(August 12, 2017) Stuart Reynolds challenges today’s spiritual deception…
Some of us may remember the classic 1973 film set in 1930s Chicago and starring the strong acting trio of Paul Newman, Robert Redford and Robert Shaw. It tells the story of an elaborate con of a much feared criminal banker in retribution for a murdered friend.
The phrase – The Sting – refers to the moment a ‘play’ is completed, taking a target’s money. If successful, the ‘victim’ of the con does not realise what has happened and who has cheated him, until all are long gone.
Paul wrote about a particular ‘sting’ in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, ‘Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.’
Ground of our deception!
‘Do not be deceived’ – If ever a warning text for our day, this is it! Among others, there is a two-fold implication to this command of counsel:
- The possibility that we can be deceived
- The protection that we need not be deceived.
(November 15, 2016) Robert and Maureen McQuillan share some things that some concerned Christians are sharing with other concerned Christians…
‘Where do they get such non-biblical rubbish from?’ asked one concerned young lady.
‘What “rubbish”?’ we asked. ’Do tell.’
‘Well, for example, I’m concerned that certain Christians are always claiming they see Jesus. Seems like someone is always “seeing” Jesus but it’s like who can tell the biggest whopper!’
Another instance of wackiness we hear is someone claimed that Jesus has told them they must hold their hands together and stick their arms straight up in the air to pray and a greater anointing would drop! So other silly Christians, not knowing God’s word nor the Spirit intimately, nodded and agreed, ‘That sounds good’ and the group followed in blind obedience!
Someone else shared that they attended a home group that is into chanting, trying to call down the Holy Spirit. ‘But it sounded more like murmuring,’ they said. (more…)
Dr Jim McClure, noted theologian, writes about two more current dangers …
Church leaders ‘must stick to the true message they were taught, so that their good teaching can help others and correct everyone who opposes it’ (Titus 1:9 CEV).
This article concludes the series Confusion in the Church in which I have turned the spotlight on issues in the contemporary church that misrepresent biblical teaching or question dubious practices that result in causing confusion in the church and bring discredit to the Christian message. (more…)
Dr Jim McClure, noted theologian, shares more current church dangers…
‘When I came to proclaim to you God’s secret purpose, I did not come equipped with any brilliance of speech or intellect. You may as well know now that it was my secret determination to concentrate entirely on Jesus Christ and the fact of his death upon the cross. As a matter of fact, in myself I was feeling far from strong; I was nervous and rather shaky. What I said and preached had none of the attractiveness of the clever mind, but it was a demonstration of the power of the Spirit! Plainly God’s purpose was that your faith should not rest upon man’s cleverness but upon the power of God’ (1Corinthians 2:1 1-5 JB Phillips). (more…)
Dr Jim McClure, noted theologian, writes more current dangers …
‘If the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle?’ (1 Corinthians 14:8).
Paul wrote those words to the Christians in Corinth who were using the gift of tongues in an undisciplined way that resulted in confusion and a diminishing of the effectiveness of the church in its unity and evangelistic ministry. He went on to say, ‘Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying? You will just be speaking into the air’ (1 Corinthians 14:9).
The result was confusion! (more…)
Dr Jim McClure, noted theologian, writes more on this current danger …
‘The days are coming when I will send a famine through the land— not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord’ (Amos 8:11).
In Part 1 I mentioned that the Hebrew word translated as ‘hearing’ in the above verse means ‘hearing with understanding.’ Despite the ready availability of the Bible today in many languages, there is much confusion in the minds of many Christians concerning many aspects of the Christian faith. (more…)
Dr Jim McClure, noted theologian, warns of a current danger …
We are living in very difficult days and there are many challenges confronting the church, not only from those outside the church who oppose it, but particularly from within the church itself.
Often the church has been its own worst enemy as it has sought to follow questionable paths, violated its ethical values, compromised its witness, watered down its doctrinal beliefs, damaged its integrity and sought accommodation with the world. (more…)
Becky Fischer urges pastoral and parental awareness …
The first time eight-year-old ‘Diana’ (name has been changed) walked into my children’s ministry she was literally wearing a boy’s brown three-piece suit. I was later told by friends, who knew the family, it was boy’s clothing down to the underwear. Her parents had recently been born again and immediately became faithful church attenders.
Week after week Diana consistently dressed much the same. I would overhear her telling the other kids she wanted to be a boy, and was going to get a sex change operation when she got older. I had no idea what to do with this child. She got saved, and seemed to be engaged in our services. (more…)
Andrew Corbett shares important unknown facts about marriage and love:
As connubial means ‘of or relating to the married state’ and discombobulation ‘a fun, fancy word for confuse’ this is a good title for this article!
Personally I never thought that I would ever marry. But to my pleasant surprise, I did. And in what would otherwise have been quite an unremarkable life, I have since married dozens of women! But not just women – I have also married dozens of men. (more…)