Archive for September, 2013

bookofmatt

It will be fascinating to see how people react to a new book by an award-winning gay journalist exposing the truth about the 1998 death of homosexual Matthew Shepherd. 

Just as a backdrop of lies brought us legalized abortion in 1973 through Roe v. Wade, it now appears more lies were used to help homosexual activists kick the bullying industry into hyper-drive via the tragic death of Matthew Shepherd. (Lied to by her lawyers, the real name of Jane Roe is Norma McCorvey, who became a pro-life activist.)

Facts about the Shepherd case were wrongfully reported and widely accepted as truth.

In 2009, President Obama signed the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, a federal law against gay hate crimes which was named after Matthew Shepherd. The newly revealed truth of the Shepherd case won’t sit well with our pro-homosexual government.

Much has been accomplished for leftists and activists in the name of tolerance including implementation of anti-bullying curriculums in public schools, many of which discriminate against Christians. Songs have been written and dedicated to Matthew Shepherd by Elton John, Melissa Etheridge, Lady Gaga and others. Films have been made about his death, and a dedication play called “The Laramie Project” has been performed over 2,000 times worldwide.

But what really happened?

Matthew Shepherd accepted a ride from two men, Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson, in October 1998. They pistol-whipped him, robbed him, tied him to a fence and left. The incident became a famous ‘hate’ crime because the motives were made up by opportunistic activists and the media ran with the ‘vicious homophobes’ narrative even before Shepherd died. 

This new bombshell book by Stephen Jimenez, The Book of Matt, was written after he personally interviewed hundreds of people including the two murderers, concluding that the case had more to do with drugs than Shepherd’s sexuality.

It turns out that Shepard was a regular crystal meth user and a meth dealer, and his killer, McKinney, had been on a meth bender. Inconvenient facts were ignored. America’s most famous hate crime was not a hate crime after all.

Gay journalist Aaron Hicklin asked this question in his article in The Advocate:

And how does it color our understanding of such a crime if the perpetrator and victim not only knew each other but also had [homosexual] sex together, bought drugs from one another, and partied together?

Someone recently said, “Only a weak cause which is not confident of its own righteousness needs to lie to prove its point.” What difference does it make at this point when the damage has already been done in the courts of public opinion?

This goes beyond lies to advancing an aggressive agenda.

Let’s recall a shocking, disturbing murder committed by homosexuals – an actual hate crime few have heard about.

A complicit national media fanned the flames of false homophobia in the Shepherd case. The following is an excerpt from a chapter entitled, “Normalizing Homosexuality” in the book – ERADICATE: BLOTTING OUT GOD IN AMERICA.

In Prairie Grove, Arkansas, thirteen-year-old Jesse (Yates) Dirkhising was killed by two homosexual men [in 1999]. Jesse was bound and drugged, tortured, raped, and he died due to a combination of the drugs and the position in which he was tied down. The Washington Times was the only national media outlet to report the story at first.

…the Matthew Shepard case received massive, ongoing national media atten­tion because Shepard, the victim, was a homosexual. While both victims died as the result of assaults by two men, Dirkhising was a minor while Shepard was an adult. No protections have been issued or written on behalf of minors, but severe hate crimes legislations have been passed and implemented to protect homosexuals. Gays (it’s an unwritten rule) cannot be portrayed as villains by the media even if they were convicted of rape, torture, and murder.

The Washington Times story was headlined, “Media tune out torture death of Arkansas boy.” Tim Graham, director of media studies at the Media Research Center said that no one in the media wants to be on the wrong side of the issue by saying anything negative about homo­sexuals. The LexisNexis Group provides computer-assisted research services and revealed a drastic contrast in the two cases in a media search.

One month after each murder, there were 3,007 stories about Matthew Shepard’s death compared with only forty-six stories about Jesse Dirkhising’s death.

The deception and duplicity of this double standard is glaring.

How should Christians respond when some claim we’re being hateful, bigoted, or intolerant by simply talking about our faith? Pray for them, because for those who have not placed their faith in the only Truth, Jesus Christ, this life is all there is.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 features a laundry list of sins describing those who will not inherit God’s kingdom. We must all appear before a holy, all-powerful God on Judgment Day and we should be most concerned with our own standing with God before looking at others.

We also need to avoid extremes. One extreme is the ‘God hates fags’ crowd, who treat homosexual behavior as the unforgivable sin. It is not. The other extreme is being silent, accepting or even approving of the destructive lifestyle of homosexuality mainly because we fear opposition. Don’t be intimidated.

Bullying is bullying no matter who is doing it! To activists, name calling and stereotyping people that stand for what they believe is exactly what you don’t want done to you. The right of free speech should work both ways.

Hate crime and bullying propaganda has been used to advance their agenda temporarily, but God will have the final say.

 

FROM WND: The Tragic story of Jesse Dirkhising (Article and more links)

Also See:  The Deviant Homosexual Rape-Murder of Young Jesse Dirkhising  From Americans for Truth about Homosexuality

[WARNING: GRAPHIC LANGUAGE, DESCRIBING PERVERSE ACTS]

tastes like hate

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Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test? But I trust that you will realize that we ourselves do not fail the test.  2 Corinthians 13:5-6

God has been leading me to take an honest and thorough look at my own faith and what I often see is an Americanized version of comfortable Christianity. I understand how easy it is to waste years on selfish interests and worldly pursuits. 

Thankfully, He has brought me to a point where my heart is softening again and I can’t help but notice things that must grieve our loving Creator and Father. This new journey has caused me to ask some important questions beginning with:

If the Bible teaches we need to examine ourselves, test all things, be discerning, evaluate our faith, and make judgments on sinful behavior starting with our own, are we following and obeying these instructions?

Perhaps one of the least discussed Scriptures in the New Testament is Jesus speaking to professing believers in Matthew 7:22-23, stating ‘I never knew you; depart from me,’ further proving lip service does not fool a holy God. Luke 6:46 sums it up clearly:

“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?

It’s that important to walk our Christian talk and obey the commandments. I recently heard a message in which the pastor said, “You’re looking around at others or nodding your heads as if this doesn’t apply to you. When I suggest some of you may not be saved because there is little evidence you’re living for Jesus Christ, I’m talking to you.”

He was preaching about repentance to professing believers. Remember, John the Baptist said to produce fruit in keeping with repentance (Matthew 3:8). The two go together.

According to the Apostle Paul, it is possible for some to fail the test and not recognize Christ is in them and therefore, not live according to the gospel they supposedly received. 

Paul wrote this to Christians in the church at Corinth whom he was preparing to visit for the third time. After getting to know them and hearing about their behavior he basically told them to make sure they were saved! 

Even with eye witnesses of Jesus still around at that time, some believers had conformed to the world instead of resisting sin. Paul felt it necessary to confront them about exactly what they believed and how they were living. 

When we mention this today some accuse us of judging or being intolerant. Here’s a memo for those who have not studied the whole Bible: GOD IS INTOLERANT OF SIN.

Paul confronted and challenged believes on their hypocrisy, warning them to repent. John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus Christ by preaching repentance from sin. Revelation 3:2-3 further warns Christians:

Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God. So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you.

Why are there so many Scriptures telling people that are already saved to wake up?

Why don’t we have a sense of urgency as we watch the moral decline of America and witness more corruption and godlessness than ever in our history? Have we lost our influence?

One of the questions I attempt to answer in my book, ERADICATE: BLOTTING OUT GOD IN AMERICA, is, if a majority of Americans (77%) profess some form of Christianity, why does the evidence (fruit) overwhelmingly show secular culture has more influence on Christians than we have on culture?

If we fail to preach the whole gospel message, we limit the Holy Spirit rather than inviting Him to work. Jesus said the Holy Spirit would “convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.” (John 16:8) Without conviction of sin there can be no repentance and without true repentance there can be no salvation!

Leonard Ravenhill said, “There’s one thing we need above everything else; it’s something we don’t talk about these days. We need a mighty avalanche of conviction of sin.”

 Isn’t this what the true gospel is all about?

But don’t miss the good news, that while we were still rebellious sinners, God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die for us so we might be forgiven. Jesus bridged the gap between sinful mankind and a holy, righteous God.

We should never back down from the same truth Jesus warned the early Church about when He confronted lukewarm believers. (Rev. 3:15-16)

Examine yourself, my friend! Please do not put this off any longer. At the risk of stating the obvious, a person is not saved because their family used to take them to church or because their parents are Christians. 

If we believe what the Bible teaches about Heaven and Hell, shouldn’t we care about the authentic salvation of others? What about the sin that is all around us infecting both our culture and the church? Do we understand we are called to be set apart from the world (sanctified)?

Compromise seems to be the new tolerance, however, biblical truth must be the foundation of our worldview and that truth should affect everything we do and say. 

When Jesus appeared to the disciples after His resurrection, He told them that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in His name (Luke 24:27). Think of the last three sermons you heard at church. I hope your pastor is following His lead.

What kind of lasting fruit are you and I producing? Are we abiding in Christ? He is glorified when we abide in Him, and when we bear good fruit it proves we are His disciples! (John 15:8-9)

Let’s seek Him first in our lives and then live what we believe. 

Let’s not be ashamed to speak up about Christ and love others by telling them hard truths. We are commissioned to preach the Word in every season (2 Tim. 4:2) because the gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes (Romans 1:18).

If Jesus has truly changed our hearts and if our minds have been transformed, our lives will show it. Regardless of whether the message is accepted by others, you and I are called to be His messengers. Peter said, “Be saved from this perverse generation!” (Acts 2:40) 

No more hypocrisy, please. When Christians say one thing and then live just like the world, why should unbelievers want the Jesus we profess to believe in? We can have this world or we can have Jesus Christ, but never both. If we love the things in this world, God’s love is not in us (1 John 2:15).

Let’s examine ourselves to make sure we are fully in Christ. 

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osteen and crowd

The following is an excerpt from the book, ERADICATE: BLOTTING OUT GOD IN AMERICA, chapter 13 – Counterfeit Christianity:

Author, televangelist, and senior pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, Joel Osteen seems like a very likeable and well-meaning Christian man. His ministry reaches about seven million people every week in countries around the world through radio and television. Prior to October 3, 1999, Osteen produced the church’s television program for seventeen years. With no biblical education or experience, Joel Osteen succeeded his father. Prior to his father’s death, Joel had only preached once in his entire life and had no theological training.

Today, he is one of the most popular, well-known Christian leaders in America. Barbara Walters named Osteen one of the year’s “Ten Most Fascinating People,” and his popularity earned him some attention at ABC News as one of the “10 Most Fascinating People of 2006.” His church rakes in approximately $70 million every year.

Televi­sion news anchor Chris Wallace interviewed Joel Osteen on Fox News Channel and began the segment by saying Osteen “offers a message about personal growth and positive thinking, which may explain why he’s now pastor of America’s largest congregation.” Wallace asked him what Osteen thought it was about his message that people want to hear. Osteen replied:

“I don’t know if I know exactly, but I think the fact that it’s positive, it’s hopeful, and I talk about everyday life…. And, too, I think, Chris, there’s a lot of negative things trying to pull people down, and I think people respond when you tell them that, hey, there are good things up ahead.”

What Osteen just described sounds like a motivational pep talk. Apparently, others notice how seldom Osteen dis­cusses what the Bible teaches on issues such as abortion, homosexuality, pornography, marriage, and other religions. Chris Wallace also asked why Osteen doesn’t get involved in politics or talk much about “abor­tion and gays and the social issues.” Joel Osteen explained:

“Well, it started back with my father. He never did. And I just don’t feel comfortable as well. I don’t feel like that’s my main gifting. And I feel like when I stay focused on encouraging people, and giving them hope, and helping them live their everyday life, I think that’s where I can have the most impact.”

He’s in good company. Non-views have become the evangelical norm, and Osteen takes the neutral route. Critics say Osteen preaches a word-faith prosperity gospel lite, which I like to call ‘Cotton Candy Christianity’. He can be overly positive and at times out of touch with human suffering. One popular quote by Joel Osteen is, “When you focus on being a blessing, God makes sure that you are always blessed in abundance.” So all we need to do is focus on being good and doing good? Tell someone who is confined to a bed with an incurable disease, or someone who lost their home, job, or lost a loved one that they’ll always be blessed in abundance.

In a 2011 interview with the Washington Times, Osteen told editors that he saw faith in America at an all-time high. He said that yes, people are struggling, but “our message is so much about hope.” He naturally evaded most political questions saying, “I don’t really take sides,” as it divides the people, adding that he prefers to “stay in my own lane.”

Many of us would like to hear Joel Osteen dig into the Bible and give a bold presentation of the gospel of Christ without apology. When Mitt Romney ran for president of the United States, Osteen received a few questions from people about Romney’s religion. From the Wash­ington Times interview:

“I believe that [Mormons] are Christians,” Mr. Osteen said. “I don’t know if it’s the purest form of Christianity, like I grew up with. But you know what, I know Mormons. I hear Mitt Rom­ney – and I’ve never met him – but I hear him say, ‘I believe Jesus is the son of God,’ ‘I believe he’s my savior,’ and that’s one of the core issues.

“I’m sure there are other issues that we don’t agree on. But you know, I can say that the Baptists and the Methodists and the Catholics don’t all agree on everything. So that would be my take.”

Even though denominations may not agree on a few nonessential doctrines, they all base their faith on Christ and the Bible, not the Book of Mormon. Osteen has stated on several other occasions that Mitt Romney, a Mor­mon, “believes in his savior just like I do.” What does that even mean?

Joseph Smith founded Mormonism and Latter Day Saints (LDS) less than 200 years ago. Mormonism teaches God was once a man who progressed to Godhood, there is no Trinity, Jesus was not born of a vir­gin, and he is not eternal. We can safely say this is another gospel which is cautioned against in the New Testament. Smith also taught all other religions are of the devil and according to Mormon teachings, Joseph Smith “received visitations from Moroni, an angel of light.”

Mormon leaders have also taught that Jesus’ incarnation was the result of a physical relationship between God the Father and Mary. They believe Jesus is a god (small “g”), but humans can also become gods and salvation can be earned by a combination of faith and good works. Osteen must be careful because God will scrutinize his state­ments as leaders have the power and responsibility to influence many lives. In Joel’s case, it’s millions of lives.

Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment. (James 3:1) Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you. (1 Timothy 4:16)

Did you ever wonder why there is so much opposition or resistance to Christians? The God of all creation is our help and strength. We pray to a living God while the bones of the gods (or founders) of other religions can be found at their tomb or burial site. We have a Savior who overcame death and the grave leaving an empty tomb that shouts to the world that Jesus is alive.

During interviews on his book promotion tours, Joel Osteen often gives similar responses about being positive, changing your life, devel­oping better habits, not being stuck in the past, doing the best you can, and [claiming] abundance. Osteen claims Jesus wanted us to live a “great life.” What about orphans? Street kids. Prison inmates. What about the handicapped, shut-ins, dis­abled Veterans, or the persecuted church? How [exactly] is a great life defined?

Jesus said that in this life we can expect trouble, but to take heart because He has overcome this temporary world. (John 16:33). Jesus also talked about His kingdom in heaven and never mentioned visualizing a nicer house, car, boat or financial blessing. Christ came to give us life, to destroy the devil’s work, to preach the good news to the afflicted and brokenhearted (Is. 61:1). He set us free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2).

Osteen says that talking about sin isn’t his main calling and that he’s “trying to make God more relevant” in our society. Let’s look at how Joel Osteen responded to a few more direct questions from Chris Wal­lace about Mormonism, from the 2007 interview on Fox News Sunday With Chris Wallace:

WALLACE: “Is a Mormon a true Christian?”

OSTEEN: “Well, in my mind they are. Mitt Romney has said that he believes in Christ as his Savior, and that’s what I believe, so, you know, I’m not the one to judge the little details of it. So I believe they are. And so, you know, Mitt Romney seems like a man of character and integrity to me….”

WALLACE: “So, for instance, when people start talking about Joseph Smith, the founder of the church, and the golden tablets in upstate New York, and God assumes the shape of a man, do you not get hung up in those theological issues?”

OSTEEN: “I probably don’t get hung up in them because I haven’t really studied them or thought about them. And you know, I just try to let God be the judge of that. I mean, I don’t know. I certainly can’t say that I agree with everything that I’ve heard about it, but from what I’ve heard from Mitt, when he says that Christ is his savior, to me that’s a common bond.” (Emphasis mine)

So let’s clarify here: Pastor Joel Osteen feels it is not his calling to get deeply into the Bible or to talk about sin. He also prefers not to think too much about other religions, but he believes Mormons are Christians. He focuses on the positive and promotes a word-faith the­ology that the more you do or say something the more you will get as a result. I know this teaching well because I followed it for several years in my early Christian days. It is both addictive and deceptive. Who doesn’t want to be happy and “up” all the time? Most of us realize that not only is this unbiblical, it is not realistic.

osteen's book covers

The tragic thing is hoards of people are being influenced by Osteen’s limited theology, and they end up looking at God as some kind of genie. On page 306 of Your Best Life Now, Joel claims, “It’s our faith that activates the power of God.” When the emphasis is on the power of our own words instead of the power of the resurrec­tion, something’s wrong. He goes so far as to say it’s more important to speak to your problem than pray about it (pg. 124).

The following quotes are from Your Best Life Now by Pastor Joel Osteen:

“The first step to living at your full potential is to enlarge your vision. To live your best life now, you must start looking at life through eyes of faith, seeing yourself rising to new levels. See your business taking off. See your marriage restored. See your family prospering. See your dreams coming to pass. You must conceive it and believe it is possible if you ever hope to experi­ence it” (p. 4, emphasis his).

“You will produce what you’re continually seeing in your mind…. If you develop an image of victory, success, health, abundance, joy, peace, and happiness, nothing on earth will be able to hold those things from you … God wants to increase you financially, by giving you promotions, fresh ideas and cre­ativity” (p. 5).

“God wants you to live an overcoming life of victory. He doesn’t want you to barely get by. He’s called El Shaddai, ‘the God of more than enough’” (p. 33).

“You will often receive preferential treatment simply because your Father is the King of kings, and His glory and honor spill over onto you” (p. 40).

“Our words have tremendous power, and whether we want to or not, we will give life to what we’re saying, either good or bad…. Words are similar to seeds, by speaking them aloud, they are planted in our subconscious minds, and they take on a life of their own…. Get up each morning and look in the mirror and say, ‘I am valuable. I am loved. God has a great plan for my life. I have favor wherever I go. God’s blessings are chasing me down and overtaking me. Everything I touch prospers and succeeds!’ (p. 122-123)

“It’s going to happen…. Suddenly, your situation will change for the better … He will bring your dreams to pass” (pp. 196-198).

There’s nothing wrong with trying to be positive, but where is this found in the Bible?

Maybe you’re a fan of Joel Osteen. You may have read his books and have watched him on TV and are having a tough time accepting this. I strongly encourage you to pray about everything he or anyone teaches. If you sincerely seek God’s truth, He will reveal it to you. Osteen pres­ents a kind of self-help program under the guise of Bible instruction. There’s nothing wrong with optimism, but pastors [and teachers] need to stick with the Word of God.

People who follow Osteen’s happy formula and then fail to get the positive results he promises end up disillusioned and worse, get mad at God and fall away from him. Don’t you think Christians are responsible for telling people what they need to hear instead of what they want to hear? You won’t get that from Mr. Happy. Smooth talk. Positive vibes. Prosperity and abundance. Flattering speech. Deceptive doctrine with a smile…. Cotton Candy Christianity.

Osteen and oprah

Not convinced? More overwhelming facts and info. on Joel Osteen:

‘Staying in his Lane’ – Joel Osteen’s Gospel of Affirmation Without Salvation

Where Has the Passion for Doctrine Gone?

Truth Source on Joel Osteen, False Teachers

Joel Osteen Rebukes Apostles Paul, Peter, and John

Fire Behind the Smile: Joel Osteen and the Bible

False Promise of the Prosperity Gospel

Joel Osteen and Jesus are Mutually Exclusive