Showing posts from August, 2014

Not On My Bucket List

The latest Internet craze to go viral is the Ice Bucket Challenge. By dumping a bucket of cold water on their heads, people from all walks of life have raised awareness and funds to fight Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. ALS (also known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”) is a progressive degeneration of the central nervous system, leading to the weakening of muscles and paralysis. 

My friends have expressed mixed reactions to the Ice Bucket Challenge. Some have participated believing it’s for a worthy cause. Others oppose it because many ALS organizations conduct embryonic stem cell research, which results in the killing of pre-born human life. A few God-fearing participants of the challenge have specified their donations go to pro-life organizations like the John Paul II Medical Research Institute in Iowa, which uses adult stem cells.

As for myself, I’ve chosen not to participate in the Ice Bucket Challenge. I’d rather give my time and money to organizations that minister divine healing. God can…

Breaking Christian Chains

Since I started using email in the late 1990s, electronic chain letters frequently show up in my inbox with the exhortation to “pass it on.” They vary from inspirational stories to virus warnings. Often these messages contain partial truths or misleading information. For years I kept receiving online petitions against Madalyn Murray O'Hair campaigning for all Christian programming to be taken off the air, even though O’Hair had been dead since 1995!

I’ve also received emails containing valid information but try to put guilt trips on others who won't forward them to their friends. These emails contain statements like “If you really love Jesus, forward this to everyone in your address book” or “If you are not ashamed of all the marvelous things God has done for you...send this to ten people and the person who sent it to you!” Just because I won't forward messages like these doesn't mean I don't believe in God or I'm ashamed of the gospel. Comments like these are n…

Predestined to Hell?

Like many people, I was surprised to hear of Robin Williams committing suicide last Monday. Minus the profanity, I enjoyed Robin’s comic talents especially in the movie “Good Morning, Vietnam” and the parody of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood in his first album “Reality...What a Concept.” It’s sad this actor/comedian who made millions laugh gave up his battle with depression by taking his own life.

This past Thursday I read a WorldNetDaily article about Robin Williams accepting Jesus Christ while in rehab. One man responded to the article with this comment: “God chooses who is to be saved and then opens their hearts to receive the message.” I attempted to correct this man of his belief in predestination, a doctrine popularized by 16th century theologian John Calvin. One dictionary defines predestination as “the act of God foreordaining every event from eternity.” 

A passage often cited by Calvinists can be found in Romans 8:29-30:

"For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conform…

Will Universalists Go to Heaven?

Jesus said in Matthew 9:29, “According to your faith let it be to you.” God’s promises of salvation, healing, and provision are available to everyone but don’t happen by default. One must be willing to receive those promises and then obey His instructions for them to manifest.

A concept isn’t true just because a group of people believe it. That certainly applies to the doctrine of universal reconciliation, which states everybody will spend eternity in heaven. It’s scary to think what the Lord will say to ministers who preached this when they stand before His throne. 

I do believe some universalists who are born again but lack biblical knowledge will get into heaven. It wasn’t until a year into my faith walk when I received the revelation that Jesus is the only way to the Father (John 14:6). We are saved by faith in Christ, not because all our spiritual beliefs are 100% in line with Scripture.

However, mature Christians who suddenly become universalists cross a dangerous line when they st…

Speak Slowly and Softly

Two days ago while some friends and I briefly evangelized in a trailer park, the maintenance man approached us. He told us we were on private property (though there was no sign at the entrance indicating that) and needed permission from the manager to talk to the residents there. This man was friendly and thought the manager might give her approval if we asked. 

My friend Sue and I eventually approached the manager in her office. When “Mary” learned what we were doing, her demeanor suddenly changed. With an angry tone in her voice, Mary informed us 75% of her tenants were Buddhists and wanted to “respect their religion.” My immediate response was that Buddhists need to hear about Jesus also. While that is certainly true, my comment didn’t help the situation. The manager then revealed other Christians have witnessed on the property and supposedly told the Buddhists they were heathens and condemned to hell. Sue suggested I slip out the door while she tried reasoning with this manager but…