There is a famine in the land
Spiritual discernment is lacking in the Christian community. Though there are faithful pastors and Christians who take the word of God seriously, there is an increasing number of Christians who are abandoning the clarity and commands of Scripture and substituting political correctness, feelings, and tolerance for biblical truth and its sometimes difficult revelations. They want to make Christianity more palatable so that the gospel offends no one. But, they fail to realize that the gospel that offends no one is not the gospel of the Bible. Though we are not to purposely offend, in the name of truth offenses will come and we are not to shy away from them.
It was Satan in the Garden of Eden who first challenged the word of God when he asked Eve, "Did God really say...?" (Gen. 3:1). With this question, doubt about the word of God (which is really doubt about the integrity of God) led to a lack of spiritual discernment by Eve and then by Adam. The result was The Fall and the path to all subsequent heresies and apostasies was laid.
In today's Christianity signs of a spiritual famine are evident. Women pastors and elders are increasingly considered to be acceptable. Like it or not, biblical revelation speaks to the contrary when it says that elder/pastors are to be male (1 Tim. 3:2-4; Titus 1:5-6) and women are not to be in positions of authority over men in the church (1 Tim. 2:12-13; 3:15). On TV, charlatan evangelists routinely talk about sending them "seed money", or that we are little gods, or that God wants you healthy and wealthy. The Emerging Church movement, though good in some areas, is dangerous in others with its “conversations” and “centering prayers” that often have anti-biblical teachings mixed with eastern mystical practices. Books like The Shack, with its warm, heart-felt message, teach many unbiblical concepts (i.e., the Father being seen, patripassionism, universalism). It has been accepted and promoted along with its heresies which are excused because “it is fiction.” Since when does fiction make it okay to contradict God’s word?
So, what do we do to develop better spiritual discernment? First and foremost, you must be born again (John 3:3; 2 Cor. 5:17) so that you may have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16). Second, you must study the Word of God and believe it. Third, you need to develop a proper biblical theology that includes the sovereignty and holiness of God found in both the person of Christ and in the Bible.
Proper theology is the bedrock of discernment. Biblical theology teaches, whether anyone likes it or not, that men are to be pastors and elders and that they are to be examples of righteousness and strength. Likewise, God nowhere promises us health and wealth. If anything, he tells us that we will be persecuted for righteousness sake (Matt. 5:10-12). And, biblical theology does not permit fiction to be used as an excuse to violate God's infinite holiness and majesty (1 Cor. 6:4).
So, commit yourself to Christ and his truth. Know God’s word so well, that you will clearly recognize the enemies’ lies. “Examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good,” (1 Thess. 5:21).
For the sake of efficiency I'm going to strip this newsletter down so I can get it out on a weekly basis. Don't expect wondrous happenings each week on CARM. Instead, expect a quick list of updates, sometimes interesting, sometimes not, maybe an opening article (if I have time), the love and hate mail (which every enjoys), and minimal fluff...so, cya Quick Verse, outa-here Evangelism Tips! Instead, you'll find a "Slick and Quick" section (hey I can pun my name!) so I don't waste your or my time.
- Update on Radio Station Opportunity: Praise God! We have found out that God does not want us to take on the WITA radio opportunity. How do we know? The support didn't come in. Thanks to the few of you who offered to support that effort, but it wasn't' nearly enough. So, don't send in that support money for the WITA radio opportunity.
- From Last Newsletter for newbies: "WITA radio in Knoxville, Tennessee has offered us a great deal on radio time. They have an 8:30 - 9:00 morning opening on their AM station for $30 per half hour (a great deal). It would be very easy for us to send them 1/2 hour shows that they could air. They are asking for a 6 month commitment which would be around $3800. So, we're letting the CARM folks know about this and see who'd like to support it."
- New Articles. Still writing lots of articles. You can check them out at www.carm.org/whats-new.
- Debate with Atheist Dan Barker - Matt Slick will be debating atheist Dan Barker on the evening of Saturday Sept. 26, 2009, in Portland Oregon. The topic is "Is there reason to be good without God?" James White of aomin.org will also be debating Barker in the morning. For details go to http://www.newbergcc.org
- Debate with Atheist Edward Tabash - Our debate is set up for 12/5/2009 at Boise State University. The debate topic is "Does God Exist?" Also, the secular society at BSU has asked me to come to one of their meetings on September 11 in order to "answer questions." I'm looking forward to both.
- Debate in Indiana - We are postponing that debate until early next year due to scheduling.
- Prayer Support: If you would like to pray specifically for CARM, then please check out http://www.carm.org/christianity/prayer-ministry/carm-prayer-needs
- Feedback and Suggestions. We have a feedback form for CARM now, so if you want to give us some feedback (we'd love to hear it), please go to http://www.carm.org/submit-feedback. We want to hear your ideas!
- Corrections Feedback. If you have a correction you want to see made on CARM we have a form for that too: http://www.carm.org/submit-correction
- WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT! If you like what CARM does and want to support it, we have some options.
Tech Stuff Needs
- CAMERA! - Okay, so CARM has been doing vids. But Ryan is gone now (back home in N.C., gonna do school) and he was the one digitizing the videos, adding intro/outro and uploading. The present digital tape camera works except that after shooting, I have to rewind the tape, play it back at regular speed as it is digitized it into the Macintosh computer, and then do the magic before uploading (which I don't know how to do yet). So, in order to cut this process time in half I need a CAMERA that records straight to a hard drive. Then it would be only about one minute to transfer the file to a computer so I can add the intros and outros, and upload it to youtube. After some research, the camera to meet the needs is a Sony - 12.1MP Handycam High-Definition Camcorder w/120GB. It has an audio-in (for microphone), audio-out (controlling recording volume), and it records straight to digital. So.... the uses that I would have for it would be to film the upcoming development of converting the theology school to video, continue doing the short article vidoes, and I could use it in the radio station to record the shows for live broadcast over (ustream.tv and/or stickam.com).
- Downside, is the camera costs around $1200. But, its the minimal for what we need to work on an efficient level. Remember, I need things simple and quick so that in the long run, I can get a LOT more done.
- So, if you want to support the CAMERA Fund, then please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, but don't send money. Just let me know how much you'd be willing to help out with. If we get enough, I'll contact all of you and ask for it.
- We need Drupal and programming help - If you have something to offer with Drupal, please let us know. Aaron will be working one day a week for CARM and MRM.ORG so there would be someone to coordinate your efforts with. If interested, please contact Aaron me at email@example.com and I will forward your e-mail to Aaron. BTW, need a new and better Theme Design for CARM where the html code has the text of the articles appearing sooner in the page than later!!
- Twitter - you can follow the CARM twitter stuff at https://twitter.com/carmorg. We post stuff throughout the day.
- Facebook - Hundreds of people are now friends on the CARM facebook. If you're interested, just go to http://www.facebook.com/carm.org. Oh, by the way, I think Facebooks it's very difficult to use. I am looking for someone who would be willing to take over the karmic Facebook, make it spiffy looking, maybe develop some more network stuff with it, etc. The goal is to use it to promote the gospel. I just don't have the time to figure out how to do it all. So, if you are interested and don't mind being interviewed, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks.
- Radio Show - We want to have the Faith and Reason Radio show on different stations. So, we're asking for some suggestions in your area. Send them to email@example.com
Love and Hate Mail
- Thank you so much for both your great resource via your web site, and the great conversation that you and I had this morning! I really appreciate your gift of the study courses, and I will financially reward you as God blesses my household's finances! Thank you so much again, and if you ever want or are lead to contact me... Please feel free to contact me at the below contact information!
- Hey, I just wanted to thank you for your website. I found it yesterday while searching for a site about the different religions. My boyfriend and I had decided to really delve into what we believe as Christians so that we are "prepared to give an answer" if we are ever faced with any opposing religions (The Local Church, Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, etc.). I am looking forward to learning more and more about Jesus, the Bible, and Christianity. Again, thank you! Amber
- Thank you for writing the article on The Shack. For a long time I was beginning to think I was the only person that disagreed strongly with the book! A friend of mine read the book and then gave it to me because she trusted my discernment and understanding of scripture. I read the book and knew that things were so wrong in it, but I went to prayer about it. My spirit was disturbed and I knew that there were many errors. Like you, I knew that this was not just fiction when the book came across with such teachings and authority. There was a greater agenda going on here. I cannot remember the page exactly, maybe 190 something, Jesus makes the comment, “I didn’t say anything about being a Christian…I am not a Christian!” WOW, this was a horrible statement for "this Jesus" to make. We are followers of Christ, and HE WAS CHRIST. He does want us to be Christians! When I read, “I am not a Christian”, it was as if I read, I AM NOT THE CHRIST!!! So, who is this Jesus in The Shack? Is he the anti-Christ? This should not be read lightly or understood lightly! I’ve had to stand against my church, and against my pastor’s wife, because I said the book was a deception and was dangerous to Christians and non-Christians. It was written to twist truth and try to steal the Word of Life from our heart and understanding and replace it with the author’s agenda. Thank you for your article! Cathy
- Just wanted to thank you for what you are doing and the great tool/resource CARM provides. It was very helpful to me specifically today in addressing some friends questions about 'where in the bible does it say being gay is not good or bad'... Your website popped up in a search result about this question and I shared the link in which I hope helps pass on the truth and helps them better understand Christ and the Bible etc. Thank you for being a great and helpful resource. God bless. Keith
- That guy Matt Slick is clearly an idiot. He might want to do a little reading and research before going to bash someone's religion. Geeeeee
- Let me tell you a story. A while back, I was visiting a mall in Washington and came across 'The Washington Team Store' which sells apparel, posters and all sorts of trinkets related to Washington sports teams. Each item promoted one of the teams in the state, such as the Seahawks, Mariners, etc. I noticed that there was not one item, not one single item, that was anti-any other team. There were no items that said the Chargers aren't really a professional team, or the Raiders can't really play football, or that the Yankees were wrong. I thought it very classy that they would simply focus on promoting what they believed in without trying to discredit or put down others. Maybe you could learn a little something from them.
- Greetings from New Zealand, When Martin Luther broke away from the Catholic Church he was called a heretic. Now CARM calls Oneness believers heretics...So would CARM please consider using more temperate language than heretic? After all BOTH Oneness and Triniterian theology are built on the view that Jesus was both human and divine, and is our Saviour.
- The Catholic Church is the original Christian Church, the ONLY Christian Church founded by Jesus Christ, and the ONLY Christian Church approved by Him. All others are unauthorized manmade institutions that exist in open defiance of the Christ's stated intention - "That they all may be ONE". What you really meant to ask of course is the difference between Catholic (fully Christian) and Protestant(semi-Christian). There are a great many differences, and just as many differences from one Protestant group to another.
- There's nothing you can teach me except for heresy. I actually wrote on a note book what I found about Luther. Then I sent it to your email. What I copied and pasted was the KJV of the bible on the previous message.You think that is that easy to just accept Christ and there's heaven. Like I told you, just by reading the scripture WITHOUT A CATHOLIC BOOK I could see that not only your teachings, but most of everyone else's teachings are incomplete or false, just according to scripture. If you say that I don't understand scripture it's because scripture was only meant to be interpreted by church leader's, like the Pope and our bishops. Scripture shouldn't be on everyones hands except for the ones that compiled the whole bible. Don't worry the Lord will tell us the truth in this life or the life to come. As for me I know I'm in the right place, the Roman Catholic Church. I'm 25 years old and I know I have much to learn. Whatever it is the Lord will guide me, that's why you won't answer me no more. Only one church, one faith, one Christ. He is the way to salvation. We must take the narrow path because it is wide the path that leads to damnation.
- So, you believe that there is no right or wrong as long as you believe it is right, ask the Muslims. You don't think Christ might have been a little overbearing when he threw the money changers out of the church? You say Mr. Murrary don't practice or preach religious tolerance, evidently you do not either since you are condeming hie teachings also.