Reluctant to pray? It may be that……… by Russell Moore

(VIA)Justin Taylor

Russell Moore:

One of the first ways you can tell that you are moving beyond temptation into a pattern of sin is if you find yourself in a time of prayerlessness.

That isn’t just a “spiritual maturity issue”—it’s a gospel issue.

You are recreated through the gospel with a nature that longs for communion with God. The Spirit within you cries out, “Abba! Father!” (Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:6). Prayer is exactly how you experience the sympathy of your high priest who has triumphed over your temptation. After all, you are not the only one praying when you pray. The Spirit himself prays through you, and as he does so, he works to align your will and desires with those of Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:26–27).

If you are reluctant to pray, it just might be that you, like Adam and Israel before you, are hiding in the vegetation, ashamed to hear the rustling of the leaves that signals he is here.

Tempted and Tried: Temptation and the Triumph of Christ, p. 171.

(via)

Reclame

Don’t waste your life, John Piper (video) si cartea

* Citeste  cartea  ‘Nu-ti risipi viata’ in  limba  Romana, autorul   John Piper, traducere Mihai Damian.  (117 pagini)

* Read – ‘Don’t waste your life’ in the English language  (192 pages)

The threat of pornography to marriage by 9Marks ministry

from 9marks ministry (Mark Dever’s ministry)I do not want human ideas. I want God’s word about the church. I turn with hope and confidence to Mark Dever’s radically biblical commitment. I thank God for 9Marks.” ~ John Piper, author and pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, MN

Premarital Counseling, Pornography and Marriage. To read the whole article click here.

CULTURAL CHANGE AND PORNOGRAPHY

9M: How do you think the culture has changed over the last fifteen or twenty years? What do you think marriages are facing now that they may not have faced twenty years ago?

WS: There are probably many cultural pressures that make marriage different than it was even 15 or 20 years ago. I will just point out one because it’s one of the most insidious. I’ve seen time and time again just how powerful and destructive pornography is in marriages. Of course, pornography is more than 20 years old, but what has changed in the last 20 years is technology. In the past there was this shame barrier that you had to be willing to cross. To really throw yourself into pornography, you had to go to a different part of town. You had to get out of your car and walk into a store and be willing to be seen. Your name and your face would be associated with the material that you were handling. Now anonymity seems almost guaranteed. It’s not just available to you, it’s invading your life. It’s promoting itself. It will pop up in your e-mails. It will show up on the movie menu in the hotel room. Probably the classier the hotel, the easier it is to view pornography and the more shamelessly it’s displayed.

Pornography is on the offensive against you. It’s coming after you. So you have to have real reasons to say no to it, not just because you are going to get caught. That’s not a good enough reason because you’ll have opportunities to secretly indulge in it. The mode of pornography has changed, and the message has become amplified. Without being graphic, anybody who’s seen pornography will probably know what I’m talking about. Pornography is ultimately about anonymous, meaningless relationships where the center of focus is personal gratification.

Sex is wonderful, but sex is intended by God to communicate meaning and purpose. It is intended to communicate God’s commitment, covenantal and sacrificial love, tenderness and care. It is not intended to communicate a freedom to do what you can get away with, focus on yourself, and engage in anonymous, meaningless relationships. You take those anti-relationship messages of pornography and pair them with a physiological high and you’ve got something really nasty on your hands. It doesn’t just enslave a person’s time and thought life. It begins to invade the rest of their relationships. Those same messages of convenience, pleasure, and self-focus leak all over your life—they don’t just stay on your computer .

9M: Do you have any wisdom for pastors and churches for taking the offensive—ways they can be proactive in the battle against pornography?

WS: I think one of the ways churches should work against this threat, very simply, is to start talking about it. And don’t just talk about it as something that’s out there in the culture, but talk about it as something that’s coming after us as individuals and families in the church. Create forums/arenas where people who are battling with it can talk about it without being shamed or treated like second class citizens. Create an open conversation where this problem is treated with the same care, concern, and tenderness as any other sins and struggle.

This is a very simple but bold step. You need to say, „We’re going to talk about it like it’s a problem in our church, because it is.” It is a given. Of course, this conversation should occur as part of the larger culture of discipling and accountability that pastors should be cultivating in their churches.

Then be really practical in giving people tools to do something about it.

  • If you have an Internet connection in your home, think of it as a portal to a XXX book store. You have a doorway in your house that leads to an adult book store if you have an internet connection, a cable TV, or satellite connection. So treat it like it’s a door that needs to be guarded and locked. It’s ok to be entertained with your computer, but you need to know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. You’re not just grazing on your computer.
  • Limit private access to the computer. If you have a desktop computer, put it in a family area with the screen facing the middle of the room.
  • There are all kinds of software available that are effective, but no software is foolproof. There are software options that are effective at erecting a barrier (stringing up some razor wire). If you break through, it’s because you wanted to break through – not because you were entrapped.

There are all kinds of basic things that we can do to protect ourselves, but we seem to walk around in churches with naiveté. People are assuming, „No one is talking about it so it must not be a problem.” I have seen countless examples of pastors and church administrators who’ve been ensnared by it. I have counseled people who work as cleaning staff who will log onto computers at night and look at pornography in the buildings they are cleaning. Hopefully, some of these suggestions will be helpful in battling this prevalent issue.

read entire dialogue here.

The Seduction of Pornography and the Integrity of Christian Marriage by Albert Mohler

Click on ‘Fullscreen’ to enlarge and then press the ESC button to toggle back to regular screen. (Esc button is on your typing keyboard in the upper left corner by the F1 key)

View this document on Scribd

Pornography – the dangerous addiction (Romanian / English resources) ‘New’ Online Book

Biofizician Ortodox-Virgiliu Gheroghe

Pornografia – o realitate care ne priveste- conferinta Sibiu Bucuresti

Feriti-va ca de foc. E mai rau ca focul! (Virgiliu Gheorghe)

Este socant ce planuri se pun la cale de  UNESCO si Uniunea Europeana asupra subiectului de educatie sexuala pentru copii in scolile din UE. Citeaza niste statistice din Statele Unite, ingrozitoare. Media de virsta a copiilor care incep sa foloseasca pornografia este 11 ani. E bine sa fim informati de pericolul acesta care distruge familiile si societatea noastra. Virgiliu Gheroghe explica cum consumul pornografiei (excitare prin privire) timp de 5-10 ani, ii imbatrineste creierul cu 30 de ani din cauza leziunilor care sint produse dupa mai putin de un an de consum. Dupa numai sase luni de zile, acel om isi schimba total gindirea si nu isi mai doreste familia sau copii ci doar implinirea placerii chimice in consumul pornografiei. Virgiliu Gheorghe a scris inca o carte- ‘Efectele micului ecran asupra minţii copilului’ care apare sub sigla „Asociaţiei pentru Apărarea Familiei şi (a) Copilului”. Conferinta a fost tinuta la Sibiu de Virgiliu Gheorghe. Video 2 ore 40 minute,  Altermedia Romania.

(Pentru ca acest video nu mai este ‘available’ postez 3 fisiere video de la cea mai recenta conferinta cu Virgiliu Gheorghe.

Uploaded by on Feb 25, 2011 from 24 feb. 2011, Aula Facultatii de Drept Bucuresti; filmare: Aurel Duta pentru FoaieNationala

Partea 1

Partea 2

Partea 3


Inca un video care l-am mai postat- Despre pericolul pornografiei cu  Dr Albu v Eeden (cu translator). Conferinta a luat loc la Biserica Baptista Timisoara, Romania.

Conferinta la Biserica Baptista Timisoara, Romania.
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1st collector for ‪Despre pericolul pornografiei – Dr Albu v Eede…
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Mark Driscoll – What the Bible Really Says About Sex (on Fox News)

The Bible and Neuroscience on Promiscuity by J.P.Moreland

by rodi in J.P.Moreland, Marriage, Youth Tags: Bile and neuroscience, family series, following bible teachings, hooked, J.P.Moreland, promiscuity, sexual relations, traditional marriage

Dr. Moreland’s blog header Bible verse:

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and

whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

Matthew 16:25

J.P.Moreland is the Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University in La Mirada, California. I have four earned degrees: a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Missouri, a Th.M. in theology from Dallas Theological Seminary, an M. A. in philosophy from the University of California-Riverside, and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Southern California.

During the course of his life, he has co-planted three churches, spoken and debated on over 175 college campuses around the country, and served with Campus Crusade for Christ for 10 years. For eight years, he served as a bioethicist for PersonaCare Nursing Homes, Inc. headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland.

In his post Dr. Moreland quotes from , Hooked: New Science on How Casual Sex is Affecting our Children.and starts out by affirming what we, as Christians now and believe about the impact of the Bible (the Word of God):

The Bible is the greatest source of wisdom for life in all of humanity.  If followed, its teaching regularly and without rival leads to human flourishing.  It is important to keep this in mind, because, since the beginning of the twentieth century in the United States, current after current of alleged thought has told us to jettison scriptural teaching in favor of some recent, more updated findings.  This has especially been true in the sexual revolution, which tells us that traditional biblical morality is stifling and repressive.  However, if the Bible is true, one would predict that. In fact, following its teachings would lead to flourishing, and disobeying its teachings would have a deleterious effect on people.

Then he proceeds to discuss the surprising  findings in the book (surprising that is, if you are an unbeliever):

So far as I know, neither author is a believer, and if he or she is, neither’s religious views form a part of his/her arguments.  The thesis of the book is that, given current brain research, is it now beyond reasonable doubt that sexual promiscuity (basically, any intense sexual activity, including, but not limited to, intercourse) has a negative impact on one’s brain chemistry, one’s health, one’s ability to enjoy sex, and one’s ability to connect emotionally and relationally with someone.  They argue that only in the context of traditional marriage can sexual relations be life-giving.

Click here to read the rest of this article.

(VIA)Brett Kunkle Stand To Reason

2 helpful videos

1 – Live pure, free from pornography & lustful thoughts (Pastor Tim Conway) 28 min.

2 – Freedom from masturbation and pornography (James from ‘I’ll be honest’) 33 min.

This booklet was originally published at Mars Hill Church and is now being offered as a freely distributable online eBook and downloadable as a PDF which Mars Hill encourages everyone to distribute.

Matt Chandler – the Church of Ephesus, doctrine-yes, but…unity, but…love

Every time I listen to Matt Chandler preach, I think on this verse:
Psalm 119
14 In the way of your testimonies I delight
as much as in all riches.

Click on the picture to playVideo Sermon.

If you liked this sermon, you might want to watch this additional sermon:

  1. Matt Chandler preaching at Southern Baptist Seminary.
  2. Matt Chandler – Defining masculinity
  3. Matt Chandler – a story of faith in Christ during chemotherapy for a brain tumor

Pastor Mark Driscoll- „I’m going to bury a lot of people. So for me, this (hell) is not just heartless academic speculation,”

You can read more from Driscoll (Piper,Chandler,Mahaney,Keller & others at Driscoll’s website http://theresurgence.com/authors.Below, an article featured on the Christianpost.

Driscoll:

Without Jesus, You Go to Hell

In admittedly his most difficult sermon in 15 years of ministry, Seattle pastor Mark Driscoll made it abundantly clear that hell is real and is the destination for those who don’t trust in Jesus.

„Let me say it clearly, … plainly, … loudly: You are in danger. Without Jesus, you go to hell,” the Reformed pastor told thousands at Mars Hill Church this past weekend.

Driscoll was preaching from the sixteenth chapter of the Gospel of Luke – a New Testament book that he has been going over for the past year and a half with his church. But what made the sermon even more timely and that much more urgent was the recent debate on hell in light ofthe release of Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived, by Grandville, Mich., pastor Rob Bell.

If I don’t tell you the truth… your blood is on my hands.

Bell, who has been accused of heresy and preaching universalism, has made media rounds during his book tour this month. In a visit to MSNBC, the popular author was pushed four times by host Martin Bashir on the question of eternal destiny after receiving unsatisfying answers – or rather, unclear ones.

„Is it irrelevant about how one responds to Christ in this life in terms of determining one’s eternal destiny?” asked Bashir, who also accused the author of amending the Gospel so that it’s palatable. Article continues below the video. Click on the ‘more’ link.

Click on image for video

It is terribly relevant and terribly important. Now, how exactly that works out and how exactly that works out in the future, we are now when you die firmly in the realm of speculation,” Bell replied.

„You have to be very careful that we don’t build whole doctrines and dogma about what is speculation.”

Without naming names, Driscoll, author of Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe, expressed profound concern over false teachings and messages that proclaim anything other than salvation through Jesus Christ.

„It greatly disturbs me when well-known pastors and preachers and authors get invited onto television … when the world is listening to them, the interviewer inquires of them ‘if you don’t believe in Jesus are you going to hell?’ and they squirm or they change the subject or they appeal to the emotions or they tell a story, they do anything but say ‘yes, if you don’t know Jesus you go to hell,'” the 40-year-old pastor said.

„Friends, this is the most serious of matters,” he told the congregation. „I’m not the judge but there are pastors that are going to hell. So be careful who you trust.”

For Driscoll, there is no ambiguity in Jesus’ teachings about heaven and hell.

Stressing throughout his sermon that his job is to tell the truth, Driscoll pointed to Jesus’ teachings on the hard-to-stomach issue of hell.

Jesus, he said, speaks of hell more than anyone in the entire Bible. Roughly 13 percent of his teachings and half of his parables are in reference to hell, judgment, or punishment, Driscoll noted.

„Some say Jesus is so loving, certainly Jesus doesn’t believe in hell. I would say the most loving person who has ever lived not only believes in hell but clearly, emphatically, repeatedly teaches on it, which must mean that our sin is more damnable than we can fathom if it requires the most loving person to speak in the most stark of terms,” he pointed out.

„The existence of hell, the instruction by Jesus of hell should reveal to us how sinful sin truly is and how rebellious we really are.”

From the get-go, Driscoll, who was raised a Catholic before converting at age 19, rejected as false several popular positions people hold about death and the afterlife, including naturalism (no soul), universalism (all or almost all go to heaven), belief in reincarnation (multiple, successive lives), annihilationism (suffer in hell a while but eventually cease to exist), and belief in purgatory (temporary punishment and ultimately going to heaven).

Making clear what Jesus made clear, the Seattle pastor known for his no-holds-barred attitude said everyone who doesn’t know Jesus will go to hell.


„Have you received Jesus? Have you trusted in Jesus? If not, you are in the path of the wrath of God. You are headed to the conscious eternal torments of hell,” he asserted.

Quoting Jesus, Driscoll underscored, „‘No one comes to the Father but by me.’ No one. No one. Buddhism, no. Hinduism, no. New Ageism, no. Mormonism, no. Jehovah’s Witnessism, no. Nice people, no. Good people, no. Generous people, no. Religious people, no.”

„There is no salvation apart from him (Jesus)!” he exclaimed.

Regarding a second chance after death, Driscoll stated plainly that there is no second chance.

„Your eternal destiny is sealed upon your death. This life is your only opportunity,” he preached.

„I’m going to bury a lot of people. So for me, this is not just heartless academic speculation,” he stressed. „It’s heartfelt pastoral affection.”

„I’m really worried about some of you,” he said as he became teary-eyed. “I love you. I can’t have your blood on my hands.”

While some try to elevate one attribute of God over another (such as love), Driscoll noted that while God is love the Bible speaks more of His holiness than anything else.

„God is love, and whatever God does is loving. God is also just. God is also holy,” he said. „Our God is also simultaneously, perfectly a God of wrath. Not just our God but the only God.

„God is holy. If we do not repent, we are in the path of His wrath.”

It is in love, however, that God sent Jesus „as our substitute, to go to the cross and give us eternal life,” Driscoll added.

Responding to questions about why God would create people if their future is hell, Driscoll stated, „People go to hell because they reject Jesus. We are in no way innocent.”

„This is not the world as God made it. This is the world as we have corrupted it,” he explained.

He continued, „What is astonishing is God would become a man to live in the world as we have destroyed it.”

The wrath of God was poured out on Jesus, he added, so that it may be diverted from us.

„That is the gift of salvation. That is the love of God.”

In one illustration, Driscoll stated, „It makes perfect sense to me that a convicted criminal goes to prison. Similarly, it makes perfect sense that a condemned sinner goes to hell.”

Hell, he noted, was made for the devil and his angels who rebelled against God. And just as prison was made to protect the rest of the public, hell was made to „protect us.”

„You need not go there. Trust in Jesus.”

Regarding what hell is like, the illustration in Luke reveals a place of torment with flames. It’s like being trapped in a burning building forever, Driscoll said.

Jesus also uses as illustration a place outside Jerusalem called Gehenna. There, children were murdered and sacrificed by fire to false demon gods.

It was a cursed place that became a garbage dump of the city where worms were always feasting and flames were always burning.

Near the end of his sermon, Driscoll pleaded with the congregation not to judge God.

„We have three-pound fallen brains. We have sinful dispositions. We have only been around for a few short years. We are not all knowing,” he pointed out.

„For us to sit on a throne even if it is an academic throne propped up by footnotes, asking the Creator of heaven and earth to pass before us that we might render a verdict regarding His holiness and justice is how all the trouble began in the first place.”

Driscoll urged the congregation and other listeners online to make a decision – eternal life or eternal death.

„You’re still alive so I’m pleading with you. Make your decision while you’re still alive.”

Ce faci cand te intalnesti cu durerea?, Iosif Ton (Daniel 9)

Referinte: Daniel 9:20-26 | Habacuc 3:16Daniel 9:20 Pe când încă vorbeam eu, mă rugam, îmi mărturiseam păcatul meu şi păcatul poporului meu, Israel, şi îmi aduceam cererile înaintea Domnului Dumnezeului meu, pentru muntele cel sfânt al Dumnezeului meu;Ps 32.5; Isa 65.24;Daniel 9:21 pe când vorbeam eu încă în rugăciunea mea, a venit repede, în zbor iute, omul Gabriel pe care-l văzusem mai înainte într-o vedenie şi m-a atins în clipa când se aducea jertfa de seară.

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Ce faci cand te intalnesti cu durerea?, Iosif Ton, posted with vodpod

CLIPE FRUMOASE cu Petrica Mihai din Calimanesti (cintare superba de la inceputul credintei)

O cintare superba, primita de la Angela P. Imi aduce aminte de copilaria mea in adunarile din judetul Arad. Cintarea ‘iti unge sufletul’

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CLIPE FRUMOASE cu Petrica Mihai din Calimanesti…, posted with vodpod

The Four Essentials to Finishing Well by Jerry Bridges

Excerpt from the sermon:

For most Christians after conversion, it is a works performance to the end. That is why we should have a daily appropriation of the Gospel because it is in our nature to drift off course towards a performance relationship and when you do, you will have a superficial view of sin in your life. If you think of sin as the gross sins we are committing outside of us, then you tend towards a religious pride because you are not doing those things.If you’re conscientious and you’re seeing some of these respectable sins such as gossip and pride and jealousy, and envy and critical spirit and these kinds of things; if you are seeing those in your life and you do not have the gospel, then those lead you to despair. And so often time the people in the second category just kind of slack off because they can’t handle the tension.

They can’t handle the difference of what they know they should be and what they honestly see themselves to be. And that which resolves that tension is the Gospel-to remind ourselves that we areclothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ and that which keeps us from spiritual pride is the Gospel because, again, the Gospel is only for sinners. And so, we are a bunch of sinners, practicing sinners, we’ve been delivered from the guilt and the dominion of sin. Yes, that’s true, and we are now called saints, separated from sin, but we still sin in thought, word, deed and most of all in motives. We wanna please God, but, we want to look good in the process, So we come to the Lord admitting that we are practicing sinners, but we look to Jesus Christ and His shed blood, and His perfect obedience, His righteous life which has been credited to men, and we see ourselves standing before God clothed in His righteousness.

That will get you excited about the Christian life; when you see yourself daily clothed in His righteousness, and that will keep you from loving the world. You can’t love the Gospel and love the world at the same time. That will keep you from getting off course.

The following are notes taken during the message. (Desiring God website)

Four Essentials to Finishing Well

Paul endured to the end but Demas, as far as we know, did not

(2 Timothy4:7,10), even though he was once a fellow worker (Philemon 1:24). This is a sobering thought because so many of us are still very young.Finishing well is guaranteed to none of us, apart from the grace of God. How can we, like Paul, endure by God’s grace?

1) Daily time of focused personal communion with God.It must be daily, otherwise we will find ourselves drifting in the wrong direction. Demas was in love with this present world. Our time with God must build in us affections for God that trump the temptations to love this world. It’s helpful to have a plan, but the plan must direct us to God himself.

2) Daily appropriation of the gospel. The gospel is for sinners. Before we spend time in communion with God, we must come to him with the attitude of the tax collector who prayed,”Have mercy on me, a sinner,” and trust God alone to make us righteous.This alone will give us the confidence to approach God and have communion with him.

If we don’t daily appropriate the gospel then we will begin to base our spirituality on our performance, which will eventually lead us either towards pride or despair. But reminding ourselves daily that we are sinners and that, by God’s grace, we’ve been clothed with the righteousness of Christ, will equip us with true and pure motivation to continue following Jesus and renouncing the desire to love this world. We ought to work hard, not in order to earn God’s approval but because we already have it.

3) Daily commit yourself to God as a living sacrifice.Romans 12:1. The Old Testament sacrifice that Paul alludes to was daily performed by the priests. He carries that same significance over to new covenant saints. Our bodies are on loan from God, and we must daily re-consecrate ourselves to him. Just as Paul appealed to Philemon(Philemon 1:8-10), even though he had the right to command him, so also he appeals to us to give ourselves to God. The sheer wonder of the mercy of God should cause us to spontaneously give it, and this we will do if we daily bask in his love.

4) A firm belief in the sovereignty and love of God. Lamentations 3:37-38. Life is full of pains, through natural circumstances and the ill will of others. But God is sovereign over all such evils, and—by faith—we can give thanks for them. God is using them to conform us to the image of Christ and will never leave us or forsake us. The gospel and the promises of God will never fail, nor will he take them from us.

© Desiring God

University Indoctrination- ‘Christianity plagiarizes Mithraism’

Irenaeus on heresies:

„Error, indeed, is never set forth in its naked deformity, lest, being thus exposed, it should at once be detected. But it is craftily decked out in an attractive dress, so as, by its outward form, to make it appear to the inexperienced (ridiculous as the expression may seem) more true than truth itself.” (Irenaeus, Against Heresies 1.2)

The word „heresy” originally meant „choose” or „faction,” but as the early church grew, false teachers started to infiltrate.  It became necessary for the early church to determine what was and was not true doctrine.

The Bible condemns false doctrines and false teachers.  Gal. 1:8-9 says, „But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed.”  See also 1 Cor. 16:22; 2 Cor. 11:13-15; 1 Tim. 1:18-20; Titus 3:10.

Christians are saved by faith in the work of Jesus on the cross, but faith by itself is not enough.  Faith is not a substance you obtain.  Faith is belief, and faith is only as good as who you place it in.  False gods don’t save anyone.  This is why the True God says in Exodus 20:3, „You shall have no other gods before Me.”  Faith is not what saves, but faith in the true God is what saves.

Many college students’ faith in God gets smashed by secular professors presuming to teach them historical facts that discount God’s existence and attack the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Since we now have a prominent pastor who through his video ministry speeches, validates the belief that it’s possible that Christianity borrowed from the cult of Mithra, it is important to know the Christian response.The enlightened professors at universities across the country never present an opposing view in the classroom other than their own personal set of beliefs. Here is a response from www.carm.org/ a Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry. There are other excellent articles at this website, on various subjects that are highly informative. Talk to your children about this, and give them historical facts before they head to college. And then again, check and see if what your own church pastor has to say on this subject.

Doesn’t the religion of Mithra prove that Christianity is false?

Some critics of Christianity teach that the Christian religion was not based upon divine revelation but that it borrowed from pagan sources, Mithra being one of them. They assert that the figure of Mithra has many commonalities with Jesus, too common to be coincidence.

Mithraism was one of the major religions of the Roman Empire which was derived from the ancient Persian god of light and wisdom. The cult of Mithraism was quite prominent in ancient Rome, especially among the military. Mithra was the god of war, battle, justice, faith, and contract. According to Mithraism, Mithra was called the son of God, was born of a virgin, had disciples, was crucified, rose from the dead on the third day, atoned for the sins of mankind, and returned to heaven. Therefore, the critics maintain that Christianity borrowed its concepts from the Mithra cult. But is this the case? Can it be demonstrated that Christianity borrowed from the cult of Mithra as it developed its theology?

First of all, Christianity does not need any outside influence to derive any of its doctrines. All the doctrines of Christianity exists in the Old Testament where we can see the prophetic teachings of Jesus as the son of God (Zech. 12:10), born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14), was crucified (Psalm 22), the blood atonement (Lev. 17:11), rose from the dead (Psalm 16:10), and salvation by faith (Hab. 2:4). Also, the writers of the gospels were eyewitnesses (or directed by eyewitnesses as were Mark and Luke) who accurately represented the life of Christ. So, what they did was write what Jesus taught as well as record the events of His life, death, and resurrection. In other words, they recorded history, actual events and had no need of fabrication or borrowing.

There will undoubtedly be similarities in religious themes given the agrarian culture. Remember, an agriculturally based society, as was the people of the ancient Mediterranean area, will undoubtedly develop theological themes based upon observable events, i.e., the life, death, and seeming resurrection of life found in crops, in cattle, and in human life. It would only be natural for similar themes to unfold since they are observed in nature and since people created gods related to nature. But, any reading of the Old Testament results in observing the intrusion of God into Jewish history as is recorded in miracles and prophetic utterances. Add to that the incredible archaeological evidence verifying Old Testament cities and events and you have a document based on historical fact instead of mythical fabrication. Furthermore, it is from these Old Testament writings that the New Testament themes were developed.

Following is a chart demonstrating some of the New Testament themes found in the Old Testament.

Theme Old Testament
Reference
New Testament
fulfilled in Jesus
Ascension of Jesus to the right hand of God Ps. 110:1 Matt 26:64; Acts 7:55-60; Eph. 1:20
Atonement by blood Lev. 17:11 Heb. 9:22
Begotten Son, Jesus is Psalm 2:7 Acts 13:33; Heb. 1:5
Crucifixion Psalm 22:11-18; Zech. 12:10 Luke 23:33-38
Eternal Son Micah 5:1-2; Psalm 2:7 Heb. 1:5; 5:5
God among His people Isaiah 9:6; 40:3 John 1:1,14; 20:28; Col. 2:9; Matt. 3:3
Incarnation of God 1)Ex 3:14; 2)Ps. 45:6 Isaiah 9:6; Zech. 12:10 1)John 8:58; 1:1,14; 2)Heb. 1:8; Col. 2:9; Heb. 1:1-3
Only Begotten Son Gen. 22:2. See Typology John 3:16; Heb. 11:7
Resurrection of Christ Psalm 16:9-10; 49:15; Is. 26:19 John 2:19-21
Return of Christ Zech. 14:1-5; Mic. 1:3-4 Matt. 16:27-28; Acts 1:11; 3:20
Sin offering Ex. 30:10; Lev. 4:3 Rom. 8:3; Heb. 10:18; 13:11
Son of God Psalm 2:7 John 5:18
Substitutionary Atonement Isaiah 53:6-12; Lev. 6:4-10,21 Matt. 20:28; 1 Pet. 2:24; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Pet. 3:18;
Virgin Birth Isaiah 7:14 Matt. 1:25

(For a more complete list please go to Are the New Testament themes found in the Old Testament?)

As you can see, there is no need for any of the Christian writers to borrow from anything other than the Old Testament source in order to establish any Christian doctrine concerning Jesus. If the argument that pagan mythologies predated Christian teachings and therefore Christianity borrowed from them is true, then it must also be truth that the pagan religions borrowed from the Jewish religion because it is older than they are! Given that all of the Christian themes are found in the Old Testament and the Old Testament was begun around 2000 B.C. and completed around 400 B.C., we can then conclude that these pagan religions actually borrowed from Jewish ideas found in the Old Testament. Think about it, the idea of a blood sacrifice and a covering for sin is found in the first three chapters of Genesis when God covered Adam and Eve with animals skins and prophesied the coming of the Messiah.

Furthermore, those who wrote about Jesus in the New Testament were Jews (or under the instruction of Jews) who were devoted to the legitimacy and inspiration of the Old Testament scriptures and possessed a strong disdain for pagan religions. It would have been blasphemous for them to incorporate pagan sources into what they saw as the fulfillment of the sacred Old Testament scriptures concerning the Messiah. Also, since they were writing about Jesus, they were writing based upon what He taught: truth, love, honesty, integrity, etc. Why then would they lie and make up stories and suffer great persecution, hardships, ridicule, arrest, beatings, and death all for known lies and fabrications from paganism? It doesn’t make sense.

At best, Mithraism only had some common themes with Christianity (and Judaism) which were recorded in both the Old and New Testaments. What is far more probable is that as Mithraism developed, it started to adopt Christian concepts.

„Allegations of an early Christian dependence on Mithraism

Foxe's Book of Martyrs (nearly 3,ooo pages)details ALL historically known and recorded examples of the torture and martyrdom of the Saints from the First-Century Apostles through the Reformation of the 16th Century.(People lived and died for a very real faith)

have been rejected on many grounds. Mithraism had no concept of the death and resurrection of its god and no place for any concept of rebirth – at least during its early stages…During the early stages of the cult, the notion of rebirth would have been foreign to its basic outlook…Moreover, Mithraism was basically a military cult. Therefore, one must be skeptical about suggestions that it appealed to nonmilitary people like the early Christians.”1

What is more probable is that with the explosive nature of the Christian church in the 1st and 2nd century, other cult groups started to adapt themselves to take advantage of some of the teachings found in Christianity.

„While there are several sources that suggest that Mithraism included a notion of rebirth, they are all post-Christian. The earliest…dates from the end of the second century A.D.”2

Therefore, even though there are similarities between Christianity and Mithraism, it is up to the critics to prove that one borrowed from the other. But, considering that the writers of the New Testament were Jews who shunned pagan philosophies and that the Old Testament has all of the themes found in Christianity, it is far more probable that if any borrowing was done, it was done by the pagan religions that wanted to emulate the success of Christianity.

  1. 1. R. Nash, Christianity and the Hellenistic World as quoted in Norman Geisler, Baker’s Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1999, p. 492.
  2. 2. Bill Wilson, compiled by, The Best of Josh McDowell: A Ready Defense, Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1993, p. 167.

(VIA) Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry

Mithra? Attis? Really, Rob Bell? by Dr. Oakley (Review of troubling Nooma video)

Dr. Oakley discusses one of Rob Bell’s Nooma videos in which he uses atheist data, most of which comes from a book titled ‘Christ and the Caesars’, written by Ethelbert Stauffer, a Universalist author (who makes some very grand claims and draws some grand conclusions without much supporting evidence.) The troubling part is that the book has no citations. Stauffer says a lot about how things were historically, but the only real evidence he cites is coinage from the time. The book was brought back out of print after Rob Bell talked about using this book in his research. Rob Bell believes Christianity copied pagan religions because he read a book?

Dr. Oakley states that this is nothing new, it is what is taught in Liberal Protestant seminaries. He also states that the modern movement (read emergent) finds absolutely no contentment in the clarity of the past; they seem to have a disdain for it. Dr. Oakley addresses some of the Rob Bell claims; the last one is shocking where Rob Bell ends the video with the statement-„You are the Good News; You are the Gospel” to his video audience.

Here is a link to a short essay on Mithra mythology.

Matthew  24:4  Jesus answered,“Watch out that no one deceives you.

Other articles of interest:

  1. David Platt -on Rob Bell Intellectual universalism is dangerous, but functional universalism is worse
  2. Sinclair Ferguson – Universalism and the reality of eternal punishment
  3. Paul Washer – Do you believe in the existence of a literal hell?
  4. North Carolina Pastor loses job over universalism belief and other stuff
  5. Al Mohler – the new atheism

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Mithra? Attis? Really, Rob Bell?, posted with vodpod

Casa de Rugaciune din Bazna, jud. Sibiu- Claudiu Samartinean si Ioan Cazan

Tudor Petan (AlfaOmegaTV) interviu cu Claudius Samartinean si Ioan Cazan despre Biserica Domnului din Romania si centrul de rugaciune din Bazna, Judetul Sibiu, infiintat in anul 2005; o Casa de Rugaciune asemanatoare Casei de Rugaciune IHOP din Kansas City, Missouri unde se inalta rugaciuni  24 de ore non-stop .(de la emisiunea ‘Calea, Adevarul si Viata’)

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1st collector for YouTube – Calea Adevarul si Viata – Casa de rug…
Follow my videos on vodpod

What Does it Mean to Accept Christ? A.W.Tozer

Tozer speaks on the phrase ‘accept Christ’, which he says is not a biblical phrase, however, it does have the connotation of Biblical truth. Tozer explains that while telling a man to „accept Christ” is relatively right, yet, if it is not carefully explained, it can make one think that Christ is waiting hat in hand on a person’s pleasure, neatly awaiting a person’s verdict on Him (Christ). It permits one to accept Christ by an impulse of their mind or their emotion and to accept Him painlessly and with no cost and no inconvenience.The sermon is closed-captioned-You can read it off the video’s screen.

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What Does it Mean to Accept Christ?(A.W.Tozer), posted with vodpod

Francis Chan on the solar sytem and God

Getting the Creator-Creature Order Right, Justin Taylor

Getting the Creator-Creature Order Right.From the Gospel Coalition.

Many missteps in theology are on account of the implicit idea that God must be like us in some way.

(Note: After originally posting this, I read Albert Mohler’s response to Brian McLaren, and Mohler makes the point that McLaren’s piece explicitly exemplifies this kind of bottom-up methodology.)

In 2003 I read the following from Ardel Caneday and it helped me to see the importance of getting the Creator-creature relationship in the right order. This is worth reading slowly to grasp the point and the import.

Apprehension of God and relation to God are ours only in terms of analogies that derive from the fact that God made man in his own image.

God’s imprinted image is organic.

The Creator-creature analogy yields the Bible’s five primary analogical relationships within which we relate to God:

(1) king and subject;
(2) judge and defendant/litigant;
(3) husband and wife;
(4) father and child; and
(5) master and slave.

God, who made his creatures in his own image, is pleased to disclose himself to us in keeping with the God-like adornment with which he clothed us.

Here is the essence of anthropomorphism. God reveals himself to us in human terms, yet we must not compare God to us as if we were the ultimate reference point. God organically and indelibly impressed his image upon man so that our relationships to one another reflect his relationships with us.

We do not come to know God as creator ex nihilo because we know ourselves to be creative and imagine him to be greater. Instead, man creates because we are like God. God is the original; we are the organic image, the living copy.

We do not rightly speak of God as king by projecting onto him regal imagery because we think it is fitting for God. Rather, bowing before God who has dominion is proper because man, as king over creation, is the image of kingship; God, the true king, is the reality that casts the image of the earthly king.

It is not as if God looked around his creation and found marital union between male and female to be a fit pattern for his relationship with humans. “Male and female he created them” that they may “become one flesh” (Gen. 2:24). The union of husband and wife is an earthly image or copy of the heavenly union of God, the true husband, with his people, the true bride. Paul understood marriage in Genesis 2:24 this way, for he cites the passage and explains, “This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church” (Eph. 5:32).

—A. B. Caneday, “Veiled Glory: God’s Self-Revelation in Human Likeness—A Biblical Theology of God’s Anthropomorphic Self-Disclosure,” in Beyond the Bounds, ed. Piper, Taylor, and Helseth (Crossway, 2003), p. 163; my emphasis. [The whole book is online for free.]

In awe of Creation – The spectacular Sun – from NASA

I know I have a few readers who do not believe God is the Creator of this Universe, like I do. But I think we can firmly agree that we are certainly in awe of the vastness and complexity of our Universe. For some of us there is no doubt who gets the credit for it- ALMIGHTY GOD. So, even if you don’t believe God made this Universe, join me in an awe-filled  look at the sun, the moon and the Universe. (Now that we got that explained-I am going to post NASA pictures on the blog from time to time. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do)

Magnetic Loops A’Crackling on the Sun

The latest amazing close-up shot of solar activity is available courtesy of Steele Hill and NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. Steele is a Goddard media specialist who sends out packages of sun images and videos that get displayed in hundreds of museums and science centers. In Steele’s own words:

“When a substantial active region rotated into view, it was a hot-bed of dynamic motion and loops (Mar. 21-22, 2011). As observed by Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) in extreme ultraviolet light, the region’s powerful magnetic forces tangled, broke apart and reconnected with a vengeance, even popping off a few flares. Very tight close-ups such as this one had not been possible until the SDO began operations just a year ago.”

The sun erupting in 1973.

The Sun Erupts
Credit: NASA, Skylab

Explanation: The sun was captured in 1973 throwing one of the largest eruptive prominences ever recorded.  The sun will never explode, and a solar flare will never destroy the earth.  The sun is made of mostly hydrogen and helium. The sun’s center is so hot that when hydrogen nuclei collide, they stick together and release energy – a process called nuclear fusion No one knows why the center of the sun emits so few neutrinos.


The latest amazing close-up shot of solar activity is available courtesy of Steele Hill and NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. Steele is a Goddard media specialist who sends out packages of sun images and videos that get displayed in hundreds of museums and science centers. In Steele’s own words.

Awesome Astronomy Images of God’s Universe (APOD 1995 series + 1969 moon landing)

The Trifid Nebula –  Credit: Hopkins Observatory, Karen Gloria

Explanation: The vivid blue and violet colors present in the Trifid Nebula result from the abundance of young stars there. The light from young massive stars is quite blue and has the ability to remove electrons from surrounding gas. When these electrons re-combine with the gas, radiation rich in blue and violet light is emitted. Some of the nebula’s light also results from the reflection of star light off of extremely small carbon specks known as ‘dust’. This object is known to astronomers as M20 – the twentieth object on Charles Messier’s list of diffuse sky objects. This image was taken with a 6-inch refracting telescope. Many images of Messier objects can be found in The Electronic Universe Project’s The Galaxy Gallery: Messier Objects.

M31: The Andromeda Galaxy
Credit: The Electronic Universe Project

Explanation: Andromeda is the nearest major galaxy to our own Milky Way Galaxy. Our Galaxy is thought to look much like Andromeda. Together these two galaxies dominate the Local Group of galaxies. The diffuse light from Andromeda is caused by the hundreds of billions of stars that compose it. The several distinct stars that surround Andromeda’s image are actually stars in our Galaxy that are well in front of the background object. Andromeda is frequently referred to as M31 since it is the 31st object on Messier’s list of diffuse sky objects. M31 is so distant it takes about 2 million years for light to reach us from there.

Earth’s Moon, A Familiar Face
Credit: Clementine, BMDO, NRL, LLNL

Explanation: The  mosaic of the Earth’s Moon was compiled from photos taken by the spacecraft Clementine in 1994. This image represents the side of the Moon familiar to Earth dwellers. The Moon revolves around the Earth about once every 28 days. Since its rate of rotation about its axis is also once in 28 days, it always keeps the same face toward the Earth. As the Moon travels around its orbit, the Earth based view of the half of the Moon that faces the Sun changes causing the regular monthly progression of Lunar phases. Humans first crashed a spacecraft into the Moon in 1959, but the first humans to reach the Moon landed in 1969. There are now golf balls on the Moon.

The Far Side
Credit: The Soviet Lunar Program

Explanation: This historic picture was humanity’s first glimpse of the far side of the Moon. It was taken by the Soviet spacecraft Luna 3 in October of 1959. Luna 3 followed closely on the heels of another Soviet probe, Luna 2, which had become the first spacecraft to impact the Moon on September 13th of that same year.

Why does the Moon have a far side? Gravitational tidal forces within the Earth-Moon system have synchronized the Moon’s period of rotation around its axis with its orbital period at about 28 days. So, as the Moon moves around its orbit its rotation exactly compensates, keeping the same face toward the Earth.

Standing on the Moon
Credit: NASA, Kennedy Space Center, Neil Armstrong

Explanation: Pictured, the second person to walk on the Moon: Edwin „Buzz” Aldrin. During this Apollo 11 mission, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the Moon while Michael Collins circled in the Command Module above. The lunar team erected a plaque on the surface that reads: HERE MEN FROM THE PLANET EARTH, FIRST SET FOOT UPON THE MOON JULY 1969 A.D., WE CAME IN PEACE FOR ALL MANKIND. The Apollo missions demonstrated that it is possible to land humans on the Moon and return them safely.

One Small Step
Credit: NASA, Kennedy Space Center, Neil Armstrong

Explanation: On July 20th, 1969, a human first set foot on the Moon. Pictured above is the first lunar footprint. The footprint and distinction of the first person to walk on the Moon belong to Neil Armstrong. It has been estimated that one billion people world-wide watched Armstrong’s first step – making the live transmission from a camera mounted on the lunar lander the highest rated television show ever. Upon setting foot on the moon, Armstrong said: „That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind.” The Apollo missions to the Moon have been described as the result of the greatest technological mobilization the world has known.

The video of the very first moon landing of the apollo 11 mission in 1969! Neil Armstrong was the first man to set foot on the moon with his now legenday words „One small step for man, a giant leap for mankind.” This is a truly amazing video from 1969!!!

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1st Moon Landing in 1969, posted with vodpod

 

 

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