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:
(March 24, 2017) Dr Jim McClure, highly esteemed theologian, expounds an important matter …
I am hearing more frequently today that Jews, Christians and Muslims worship the same God. It is often stated that there is a strong similarity between the Judaism, Christianity and Islam and that the all three religions, which are monotheistic, share the same religious and spiritual tradition and therefore have so much in common with each other. Some Jewish and Christian leaders are making the same claim. This syncretistic understanding of those three religions may resonate with the politically correct philosophy of today but is it true?
The argument is made that, if we were to accept each other’s religion as differing expressions of the same spiritual truths, much of the current hostility – some of which has been manifested in horrific violence – would be defused. Consequently, in the name of tolerance we are told that we should major on the things that the three religions have in common.
1. Are there things that those religions have in common? At first glance one may conclude that there are significant similarities between the three religions but those similarities are more superficial than substantial. Let’s consider some of their commonality.
(i)Judaism, Christianity and Islam are Abrahamic religions It is claimed that there is an intrinsic relationship between the three religions, especially as they all worship the god of Abraham. But do they? The validity of that assertion is highly questionable and the supposed relationship between the three religions is very superficial.(more…)
(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…)
(September 14, 2016) Mark Ellis shares yet another good news report …
Jesus demonstrated he is the Son of God (and he is God) by performing powerful miracles throughout his ministry. I don’t know of any other religious figure that could walk on water, command the wind and the waves, heal people born blind, feed 5,000 with a few loaves and fishes, and raise the dead.
The miracles testified to Jesus’ authority, that he was the promised Messiah. The miracles fulfilled the prophecies about him in the Old Testament. He also healed because of his compassion and he healed in response to faith. (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…)
The ten commandments of the old covenant are a primary part of our spiritual foundation. Bible believers often display them in an effort to influence others toward righteousness. God himself proclaimed them from Mount Sinai in a fiery display, and engraved them on tablets of stone.
However, they are part of ‘the Law’: a system of religious, moral and lifestyle demands Paul later labelled ‘the ministry of condemnation’ and ‘the ministry of death’ (2 Cor. 3:7-9). (more…)
Robert and Maureen McQuillan remind readers of the real reason for the season – lost people need to be saved!
‘Jesus is the real reason for the season,’ Oh that phrase sounds a cliché these days – after all it’s been around for decades in Christmas cards. We can recall first adding it to blank cards some 30 years ago, as well as reminding congregations.
But it’s still a reality! For years Christmas has been regarded as merely a festive season, a holiday break for many in the workforce…tradies particularly love this seasonal closedown time. ‘Happy Christmas’ has been substituted by ‘Happy Holidays’ on many cards. (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…)