Saturday, 29 October 2011

Good Advice

"Every heresy is due to an overemphasis on some truth, without allowing other truths to qualify and balance it" John R.W. Stott in 'Between Two Worlds,' p 183

Take Care

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Heresies - Nothing New Under the Sun

With a resolution at the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta synod wishing to recognize that,
"...Pelagius’s contribution to our theological tradition is shrouded in the political ambition of his theological antagonists who sought to discredit what they felt was a threat to the empire, and their ecclesiastical dominance..."
Stand firm has re-posted an examination of five historic heresies that are re-surfacing in that denomination.

Lest we gloat, I am sure that some Canadian denominations are not far behind. Be on guard.

Take Care

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Such Hypocrisy

From the Same link as the post below,
...U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Britain's new defense secretary, Philip Hammond, said a full investigation into Gadhafi's death is necessary.

Hammond said the Libyan revolutionaries' image had been "a little bit stained" by Gadhafi's death, Hammond adding that the new government "will want to get to the bottom of it in a way that rebuilds and cleanses that reputation."
"It's certainly not the way we do things," Hammond told BBC television...
After bombing the crap out of the country, targeting Gadhafi specifically with bombs, drones and missiles, these self-righteous politicos are whining because someone put a bullet in his head.

What silliness. And taxpayers actually pay these people!

Pardon the rant, but
Take Care

Monday, 24 October 2011

Told You so

Libyan Leader Declares Nation Islamic, Sharia Law to be Implemented
From Here

Abdul-Jalil said new banks would be set up to follow the Islamic banking system, which bans charging interest as a practice deemed usury.

He also announced the annulment of an existing family law that limits the number of wives Libyan can take, contradicting the provision in the Muslim holy book, the Quran, that allows men up to four wives.
But, as I posted in a previous post,
Is what replaces the status quo going to be better or worse than that which is being replaced? What is going to fill these vaccuums, freedom or increased tyranny and repression? More tolerance for the rights of minorities or less?
In other words, what will be the fate of religious minorities in Libya, especially Christians? Once again, I guess we'll see, won't we?

Take Care

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Trusting in the Promises

It is quite fashionable in come circles to insist that all those who have never heard of Jesus are beyond hope; that they will spend eternity in the fires of hell. I heard Adrian Rogers insist so on the radio the other day.

I have attempted to expand on my position in this matter in other posts. but one more thing occurred to me. The standard question raised in response to this position is, "What about the people in the Old Testament?" And the standard response is something like, "They were saved because they believed in the promises of a coming Messiah."

Well, OK. But when were these promises given? The answer is that the first promise was given in Genesis; in chapter 3; specifically in verse 15;
And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush[b] your head, and you will strike his heel.”
This is often considered the first promise of a messiah who would come and put things right for the human race.

So who to whom was this promise given? To the first human couple; the first parents, if you like, of humanity. The pair from whom all humanity descended.

It follows, therefore, that all of humanity descended from them have been given this promise. The Bible is the record of only one stream of this humanity. It records nothing of those who came to live in the Americas before Columbus; in Europe or Asia or Africa, parallel to, but not recorded in, the biblical record.

Now, don't get me wrong. I am not discounting the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. Without that, no one could be saved. Nor do I discount the need for faith. Those who reject God do so at their own peril and to their own destruction.

But all of those not mentioned in the Bible; all those living in other parallel civilizations, had the same two first parents. So could they not all been privy the same promise? And could not those who trusted in that same promise be considered by God as He considered Noah, for instance? Or Enoch? Or even Abel or Seth? Or any other of the so-called Old Testament saints?

Well, why not?

Take Care

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Dr. Lloyd-Jones on the Altar Call

From Here...

I have never called people forward at the end for this reason; there is a grave danger of people coming forward before they are ready to come forward. We do believe in the work of the Spirit, that He convicts and converts, and He will do His work. There is a danger in bringing people to a "birth," as it were, before they are ready for it.

I can sum it up by putting it like this: I feel that this pressure which is put upon people to come forward in decision ultimately is due to a lack of faith in the work and operation of the Holy Spirit. We are to preach the Word, and if we do it properly, there will be a call to a decision that comes in the message, and then we leave it to the Spirit to act upon people. And of course He does. Some may come immediately at the close of the service to see the minister. I think there should always be an indication that the minister will be glad to see anybody who wants to put questions to him or wants further help. But that is a very different thing from putting pressure upon people to come forward. I feel it is wrong to put pressure directly on the will. The order in Scripture seems to be this - the truth is presented to the mind, which moves the heart, and that in turn moves the will. - Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones
There is a difference between an altar call and an invitation. I believe that every sermon where there are unbelievers in the audience should contain an invitation; an invitation that urges the seeking listener to surrender his life to Christ, and an explanation of the means by which God has made a relationship with Himself possible through him.

But then let that invitation rest on the heart of the hearer. The surrender will take place according to the will of God and the timetable of the Spirit.

Take Care

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Monday, 17 October 2011

"Men of Athens... (Street Evangelism?)

Paul said,
Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription:
TO AN UNKNOWN GOD
Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you: God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising. Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” (Acts 17: 22b-31)

from Here...

Pastor Darren Young of the Langley Evangelical Free Church gives some excellent thoughts on this section of scripture as it may apply to today. The whole thing is fairly long, but the section I'm posting on runs from about 1:50 to about 12:50.

Basically, his point is that Paul's discussions in the Areopagus in Athens do not exactly translate into any attempt on our parts to engage people in the marketplace, the workplace or on the street today. Mars Hill, where Paul's dissertation took place, was the place to go for the exchange of ideas in philosophy and religion. The same kind of place does not exist, for the most part, in the public square today.

In other words, if you tried to stand up on a busy street corner today and give the same message, you might be ignored, you might be heckled, you might be assaulted, you might even be arrested for disturbing the peace. As Pastor Young says, if you stood up on your desk at work and announced you were going to tell your co-workers about Jesus, it probably would not go well for you. Even a less conspicouos attempt to discuss your faith with others is met with an air of indifference or opposition.

But what if there were a place that was open to discussing matters of faith freely? A place where discussion was welcomed; where no question was ridiculed; yet a place where Jesus could be proclaimed boldly to those interested in hearing? In fact, a place where people come specifically to hear?

There is such a place! It is called Alpha. And for a person anxious to see people come to a realization of the truth of The Christian faith, it is the best forum I have ever known for just that puropse.

Yes, I am biased, but my new position with Alpha Canada is merely a next and natural step in my relationship with this remarkable outreach tool. Lord willing, it will enable me to encourage Alpha's expanded presence in our Province and even our nation.

Take Care

Monday, 10 October 2011

There is Only One Certainty

From Here

Re: "Scientists have announced the discovery of a particle that can travel faster than light."

The implications of such a discovery are so mind boggling, however, that these same scientists immediately requested that other labs around the world try to replicate the experiment. Something must have been wrong to account for a result that, if we know anything about the universe, is impossible.

And that’s the problem. It has to be impossible because, if not, everything we know about the universe is wrong.
Ah.... the arrogance of Dawkins, the new atheists and their gullible followers. The arrogance of all who think that the natural is all there is. Who have made science their god; the god that has all answers. We have only to look at history to see that everything changes, even when those present thought they had grasped certainty.

There is only one certainty;
Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:28-31)

Thanks to David

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Pray Without Ceasing

“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel that has come to you.” (Colossians 1: 3-6a)
It is interesting to note that Paul is praying here for those he hasn't yet met. He has only heard of their faith. He hasn’t met them yet. In Alpha we pray. We pray for people we haven’t met yet, but we know that God knows them, and has plans for them, and whoever and wherever they are, they will be joining us as God’s children, our brothers and sisters, in God’s kingdom. Prayer is a big part of each Alpha course. And it is a priority at Alpha Canada. We pray for the people presenting all our courses and we pray for all those who are taking them.

Paul says in Phil 4:6,
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."
Notice that thanksgiving comes even before our petitions are presented, let alone answered. We are to pray with confidence that God will answer, according to His will. At the beginning, and all through each Alpha course, we have prayed with thanksgiving, thankful for what God intends to do in this course, and confident that He is going to accomplish great things. And he always does. I can say with confidence that each and every course in which I have been involved, almost without exception, lives have been changed, hearts have been touched, and people have surrendered their lives to Christ.

Take Care

Saturday, 1 October 2011

An Announcement

I have been accepted as the Associate Regional Director for Alberta for Alpha Canada. Alpha has been very close to my heart for a number of years, and I am pleased and honoured that God has brought me to this position. My official title is Associate Director because I am transitioning into it from my current full time position with Raven Truck Accessories, one of the best companies anywhere to work for, by the way. (I'd like to give them a shout-out because Richard, the President, has been very accomodating in enabling me to take on my new Alpha duties, as well as remain on staff with Raven.) Although my official title is, "Associate Director," there is no, "Regional Director," so... I guess I'm it anyway. What can I say?

The Alpha Course is, in my opinion, just about the best tool, program, (call it what you will) for reaching out to those who do not yet know Christ, as well as helping to educate, edify, and bring into closer relationships, those already in the Body of Christ.

Here is a video of an interview with Nicky Gumbel, the man who, more than anyone else over the last 20 years, has helped grow Alpha into the international phenomenon that it is today. I hope you will watch it all.

My new position, by the way, is self-funded. In other words I will need the financial support of friends and others who have a desire to see new people brought into the Kingdom of God. Anyone who might like to contribute may click to the left where it says, "Support Alpha in Alberta."
Small monthly contributions would be wonderful. Large monthly contributions would be even more wondedrful :>) Any help would be very much appreciated.

In any event, please keep me in your prayers as I endeavor to follow the LORD's will and serve him as faithfully as I can in this new capacity.

Take Care,
John Kivell