Friday, 27 November 2015

Must I Tithe?

This is another irksome matter which Christians wrestle with. Some preachers quote Malachi 3:10 and insist that it applies today. Others say it's been superceded by the New Testament era. So who's right?

After much thought, I conclude that giving should be voluntary and according to one's resources. Forcing people to tithe is unfair to impoverished people who are living deeply in debt.

Another reason I dislike tithing and see it as unchristian is that it becomes a way to brag about one's holiness. The gospel writers tell of how Christ saw rich people putting money into the collection box. Then a poor widow, wishing to buy a blessing, put in two very small coins. It was all the money she had. John MacArthur rightly pointed out that the religious system of the day ripped off people every which way. It's why Jesus trashed the temple court twice during his ministry. The sellers were profiting off the holy offerings which devotees wanted to offer.

Since God loves a cheerful giver, how can tithing be forced upon people? While ten percent is a worthy goal to aim for, it's not a hard and fast rule. In fact, prudent bill paying and spending can allow people to give even more when the need arises. Instead of giving a fixed amount and feeling put upon or proud, we should hold our possessions loosely in the event that we may be Christ's hands to the destitute.

I used to fall for the pride-inducing tithe doctrine until I couldn't pay my bills. I wrote about this in my How I Was Razed memoir. Contact me regarding purchasing this wondrous story of God's providence.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Are Churches Filled With Hypocrites?

Most non Christian people assume that there's nothing but hypocrites in churches. To them, Christians go to Sunday services in order to feel superior to those who don't go. Is it fair of non believers to characterize all followers of Christ that way?

People tend to generalize, assuming all members of a specific group are like the few individuals they met. This happens particularly with Christians. Because there are phoney's among church congregations, people assume all Christians are that way.

False Christians and genuine believers in Christ are radically different. The first adorn themselves with the outward customs of their church. The second group love Jesus and want to tell everybody how his sacrifice on the cross freed them from sin.

These two groups are distinguished by their actions. Phoney's love to show how "holy" they are. They, like the Pharisees in Christ's time, love to make long public prayers and show how much money they give to charities.

Genuine followers of Christ are too busy helping others and studying God's Word to show off. Furthermore, they have genuine concern for less-fortunate people. Their actions aren't for show and neither do they go around proclaiming every good deed they've done. Those who assume that all Christians are hypocrites need to meet real followers of Christ.

Sadly, nobody warned me about cults like the church I joined for fifteen and a half years. How I Was Razed shows the way God led me out of that wicked congregation and to a true knowledge of himself. Contact me regarding this wondrous memoir of deliverance from deceit.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

So Which Preachers Are Honest?

In some previous posts, I wrote about the metaphorical tares and the wheat. Among Christian programs lurk fakers who fleece the flock while giving them nothing spiritual in return. These misleaders often claim to have advanced knowledge and to be able to work miracles. Worse yet, they twist scriptures to serve their own lust for money.

Jim Baker's corrupt ministry was a prime example of false shepherds of the flock. Other Christian "superstars" have also fallen into sin over the years. The wicked conduct of these phoney's hurt the good ministries who sought only to spread the gospel and help the poor.

The Evangelical  (ECFA) was formed in America to be an accreditation agency for those honest Christian organizations wishing to distance themselves from the corrupt ones. Canada's  (CCCC) also came into being for the same reason. Ministries wishing accreditation need to comply with strict rules of accountability or they can't display the logos of the ECFA and CCCC.

I personally learned an additional way to guard against fraudulent preachers. If they claim to prophesy and receive "new revelations" from God, avoid them. The gospel is neither sensational nor self-empowering. Instead of seeking power and control of their own lives, truly born again ministers proclaim total surrender and dependence upon Jesus Christ. There's no glamour in that as there appears to be in the false gospel of self-empowerment.

How I wish I knew this BEFORE I joined a cultic house church. How I Was Razed is my testimony of how God rescued me from destructive doctrines. Contact me regarding purchasing this marvelous memoir.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

How Can Christians Be Conservatives?

A friend of mine asked essentially this question of me in a recent e-mail. He couldn't understand how such a "warm-hearted" person as myself could embrace conservative values. After much thought, I realize that biblical Christianity and conservatism have many aspects in common.

Self-reliance is the hallmark of conservatism as well as Christianity, at least in the physical realm. The Apostle Paul wrote that if a person won't work, he shouldn't eat. Some members of the early churches assumed that they needed to be free of manual labour so they could study the apostles' teachings and the scriptures. In reality, they became freeloaders, taking food and other goods needed by impoverished believers.

Conservatives and Christ's followers believe that charity is an individual's responsibility, not that of governments. The duty of rulers, as Paul pointed out, is to punish evil and reward good. Instead, non-Christian people want the government to decide who needs help and who is merely freeloading. In practice, private charities are more fair and more efficient than government programs.

Conservatives are concerned with law and order. So are Christ's followers concerned with living peaceful lives. Conservatives and Christians want the guilty to be punished and to make restitution to their victims. Leftists, on the other hand, blame external forces for internal mistakes in thinking. History proves that conservative and Christian ideas work much more effectively because they deal with the root of the problem: sin.

Though my How I Was Razed memoir was theological in nature, I did write about how I obeyed the law while others didn't. Contact me about purchasing this wondrous testimony of God's providence.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Why Does God Allow War?

"If your God is so great, why doesn't he stop wars?" This is a question even I have asked Christians at one point in my life. With all his reputed power, so it seemed to me, he could easily destroy wicked leaders and others who rouse the rabble into an insane frenzy of blood lust.

Is it really God's fault that people are wicked. In the second chapter of the Epistle of James, he wrote that we are led by our lusts into sin and it eventually leads to death. God tempts no one. Satan and human pride team up to unleash hell on earth. God does guide historical events but he respects the right he gave us to choose good or evil.

It's like those vinyl records with two or more tracks on one side. Mad Magazine released a flexi disk with six endings to a song. Depending on the physical forces acting upon the needle, the song often ended differently each time it was played. This is what God's permissive will is like, except there are only two endings. Either we go with him and live eternally in heaven or go with the Devil and suffer eternally in hell.

So how do you get your "needle" into the right groove? Surrender the running of your life to Jesus Christ. Ask his forgiveness for all the rebellious acts in your past and become his follower. Be baptized, as Peter said in the second chapter of The Acts of the Apostles. Then meet with devoted followers of Christ to study Christ's teachings with the goal of becoming like him.

The reason I stress discipleship is because I received none after surrendering my life to Christ. Knowing nothing of cults, I joined a toxic church and suffered their abuse for fifteen years. Click on How I Was Razed to read about the memoir I wrote regarding how God freed me. Contact me or comment here for details on purchasing this glorious testimony.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Should Christians Practice Civil Disobedience?

This question has come up among evangelical Christians frequently these days. The LGBTQ activists have aggressively pushed for same-sex marriage to the point where legislators have made such unnatural partnerships legal.

So what can those of us who hold to natural marriage do? Some folks insist we go along with it. They see no problem calling God's holy matrimonial covenant  and same-sex marriage equal.

But God has a huge disagreement with such folks. Verses in both Old and New Testaments call any sexual relationship outside of man-woman marriage sinful. The whole point of procreation is for a man and a woman to mate and raise children who will grow up to do the same.

Marriages aren't perfect, since two highly flawed partners comprise each one, but it's the healthiest adult relationship. Children do best in two-parent, male and female, homes. No matter how "loving" same-sex partners and other unmarried people claim to be, the reality is that children need a mom and dad in their lives.

So when should those of us who are followers of Christ disobey governments? According to instances in the Bible, we must disobey laws which restrict us from serving our Lord or make us do things prohibited by him. Therefore, refusing to wed same-sex couples is the correct action for Christ's disciples to take. Neither must we indorse any moral sin which God has called an abomination.

Sadly, people make up sins. It seems especially so about activities they hate. My How I Was Razed memoir shows how a cult church messed up my mind and how Christ liberated it from their warped doctrines. Contact me for details about purchasing this glorious testimony.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

How Would You Like a New Body?

Christianity is unique. Why? It teaches that we will receive immortal bodies. Instead of just being spirits, we'll have tangible bodies to live in and they won't break down once the warranty expires.

People who believe in reincarnation will doubtless disagree with what I wrote here. Even so, the bodies they claim to receive in their next lives are mortal. Only the Bible contains the awesome truth that everybody will be resurrected on the last day, meaning the day when God judges all people whoever lived.

So what will we look like then? I don't know and neither do the scriptures indicate what we will be like. Here's what they do tell us.

We will have physicality. In Job's book, he said that though worms consume his body, yet in his flesh shall he see God. Likewise, the letters written by the Apostle Paul are filled with statements about us being raised up in immortal bodies.

Our new bodies will also be free from the effects of sin. At present, we have a sin virus eating away at our bodies and souls. When we meet Christ in the air, we'll be instantly renewed. We'll live in a new heaven and earth, free from corruption in all it's corrosive forms.

Marriage won't matter then either. Christ told a group of liberal Jewish leaders that we won't marry or be given in marriage but will be like the angels in heaven. Like Hank Hanegraaff pointed out, earth is the breeding colony but heaven is the homeland.

Great Bible scholars like Hank helped me immensely over the years. Read how they straightened me out in my How I Was Razed memoir. You're welcome to contact me regarding this amazing testimony.