Jottings – Countercultural

Jottings

I am not suggesting a new legalism which forbids TV and the cinema. (There are many worthwhile things to view; moreover, while Christianity is by nature countercultural, it is not anti-cultural.) But I am calling for believers to take control of their minds – what comes in and what goes out. If you cannot control what you watch and read, perhaps it needs to go. ‘If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away’ says Jesus (Matthew 5:29)”

Hughes, R. Kent. Disciplines of a Godly Man. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1991.

 

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REMINDER: Free Internet Safety Webinar Tonight

Webinar BannerOnline integrity is an issue that we should all be concerned with. But what can we proactively do to fight against the growing threat of pornography and other inappropriate content?

**TONIGHT** at 7pm Eastern our friends over at Why We Web will present a free, one hour webinar that will show you the tools you need to secure your network & internet connected devices. The webinar will also step you through the set up process.

For more information and to pre-register (seating is limited) visit the webinar event page on the Why We Web website.

 

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Free Internet Safety Webinar

Open DNS Free Webinar

Online integrity is an issue that we should all be concerned with. But what can we proactively do to fight against the growing threat of pornography and other inappropriate content?

Mark your calendar for 7pm Eastern Thursday October 4th for a free, one hour webinar that will show you the tools you need and step you through the process of securing your network and internet connected devices.

For more information and to pre-register (seating is limited) visit the webinar event page on the Why We Web website.

 

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Jottings – The Cross

Jottings

As long as you live, beware of a religion in which there is not much of the cross. You live in times when the warning is sadly needful. Beware, I say again, of a religion without the cross.

J.C. Ryle, “The Cross of Christ,” in Old Paths: Being Plain Statements of Some of the Weightier Matters of Christianity. London: Charles J. Thynne, 1898, p. 249.

 

 

 

 

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Audio: A False Gospel

Rob Bell Love Wins Back Cover

Back Cover of Love Wins

I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.” Galatians 1:6-10 NKJV emphasis mine.

About a year and a half ago Rob Bell, who at that time was the pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, MI, published a book titled “Love Wins”. The book instantaneously became a New York Times bestseller and caused a considerable amount of controversy in the evangelical church and beyond. The book even made the cover of the April 25, 2011 issue of Time Magazine.

As the controversy raged I found myself reading blog posts by both the supporters and detractors of the book. What I read shocked me… the detractors of the book claimed that Rob Bell denied the very existence of a literal hell and that in the end love will “win” — meaning everyone will spend eternity in everlasting bliss.

Could such accusations be true? Could a pastor of an “evangelical” church teach such things? To find out I purchased a copy of the book and read it. What I read in Rob Bell’s book Love Wins astounded me. From my reading of the book it seemed that the book’s detractors had actually understated the severity of doctrinal error!

After studying Love Wins in the light of God’s Word I had the opportunity to speak about it.

Recorded: Sunday April 17, 2011 at the North York Gospel Chapel, York, PA

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Jottings – Truth Rejected

Jottings

“The rejection of the truth, as if it was effete or out of date, is either the outcome of the reception of false teaching, or paves the way for it, and the latter is especially in view here. The carnal mind readily becomes hardened against the truth.”

W.E. Vine, Collected Writings of W.E. Vine: 2 Timothy. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1997; electronic ed. (Logos).

 

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Being Godly Pilgrims On The Information Superhighway [3]

AntennasThe advent of the internet and the wider explosion of computer technology has opened the world to previously unimaginable opportunities in communication, education, and commerce, touching virtually every aspect of contemporary life.

This epoch-making change does not alter the essential mission of the Church. Believers must maintain the same core beliefs and practices, while using the new electronic tools for the glory of God.

The Mission Remains the Same:


1. Personal discipleship following the Lord Jesus Christ



 

E-mail, social media, and other ubiquitous aspects of online life must not be permitted to divert Christians from growing in their personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Bible programs and online study tools abound, but they will not pray for you or impart teaching by some mystical digital osmosis. Believers still need to spend time with the Lord, prayerfully seeking Him in His Word. They must allow Him to speak to them through His Word, and they must obey what He says.

 


2. Dependence on the Holy Spirit for His power and gifts



 

Electronic tools can give one a false notion of power. Real power comes from God via His Holy Spirit. Saints must permit Him to work in and through them, producing His fruit (Phil. 2:12-13; Gal. 5:22-26.) They may use the internet as a tool for evangelism, Bible study, fellowship, and everyday life; yet this all must be done in reliance upon the Lord.

 


3.Glorifying God in personal worship



 

The highest duty of saints remains to worship the triune God. Whatever they do or not do on the web, daily adoration of the living Lord must be the priority to Christians. As Psalm 29:2 exhorts them: “Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name; Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.”

 


4. Carrying out the Great Commission



 

Before returning to heaven, the risen Christ commanded His church to “…Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen” (Matt. 28:18-20.) Believers must witness in real life, as well as online. The internet may be used as a tool to reach the lost with the gospel. It certainly must not sap our energy in holding forth the Word of life.

 


5. Edifying the Church



 

The church is to proclaim and teach “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27.) Believers are to encourage each other and cultivate the fellowship that they have in the Church. What is more, they must pray for one another. The web may aid some of these efforts, but it cannot replace them.

In summary, the Christian Church must retain the same teachings and practices that the Lord Jesus Christ bequeathed to the apostles through His Spirit – the things that are recorded in the Bible for our instruction (John 16:13-15; Acts 2:42.)

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This series of four posts are based on Keith Keyser’s final keynote address at the recent Why We Web Conference.

Jump to the fourth and final post in this series.
Jump back to the first post in this series.

Photo flickr/Creativity103

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Being Godly Pilgrims On The Information Superhighway [2]

Integrated Circuit 2More Pitfalls To Avoid In Our Digital Behavior:
(Continued from the previous post)

 


4. Poor stewardship of money brought on by internet pursuits



 

The dawn of e-commerce makes purchasing almost anything as easy as pointing and clicking. From the ease of amazon’s “one click” option to the excitement of an E-Bay auction, the potential to develop spendthrift habits is immense. The world wide web may become an accomplice to covetousness and poor stewardship if one is not careful.

 


5. Neglecting real friendships in favor of virtual ones



 

Recently I encountered a situation where a married Christian couple was so immersed in online gaming that they neglected their attendance at the local church and fellowship with other saints. The husband especially seemed to prefer interacting with strangers that he joined in a cyber-colony for collective game playing. It is possible that we may spend so much time on social media sites that we forget the importance of cultivating real life friends in the physical world.

 


6. Digital snobbery against our brethren



 

There exists the real possibility of a digital divide between members of a local church who are wired and those who are unfamiliar with new technology. Beware of thinking less of other believers who are untutored – or uninterested – in life online. In the Scripture, the Lord consistently honors older saints and highlights their value in light of their maturity and experience. Despite possible ignorance of modern technology, older saints must not be despised. For that matter, among any age group, those who use technology ought not to devalue the service and contributions of saints who are unplugged.

 


7. The exaltation of form over substance (aesthetics trumps truth)



 

With the dynamic nature of new electronic tools such as Powerpoint and flashy websites, there is the danger of elevating how something looks or sounds at the expense of quality material. Substance is still the key. Doctrine must be the central focus, rather than presentation. Do we rest in the sufficiency of God and His Word or are we obsessed with the latest gadgets, widgets, and cyber-pyrotechnics? Technology is no substitute for the power of the Spirit exhibited in the Holy Scriptures.

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The next post in this series considers the Church’s ongoing mission in the Digital Age.

This series of four posts are based on Keith Keyser’s final keynote address at the recent Why We Web Conference.

Photo flickr/Creativity103

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Being Godly Pilgrims On The Information Superhighway [1]

Integrated CircuitThe digital age opens up a new world of possibilities for Christian service, but it also presents challenges and temptations that must be addressed. Like it or not, the internet is here for the foreseeable future, and believers must learn to navigate in cyberspace for the glory of God.

 

Some Pitfalls to Avoid In Our Digital Behavior:

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Entry Level Theological Truth [24]

“And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, “You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die”.’” Genesis 3:2-3

God’s Word is a disclosure of His mind and a revelation of His character and will; therefore, it must be handled carefully. To be slipshod in one’s reading or interpretation of the Scriptures is to invite spiritual error and the disaster that inevitably ensues.

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