Invatatorul american crestin Ronnie Smith, impuscat si omorat in Bengazi

Ronnie Smith si sotia Anita – poza din ziua nuntii lor, 2003. Anita si baietelul lor Hosea, 2 ani, s-au reintors din Libya in Sua deja. Ei aveau de asteptat doar cateva zile, pana la sosirea lui Ronnie Smith, ca sa sarbatoreasca nasterea Domnului cu familia si rudeniile sale. Dar, nu a fost sa fie asa. (Photo credit austin.culturemap.com)

via the Christian Post and CNN Traducere Blogul Agnus Dei

Invatatorul american Ronnie Smith, care a fost impuscat si omorat joi in Bengazi, s-a bazat pe  credinta sa in Isus Christos in timpul in care  lucra in Libia si a decis sa se mute in acea natiune tulburata, dupa ce a ascultat la un mesaj al pastorului John Piper, potrivit rapoartelor.

,,Vreau sa ma duc unde nimeni nu poate gasi o biserica daca  ar vrea sa o caute, unde nimeni nu are acces la Evanghelie,” a spus Smith, un nativ din Texas, intr-un video inainte de a se muta in Libia. Acest video a fost postat pe site-ul bisericii sale de origine, conform statiei de televiziune CNN.

Smith a servit ca diacon in biserica din care facea parte si preda chimie la Scoala Internationala din Bengazi, a fost omorat de persoane inarmate care calatoreau intr-un Jeep negru in timp ce el alerga pe afara in dimineata zilei de joi. Acesti teroristi sunt suspectati a fi militanti islamici. Smith, care avea 33 de ani, este supravietuit de sotia sa Anita si fiul sau Osea, au fost constienti de pericolul de a lucra in Libia, dar credinta lui in Dumnezeu i-a dat tarie. ,,Indiferent ce se intimpla, eu accept”, a spus membrilor bisericii in acel video, dupa cum a fost citat de canalul de stiri CBS. ,,Aceasta mie imi da pacea si eu sunt ok  cu aceasta.” ,,Aceasta nu o poate lua nimeni  de la mine indiferent ce se intampla” a spus Smith despre credinta lui crestina.

Photo credit CBS via Daily Mail UK

Smith a stat in Libia timp de aproximativ un an si jumatate inainte de a fi ucis. Anita si Osea sau intors in Texas, dar Smith a ramas acolo ca sa-si ajute elevii la examenul de la jumatatea  perioadei.

,,Am fost crescut in biserica de cand eram copil mic”, a scris Smith in site-ul bisericii despre viata sa de crestin.

Conform relatarii lui Dave Barett, pastor la Austin Stone Community Church, cea mai mare dorinta a lui Smith a fost pentru pace si prosperitate in Libia ,,si pentru ca oamenii din Libia sa aiba bucuria ca sa-l cunoasca pe Dumnezeu prin Christos.”

Smith a fost de asemenea inspirat de misiunea lui Piper, Desiring God.

Piper a reactionat si el la auzul acestei stiri. ,,Ronnie nu este prima persoana care a murit facand ceea ce i-am incurajat sa faca. Si nu va fi ultima. Daca as fi crezut ca moartea este cel mai rau lucru care i se poate intampla cuiva, as fi fost coplesit de regret… Dar punctul principal al vietii lui Ronnie este ca exista ceva care este si mai rau decat moartea. Asa ca el a fost dispus sa-si puna la risc viata pentru a salva pe altii de la ceva ce este cu mult mai rau.”

U.S. officials are still trying to determine who is responsible for the murder of American teacher Ronnie Smith, in Libya. Smith, 33, was shot and killed while jogging down a Benghazi street.

VIDEO from CBS This Morning

Reclame

When Temptation Comes

Photo via pihtoday.blogspot.com

by Greg Laurie for the christianpost.com.

No temptation has come your way that is too hard for flesh and blood to bear. But God can be trusted not to allow you to suffer any temptation beyond your powers of endurance. He will see to it that every temptation has a way out, so that it will never be impossible for you to bear it.
– 1 Corinthians 10:13

In the New Testament, we have the account of Jesus saying to Peter, „Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren” (Luke 22:31–32).

Put yourself in Peter’s sandals. You’re sitting near the Lord when He turns to you, looks you in the eyes, calls you by name, and says, „Satan has been asking excessively that you be taken out of the care and protection of God. The devil has been asking for you by name.” I don’t know about you, but if Jesus Christ, the Son of God, said that to me, it would be cause for great concern.

Peter was such a big fish that Satan himself went after him. I wonder if the Lord paused for effect: „Satan has been asking for you. . .by name. . ..But I have good news, Peter. I have prayed for you.”

It’s a good reminder to us that when the devil comes knocking at our door, we should say, „Lord, would You mind getting that?” We are no match for the devil. But even though he is a powerful foe, he is still a created being, and certainly not as powerful as God. Even so, we don’t want to tangle with him-or any of his servants. We want to stand behind God’s protection.

In spite of the devil’s power and wicked agenda, he must first ask permission when it comes to attacking the children of God, because of the hedge of protection that God has placed around us.

God knows what you are ready for. And He won’t give you more than you can handle. We have His word on that!

Read more at christianpost.com

God gives Mathematical Proof for Christianity

photo via www.wikihow.com

AN AWESOME  ARTICLE! by Dan Delzell, pastor of Wellspring Lutheran Church in Papillion, Nebraska writes this article in The Christian Post.

It is impossible that Christianity is not God’s revelation of truth to man. Simply impossible. The math proves it beyond question. It doesn’t take faith to believe that one plus one equals two, and it doesn’t take faith to identify the religion which has mathematical certainty in its corner.

God didn’t have to give us mathematical proof of His existence, but He did it anyway. God didn’t have to give us proof of Christianity, but He chose to do so. And God didn’t have to give us proof of His love for us, but that is exactly what He did. The proof is irrefutable.

I live in Nebraska where I serve as a pastor. Imagine someone covering this entire state in silver dollars 6 feet deep. Then mark one coin and bury it anywhere across the state. Next, blindfold a man and have him choose one coin. The odds that he would choose the marked coin are the same odds of getting 8 prophecies all fulfilled in one man. God gave us about 300 fulfilled prophecies in the Person of Jesus Christ.

Here are 8 of those 300 prophecies:

(1) The Messiah will be born in Bethlehem. (Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:1; Luke 2:4-6)
(2) The Messiah will be a descendant of Jacob. (Numbers 24:17; Matthew 1:2)
(3) The Messiah will enter Jerusalem as a king riding on a donkey. (Zechariah 9:9; Mark 11:4-11)
(4) The Messiah will be betrayed by a friend. (Psalm 41:9; Luke 22:47,48)
(5) The Messiah’s betrayal money will be used to purchase a potter’s field. (Zechariah 11:13; Matthew 27:9,10)
(6) The Messiah will be spat upon and struck. (Isaiah 50:6; Matthew 26:67)
(7) The Messiah’s hands and feet will be pierced. (Psalm 22:16; John 20:25-27)
(8) Soldiers will gamble for the Messiah’s garments. (Psalm 22:18; Luke 23:34)

There is no way one man could have fulfilled all 8 of these prophecies unless God was making it happen. Who else controls history? Who else could give us such irrefutable proof for Christianity? The odds are one in one hundred quadrillion, or 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000.

This mathematical proof was calculated by Professor Peter Stoner. He was chairman of the mathematics and astronomy departments at Pasadena City College until 1953. He then went to Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California, where he served as chairman of the science division.

You don’t have to be a mathematics professor to see that this evidence is irrefutable. No one would pick the marked coin under those conditions. No one but God could have given us these biblical prophecies, and then brought them to fulfillment right before our eyes. It is impossible that Christianity is false. The math proves it, and the Man behind the math rose from the dead, just as it had been foretold.

Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/the-mathematical-proof-for-christianity-is-irrefutable-96295/#0GUltOdZo5CzMs21.99

Preparing your christian kids for college – even home schooled kids with the first Christian Psychology Introductory Textbook in 60 years

photo via Dr. Rice’s Twitter page
The Christian Post has an interview with Dr. Tim Rice, LPC, author of Psychology: A Christian Perspective, High School Edition, who home schooled his own children.

Dr. Rice introduces psychology from a Christian perspective says Christian students entering college are unprepared for the challenges of today’s Psychology classes and „schools-of-thought.”  He also believes this unpreparedness is a reason for the high rate of Christian students dropping their faith after entering college.

Dr. Rice on his experience in college, as a Christian: “As a young Christian, one of the first college courses I took (almost 30 years ago) was Psychology 101. I was not ready to refute the worldview assumptions hidden in the theories I was taught. Under the banner of “science,” the psychology professor challenged or ridiculed everything I held dear. I was part of the majority of Christians who “walked away” from their faith within 12 months of starting college. I wrote Homeschool Psych to help prepare Christian homeschool students for the dangers of modern psychology and to provide a framework in which our children can study the wonders of the soul, the mind, the brain, and behavior though a Christian worldview.” source  and photo immediately below are from North Georgia Home Education Academy- http://www.nghomeeducationacademy.com/psychology

Dr. Rice on the book:

I really believe that every Christian student needs to deal with Psychology class before they go to college. As a young Christian taking Psychology 101 almost 30 years ago, I was not very prepared to defend my faith and totally unprepared to recognize the worldview beliefs underlying the theories and schools-of-thought I was taught. I don’t want that to happen to students today. That is why I believe that Psychology is one of the most important electives that a student can take in high school.

I also believe that because Psychology is a contentious topic among Christians, we’ve abandoned it to the secular, humanistic, and evolutionary perspectives. We need to reclaim Psychology for Christ and that starts with high school students. The goal for the study of Psychology, just like the study of Biology, Theology, History, and every other discipline, should be to understand God’s creation and, in the words of Johannes Kepler, to „think God’s thoughts after him.” Instead of surrendering psychology or falling away in the face of the world’s teaching, we have a duty to put forth reasoned explanations for our worldview in every discipline, including psychology.

Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/author-aims-to-equip-hs-students-with-psychology-from-christian-perspective-88006/#O02IJRYH6mS3884P.99

Why don’t you share Jesus?

By Rod Anderson , CP Cartoonist

Ocean Explorer Robert Ballard Finds Evidence of Biblical Flood

photo from FOX news

news from http://www.christianpost.com

Ocean explorer Robert Ballard, who is responsible for the discovery of the Titanic shipwreck, says he may have discovered evidence of the Great Flood described in the Book of Genesis.

Ballard is now on a mission to find evidence that the „mother of all floods” actually occurred, he told Christiane Amanpour of ABC News.

„We went in there to look for the flood,” he told ABC News. „Not just a slow moving, advancing rise of sea level, but a really big flood that then stayed… The land that went under stayed under.”

The explorer’s mission was prompted by research conducted by Columbia University marine geologists William B.F. Ryan and Walter C. Pitman III. These men theorized that climate change during a glacial period caused the icecaps to melt, an article from The Earth Institute at Columbia University states, which led to widespread flooding.

Ryan and Pitman suggest the Bosporus strait, which served as a natural dam between the Mediterranean and Black seas, broke open at that time and caused salt water to flood the Black Sea with a force 200 times stronger than that of Niagara Falls. With the waters rising at the rate of about six inches per day, the flooding could have covered 60,000 square miles in less than a year, they theorize, causing humans to migrate away from the area and at the same time inspiring the stories of Gilgamesh and Noah’s ark. Ryan and Pitman’s theory can be found in their 1999 book, Noah‘s Flood: The New Scientific Discoveries About The Event That Changed History.

After deciding to explore this theory themselves, Ballard’s team found an ancient shoreline 400 feet below the surface, which suggests a flood catastrophe did occur there. After carbon dating shells from the shoreline, Ballard estimated the event occurred about 5,000 BC – around the time some believe the flood described in Genesis occurred.

Although natural evidence has given him confidence in his research, Ballard is also looking for more evidence of the civilizations that were affected by the disaster.

Ballard and his team plan to return to Turkey in the summer of 2013.
Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/titanic-discoverer-finds-evidence-of-biblical-flood-86498/#PEMd8e0qsXO0lRkg.99

Revealing God’s Treasure – Noah’s Ark – Ron Wyatt

Fantasy vs. God’s will

When People Choose Fantasy Over God’s Will

By Dan Delzell , Special contributor to the  Christian Post

posted November 13, 2012 Read entire article here- http://www.christianpost.com/

In the Garden of Eden, Eve was seduced by a fantasy. „When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.” (Genesis 3:6) Her choice to pursue that fantasy rather than stick to God’s will was a costly error. Adam soon followed in his wife’s footsteps, and together, they learned the difference between fantasy and reality.

God’s reality as revealed in His inerrant Word is the reality you should be concerned about….rather than simply relying upon your current perception. It is often said, „Perception is reality.” Well….perhaps to a certain extent that is true….that is, until God’s reality bursts into your reality.

Many people today are living in a fantasy world of their own making. They have seen some images online….or they have devised some grand scheme in their mind….or they are living in the trance which an illicit relationship produces….and they are charging ahead in pursuit of their fantasy. It drives them. It energizes them. But if it is outside of God’s will for their life, it is going no place good.

Fantasies are often fueled by the sinful desires which dwell within us as human beings. These desires are longing to be satisfied. The more that these desires take up residence in our heart, the harder it will be to say „No” to the fantasy and „Yes” to God’s will.

Fantasy allows a person to escape to a make-believe reality. Your heart gets transported to a world which seems like it would be so satisfying. When this life isn’t going quite the way we envisioned it going, we are tempted to escape to our fantasy world and indulge in thoughts about our dream. We assume that if only we could achieve our fantasy, we would experience fulfillment.

But not every dream is pleasing to the Lord. Not every dream is about something wholesome and noble. Sometimes our dreams and fantasies involve things that God says are forbidden. At that point, we must decide whether or not to continue in our dream world….or begin to fill our mind and heart once again with God’s Word and God’s will for our life.

Your mind and your heart will be energized by something and by someone….either by the Lord and things that please Him….or by your fantasy and things that are outside of His will for your life. Adam and Eve were content with what God had given them….until they allowed their hearts to consider the forbidden fruit. Once tempted with the idea, they began to assume they could get close to the fire of their fantasy without getting burned….but boy were they ever wrong.

You and I are wrong too whenever we make that dangerous mistake in our mind. When we think that we can find satisfaction outside of God’s will, we are only kidding ourselves….and we are living in a dream world of our own making. We set up this „thing” in our mind as being the ultimate experience….and we think we must have it….even though deep down we know that our pursuit of it is only a waste of time, energy, and resources.

Fantasies can easily become addictive once we give into them. There are many kinds of addiction…and most of them will only lead us away from a close relationship with the Lord. Those things will only consume us with our perceived need to fulfill our fantasy and reach that „high.” Any momentary „high” will soon be met with plenty of „lows” which are the byproduct of chasing a fantasy that is outside of God’s will.

Sinful desires inside man prompts him to invest hundreds of hours chasing a dream that will at best only give him a few minutes of pleasure. Man soon becomes as addicted to the „chase” as to the few minutes of fleshly fulfillment. It quickly becomes an obsession….and one that can never bring man to a place of rest and inner joy.

The flesh drives us….while the Holy Spirit gently leads us. One approach involves man hustling after sin….while the other involves a peaceful walk with Christ who dwells in the heart of the believer through faith. Driven by the flesh….or gently led by the Spirit. Your life cannot travel down both roads. Those two paths are diametrically opposed to one another.

Are you chasing a fantasy which you know is not God’s will for your life? What is it going to take for you to stop pursuing that thing which has heartache written all over it? Now is the time to say „goodbye” to your fantasy…and „hello” to God’s will for life. Why live in deception any longer? When has that chase ever led you to a place of real peace and contentment?

God’s will gets lived out in the moment…in the reality of the „now.” Fantasy exists in the realm of the „later.” We think that something is being offered to us which actually does not exist….it only exists in our mind….and in our dreams….but not in the real world…and certainly not in God’s reality. Eve’s fantasy in her mind was never fulfilled…but only imagined and dreamed about for a short time. That is the nature of a fantasy.

So then why do we continue to chase it? Simply put, we find ourselves compelled to chase it once we have made the choice to give into the initial temptation. It started out as a possibility…but now it is a pursuit. It went from temptation to compulsion. It went from free will to a state of being driven. Our free will at that point has become ensnared by the deceitfulness of sin, and we now have subjected our „will” to that insatiable drive to make this fantasy a reality in our life.

It didn’t work for Adam and Eve….and it won’t work any better for us. Any pursuit outside of God’s will is doomed to fail….it is dead on arrival….but we just don’t know it when we are living in a state of compulsion and in the mental region of „fantasy land.” It’s like our feet lift off the ground and we seem unable to bring them back down to earth….to that place of God’s reality.

Peace is found in God and in His will….not in our sinful fantasies. You and I are not really any different than Adam and Eve in that sense. We have been placed in a garden…and offered spiritual riches in this life, and eternal riches in heaven that come only through faith in Christ. But there is another tree…and a serpent with some enticing words for us. Fantasies are often born out of listening to the wrong messengers or viewing the wrong images.

The solution? „Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2) The mission Jesus came to fulfill was not a fantasy….but rather, the greatest reality in the history of the universe. There is nothing more real than the cross where Jesus gave His life for your sins and mine.

Jesus came to earth and died on the cross as part of God’s reality. He came to a bunch of people who were not pursuing Him, but instead, chasing their own dreams and wishes. He came here to restore order in the soul of man…for anyone who would surrender their fantasy life to the real world of His cross and resurrection. Many today have a fantasy of Jesus which involves Him not being the Savior of the world. Their fantasy will eventually come crashing down…either by spiritual conversion to Christianity…or by their own physical death…or by the Lord returning to earth before they die.

If you are ready to leave the virtual world of fantasy land, then I have some good news for you. Soul satisfaction is right around the corner…you may not have experienced it yet because you have been too busy with your fantasy, but that is all about to change if you are ready to be serious about God’s reality.

So go ahead…step into His world…and His reality…and His grace…and just see what God can do when you stop trying to meet the needs of your soul and heart and mind with things that can never bring true satisfaction. Once you leave those things in your past and start to get addicted to Jesus and His Word, you will know the difference between „living by the Spirit” and „walking in the flesh.” It’s the difference between night and day.

And besides, what have your fantasies ever been able to deliver to you anyway? They have only provided big promises and sensational dreams…but little results. If you stop and think about it, you will probably admit that the „reality” of your fantasies has been very much like a mist that appears for awhile and then vanishes. The more you chase it…the more elusive it becomes. It’s really just a ghost…an apparition of your own wild imagination.

Such is the life of one who chooses fantasy over God’s will. It’s a chasing after the wind…and we all know how hard it is to catch the wind.

I guess God really did know what He was talking about when He set those boundaries in place for Adam and Eve. It’s almost like He designed men and women to only be satisfied when we do things according to His will. Hmm. And here I thought the whole universe revolved around me…or was that just another one of my fantasies?

Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/when-people-choose-fantasy-over-gods-will-83763/#lOhSz27hpHlZ1iFS.99 

 

Why We Believe Children Who Die Go To Heaven by Daniel L. Akin and Albert Mohler Jr.

I found out about this article via the Christian Post and wanted to share it with our readers.

Daniel Lowell Akin is the current president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary as of January 2004. Dr. Akin has authored numerous books and journal articles. He is devoted to expository preaching. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. is an American theologian and the ninth president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.(source)

Dr. Akin writes:

Every couple of years, we republish this important article. This article addresses one of the questions we are most frequently asked by students, laypeople, and persons in need of spiritual counsel. For that reason, it seems beneficial to once again make this resource available. It is longer than our average post, but we think it should be published in its entirety. It is our prayer that this article will help you come to biblical convinctions about this very important issue.

click here for the article- http://betweenthetimes.com/2012/10/02/why-we-believe-children-who-die-go-to-heaven/

How does a wife feel when a husband looks at porn?

For Family Resources PAGE click here

The Christian Post features 4 wives who tell their story (in short form):

  1. April thought the problem was because of her. Maybe if she was skinnier, or taller, or blonder…
  2. CIndy, upon walking in on her husband viewing porn:  „Immediately my heart sank, and I remember this sick feeling wash over me. The thought that began to plague my mind instantly was, “How will I ever be able to compete with her?”
  3. Laura, upon browsing her husband’s computer history: I clenched my jaw and set my heart in disgust towards my husband: my heart was filled with bitterness toward this man who wasted our time, energy, and resources on lust while I worked so hard to take care of our family.
  4. Nicole, upon discovering her fiancee’s porn addiction 3 days before their wedding: „…I continued to discover porn on our computer. A well of fear and desperation led me to confront Jon about these activities. At first he denied them. He had explanations for everything I found, and I wanted to believe everything he told me. Yet, something didn’t quite add up, and I would push him until he acknowledged that he had in fact visited the porn sites. This led to seeds of distrust from the very beginning of our marriage—not only my distrust of him, but of myself and my instincts”

You can read their complete stories here-

Download the free e-book: Hope After Porn: 4 women share their stories of heartbreak…and how their marriages were saved. In this book April, Cindy, Laura, and Nicole give readers a glimpse of the betrayal and the hurt they felt discovering their husbands’ pornography problem. They also share the choices they made to try and make a difference in their marriages and families.

SOURCE – CHRISTIAN POST – http://blogs.christianpost.com/guest-views/how-does-a-wife-feel-when-her-husband-looks-at-porn-11679/

A great christian website for wives and husbands –  Covenant Eyes

Related articles

Islamic group forbids tomatoes because when cut a certain way, they display a cross

from the Christian Post: Read it here in Romanian (Click pt. Limba Romana)


A Salafist group from Egypt appears to be trying to retract a post on Facebook that warned that eating tomatoes are „forbidden because they are Christian.”

However, the Muslim traditionalist group, calling themselves the Popular Egyptian Islamic Association, apparently still finds tomatoes offensive if they are cut in such a way that reveals the shape of a cross, according to the Now Lebanon website.

Along with a photo of a tomato cut in half to reveal what could be viewed as a cross, the group originally posted on Facebook: „Eating tomatoes is forbidden because they are Christian. [The tomato] praises the cross instead of Allah and says that Allah is three (a reference to the Trinity).

„[God help us]. I implore you to spread this photo because there is a sister from Palestine who saw the prophet of Allah [Mohammad] in a vision and he was crying, warning his nation against eating them [tomatoes]. If you don’t spread this [message], know that it is the devil who stopped you,” according to a translation by Now Lebanon.

More than 2,700 comments were left under the warning posted 10 days ago, perhaps prompting the association to give this response:

„We didn’t say you can’t eat tomatoes. We said don’t cut it in [such a way that reveals] the cross shape.”

Although many of the comments made on the Facebook post were not suitable for re-publishing, one blogger posting on his blog joked, „Warning! Your salad could be making you into an Infidel!”

There is an estimated 5-6 million Salafis in Egypt. The Salafis are generally considered to be more traditional than other Muslim sects. Last year, a group of hardline Muslims, including Salafis, were responsible for the burning of several Christian churches and businesses in Egypt that later resulted in hundreds of deaths during demonstrations against the destruction.

According to a German domestic intelligence report done in 2010, Salafism is the fastest growing Islamic movement in the world.

A writer for The Blaze categorized most news coming out of the Middle East as „intriguing, bizarre and unceasingly concerning,” but said the forbidden tomatoes story „actually crosses into a comical sphere.”

Why the historicity of Adam is important

Adam and Eve Are Driven out of Eden by Gustave...

Adam and Eve Are Driven out of Eden by Gustave Dore. Picture portrayed over passage in Genesis. And he placed at the east of the Garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life (Gen. 3:24). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

via Christian Post By Kevin DeYoung , CP Guest Contributor (article 2/9/12)

In recent years, several self-proclaimed evangelicals, or those associated with evangelical institutions, have called into question the historicity of Adam and Eve. It is said that because of genomic research we can no longer believe in a first man called Adam from whom the entire human race has descended.

I’ll point to some books at the end which deal with thescience end of the question, but the most important question is what does the Bible teach. Without detailing a complete answer to that question, let me suggest ten reasons why we should believe that Adam was a true historical person and the first human being.

1. The Bible does not put an artificial wedge between history and theology. Of course, Genesis is not a history textbook or a science textbook, but that is far from saying we ought to separate the theological wheat from the historical chaff. Such a division owes to the Enlightenment more than the Bible.

2. The biblical story of creation is meant to supplant other ancient creation stories more than imitate them. Moses wants to show God’s people „this is how things really happened.” The Pentateuch is full of warnings against compromise with the pagan culture. It would be surprising, then, for Genesis to start with one more mythical account of creation like the rest of the ANE.

3. The opening chapters of Genesis are stylized, but they show no signs of being poetry. Compare Genesis 1 with Psalm 104, for example, and you’ll see how different these texts are. It’s simply not accurate to call Genesis poetry. And even if it were, who says poetry has to be less historically accurate?

4. There is a seamless strand of history from Adam in Genesis 2 to Abraham in Genesis 12. You can’t set Genesis 1-11 aside as prehistory, not in the sense of being less than historically true as we normally understand those terms. Moses deliberately connects Abram with all the history that comes before him, all the way back to Adam and Eve in the garden.

5. The genealogies in 1 Chronicles 1 and Luke 3 treat Adam as historical.

6. Paul believed in a historical Adam (Rom. 5:12-21; 1 Cor. 15:21-22, 45-49). Even some revisionists are honest enough to admit this; they simply maintain that Paul (and Luke) were wrong.

7. The weight of the history of interpretation points to the historicity of Adam. The literature of second temple Judaism affirmed an historical Adam. The history of the church’s interpretation also assumes it.

8. Without a common descent we lose any firm basis for believing that all people regardless of race or ethnicity have the same nature, the same inherent dignity, the same image of God, the same sin problem, and that despite our divisions we are all part of the same family coming from the same parents.

9. Without a historical Adam, Paul’s doctrine of original sin and guilt does not hold together.

10. Without a historical Adam, Paul’s doctrine of the second Adam does not hold together.

Christians may disagree on the age of the earth, but whether Adam ever existed is a gospel issue. Tim Keller is right:

[Paul] most definitely wanted to teach us that Adam and Eve were real historical figures. When you refuse to take a biblical author literally when he clearly wants you to do so, you have moved away from the traditional understanding of the biblical authority. . . .If Adam doesn’t exist, Paul’s whole argument-that both sin and grace work ‘covenantally’-falls apart. You can’t say that ‘Paul was a man of his time’ but we can accept his basic teaching about Adam. If you don’t believe what he believes about Adam, you are denying the core of Paul’s teaching. (Christianity Today June 2011)

If you want to read more about the historical Adam debate, check out Did Adam and Eve Really Exist? by C. John Collins.

For more on the relationship between faith and science, you may want to look at one of the following:

John C. Lennox, God’s Undertake: Has Science Buried God?
Should Christians Embrace Evolution: Biblical and Scientific Responses, edited by Norman C. Nevin
God and Evolution, edited by Jay Richards
Vern S. Poythress, Redeeming Science: A God-Centered Approach
C. John Collins, Science and Faith: Friend or Foes


America’s moral schizophrenia

Ken Connor over at the Christian Post writes about America’s contradictory beliefs on whether government should impose morality on its citizenry. His example is New York’s Mayor Bloomberg’s campaign to legislate the size of soft drinks due to what Connor accurately describes

the tendency of the eco-conscious, health-obsessed culture that characterizes America’s urbane elites, which widely considers it to be a moral imperative for government to do whatever it can to stem the tide of obesity in America.

And he goes on to note Mrs. Obama’s and Bloomberg’s zeal to take a firm „moral” stand on the issue of nutrition. Yet, when it comes to abortion Connor points out:

Ironically however, both Bloomberg and the First Lady are fervent advocates of a woman’s „right to choose” abortion, and view any efforts by government to restrict such choice as inappropriate and overly intrusive. Which brings us to another story making headlines in recent days: Congress’ refusal to outlaw the abhorrent practice of gender-based abortion. Most Democrats are so terrified of appearing even slightly judgmental about the morality of terminating a pregnancy that they can’t even bring themselves to vote on the subject!

His assessment is right on the mark when he says that, „when you jettison the moral truths that inhere in the Judeo-Christian tradition, the world turns topsy turvy”.

So we find ourselves living in a society where our elected officials see nothing strange about using the power of government to impose a morality of nutrition while shying away from using that power to protect the lives of innocent unborn children. How can this be? What kind of mindset can embrace such moral schizophrenia? I would humbly suggest that when you jettison the moral truths that inhere in the Judeo-Christian tradition, the world turns topsy turvy. Our elected representatives, the Muppets of Sesame Street, and Oprah devote hours of time, effort, and money in order to educate the masses about the dangers of high fructose corn syrup while ignoring the crises of crumbling families and a culture that increasingly celebrates hedonism and death. Our government won’t allow you to enjoy a Big Gulp, but it will stand aside and let you choose to kill your unborn daughter simply because you’ve already painted the nursery blue. Heaven help us!

 He concludes:

We should be very wary of a government unconstrained by traditional notions of right and wrong. When men in power take it upon themselves to decide what is just, what is true, and what is good; when they look inward to their own sinful hearts and outward towards a crumbling culture for guidance instead of upward to the Creator, they will inevitably choose the wrong path, and civilized society will suffer.

Congress had an opportunity to send a signal to the American people and to the rest of the world that we are a nation that cherishes our founding principles, honors the sanctity of life, and values equally the worth of baby boys and girls. Instead, they chose the coward’s way and cast a shadow of shame over what is supposed to be the land of the free and home of the brave.

Read the entire article here at the Christian Post – http://global.christianpost.com

Un Pastor Baptist de la o Biserica mare din North Carolina Spune ca este un Pacat Interzicerea Vorbirii in alte Limbi – de Lillian Kwon, reportera la Postul Crestin

Foarte impresionant faptul ca un Pastor baptist, J.D. Greear care apartine de organizatia Southern Baptist Convention din Statele Unite, ajunge la convingerea ca vorbirea in alte limbi este darul Duhului Sfant si daca cineva vrea sa opreasca pe cineva intr-o Biserica sa foloseasca acest dar , pacatuieste inaintea lui Dumnezeu. Aceasta contrar pozitiei organizatiei de care el face parte.Nu trebuie decat sa citesti din Cuvantul lui Dumnezeu ca sa ajungi la acest adevar, desigur daca nu esti partinitor doctrinei tale proprii sau al organizatiei din care faci parte. Cititi in continuare acest reportaj al ziarului Christian post relatat de Lillian Kwon…

Un Pastor baptist a unei mari Biserici din orasul Durham, North Carolina a afirmat recent ca el nu va interzice oamenilor sa vorbeasca in alte limbi si ca sa faci aceasta este un  pacat.

„Voi nu  ma veti auzi vreodata, fie in public fie in privat, spunand cuiva ca sa nu vorbeasca in alte limbi in timpul lor privat de rugaciune,” a declarat congregatiei lui in aceasta duminica Pastorul J. D. Greear de la Biserica Summit, specificand ca Apostolul Pavel a fost cat se poate de lamurit despre vorbirea in limbi. „Aceasta nu va fi interzisa in biserica noastra.”

Pastorul Greear a facut aceasta declaratie in timp ce isi incheiase seria de mesaje despre Duhul Sfant si darurile Duhului Sfant cum ar fi profetia si vorbirea in alte limbi, pe care el le-a definit ca fiind o forma de rugaciune si lauda intr-o limba care nu este cunoscuta de vorbitor si care este vorbita lui Dumnezeu.

Pe parcursul seriilor de studiu, Pastorul Greear a observat ca denominatiunea lui – the Southern Baptist Convention (Conventia Baptista de Sud) – a restrictionat in multe forme vorbirea in alte limbi si dansul crede ca „ei gresesc si sunt sub pacat facand lucrul acesta.”

Conventia Baptista de Sud nu a luat o pozitie oficiala referitoare la darurile duhovnicesti. In acelasi timp insa, aceasta denominatiune spune ca „probabil cei mai multi cred ca darul vorbirii in alte limbi asa cum este descris in Biblie, a incetat odata cu complectarea Bibliei” si ca numai o foarte putina minoritate ar putea accepta-o ca fiind valabila.

Pastorul Greear si-a descris biserica sa ca fiind „carismatici cu centura” – ceea ce insemneaza ca ei onoreaza si ca ei vor sa primeasca darurile spirituale, dar cu precautie.

Adresandu-se celor ce ar putea fi necomfortabili cu darurile spirituale, el a spus, „Voi credeti ca Dumnezeu este viu si ca El se misca intr-un mod supranatural pe acest pamant, ca El lucreaza prin biserica Sa, si ca El pune ganduri in mintea voastra?”

In timp ce el doreste ca biserica lui, unde se aduna peste 6 500 de persoane saptamanal, sa devina mai plina de puterea Duhului Sfant unde oamenii sa-si  foloseasca darurile contribuind bisericii si comunitatii, el a subliniat insa  faptul ca ei nu vor fi o biserica in care se vor izbi unii pe altii si vor cadea la pamant sau in care congregantii scot strigate de rugaciuni in alte limbi in timpul programului de inchinare.

Darurile spirituale, a continuat el, trebuie folosite in scopul de a edifica sau pentru beneficiul altora.

„Daca vorbesti intr-o limba pe care nimeni nu o intelege, nu este de folosul nimanui,” a mai adaugat el.

„Daca vorbesti in alte limbi… roaga-te ca sa ai darul talmacirii, a recomandat el, zicand ca ar fi „cu mult mai ziditor” daca cei de fata il vor auzi vorbind in limba lor Engleza.

Scopul darului vorbirii in felurite limbi, a subliniat Pastorul din Durham, nu este ca tu sa te simti aproape de Dumnezeu, dar totusi acesta poate fi un efect al acestui rezultat.

„Nu este o limba privata a rugaciunii in care Duhul te face sa te simti aproape de Dumnezeu. Ai  sangele Domnului Isus pentru aceasta,” a subliniat el. „Nu ai nevoie de nimic altceva.”

Mai degraba, acest dar este ” un semn al noilor frontiere ale Evangheliei”. El semnifica raspandirea Evangheliei la Neamuri, a mai adaugat el.

Greear a mai clarificat apoi ca nu toti crestinii vorbesc in alte limbi. Este un dar pe care Dumnezeu nu-L  da tuturora si este ceva ce poate fi ravnit dar nu ceva dupa care trebuie sa alergi. „Biblia nu spune nicaieri nici macar odata sa cauti sa posedezi darul vorbirii in alte limbi,” a zis el.

sursa originala la Christian Post

Christians: Yoga and Hypnosis are religions

If someone came up to you and asked you to join a new eastern religion and to make your children practice it too, would you so readily jump right in all ready to embrace it…  no worries? Well, then how did so many women jump on this Yoga bandwagon? Please consider the following post very carefully:

I remember a while back Al Mohler wrote an article on Yoga in which he described how we, Americans have turned an Indian heathen practice into a widely admired and practiced  American cultural reality:

Though yoga has no coherent tradition in India, being preserved instead by thousands of gurus and hundreds of lineages, each of which makes a unique claim to authenticity, we had managed to turn it into a singular thing: a way to stay healthy and relaxed.

Then, shortly thereafter, Yahoo picked up the story and posted it in it’s front page. I remember sitting dumbfounded as I read through the comments on the yahoo page, coming from self identified Christian women who were practicing yoga. You can read that post here Yahoo, Yoga, and Yours Truly.

Here is another excellent article from today’s edition of the Christian Post that explains the mystical side of yoga and a newer accepted phenomena (by Christians): Hypnosis.

Dan Delzell writes in today’s Christian Post about two spiritual practices – yoga and hypnosis, which are dangerous to the soul and as he puts it: „Altered states of consciousness and other mystical practices open doors in the spiritual realm. Once a door is opened, a person becomes vulnerable to any spirits which come through that door.” He notes that things such as

…a seance opens a door. So do animal sacrifices….and all voodoo rituals as well. Astrology is another spiritual exercise which opens a door. Even something seemingly as innocent as placing a Native American „dreamcatcher” above your bed opens a door in the spiritual realm.

As one New Age author put it, „Hypnosis can be an open door to psychic experiences of many kinds

These doors are „hidden” because they are invisible to the human eye. You also don’t see the spirits that come through these doors. Likewise, you don’t see the Holy Spirit or Jesus when you trust Christ for salvation. Nevertheless, God enters your heart through a door in the spiritual realm the moment you are converted.

Is hypnosis a religion? Delzell says this about hypnosis:

 Hypnosis is basic to the Eastern religions. Prominent hypnotists have estimated that there are probably over 100 different stages of hypnotic trance. Christians should never allow themselves to be put in a trance….regardless of who is leading you into that mental state of relaxation. No matter what obstacles we face, God will help us if we rely upon Him rather than magical or mystical experiences. It is very dangerous to open hidden spiritual doors through hypnosis.

Is Yoga a religion? Delzell says this about yoga:

Yoga opens hidden spiritual doors as well. The physical exercises of yoga are designed to prepare the body for the spiritual changes which yoga produces. Some of the reported symptoms of a „Kundalini Awakening” through yoga include: itching, burning, cramping, twitching of skin and body, severe emotional mood swings, anxiety, depression, rage, fear and dread, mental confusion, and even paranormal activity. In short, yoga never produces Christ-centered peace and joy. The Holy Spirit uses the Scriptures and our faith in Christ to produce that good fruit….not the mystical practices of Eastern religions.

Read Al Mohler’s article – http://www.albertmohler.com/2010/09/20/the-subtle-body-should-christians-practice-yoga/ 

RELATED POSTS on Yoga on Al Mohler’s website

Dr. R C Sproul – We Must Stand Firm on Biblical Authority, Exclusivity of Christ

(via) the Christian Post. Read entire article here. By Lillian Kwon

Evangelical theologians who firmly hold to the inerrancy and authority of Scripture are preparing to help fellow believers stand firm in their faith amid an increasingly hostile culture.

Dr. R. C. Sproul, who will be leading Ligonier Ministries’ West Coast Conference in June, argues that while Christians should „live peaceably with all,” there are times „when we have to contend for the faith.”

He pointed to the increasing push for the separation of church and state and the „new atheists,” whom Sproul describes as having an „extraordinary sense of boldness,” as examples of hostility toward Christianity.

Sproul, who founded Ligonier, was joined in the broadcast by Dr. John MacArthur, pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, Calif. Both will be featured speakers at the June 8-9 conference in Seattle where they will address biblical authority, the resurrection of Jesus, and the exclusivity of Christ, among other doctrines.

„We have … a culture that’s basically allergic to taking firm stands on anything theological,” Sproul described. „The idea that’s rampant is that doctrine divides; what we’re trying to do is build relationships and so we should stay away from theological debates and controversy.”

Doctrine, the Sanford, Fla., minister admitted, does divide „because Christ divides, truth divides.”

Unfortunately, he lamented, people tend to „retreat into this relativism that says it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you’re sincere.”

„What we’re saying is it matters eternally what you believe.”

MacArthur said he wants to „help folks see why we can firmly stand on the absolute truthfulness and authority of Scripture” and if Christians don’t, „then everything is lost.”

„We have to trust the Word, … stand on the firm revelation of Holy Scripture, proclaim it unhesitatingly and yet lovingly and watch God do His work, redeem His people, build His kingdom through His truth,” he asserted.

Also joining Sproul and MacArthur at the June conference is Steven Lawson, senior pastor of Christ Fellowship Baptist Church in Mobile, Ala.

The conference will „explore several doctrines that define true Christianity, including biblical authority, the Trinity, the resurrection of Jesus, the exclusivity of Christ, justification by faith alone, the mortification of sin, and the existence of God.”

Christian Post Headlines: A seeming contradiction (Osteen vs. Nigeria)

Seen in today’s online Christian Post:

Headline #1:

Joel Osteen at Night of Hope DC: God Wants to ‘Supersize’ Your Peace, Joy

Joel Osteen didn’t disappoint the tens of thousands of people that filled the Nationals Park baseball stadium Sunday evening expecting him to „plant the seed of hope” in them. He not only delivered a potent dose of hope, but also rolled out an American Idol star and his own mother to share their uplifting stories of survival in the face of death at the „Night of Hope” event in Washington, D.C.

Headline #2:

Pastor, 20 Worshippers Killed in Nigeria Church Attacks

A pastor and at least 20 worshippers were killed when gunmen suspected to be Islamist militants opened fire in two separate incidents targeting worship services in northern Nigeria Sunday.

Do we really believe that God has one plan for the United States – Prosperity? And another for  Africa and other  countries where Christians are slaughtered more and more? Are we not all the body of Christ? Did Christ not say, that whoever would follow Him must take up their cross and follow Him?  Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.

Please remember to pray for our brothers and sisters in Nigeria and all over the globe who are suffering in persecution.

Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.—Hebrews 13:3

How Does Suffering 3 Hours on a Cross Deliver People From Eternity in Hell?

John Piper answers that question on the Christian Post:

The answer is that the degree of suffering, indignity, reproach, degradation, and fall that Jesus endured is not simply determined temporally.

It’s determined by the difference between the glory that he had with the Father in heaven and the ignominy that he suffered, naked and hanging like a piece of meat as the Son of God on the cross. It’s that distance that is the magnitude that provides the scope needed in his suffering to cover an eternity in hell and to cover the sins of millions of people.

The way to think about it is that we commit a greater indignity against God, not just in accord with how many sins we commit or how bad they are, but in accord with how great he is. Therefore our sins are infinitely great because they’re against an infinite person and deserve an infinite punishment.

Christ, being an infinite person, became so low that that drop in suffering, that drop in indignity was such a huge drop-it was an infinite drop-that it suffices to cover the sins of millions and to cover the entire length of eternity that we deserve to be in hell.

He is a great Savior.

You can read the entire article here at the Christian Post.

10 Lame Excuses For Not Sharing Your Faith (via) The Christian Post

This is a very good list to pay attention to at the beginning of our new year. May God give us the boldness to share our faith, as others have shared it with us.

By Greg Stier, an author- contributor on the Christian Post.

  1. “It’s the pastor’s job, not mine.” (According to Ephesians 4:11,12 his job is to equip you to do the work.)
  2. “I don’t know what to say.” (There are plenty of resources out there to help you!)
  3. “I just live the gospel with my life.” (Good, now open your mouth and declare the good news!)
  4. “I’m waiting for the perfect timing.” (There’s no such thing!)
  5. “I don’t have the gift of evangelism.” (Well, I don’t have the gift of mercy but I still should show mercy!)
  6. “They could reject me.” (No, Jesus said they will reject you…at times anyway.”
  7. “I have bad breath.” (Testamints!)
  8. “I don’t know how to bring it up.” (How about just ask, “What are your spiritual beliefs?”)
  9. “I’m terrified.” (So am I. So was Paul! Let’s ask God for boldness like he did! Ephesians 6:19)

“They may ask me a question I don’t have the answer to.” (You don’t have to know all the answers. You just need to introduce them to the One who does!)The Journey Church click photo for audio

‘How to overcome your fear and share your faith publicly’

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