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Hillsong, Latter Rain, NAR..What's the Difference?













Here are the show notes and links from last night's podcast. There are several things that were not talked about on this episode that should have been addressed. But due to lack of time we were not able to get to them, such as Carl Lentz not calling abortion a sin on "The View."

















The main purpose of this episode was to show the dangerous connection between "Global Pastor" Brian Houston and the NAR (New Apostolic Reformation).

We start by talking about Frank Houston (Brian's father) and his ties to the "Latter Rain" cult. I read a short article explaining what the "Latter Rain Movement" was.  

Steven reads a short article that gives a brief overview of of the NAR. 

We also talked about some of the dangers of the NAR such as "impartation."

Here is the creepy video we discussed on Heidi Baker's supposed impartation of  the Holy Spirit. Looks more like demon possession to me.

















Listen to "Hillsong, Latter Rain, NAR..What's The Difference?" on Spreaker.











Bless the Blesser: An Overview of Ephesians 1:1-14

There are many reasons for the believer to bless God with spontaneous praise. Ephesians 1:1-14 gives us some of those reasons. Below is a block diagram of the passage. May you be truly encouraged and blessed as you consider the blessings of the ultimate Blesser!

Steven




Bless the Blesser An Overview of
by Steven Long
A Biblearc published page


The Goodness of God in Providing for His People.

The following is a block diagram and devotional from Matthew 6:25-34. May the Lord encourage you and cause you to fully trust in His provision.

Steven




The Goodness of God in Caring for His People
by Steven Long



Has American Christianity Failed?


Well it's official. After a long sabbatical (no pun intended) I've decided to take up the mic again and podcast. In this first episode in over a year I review the book Has American Christianity Failed? by Bryan Wolfmueller.

I also play part of a sermon by Troy Gramling of "Potential Church" to show what you'll here on any given Sunday in your typical American evangelical church. Then I compare it with a sermon from my own Pastor, David Gruenwald of St. Paul's Lutheran Church. The difference will be obvious. Hope you enjoy!

The Gospel is for Believers

Read Bible

Refrain from cussing

Witness to someone

Some of us love checklists. If we can check things off it lets us feel a sense of accomplishment. But when it comes to the gospel checklists are bad. Very bad. Paul wrote to a group of believers in Galatia to warn them about their own checklists. They had begun validating their own justification with the checklist of the Law. Paul's stern warning should also be a warning to us. It's easy to slip into that checklist mode, but when we validate our justification by that checklist we are treading on dangerous ground.

When we begin checking off our list we become spiritually prideful and arrogant of our own righteousness. Our boastfulness to be disciplined in "religion" becomes an all consuming fire. We become our own god. We become idolaters!

For others, it causes a deep depression. I should know. I've been that person more than once. I've looked at my own checklist, and though I was seeming doing everything could not escape the feeling of condemnation. My assurance came from within rather than from the Person and work of Jesus.

Christian, while the Bible gives us proofs to look at, while we are exhorted to examine ourselves, we must remember that these were never meant to be a hard copy list to go by. Looking inward will either cause pride or depression. Let us always look upward to God and outward to the cross.

Embedded below is a Phrase I constructed of Galatians 3:1-7. The notes are attached to the bottom of the Phrase. While it is only intended to be a general overview and not a deep exposition it still serves as a good reminder for believers that we still need the gospel–even after we're saved.

Feel free to look it over and leave some feedback if you wish. To God alone be the glory for our justification. If your browser does not support the embed please visit the page using this link. Thank you.


Steven.


The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers






I was blessed to receive a copy of The Valley of Vision this morning by a brother in my Care Group from church. It is a collection of Puritan prayers and is both encouraging and admonishing at the same time. Below, is the very first passage I read after receiving the book. Read and be refreshed.


The Gospel Way

Blessed Lord Jesus,
No  human mind could conceive or invent the gospel.

Acting in eternal grace, thou art both its messenger and its message, lived out on earth through infinite compassion, applying thy life to insult, injury, death, that I might be redeemed, ransomed, freed.

Blessed be thou, O Father for contriving this way.
Eternal thanks to thee, O Lamb of God, for opening this way.
Praise everlasting to thee, O Holy Spirit, for applying this way to my heart.

Glorious Trinity, impress the gospel on my soul, until its virtue diffuses every faculty; Let it be heard, acknowledged, professed, felt.


Teach me to secure this mighty blessing; Help me to vie up every darling lust, to submit heart and life to its command, to have it in my will, controlling my affections, moulding my understanding; to adhere strictly to the rules of true religion, not departing from them in any instance, nor for any advantage in order to escape evil, inconvenience or danger.

Take me to the cross to seek glory from its infamy; Strip me of every pleasing pretence of righteousness by my own doings.

O gracious Redeemer, I have neglected thee too long, often crucified thee, crucified thee afresh by my impenitence, put the to open shame.

I thank thee for the patience that has borne with me so long and for the grace that now makes mw willing to be thine.

O unite me to thyself with inseparable bonds, that nothing may ever draw me back from thee, my Lord, my Saviour.

3 Reasons Why It's Okay To Be Narrow-Minded


According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary the word 'narrow-minded' is defined as, not willing to accept opinions, beliefs, or behaviors that are unusual or different from your own. 

Culture has assimilated our thinking to believe that narrow-mindedness is bad. Perhaps when it comes to every single opinion, or every single subject, or every single dogma it is unacceptable. But when it comes to the area of religion, and especially soteriology (salvation), narrow-mindedness is not a bad thing. In fact, I argue three areas in which narrow-mindedness is good.


Narrow-mindedness defines the gospel

The gospel is exclusive. Jesus is the only way a person can have a relationship with God. By its definition that makes the gospel narrow-minded. Jesus Himself admonishes His hearers that the way to God is narrow
(Mt 7:13-14)  “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
Jesus' narrowness did not stop there. In John 14:6, conversing with His disciples, He stated, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me. 

Jesus left no room for any other way to have a relationship with God. He is it! He is the sole and only gate to the Father. His way is narrow and only those with a narrow mind to believe this will enter.


 Narrow-mindedness is logical

If Jesus is the only way to God then it is logical to say that no other religion can claim something different and be true at the same time Jesus' statement is true. It is the law of non contradiction. In other words, all religions CANNOT co-exist. We've all seen the bumper sticker. You know? The one in the picture below.

Containing all the symbols of the world's major religions, it is a statement that everyone should put aside their religious beliefs and live in harmony. However, it has become more about all religions being valid and no other religion is better than any other.

Religiously speaking this is a logical impossibility. Can peoples of different religions live together without blowing each other off the face of the planet? Absolutely! But different religions cannot all be true, for that would be a contradiction. If one is true then by logic the other cannot be. If Jesus claimed to be God in the flesh and the only way to have a relationship with the Father then His statement is either completely true or completely false. The claims of truth made must be able to be validated, and if they are it leaves no room for any other "truth" because nothing else will be true except the said, validated truth.

Narrow-mindedness is not a bad thing

Given that being narrow-minded in the area of absolute truth is essential then we must conclude that not all narrow-mindedness is bad. Everyone is narrow-minded in one way or another. Even those who are opposed to narrow-mindedness are narrow-minded of their narrow-minded peers, if you think about the definition given above. If you are not willing to accept my narrow-mindedness because it differs from your opinion, you are narrow-minded.

But standing for truth cannot be qualified as narrow-mindedness. Why? Because there is only one truth. And if that truth is absolute then there is no other truth. And if there is no other truth then it is not narrow-minded to claim that there is only one truth.

After all, either Jesus is who He claimed to be or He is not. He cannot be both God and not God at the same time (John 1:1, 8:58). He cannot be Savior and not Savior at the same time (Matt 1:21). He cannot atone for sins and not atone for sins at the same time (Heb 9:12). He cannot claim exclusivity and not claim exclusivity at the same time (John 14:6). Either He is, or He isn't (Heb 1:3). And that is the absolute truth!

Soli Deo Gloria
Steven

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