Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Monday, May 16, 2011

Judgement Day this Saturday?!

From Al Mohler's blog

"Harold Camping is now warning the world that the Day of Judgment will begin at about 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 21, 2011. The 89-year-old founder of Family Radio has made such pronouncements before, most recently in 1994. He now says that he simply miscalculated then, but he is absolutely certain that he has the right calculation now. You have been warned.
Actually, millions of people in America have been warned through Camping’s radio program and by means of the more than 1,200 billboards his ministry has put up across the nation. According to press reports, Family Radio has put up 2,000 billboards in other nations, as well.
Camping is no stranger to controversy, but this one has caught national and international attention. He was wrong before, but this time he is absolutely certain that he is right. As he told New York magazine:
If you know the Bible and this statement confuses you, you are in good company. Harold Camping believes that God has revealed to him the exact dates of biblical events and the timeline of the judgment. He says that God revealed some “exquisite proof” that enabled him to determine a “finished product” timeline that ends on May 21, this coming Saturday.“God has given sooo much information in the Bible about this, and so many proofs, and so many signs, that we know it is absolutelygoing to happen without any question at all. There’s nothing in the Bible that God has ever prophesied — there’s many things that he prophesied would happen and they always have happened — but there’s nothing in the Bible that holds a candle to the amount of information to this tremendous truth of the end of the world. I would be absolutely in rebellion against God if I thought anything other than it is absolutely going to happen without any question.”
As Michael S. Rosenwald of The Washington Post explains, Camping “says he came up with the very precise date of May 21 through a mathematical calculation that would probably crash Google’s computers.” Further, Camping’s mathematical formula “involves, among other things, the dates of floods, the signals of numbers in the Bible, multiplication, addition and subtraction thereof.” As many have noted, the math seems to make sense only to Harold Camping.
Yet, in a strange way, this just serves to affirm Camping in his teaching. On his website he states:
However, it was not until a very few years ago that the accurate knowledge of the entire timeline of history was revealed to true believers by God from the Bible. This timeline extends all the way to the end of time. During these past several years God has been revealing a great many truths, which have been completely hidden in the Bible until this time when we are so near the end of the world.
These “true believers” turn out to be Harold Camping and his disciples. Others, even professing Christians, will be in big trouble when Saturday comes, he believes.
The Christian church has seen this kind of false teaching before. William Miller and his Adventist followers (known, surely enough, as Millerites) believed that Christ would return on March 21, 1844. In the 1970s, popular Christian preachers and writers predicted that Christ would return on various dates now long in the past. All this is embarrassing enough, but now we have the teachings of Harold Camping to deal with. Given the public controversy, many people are wondering how Christians should think about his claims.
First, Christ specifically admonished his disciples not to claim such knowledge. In Acts 1:7, Jesus said, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.” In Matthew 24:36, Christ taught similarly: “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.”
To state the case plainly, these two verses explicitly forbid Christians to claim the knowledge of such dates and times. Jesus clearly taught that the Father has not revealed such dates and timing, but has reserved that knowledge for himself. It is an act of incredible presumptuousness to claim that a human knows such a date, or has determined God’s timing by any means.
Second, the Bible does not contain hidden codes that we are to find and decipher. The Bible has been given to us in order that we might know the truth, and the truth is clearly revealed in its pages. We are not to look for hidden patterns of words, numbers, dates, or anything else. The Bible’s message is plain and requires no mathematical computation for its understanding. The claim that one has found a hidden code or system in the Bible is an insult to the Bible as the Word of God.
Third, Christians are indeed to be looking for Christ to return and seeking to be found faithful when Christ comes. We are not to draw a line in history and set a date, but we are to be about the Father’s business, sharing the Gospel and living faithful Christian lives. We are not to sit on rooftops like the Millerites, waiting for Christ’s return. We are to be busy doing what Christ has commanded us to do.
In Hebrews 9:28, we are taught that Christ will come a second time “to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” That is the faithful Christian response to the New Testament teachings about Christ’s coming. The church is not to be arrogantly setting dates, but instead to be eagerly waiting for him. Of that we can be truly certain.

Are You Amazed?

Here is the video i closed the service with on Sunday

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Osama bin laden

Every morning at 7:00 am my wife faithfully turns on the Christian radio channel and we all get the pleasure of listening to 'beat the toaster' and 'bible of not' with the appropriate witty banter between the hosts interspersed with Christian lite rock music.

Today i was half listening while toasting my bagel hoping to retreat back into the living room for my morning fix of news & sports when i heard a caller refer to his wife being killed in 9/11 and that he was praying and hoping for Osama's salvation all these years! He hoped that perhaps he had accepted Jesus as his savior before he died.  I really don't know how to process that.  i never once prayed for his salvation and quite honestly find the idea of him being in heaven hard to take to say the least.  Got me thinking: what is the proper Christian response to Osama's death?

came across this article by Warren Smith who writes for the excellent magazine "World"

On Sunday night I was checking Facebook and email one last time before heading for bed. Both my profile and my in-box were lit up with messages saying that President Obama would address the nation at 10:30 p.m. Well . . . so much for an early bedtime.
I ended up watching the speech announcing Osama bin Laden’s death and writing a couple of articles about it. One of the stories summarized reactions that almost immediately started coming in from around the world (see sidebar to Mindy Belz’s Web Extra report).
But the next day I said to myself: Yes, these are the reactions of our politicians and pundits, but what should be the appropriate Christian reaction? As it turns out, this is not so easy a question. The Bible has much to say on the subject, some of it difficult to reconcile. Consider this:
“The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong” (Romans 13:4, NLT).
The Psalms, too, have much to say about the punishment of evildoers. In the interest of brevity, here’s just one verse of many:
“At the time I have planned, I will bring justice against the wicked” (Psalm 75:2, NLT).
Governments are established by God. Punishing evil is their job, and we should take satisfaction in our own government’s role in seeing that justice was done. So, given this, there is certainly no reason not to celebrate Osama bin Laden’s death.
On the other hand, we must acknowledge that bin Laden, as violent and reviled as he was, was surely just a man like me. As distasteful as it is to contemplate, none of us is so different from him. Compared to a holy God, my righteousness and bin Laden’s alike are as “filthy rags.” Further, Scripture is clear that we are to love not just our friends, but also to “love our enemies.” God, I’m sure, takes no pleasure in the death of someone who has rejected Him. In fact, he so much as says so here:
“As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?” (Ezekiel 33:11, NIV)
Mark Twain once said, “I’ve never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure.” Twain is, as usual, winsome and witty—and completely opposed to Scripture. If God takes no pleasure in bin Laden’s death, should we? I’m guessing not.
So what should our response be? I certainly think we can and should celebrate the excellence, professionalism, and courage of the Navy SEALs who accomplished their mission. I think we should be grateful that an evildoer is now no longer able to do his evil in the world.
But I also think we should be careful not to gloat. We should guard against triumphalism and pride. As a young man, Osama bin Laden drove fast cars and played soccer. There was a time when he was not so different from you and me.
Somewhere along the way pride overtook his life. It became his undoing. He became his own final authority. We should not think that we are immune from these same corrosive effects of pride. If we do, we may come to a time in the future when we find ourselves—both as individuals and as a country—committing the same kinds of monstrous evil that became bin Laden’s undoing.
So can we celebrate that justice was done? Said more bluntly: Can we celebrate Osama bin Laden’s death? I think the answer to that question is yes. But let us remember his ignominious death with grateful and even humble hearts, mindful that but for God’s grace, so go we all.

Say it ain't so Superman!

Superman is renouncing his American Citizenship because he doesn’t want to be accused of being part of American government policy.  Who is next? Captain America?