Archive for the ‘apostasy’ Category

Pope Francis recently signed a pact with Muslims in a possible push toward a one-world religion and declared that diversity of religions is God’s will. But wait. Doesn’t the Bible warn Christians about unifying with those who worship other gods and have contradictory beliefs?

God sent His Son to save sinners, but Allah had no son. Isn’t this a problem with anyone else? There are many glaring, stark contrasts between the founders of Christianity (Jesus) and Islam (Muhammad) as well as the doctrines themselves. Jesus taught love and forgiveness, and He also instructed His disciples to “pray for those who persecute you. (Matthew 5:44).”

But the prophet Muhammad was a violent warrior who promoted conquest, had multiple wives, and killed Jews and Christians – referring to them as infidels and sworn enemies. Look it up.

Jesus was a sinless, spiritual leader who laid down His life to save mankind, said “Father, forgive them” to those that crucified Him’ Jesus never killed anyone. Muhammad too, was a spiritual leader, who became a political leader, a liar, and a violent military leader. Christ ruled by peace while Muhammad ruled largely by the sword.

Nevertheless, a historic interfaith covenant was signed in the Middle East last week, and isn’t it interesting the U.S. mainstream media was practically silent about it? Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, considered to be the most important imam in Sunni Islam, arrived at the signing ceremony with Roman Catholic Church leader Pope Francis “hand-in-hand in a symbol of interfaith brotherhood.”

The pope and the grand imam of al-Azhar signed what was referred to as “a historic declaration of fraternity, calling for peace between nations, religions and races, in front of a global audience of religious leaders from Christianity, Islam, Judaism and other faiths.” Many gods and spirits exist, but if one religion is true, all the rest have to be false. Does the Bible have anything to say about this?

“…do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world; …and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the Antichrist;” (1 John 4:1-3)

Though there are some similarities, Islam is quite incompatible with the Bible as well as America, a society that values Judeo-Christian principles and religious freedom. Islam will accept no other religions, no competing economic or political views, and no legal system except Sharia Law which would outlaw Christianity.

And by the way, did you know Muslims elected to Congress demand to be sworn in on the Quran, not the Bible? So who or what are they swearing allegiance to? Many passages in Islamic holy books command and justify violence in the name of Allah. Let’s look at what the Quran has to say about other religions.

“The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; (Quran 5:33)

“(Remember) when your Lord inspired the angels… “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve (defy Allah). Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them” (Quran 8:12)

The Quran contains at least 109 verses that speak of war with nonbelievers, usually meaning non-Muslims, as well as 164 verses declaring jihad, holy war. Religion of peace – really?

Islam is a social, political and economic system (Sharia Law) that uses a false deity (Allah) to advance its agenda of control. The meaning of Islam is “submission,” and people must bow to Allah.

The God of the Bible, Jesus Christ said, “All authority has been given to me (Matthew 28:18).” Islam, however, teaches Jesus was only a prophet. They say He was not God and teach that Jesus did not sacrifice Himself for our sins and die on the cross, nor did He rise from the dead. But these are core essentials of the Christian faith!

Muhammed claimed to be the last and greatest of all of God’s prophets, he had fifteen wives, and sanctioned the beating of wives (Sura 4:34). Muhammed was well known for spreading his new religion by force. Five years after his death, Muhammad’s followers captured Jerusalem and by 732 A.D. they went into Spain. Their aggression continued for hundreds of years until finally, resistance rose up via the Crusades which began in 1095.

Back to Pope Francis: another thing he did was to declare the Sharia-governed United Arab Emirates the ‘homeland of tolerance.’ Just look at history and news reports and you’ll see this could not be further from the truth.

So, the Pope shook hands, kissed, and signed with El-Tayeb, an open advocate of Sharia law. In fact, in a June 2016 television interview he stated,

“The penalty for an open apostate, departing from the community [Islam], is well stipulated in sharia. An apostate must be pressed upon to repent within a variable period of time or be killed.”

Clearly, Islam and Christianity are mutually exclusive. Both claim to be the only true way to God, but both cannot be right.

Former Muslim, Elijah Abraham, is an expert on Islam and as an evangelist, he travels worldwide to train pastors on apologetics and how to witness to Muslims. He states:

Islam is advancing in the West with an evil agenda to convert Westerners and especially Americans to Islam and dominate the world. If that happens, the biggest loser will be the church of Jesus Christ in the West because of its loss of its religious liberty and freedom of speech.

Nowhere in the Bible does God encourage joining with other religions. While there have been many attempts in recent years to find common ground between the two religions, the fact is that stark differences remain.

It is misguided to focus on a few common teachings without considering the differences in major doctrines that are diametrically opposed to one another. This is not to say we shouldn’t evangelize people of other faiths, but when it comes to “uniting,” Christians are often the first to compromise, and it’s often biblical doctrine that suffers. All through the New Testament, we read about salvation by faith in Christ alone; that we are saved by the grace of God through trusting in the sacrifice of Jesus (Eph. 2:8-9).

We know that powerful, world elites are pushing uniformity and a one world religion, but it’s still stunning to see top world leaders from Catholicism and Islam make such a dramatic display. This is clearly a sign we’re drawing closer to the end.

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There are some bizarre, outrageous, and flat-out unbiblical things going on in lots of churches. One so-called church sells beer, another worships Mother Earth, others use secular music during worship, others ordain gay leaders, and still others offer yoga. People are free to do whatever they want to try and make God fit their ideas and to offer services that cater to the desires of their congregations, but is this what church is supposed to be? 

What happened to the emphasis on teaching God’s word of truth including sin and repentance, justification, God’s wrath, prophecy, future judgment, and sanctification?

Last week I reported on one of the most heart-wrenching stories I’ve tackled in quite some time. The Roman Catholic Church is reeling from the massive scandal involving homosexuality among priests and the rampant cover-up of sexual abuse that has continued for many decades.

But many Evangelical and Protestant churches have leadership problems of their own. This includes the progressive, seeker-sensitive Willow Creek Church in Chicago whose lead pastors and elders resigned in light of the Bill Hybels allegations of sexual harassment.

Countless churches seem to have lost focus and have gotten off track. We have lost our reverence for a holy God, and practically abandoned the once-solid foundation of the teaching of Scripture which is the primary purpose of the church.

Many conferences and church services today barely resemble the early church and what the Bible teaches, let alone point to Jesus Christ. Some people create gods and church services to suit their own interests while others rewrite Scriptures to justify their lifestyles.

Last month in St. Louis, a controversial conference took place calledRevoice,” apparently aiming to normalize homosexuality and affirm those claiming to be “LGBTQ Christians.” Can you say, oxymoron?

Christian talk show host, Janet Mefferd called for the unbiblical movement to be repudiated, saying:

“Revoice is incremental gay activism, designed to eventually lure conservative evangelicals into accepting ‘gay Christianity,’” 

Next, there’s a progressive church in Santa Cruz, California that not only sells beer, but plans to donate proceeds to big abortion business, Planned Parenthood. Maybe the consumption of alcohol helps the pastor’s sermons sound better. This is a guy who preaches that Jesus was a Palestinian “killed by white supremacy.”

And who can forget our expose back in May on the San Francisco church that hosted what they called aBeyoncé Mass?” It was quite an interesting take on worshiping, “Our Mother who is in heaven,” and endorsing Beyonce as a role model for young girls.

Then there’s a church in Atlanta that put a new twist in their Sunday morning worship show by adding scantily-clad aerialists as a regular part of their services. ‘Why in the world?’ you may ask. Self-appointed “Apostle” Bryan Meadows actually said:

“Because they shouldn’t have to go to the circus to use the gifts that God gave them!”

Just one more or we’d be here all day. Serita Jakes, wife of controversial, megachurch minister, T.D. Jakes, gleefully posted photos on social media of women doing yoga at the church during a women’s event on wellness.

Never mind the practice of yoga is a rooted in Hinduism, a 5,000-year old polytheistic religious system. Its purpose is to bypass the mind and yoke or “unite” a person’s spirit with the Hindu god, Brahman.

Heather Clark at Christian News Network reminds us:

 “… Even the traditional Hindu greeting, Namasté, that is said at the end of yoga classes, is spiritual. When translated, it means, ‘The god in me bows down to (or salutes) the god in you.’”

The Spirit of Christ bows down to no one; He alone is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the only true, living God who is worthy of our true worship.

Romans 8:9 states:

However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.

And Exodus 20:3 states:

You shall have no other gods before Me.

Prior to building one of America’s first mega-churches, author, pastor, and motivational speaker, Robert Scheuller literally went door to door in the 1970s in Orange County, California, and asked people what they wanted in a church. Not what lost, hurting sinners need, but what they ‘want.’ This of course, has led to the “mega-church” and emergent church movement.

Men focused on church growth took a cue from Schueller and the rest is history. This has been a recipe for disaster in the American church, and it has led to well-deserved comparisons with the lukewarm church of Laodicea in Revelation chapter 3, and a better understanding of why Paul wrote a second letter to Timothy. In the last days, men would be:

“treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power…” (2 Timothy 4:4-5)

Rather than be active participants in learning and sharing God’s Word, too many church members have been conditioned to sit back and listen to a program or presentation, and perhaps to a bunch of funny stories or analogies instead of being challenged by sound doctrine and the harder teachings of the Bible. Then there’s the music. Lots of talented praise teams are themselves being praised for performing entertaining, although often heartfelt music rather than leading the people to the Throne in the worship of a holy God.

A.W. Tozer once said:

“The church that can’t worship must be entertained. And men who can’t lead a church to worship must provide the entertainment. That is why we have the great evangelical heresy here today–the heresy of religious entertainment.”

We need to get back to the basics.

True disciples of Jesus Christ in the early church focused on four primary things: teaching the word of God with a focus on Jesus’ sacrificial death and resurrection, prayer, communion, and fellowship with other Christians (Acts 2:42). They made disciples and they went out and shared the good news. They didn’t care about the approval of people – they sought to obey God. Their faith in Christ cost most of them their lives.

Today, too many churches use entertaining concepts and gimmicks to attract people, but then a new problem arises: in order to keep them in the comfy seats (and giving their tithes), you need to avoid controversial issues and often dilute the gospel so they won’t be offended.

What happens when you give people what they want instead of what they need which is Christ and His truth? Rather than being fed and equipped, countless hungry souls are walking out of many American churches feeling empty and unprepared to do God’s work. This must change.

If you claim to represent God, but refuse to live by His moral laws, please leave the church and stop lying to everyone! Enough. This story is both heartbreaking and disturbing, but darkness must be exposed, and wicked men must finally be held accountable. Those who commit or condone evil have again given Jesus a black eye.

Tragically, the Roman Catholic Church has known all about it: decades of sexual abuse and yet, they covered-up extensive abuse by its leaders – abuse that has robbed children of their innocence, further tarnished the church’s image, and destroyed countless thousands of lives. This is a gut-wrenching and sickening story.

First, some headlines:

  • A History of Cover-ups in Boston Archdiocese
  • Church Allowed Abuse by Priests for Years
  • Gay Sex, Booze Scandal, Shakes Boston Seminary
  • Scores of Priests Involved in Sex Abuse Scandals
  • Report details sexual abuse by over 300 priests in PA’s Catholic Church
  • ‘Predator Priests’ Named In PA Grand Jury Sex Abuse Report
  • Priests molested 1,000 children in Pennsylvania, report says

Our purpose as Christians is to know and obey God, to make disciples and make Him known by preaching the gospel, and to be light in the world – essentially to transform culture. The Catholic Church however, has again cast a thick, dark veil over the cross of Christ and the truth of His resurrection.

In a report 900 pages long, a grand jury in Pennsylvania alleges over 300 priests abused more than one thousand children. Predators guilty of criminal conduct were never brought to justice even in some cases going back seventy years. Many priests have died, others retired, but none will escape the justice of a holy God whom they have mocked.

…Sixteen years ago after one of many Roman Catholic Church scandals, Pope John Paul II said:

“The abuse of the young is a grave symptom of a crisis affecting not only the church but society as a whole.”

Where is the accountability? You may remember the 2015 movie “Spotlight” took home the best picture Oscar for its drama about the Boston Globe investigation of the Roman Catholic Church covering up sexual abuse by multiple clergy.

To be sure, abuse occurs worldwide by all kinds of people because the heart of man is sick (Jeremiah 17:9). But evil is even more horrific when committed by those in positions of authority who should know better.

…There is a righteous God that will judge the living and the dead. Yes, He is loving, forgiving, and patient, but He is also holding back His wrath. And one day God will unleash His justice and vengeance. 

Are you seeking the approval of God or man? Yes, it does matter. Stop conforming to this world!

The Apostle Peter wrote:

“…it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?  1 Peter 4:17

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