Președintele Trump: La ce să se aștepte Biserica?

trump-bible-nbc-news-foto

FOTO NBC News

Un editorial de Russell Moore, Președintele Comisiei de Etică și Libertate Religioasă, Convenția Baptistă de Sud:
russell-moore
Alegerile prezidențiale s-au încheiat, iar Donald Trump a fost ales Președinte al Statelor Unite, ceea ce foarte puțini și-ar fi imaginat vreodată. Nu contează care sunt diferențele politice și religioase dintre noi, cu siguranță cu toții suntem de acord cu faptul că această campanie a fost demoralizantă pentru cea mai mare parte a țării. Deci ce ar trebui creștinii evanghelici să facă acum ?

Primul lucru, desigur, este să se roage  pentru viitorul președinte Trump. Biblia ne spune să ne rugăm pentru toți cei care sunt în dregătorii (1 Tim. 2:1-2). Mai mult, Scriptura ne spune să dăm cinstea cui datorăm cinstea (Rom. 13:7). Mulți dintre noi suntem profund diferiți față de noul președinte și asta ar fi fost situația indiferent cine ar fi cîștigat, însă noi trebuie să ne rugăm pentru ca el să reușească să conducă țara noastră cu înțelepciune și dreptate.

Conservatorismul la care  mulți din noi am sperat – multietnic, profund constituțional, vizionar – a fost înlocuit în Partidul Republican cu altceva. Pe de o parte, este un populism etno-naționalist în stil european, în opoziție cu o intensificare a mișcarii de stînga progresistă în rîndul Partidului Democrat. În ambele mișcări, problemele de morală- anumite referințe personale(private, particulare) precum și probleme de stabilitatea familiei- sunt marginalizate. Avem acum la orizont o politică de revoluție sexuală. Aceasta înseamnă că creștinii evanghelici sunt practic oropsițipolitici – fie că își dau seama de asta sau nu.
Nu e cea mai rea situație în care ne putem găsi. Puterea politică – sau iluzia acesteia – nu a fost întodeauna favorabilă în ceea ce ne privește. Astfel de influențe au condus la conformarea minților noastre la cele lumești, cu privire la  ceea ce contează și  cine contează, pe tot parcursul istoriei. Ar trebui să avem, așa cum a spus Jim Eliot în urmă cu o generație, propria noastră enclavă/comunitate separată.
Ce putem face? În primul rînd, putem menține o claritate profetică care este dispusă să îndemne la pocăință tot ceea ce este nedrept și împotriva lui Hristos

Citește mai mult. Revista Crestinul Azi

Is Christianity Really Dying in America?

The mainstream media is reporting recent survey results by the Pew Research Center as if it’s the end of Christianity in America. But is this really the case? Russell Moore comments:

Panel discussion SBTS – Helpful question & answer session on marriage and ministry

A great session at the end of a one day conference at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, geared towards pastors and ministry leaders, however every couple (even the one not in active ministry) can learn and apply most of the answers given  in this very candid conversation.

See previous messages on marriage and ministry at SBTS by-

  1. After Russell’s message this morning, just talking about something as serious as pornography, having a discussion- husband and wife- about that, CJ (Mahaney) had some things to add from his years of shepherding, where something like this has to occur, (what is) the process…?
  2. What if you have a pastor who is leading the church, pronounced leadership, but, he’s not leading in the home? How is the wife to respond. We say ‘love covers a multitude of sins’, it doesn’t cover all sins, here’s a wife who sees inconsistency, she’s hearing him preach, but at home he is not a good leader. What would you recommend?
  3. How do we deal with the inconsistency that we experience? We preach a better message at times. So, we have the standards and we can’t lower the Scriptures to our lifestyle. How do we work through that? That can be a challenge at times. I mean, you’re going to church and a fight breaks out and you’re gonna stand before the people of God… and that’s tough.
  4. Where do we go for help, as pastors in the local church?
  5. What are some of the early warning signs in a Gospel ministry couple of indications where they need to get help? There’s obviously some sins that we handle through grace induced progressive sanctification, others you need to get intensive, you need to nip it in the bud. What are these early warning signs?
  6. How do you work through a dry season? ( a dry, flat [or too busy] time in your marriage)
  7. Sometimes, in your church you come across a couple who says they never fought. What do you think about them?
  8. (Give) some principles, real practical, of how to fight fair. What does a good fight look like in your home?

Panel Discussion from Southern Seminary on Vimeo.

 

Moral Purity in Marriage

Dr. Russell Moore – You will encounter sexual temptation in your marriage. It is not a question of whether you will encounter sexual temptation, you will encounter sexual temptation when the satanic powers see two who become one flesh, what they see is a living, breathing,  organic display of what they hate the most, which is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Whatever sexual temptation will come into your marriage is not about you, it is about something that has been going on for millennia and something that was purposed and planned in the mind of God before the cosmos ever was. Your struggle and your battle is precisely what the serpent offers in the garden when he says to the woman, simultaneously, „See yourself as an animal”. She’s been given dominion, the Bible says, over all the beasts of the fields and now she is taking direction from a beast of the field. And also, „See yourself as a god. You can decide what is good and evil”. You will face this throughout your marriage because this is exactly what the apostle Paul is talking about when he says the issue with sexual purity is not simply about self control, although it is about self control. It is about a kind of self control that is doing warfare against the temptation of Satan.

Paul has been going through this entire letter, talking to them about the dangers out there, in the spiritual world. He talks about sexual morality, he talks about sexual fidelity and he says, „Don’t you understand that there is something spiritual happening here?

ADULTERY – Almost anybody in this room can look around and see the kind of carnage that takes place in the lives of even the people that you know. Some of you have pastors who preached the Gospel to you , or baptized you and were later destroyed because of an adulterous affair. Sexual immorality is not something that suddenly happens to you, sexual immorality is part of a conspiracy and a plot to work with you in your sin in order to, as the book of proverbs says, trap you like an animal who is caught.  Paul says, „Flee from sexual immorality. Be warned about joining yourself in adultery”. And why is that the case?  It’s because this warning applies to all of the people of God. We typically think that sexual temptation and sexual opportunity happen to sexy people. That is not the way that it happens. And I have seen so many men who have left beautiful, godly wives for women that you would not even notice if you passed them in the hallway. This is not a matter of how sexy someone is. The Satanic powers are noticing you. They are watching you. Especially those of you who have stood up and said, „I am pursuing God’s call upon my life, to stand and to speak for Christ, in proclaiming the oracles of God.” They will do anything to see to it that the Gospel is discredited by your animalistic impulses. Most people who find themselves drawn into adultery, are not drawn into adultery because they are so oversexed. Most of them, instead find them selves in that place because marriage is a mission, it’s an economy. It’s an order that has been put together and it is hard labor together to bring forth the bread from the earth and to be fruitful and multiply, and to raise up the next generation and to get along with one another through all of these sufferings and all of this strife.  Notice what the apostle Paul says here, it is shockingly radical „You belong to each other”. He does not simply say, „Flee adultery”. He says something significant here. He says, „Husbands, your body belongs to your wife. And wives, your body belongs to your husband”. Do you realize what a shocking statement that is?

(2) FORNICATION – When you change the biblical name ‘fornication’ which is something that is evil, to ‘premarital sex’ you are changing it to something that signifies it is just a matter of timing. There are some ways that fornication mimics the conjugal union of sex. When you have two that are joining themselves together, outside of that life long covenant, you are picturing something other than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The fornication is not simply something that is timed badly. The fornication is a spiritual act that is joining you and attaching you in some mystical way to another person, in a way that communicates a ‘Christ who is not faithful to His bride’. That is not just immoral, that is blasphemy. One of the significant issues that we face in our churches is that we have an entire generation of young people who are able to cover over and to callous their consciences by being technical virgins, by justifying to themselves acts of rebellion against God as somehow being acceptable and somehow being justifiable in a way that not only stores up sin, but also devastates the functioning christian conscience. And often, even those teenagers and young single adults in our churches, who are remaining faithful in sexual purity are doing so more out of risk avoidance than out of a commitment to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God has revealed that fornicators will not enter the kingdom of God. One of the things we have in our church and possibly in your marriage is that we don’t really believe that. And we really do not see the spiritual war that is going on at this point, because we assume it’s premarital sex, so once the marriage takes place, the issue is now resolved. Some of you in your marriages right now are experiencing deadness and mistrust, and conflict because you, husband led that woman into fornication and you have never gotten to the point of repentance before God for evil. Everything that you said to her, to convince her that this was justifiable, every act of hiddenness that you took to manage your own hiddenness and to cover over your sin, yo will be able to do just as easily, again with some other woman. „She’s the love of my life!” You’ll feel that way about some other woman some day. „We were just so carried away”. You’ll be carried away again, like that. „The timing was so wrong, we were so young”. „My wife just doesn’t understand me and I’m at a time in my life when I really need this relationship”. Until you get to the point, specifically men, where you, as a former fornicator get on your knees with your wife and say, „I am guilty of not protecting you, of not exercising Godly headship over you, of not loving you as Christ loved the church, and I repent before God and I repent before you”. You will never understand what the scripture is talking about when it says, „you were washed, you were freed”. The problem is that we assume that because the problem is in the past, that the issue is over, but, nothing drives 2 people further apart than sinning together. Your wife, men, may not trust you right now because she knows her parents couldn’t trust you then. Until that is dealt with, with the kind of heart that cries out, „Lord have mercy and free me and wash me”, you will never find the kind of spiritual power and freedom in your marriage that  you so desperately need.

(3) PORNOGRAPHY. The apostle Paul doesn’t speak to pornography directly here, but he speaks to porneia, to sexual immorality. And this issue has become almost ubiquitous to such a degree that pornography in terms of spiritual warfare has been weaponized, including in our churches. Now, when a couple comes into my church and says, „We don’t know what’s wrong in our marriage, we just don’t have any intimacy, we don’t have sex with each other anymore, we just feel cold, I immediately say, „How long has the porn been going on? ” Husband usually looks at me like I’m an Old Testament prophet or a new age psychic. It is because it happens so often and with such regularity and it always has the same satanic results. PORNOGRAPHY IS UNIQUELY SATANIC BECAUSE IT DRIVES YOU TOWARDS INSATIABILITY. Nobody in the history of the world has said, „Ok Ive seen my porn”. Porn, by definition drives you further and further and further towards intimacy . WHy? Because it is an occultic pull upon you that is driving you towards the kind of mystery  and the kind of intimacy  that you are designed to find in the one flesh union and it severs that away from real life, covenant, flesh and blood love in such a way that you become numbed over to the joy of sexual intimacy itself. PORNOGRAPHY LURES YOU IN WITH SEXINESS, and then TOTALLY EVISCERATES YOUR CAPACITY  FOR SEXUAL INTIMACY. So much so, that there may even be men in this room  who are so captured by pornography that you are not even able to have sex with your wife without retrieving for yourself images that you have archived from porn. If you do not see how desperate and how sad and how pathetic and how pitiful that situation is, you will never find freedom. When you put yourself in the orbit of pornography, you are not just viewing material, you are joining yourself with a digital prostitute. Someone who is paid to create a sexual arousal in you, you are doing exactly what the apostle Paul is warning about in Corinth, when he says, „Don’t go up there to the temple prostitutes. What will happen when you get there, no matter how you cover over it, no matter how you keep it hidden, something spiritual has happened in the most wicked sort of way. Pornography will move in and destroy you because it will start to create you into the kind of person for whom intimacy is simply body parts rubbing together, not one flesh. And you will ultimately find yourself, when you have seen every image you want to see, when you have read every word you want to have read, like Esau, vomiting up the red stuff that he craved so badly. Pornography has some of you enslaved, precisely because the satanic powers love to work by helping you to hide your sin.

The power that Satan has over you is only two fold. Satan’s power is to take those things the God has created for good in your life, including the impulse towards intimacy and to twist it slightly away from its intended object, so that you become more and more entrapped and enslaved in your own deception. That you are exactly in the situation the apostle Paul speaks of as unbelievers, „Following after the prince of the power of the air, through the passions of the body and of the mind”. The only other power he has is Revelation 12- to accuse the brothers. Some of you are staying in hiding right now when you are at the place in your life where if there is enough of the sense of the urgency of the situation, you can save your life. , you can save your marriage, but you are hiding in the bushes back there where our prehistoric parents are. But, there is a voice through the word of God speaking as it does in every generation that asks the question, „Adam, where are you?”

The only way that you will break yourself free from the pull toward immorality is to come out of hiding. „Lord have mercy upon me, the sinner”.  And the only way that the power of Satan can be defeated is first of all, by recognizing that the goodness that God has given you in that one flesh union in your marriage is to point you to something that is even better news than that. So that the very act of holding that husband, holding that wife, crying and weeping in repentance together, that very act is a physical picture of what the apostle Paul says to the church at Colossae, when he says, „All of that legal record of our condemnation, that list of thoughts and intents, and archived internet histories has been nailed to His cross, disarming the principalities and powers by making a public display  of them.

Fake Love, Fake War: Why So Many Men Are Addicted to Internet Porn and Video Games

Dr. Russell Moore:

Satan isn’t a creator but a plagiarist. His power is parasitic, latching on to good impulses and directing them toward his own purpose. God intends a man to feel the wildness of sexuality in the self-giving union with his wife. And a man is meant to, when necessary, fight for his family, his people, for the weak and vulnerable who are being oppressed.

The drive to the ecstasy of just love and to the valor of just war are gospel matters. The sexual union pictures the cosmic mystery of the union of Christ and his church. The call to fight is grounded in a God who protects his people, a Shepherd Christ who grabs his sheep from the jaws of the wolves.

When these drives are directed toward the illusion of ever-expanding novelty, they kill joy.

CLICK here to read the ENTIRE article at Desiring God.

Dr. Russell Moore is the Dean of the School of Theology and Senior Vice-President for Academic Administration at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He will be speaking at the Spetember 28-30, 2012 Desiring God National Conference „Act the Miracle: God’s Work and Ours in the Mystery of Sanctification.

What does it mean to „pray in Jesus’ name”?

via The Christian Post website

Russell Moore explains the phrase in an answer to a chaplain who asks:

Dear Dr. Moore,

I’m a committed evangelical Christian, and also a chaplain with responsibility for people from all sorts of religious backgrounds. I am called on to pray at many functions, with mixed audiences. Some over me are pressuring me not to end my prayers „in Jesus’ name” but to instead pray more inclusively to God, generally. I can pray „in Your name” and that seems to solve the problem. I mean Jesus, of course, but it wouldn’t be as patently offensive and it would enable me to minister here longer and more effectively. Is that ethical?

A Confused Chaplain

Dr. Moore explains what praying in Jesus’ name is:

  • „This is not a quandary about language” and that „Praying in Jesus’ name isn’t simply a cultural addendum at the end of a request”. We pray in Jesus’ name because Jesus commanded us to do so (Jn. 14:13). We pray in Jesus’ name because we believe that „there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5). Thus, we have no access to God apart from our being hidden in Christ.

…and what it is not:

  • When you pray publicly, you are not there to proselytize or to do apologetic battle against other religions. But that’s not what praying in Jesus’ name is. If you are asked to pray, you can only pray as a Christian. In so doing, you are actually, ironically enough, protecting the rights of other religions and their chaplains.

and he points out:

  • Christian chaplains have been ordained by their churches, and offered to the military, to be Christian chaplains. For them to pray as a civil-religion cleric is for them to enlist their services in another faith. You wear the Cross, and must speak it and not put it under the bushel of a more inclusive language of civil faith.

lastly, he conlcudes his argument with Matt. 10:32-33:

  •  behind all those rationalizations hung a warning: „Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven”

You can sad the entire article here at http://www.christianpost.com/

Russell Moore: Why Impostors Love the Church

Russell More asks: But why, when there is so much opportunity for debauchery out there in the world around us, do such people choose the church? His answer?  Read below:

Recently, I read a book that kept me awake a couple of nights. It was about “Clark Rockefeller,” and the scare quotes are important. The man was neither “Clark” nor “Rockefeller.” He was a German immigrant who crafted an identity as an heir of one of America’s wealthiest dynasties. He married, fathered a child, and was involved in fraud, theft, and maybe even murder. And no one ever knew, until the very end.

What made me squirm was the fact that the fake Rockefeller’s inroad to all his deception was churches and relationships, particularly with women. He would make the connections he needed in local congregations, and he would charm the women there.

At the same time, he would parasitically imitate the men, watching and mirroring back to them their convictions and opinions, even the inflections of their voices. But behind all of that, there was nothing real but a predatory appetite.

The New Testament warns us, of course, about spiritual impostors. Sometimes, these “wolves” are there to introduce subtly false doctrine. But just as often, it seems, these spiritual carnivores hold to true doctrine, at least on the surface. But they use this doctrine and service for predatory ends. The sons of Eli, for instance, use their priestly calling to co-opt the fat of the offering and to lay with the women at the altar (1 Sam. 2). Virtually every New Testament letter warns us about the same phenomenon (e.g., 2 Pet. 2; Jude).

But why, when there is so much opportunity for debauchery out there in the world around us, do such people choose the church?

First of all, I think it’s because deception can look a lot like discipleship. A disciple is like a son learning from his father, Jesus tells us. The student resembles his teacher. That’s good and right. But the satanic powers turn all good things for evil. A spiritual impostor can mimic such discipleship when he’s, in fact, just “casing the joint,” watching the mores, learning the phrases, mimicking the convictions. It can seem like the passing down of the faith when, in reality, it’s an almost vampiric taking on of another identity, all for the sake of some appetite or other.

Second, I think it’s because these impostors are looking for something they can’t find in bars and strip clubs. Many of them “feed” off innocence itself. The Apostle Paul, therefore, warns of those who “creep into households, taking captive weak women burdened down with sins.” (2 Tim. 3:6) The impostors are able to gain power over the weak not only by deceiving them but also by morally compromising them.

Often these victims are drawn, for reasons good and bad, to spiritual authority. The impostor mimics this authority, sometimes with a precision almost to the point of identity theft. But he uses it to defile, sapping away what seems to them to be innocence as a vampire would lap up blood.

Finally, the church often draws such impostors because of a perversion of the Christian doctrine of grace. The Christian gospel offers a complete forgiveness of sin, and not only that, a fresh start as a new creation. But both Jesus and the Apostles warn us that this can easily be perverted into a kind of anti-Christ license. Faith is not real without repentance, and faith is not like that of the demons, simply assenting to truth claims. Faith works itself out in love. Faith follows after the lordship of King Jesus. Faith takes up a cross.

But a notion of “grace” apart from lordship can provide excellent cover for spiritual impostors. That’s why virtually every sex predator I’ve heard of compares himself, or is compared by one of those on whom he’s preying, as a latter-day King David. This is often the case even while this person continues to run rampant in his sin against the Body of Christ. Those who seek to hold accountable, or even just to warn the flock, are then presented as “unmerciful” or “graceless” or unwilling to help along the “struggling.”

This often leads to a church that then loses its ability to be the presence of Christ. The church, desiring to be seen to be merciful, loses any aspect of the merciful ministry of Christ because we don’t do what he called us to do: to tend the flock of God. Or we are so burned over by the presence of predators among us that we lose the ability to trust anyone. Yes, there is Demas, and yes, there is Alexander the Coppersmith. But there’s Timothy and Titus, too.

Moreover, the presence of impostors can cause us to lose confidence in the church itself. But how can that be when Jesus warns us from the very beginning that we must be watchful of this. The Apostolic Word gives us confidence that spiritual predators, like Pharaoh’s magicians, “will not get very far.” (2 Tim. 3:9)

There’s nothing more enraging than the sound of a lamb bleating in a wolf’s mouth. But the Shepherd is coming. (HT)

Dr. Moore is the Dean of the School of Theology and Senior Vice-President for Academic Administration at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He also serves as a preaching pastor at Highview Baptist Church. Moore is the author of several books, including „The Kingdom of Christ,” „Adopted for Life,” and ‘Tempted and Tried.”

Love Wins: A ‘Theological’ Conversation on Rob Bell’s New Book at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

This is an excellent, informative, theologically rich, video discussion, on the various theological issues arising from Rob Bell’s new book ‘Love wins’. The panel includes: Albert Mohler (President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary), Justin Taylor (former Crossway Managing Editor for the ESV Bible), Denny Burk (Dean of Boyce College (SBTS)  and Russell Moore (Dean of School of Theology SBTS):

Videourile Vodpod nu mai sunt disponibile.

Publication Love Wins: A Conversation on Rob Be…, posted with vodpod

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.

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