Devotion - The Test
2 Cor. 13:5, "Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?"
Paul writes to the Corinthian church and admonishes its members to examine themselves to see if they are really Christians. In chapter two he had expressed his concern that they might be in "strife, jealousy, angry tempers, disputes, slanders, gossip, arrogance, disturbances..." (2 Cor. 12:20). We can conclude that practicing such things should urge a person to see if he or she really is a Christian. After all, Christians are not to abide in sin, but repent from it (2:21).
First, self examination is good and wise. You do not want to be so casual about your relationship with God that you blind yourself to any sins you might be committing. Christians can make this mistake when they get so familiar and comfortable in Christianity that they fail to do a self check.
Second, we must be aware that there are those within the Christian Church who have heard a watered down gospel and have trusted in that which is not real. Many people who go to church are playing the church game and are not really believers. Paul's admonition to check yourself and make sure you are in the faith is very wise.
What would be a good test? 1 Cor. 2:14 says that the natural man cannot receive the things of God. The things of God are such truths as the Trinity, Jesus' being God in flesh, salvation by grace through faith, Jesus' death burial and resurrection, etc. Though unbelievers might be able to understand these concepts, they cannot and will not put trust and faith in tGod and accept these truths. Real Christians do. So, if you affirm and trust in these biblical doctrines, that is one good test.
Another test is to see if there is a change in your heart. Are you moving away from sin, struggling to resist it, or are you enjoying it and don't take it very seriously? If the former, good. If the latter, well....you're in trouble, big trouble.
So, examine yourself. Do you understand and accept the doctrines of the faith and do you seek to honor God in repentance and in your struggle against sin?
From Matt Slick
It looks like the debate with the secular humanist will occur on April 29, 2009, at UCLA in Southern California. A room has already been reserved on the campus for the debate. However, I received an e-mail a couple days ago saying there may be a problem in financing Dr. John Shook's trip there. So, I hate to say it, there's a possibility the debate might be pushed back a little further. For those of you who have been patiently waiting for the finality, I apologize. But this is thow it goes sometimes. Just to let you know, Dr. Shook is an atheist who specializes in ethics. He and I are supposed to debate the topic "Which is a superior ethical system, Christianity or secular humanism?" It should be an interesting discussion when it occurs.We are still looking for office space. Of course, it has to be local and if any of you are interested in praying about this for us, please lift it up to the Lord. We are okay with our space right now, but if two more people begin to work with CARM, who we think will join us later this year, it will be necessary for us to get an office. These are good growing pains. Please pray about that.Ryan and I are working on converting the existing online schools to a new technology. It will allow interactivity which will include such things as grading, multiple-choice options, true false questions, etc. In addition we hope to be able to include a forum discussion room, a chat room, and occasional web based teaching times where I would get online and answer questions. Opportunities
I thought I would list the needs that CARM has. It is important for us to let you know what we are doing and which direction we hope to go. Please pray for CARM.
We need a tech person to come along side CARM and help us implement stuff such as drupal modules, ftp work, php modifications, etc. We already have one person, but we need one more.The Magento shopping cart issue has become very important lately. We are looking for someone who knows it well enough to be able to devote maybe an hour or two to teach me how to do some of the finer details. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested in helping.
Family Teaching Course Beta TestersI am continuing to work on a Family Teaching Course to be used at the dinner table after dinner. It is simple. The goal is to have a notebook with one to two hundred pages of lessons that a family goes through at their own pace. Each lesson builds upon another so that at the end, the kids have been exposed to biblical theology, history, logic, apologetics, etc. It will be designed to be repeatable at different levels. With so many loosing their faith, I figured I needed to do something about it.
So, I'm asking for volunteers to beta test. This would mean downloading and printing up pages and actually using them at the dinner table. You then, at your leisure, would email me what you think, points that weren't clear, things that worked, or didn't, suggestions, etc. I want constructive criticism on how to make it better as well as "at-a-boy's" on the elements that are good.
If you're interested, then go to http://www.carm.org/more-stuff/about-carm/family-teaching-course and signup.
From Ryan Turner
During these past two weeks, I have finally been able to get back into the research mode. I am currently working on a Hinduism section for the CARM website. As I have mentioned in months past, there is a great need for good quality material on Eastern Religions. It certainly requires a lot of patience and diligent research as I learn about Hindu beliefs. I hope to have this section released...sometime.
I also have been adding more content to our Spanish, Chinese, and Indonesian language sections of CARM. I am extremely excited about our foreign language outreach...especially in Spanish. We are hopefully a few weeks away from beginning to design our Miapic Spanish ministry website. Please pray for this outreach opportunity.
As Matt mentioned above, CARM is working on implementing a new format for the CARM online schools. It will certainly require several weeks of work to get this new technology running smoothly, but I am certainly excited for the opportunity to improve the CARM online schools. We also hope to get these schools translated into various languages. We already have the Spanish version translated. We will just have to convert these Spanish files to the new format.
I appreciate all of the emails that I have received in the past couple of weeks from volunteers who have offered to help with editing the website and PowerPoint help. Matt and I are currently in the design phases of a good PowerPoint template to use in our presentations. I honestly cannot find a good template that I am satisfied with...yet. Our goal is to get all of the online school lessons in PowerPoint.
- Hate Mail
- Stop bashing different religions and different faiths. You are full of hate and your heart is hardened. The Spirit cannot abide with those who hate as much as you do. I feel sorry for you.
- All religions claim to be the "one true church of God" and that "God is on our side". All while their members are running around being arrogant, condescending, and snotty to whomever they think is "unchurched," or unbelieving. You, included.
- YOU ARE DIRECTED BY YOUR FATHER SATAN THE DEVIL. YOU ARE THE SAME PEOPLE WHO TRIED TO BURY THOSE THAT TRANSLATED THE BIBLE, READ IT OR EVEN OWNED IT, BECAUSE IT TALKS ABOUT YOU, THE WOLF IN SHEEPS CLOTHING. YOU ARE THE ANTICHRIST AND WILL SUFFER MORE THAN ANYONE BECAUSE YOU ARE A DIRECT AVENUE OF SATAN THE DEVIL. I WOULD SUGGEST YOU CHANGE THE GIST OF YOUR WEB SITE AND BOW TO THE JEHOVAH GOOD AND BEG FOR FORGIVENESS AND HOPE YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY CROSSED THAT LINE SONS. PSALMS 83:18, "THAT PEOPLE MAY KNOW THAT YOU WHOSE NAME IS JEHOVAH, YOU ALONE ARE THE MOST HIGH OVER ALL THE INHABITED EARTH." GOODBYE OFFSPRING OF VIPERS!
- Your lack of response tells me you are a man of little character. You said in your video that you are not looking down from your "ivory chair," but in fact, that is what you enjoy the most. Looking down on people and telling them how bad and wrong there are must be great when you can avoid including yourself among the "evil" people for acts you have also committed. It makes me think that I should join a religion so I can have the same shield as you that allows me judge others, but protects me from the same punishment that "non-believers" receive. I guess your religion also teaches you that you are never wrong and that there is no need to defend the obvious hypocritical statements that come from your mouth. Or maybe, just maybe you really think that killing a fetus is not really murder as you suggest it is. Thank you for reading my mail.
- I am assuming that you yourself are Christian and I am shocked to see that you fail to show such little understanding and compassion towards the Islam religion. They have their beliefs just as you have yours and it disgusts me how you discredit a religion only to make Christianity appear superior. I have lost much respect for the Christians who allow for this filth to be published.
- JUDGE NOT THOUGH YOU MAY BE JUDGED! DO YOU KNOW THE BIBLE? THINK ABOUT IT.
- Love Mail
- I want to thank you so much for creating this website and dedicating your lives to doing this great ministry. I was researching the Swoon theory and I came upon your website which gave me correct and profound biblical information. Now that I know a website such as yours exists anytime I need help understanding a topic in the Christian religion, I'll turn to you guys. I want to become very knowledgeable in the Word of God and I know that your website will aid me along the way. Thank you so much, may God bless you richly. Dishon
- Hello! I just wanted to say how blessed I am to have found your website today! It is just incredible! And I love it and will tell all my Christian friends about it. Praise God for you all that work at CARM and take the time to get the truth out there...having the various stuff to click on is amazing. I had a new Christian call me today and ask me questions about the Trinity. She had a co-worker box her in, during a conversation and he was belittling her because she didn't know all the answers. The co-worked is part of a cult. Anyway, I wanted to print things up for her and that's how I found your site. Thank you so much! What a fountain of beauty and blessing you guys are. I thank our God for your faith in Him, for your walks with Jesus Christ, and for being led by the Spirit, in all that you do. I pray for your continued success, in staying 'standing' and that God would continue to use you in ways you've never imagined. I will keep you all in my prayers. In His love and grace, Donna
- Hello, first, I must tell you I am not one of Jehovah's Witnesses, but my mother has been for over fifty years. I am very sad about this. I am researching a lot of information hoping to help her to see that the Watchtower Society is the lie. Beth
- Dear CARM, first of all I would just like to say thank you to Matt Slick for the website. It has more than enlightened me not only about what I believe as a Christian, but what the false religious systems and cults believe as well. Yesterday I was very blessed to have the opportunity to witness. I have been praying for opportunities for a while now. I am involved emotionally with a girl who was raised LDS, and yesterday during their "General Conference" that they watch on television when their missionaries were over I was able to challenge them with the Word of God and attempt to hold them accountable for what they believe and show how it contradicts the Bible. It was an incredible rush. I asked questions about 1 Timothy 6:16 and how Joseph Smith could not have seen the Father, as well as God's nature, and the Mormons contradicting Scripture by feelings. I do not know how successful I was, but I pray God receives all the glory as I continue to do his will and present the truth in a loving, but firm way. I have read and studied the CARM section on Mormonism quite extensively; however, I do not see these missionaries often, so when I do I would like to hit them hard and fast.... Please, pray for me as God continues to to enact his will through me and light a fire in my heart to present the truth. Thank you Matt Slick and CARM for all assistance. Sincerely, Zachary