, how do we witness to them?

They refuse to accept the Bible as anything but an ancient book written by a bunch of old men who didn't know what they were talking about. But, the reality is that the Bible has a familiar thread going from Genesis to Revelation.

Things in the Old Testament such as Abraham being ready to sacrifice Isaac was an example of God's love for us in that He gave His own beloved and only begotten Son to die for our sacrifice.

Follow the begats because it shows who went where and also proves the royal line of Jesus as man.

But you have to make them understand and how to do that if they reject the Bible is a trick with a hole in it as one of my old Southern friends used to say.

Unfortunately, unless the Holy Spirit gets hold of them they will be lost forever. My prayer is I hope I didn't make it impossible for them to accept the workings of the Spirit. If only one of them believes all the insults would have been worth it.

I had the privilege of leading a very good Catholic friend of mine and her husband to Jesus and they got baptized in a Baptist church and are disappointed that their congregation isn't so active as to have a children's program. She loves children and lives near Philly. She attends a predominantly black Baptist church, where she and her husband were baptized. Her husband does too, of course.

Once she realized she didn't have to pray for her mother because praying for the dead is useless it was a relief for her.

It's a money grabbing thing for the Church of Rome and is one of the reasons Luther saw the light.

The conversation that led to her and her husband's salvation was her telling me she was visiting her mother's grave and she had a cup of coffee. A stranger was sitting on the next bench and told her to pour some coffee on the grave and when she did he told her that her mother enjoyed it.

I couldn't help but blurt out it wasn't going to the shell in the ground, and was only making her feel better.

She asked probing questions and they were saved that very night. Praise God!

Barb said...

It has always been a part of my witness to say that we all have sinned and come short of God's glory--that we all stand equal at the foot of the cross. That we are all condemned to death for our sin nature--except for the Grace of God that frees us from sin and death when we repent of our sin and place faith in Christ.

but the Church is very close to being silent on the sins of our day in our siding with political correctness. Prophets were never silent about the prevalent sins of their day. And they weren't popular either. the Bible rails against sin; the NT Church spells out how we should live --and not live.

The Christian message to homosexuals is that there is hope and that the Church loves them --and the message to parents on that topic is to carefully raise children and keep your marriages together if you can --for the sake of your children's sexuality (and other benefits of intact marriages.)

I heard about the Lifetime movie this week which depicted a Christian mom who was "on his case" and "in the face" of her gay son --who eventually killed himself. That story may be based on a true story--but that doesn't mean the film accurately describes this child's journey to homosexuality --or his mother's response. The movie reportedly demonstrated the current cultural stereotypes: the son who cannot help but be gay and the Christian parent who is cruel, condemning with scripture, recommending prayer as the panacea.

Yes, I know some Christian mothers (and fathers) who lack wisdom in their child-rearing. That's why Dr. Dobson started Focus on the Family--to help us in our task to be sensitive to the feelings of children--without spoiling them; to be firm and just without cruelty; to be joyous in our faith so that children will see the joy of the Lord in us. And to teach them right and wrong in such a way that they grow up to love God and his righteousness, justice and mercy and to live thusly by the Holy Spirit. It's a tall order --but with God, all things are possible. And yet, God's first children, Adam and Eve, disappointed Him. So the best parents and marriages in the world can have children who go astray.

We are close to secular culture when the church and the Christians APPEAR to cave and says it really doesn't matter about sexuality and abortion-- since we are all sinners and God will forgive all repented sin.

the culture is saying that we do not need to repent of homosexual lust and acts and abortion--that these things are RIGHTS --and thus, RIGHT, not sins at all.

the Church feels like an old negative Mudrake, to keep preaching the stern message --but it is a proper warning against a lifestyle that is wrong on every level --and dangerous to life and health. My husband lost a cousin to AIDS; my good friend lost her son to it. Another friend lost her brother. AIDS is entirely preventable by chastity until hetero marriage.

Barb said...

We know that Christians have different spiritual gifts; some to teach, preach, and so on. OUr roles, Jeanette, yours and mine, may be different from each other's. Some tell forth the Word, some remind us to agree with God about sin; some sow seed for salvation and others reap the harvest. Some pound the pulpit and remind us to not be complacent in our sin; others remind us of God's tender mercy and do "friendship evangelism." I believe we are all called to be, as Jesus, a "friend of sinners," but we have both found that if we do not approve everyone's choices, they will not all want our offered friendship -and will turn on us because they see us as "judgmental," when we are simply teaching what the Bible says about sin vs. righteousness.
We don't define it; He does.

I just read Dobson's Citizen magazine refuting the Newsweek article on homosexuality and the Bible. They had several "experts" refuting the article from a Biblical point of view --and others. I did not see anything there that I haven't already been pointing out on blogs. I think I understand with sympathy the many roads that may lead to homosexual orientation -- and I think I have a Biblically sound position on gay marriage. I don't think all Christians feel able to discuss the topic or teach on it.

I did a lot of research on the lifestyle and diseases as a part of researching the AIDS policy for public ed. I ran into much material on the gay agenda spoken by gay activists. It's not helpful to our kids. The church has to denounce it in the name of love for all --and for God who DOES care about our choices. His righteousness still matters --even in a church that Loves.

Jeanette said...

I couldn't agree with you more that homosexuality (practicing homosexuality) and abortions are sins.

My point is there are many things that are sins and those two are no all inclusive. I believe that's what you believe too.

Somehow, the Lord led me to say what I said about sin. It was just flowing as I typed it.

We are getting more and more like the days before Noah and the days of Soddom and Gomorrah.

We are such a secular world that, without the guidance of the Holy Spirit, there is no way for us to witness to anyone who is not saved.

The church is not just for the saved, but for the unsaved so they can be saved. I'm sure you agree on that too.

I was not criticizing you in any way, shape or form, but was just led by the Spirit (I believe) to say what I said.

In no way did it minimize the sins of practicing homosexuality and abortion.

I often wonder if the thorn in Paul's side was a tendency to homosexuality. God did not remove that thorn and Paul had to live with whatever it was. If he wasn't practicing the sin after he had his Damascus Road experience then he was no longer sinning, even if he still favored people of his sex in his mind.

Whatever it was he struggled with it and with the help of the Spirit was able to overcome that temptation on earth.

People should be chaste until marriage, but how many people have you heard of who seemed kind of satisfied if they found out their sons had had premarital sex (kind of a rite of passage) and would be horrified to find out their daughter also had premarital sex?

Giving one's body to anyone not their spouse is a sin. Period. Whether it's straight sex or homosexual sex it's wrong.

We tell our straight children to abstain. The homosexual people who still cannot break away from those thoughts should also abstain.

The sin is not in being homosexual, but in acting on that sin.

Just to be clear, we are not in disagreement here.

Yes, my gifts are probably different from yours, but we need all the gifts God gives to the Church in order to lead others to our Blessed Redeemer.

May God bless each of His servant's works on earth for the advancement of His eternal Kingdom.

matthew said...

I often wonder if the thorn in Paul's side was a tendency to homosexuality.

I'm trying with all my might to be more positive but, Jeanette, this statement caps off one of the wackiest streams of thought I've encountered in a long time.

This whole thread leaves me speechless.

Barb said...

Matt, what specifically is your problem with the "whole thread?" I would think you would agree with me, being outspokenly pro-life as you are –and being willing to be viewed as offensive for your beliefs, as you are.

My point was that there is a Pollyanna mindset EXPECTED of Christianity—and a preoccupation among many evangelicals to focus on their own sins and piety and worship-–self-improvement as this author wrote – and to thus avoid all conflict over sins and contentious discussions or political action about sins of the day --despite the history that the Bible is filled with offensive contenders for the faith. Such prophets got crucified.

The first offense, of course, is saying that we are all sinners who need to repent – the 2nd, that Christ is the only way to God and to Heaven –(I do believe in God’s sovereign will to save whomever he wants, in addition to the promises in the NT which will be kept.) The 3rd offense is to DEFINE sin and righteousness according to the Bible. Never mind that the messenger admits to the same sin history; the listener wants to shoot him --crucify Him.

IF we know people personally, and communicate love and help to them –and THEN witness, and /or get in a religious discussion, they may or may not respond positively. Homosexuals, e.g., tend to shut down in a experiences I’ve had or observed where relationship came first and was good –but discussing the Christian view about homosexuality when the issue came up, offended them.

The activists are unwilling to accept that God did not make them to be gay, that He has a better plan for them, and that it is a sin to commit such acts.

These offenses typically get a hostile response from unbelievers and liberals –who may believe in God and Christ but disagree with Biblical morality. They can’t just discuss it dispassionately and civilly either; they typically become angry and insulting.

I didn't really think of you as disagreeing, Jeanette, just discussing and emphasizing different points --clarifying--and musing.

Seems to me that Paul would not have written as he did in Romans about homosexuality if it were his own temptation. Your idea would parallel, however, some people's perplexity at men who stay single all their lives --wondering if perhaps they just aren't attracted to women enough to marry one because of conflicts about their own sexuality/orientation.

Whatever his affliction, Paul never defends immorality. I’ve heard more often that the thorn in his flesh is probably a physical affliction. Moreover, I don’t think he would’ve had credibility with the Jews if there were any whisper of homosexual behavior or orientation in his life, since the Jews believed homosexuality to be an abomination.

matthew said...


I should have been more clear. It's Jeanette's comments that left me speechless. Very strange, to say the least...

Jeanette said...


I realize I can sometimes say foolish things, especially when it is late and I am tired, but apart from saying I "often wonder", which should have been "I have sometimes wondered" about Paul's thorn in his side, what is it you find strange?

I actually think I heard someone allude to that once a long time ago and maybe that's where the idea came from, but I don't "often" wonder about it.

Is it the prophecy part that you think is weird? I quoted a prophecy expert and his ideas, and even he said in the partial quote he was not predicting the date of the Rapture.

So, what crime did I commit that was so terrible? If you point it out and it's leading someone to believe something that is not biblically correct I will be most happy to delete all the posts.

Thank you.

matthew said...


Sorry I didn't read more carefully. I thought that the quoted section was yours. I find it very, very strange. All this emphasis on Israel and the rapture. You are Israel and there's not going to be any rapture.

Believe me, that guy is no prophecy expert.

Jeanette said...

On what basis do you say I am Israel and there will be no rapture?

Are you saying the apple of God's Eye, Israel, will not have the chance at salvation that we have?

Yes, He came unto His own and His own received Him not..., however if they had received Him then there would have been no reason for anyone to evangelize the Gentiles.

I am not Israel and there will be a rapture. The word is not in the Bible, but it says the dead in Christ shall rise first, the we which are alive and remain will be caught up together to be with Him forever.

Revelation explains what happens after the Church leaves the earth.

12,000 men from each of the 12 tribes of Israel will be filled with the spirit and will evangelize, primarily if not exclusively to Jews.

God is not going to let Israel the people or the nation perish without redemption.

Where am I wrong in this and what theology do you use to back up your assertion we are Israel and there will be no rapture?

Do you believe there will be a Tribulation? I do, but I believe the Church (believers) will be removed along with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the only One Who is now keeping sin from being the only thing on earth and keeping the souls who have accepted Christ as their savior in His protection.

Some will and are suffering persecution.

Some people believe in a pre-trib rapture, some a mid-trib rapture and some in a post-trib rapture, but pre-trib seems to be the one I ascribe to. I'll find out sooner or later whether or not I'm right and it has nothing to do with my salvation, but I have heard what you said before, usually from Calvinists.

Are you a Calvinist? If so, let's have a friendly discussion of our theology as long as we do not lead other believers or non-believers in the wrong direction.

Thank you for the clarification.

matthew said...


Yes, I am a postmillennial calvinist.

Of course Christ will return and we'll be caught up with Him in the air. Problem for you, though, is that's the end of it. Rapture people believe that's just the beginning of all kinds of kooky things but the Bible teaches that Christ returns and all men are judged. The end.

Although I'll admit the rapture theology makes for some funny bumper stickers.

Jeanette said...

Then if we are poles apart there is no use in discussing it as we will probably get some believers and certainly non-believers confused over something that has nothing to do with our salvation.

Thanks for the answer.

matthew said...

I'm happy to not discuss it but I would say that Christ's return has quite a lot to do with our salvation.

Barb said...

WHEN He returns has nothing to do with our salvation status --IMHO.

More critical is the day one dies. Has the person accepted Christ by then, or not? There is not another chance that we know about.

"A man is born once to die, and after that the Judgment."

matthew said...

WHEN He returns has nothing to do with our salvation status --IMHO.

I agree and have not one ounce of interest in speculating about it.

Jeanette said...

But, Matthew, we are to pray and look forward to His return. That's a blessing to us.

Salvation is while we are alive and is only given if we accept Jesus Christ as the only begotten Son of God, born of a virgin, lived a sinless life even though He was tempted, died and shed His blood to wash our sins as white as snow, that He was buried and raised again on the third day and after 40 days on earth ascended into the heavens where we who are saved will be with Him one day forever and ever.

Anything else is gravy. There is no other way to salvation and talking about when He will return is pointless because He said only His Father in Heaven knew the day and the hour. He also said it will come as a thief in the night.

I can't reconcile that statement with post millenial teaching, but maybe you have a different understanding and that's fine as long as we agree on the fundamentals of how we get saved so we can go to Heaven.

matthew said...

There is no other way to salvation and talking about when He will return is pointless because He said only His Father in Heaven knew the day and the hour.

Didn't I say pretty much the same thing?

I do look forward to His return. I just don't care when it is. Like Barb said, we need to be ready.

Jeanette said...

That is what you said, Matthew, and I'm glad you look forward to His return.

I do care when He returns as I want Him back right now, but it will be done in God's time and not Jeanette's time.

I will see Him soon enough though.

So, you see, we agree. I'm in my sixties now and the older I get the more I long for His appearing.

Maybe you're younger and it's not a concept you have yet grasped.

Either way, we agree on the fundamentals and what we disagree on has nothing to do with our salvation.

I'm just happy we're saved. I'm sure you are too.

kateb said...

I see you found the Voice of the Martyr's Barb.

I am praying for you as you discover what is happening in the world to Christians. Things that Americans are prevented from knowing through our own press by the media's refusal to report these things in the United States.

It's a difficult thing to come to terms with and the most important thing you can do for these people is to pray for them and support initiatives like this.

But this knowledge will put internet trolls in their correct perspective - yeah?

Barb said...

We've supported VOM since we were introduced to Wurmbrand's writings --several years ago. Marx and Satan is one of his books.

I see the torturers of Christ and the hateful bloggers as having the same spirit of hatefulness. I really believe some on the far left in America would not mind if the religious right were imprisoned and tortured. Some of them do NOT defend our right to free speech anymore.

Ausdan said...

OK - after reading this section, I know you guys REALLY are insane and I cannot be bothered to waste my time any more responding to any of your rubbish. (By the way, the only reason I'm over here is because I was amused by Barb's comments on a blog - which she linked to this blog).

As a parting thought, because you wackaloons use the bible so much for random quotes, why don't you use/practice the following??

Deuteronomy 20:10-14

As you approach a town to attack it, first offer its people terms for peace. If they accept your terms and open the gates to you, then all the people inside will serve you in forced labor. But if they refuse to make peace and prepare to fight, you must attack the town. When the LORD your God hands it over to you, kill every man in the town. But you may keep for yourselves all the women, children, livestock, and other plunder. You may enjoy the spoils of your enemies that the LORD your God has given you.

Genesis 19:31,36

Come let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. And they made their father drink wine that night; and the firstborn went in and lay with her father, and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father, let us make him drink wine this night also, and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. And they made their father drink wine that night also, and the younger arose, and lay with him, and he percieved not when she lay down, nor when she arose. Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father.

Have any of you had sex with your father? Why not!!? It's in the bible!