When I read your article I was very heartened to see "God is a God of love, so......." I was touched to see the gospel of Christ so boldly printed. I believe that what I call politics is trying to rewrite history and the Bible. I go to a Methodist church and the ministers are very hesitatant to address the issues of homosexuals and those living together without sanction of marriage because they feel that they will lose members. The Baptists and other fundamentalists churches are growing by leaps and bounds because they DO deal with these issues. Other problems need addressing and I hope and pray that they will be in the future.
Anyway, I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciated your article and look forward to seeing more of the same.
Published By Betty Hamilton (firstname.lastname@example.org) - November 6 2005 19:20:28 ADDITIONAL REPLY TO MARK`S QUESTION -- sorry Mark, I forgot to address the part about the `prophets issue warnings`. Here are just a couple I can think of off hand ---
Jesus -- continuously warning -- ie. parable about the 10 virgins & the entire chapter of Matthew 24
John the Baptist -- warned -- "Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand!" & "Prepare Ye the way of the Lord"
Jonah -- warned Ninevah to repent or judgment would come. They did and judgment was delayed.
Jeremiah -- warning after warning about destruction and captivity because the people refused to listen to God. He constantly wept and urged God`s people to turn from their sins and to turn back to God.
Ezekiel -- constantly warning the captives in Babylon that punishment was certain because of their sins and proclaimed that God was purifying His people.
Isaiah -- had powerful message of both judgment and hope. The first 39 chapters of Isaiah contain scathing denunciations and pronouncements as he calls Judah, Israel and the surrounding nations to repent of their sins.
Daniel -- EVEN Daniel issued a warning when he interpeted the writing on the wall for King Nebuchadnessaz that judgment was coming and that his kingdom would be divided and given to the Medes & the Persians.
Hosea -- illustrated how the nation of Israel had been unfaithful to God and was commiting idolatry which was the same as adultery against God. Hosea was solemnly warning Judah against following Israel`s example.
Joel & Amos & Obadiah -- all pronouncing judgment on God`s people.
I think it´s more than plain that ALL the prophets in the bible issued warnings and that it was the focus of their ministry --- those that claim to be prophets and do not preach about repentance and the ramifications of sin if people do not turn away from it, I call `fair weather` prophets and I truly believe their messages are NOT from God. I think I have explained the difference between the "OFFICE" of a Prophet and a ´person that prophesies´ in one of my previous articles. One of the nine spiritual gifts are the ´gift of prophecy´ but that does not mean that the person that is prophesying is a PROPHET of God. The sole purpose of a Prophet of God is to turn people BACK to God as they urge them to forsake their sin and rebellion.
This message is continued below and is a part of my reply to "Mark`s Comments"
Published By Donna Martonfi (email@example.com) - October 20 2005 16:18:23 Dear Mark:
Thank you for the comment on my article. I believe I can understand your hesitation regarding what I have written. Since I am only allowed a certain amount of space in my article, sometimes it is difficult to elaborate on a topic.
My point however was that the church is using wordly methods and methodology to try and attract the masses. One such example would be the `Christian Yoga` that has infiltrated the church.
Yoga is entirely spiritual in nature and it is a powerful force that attracts demonic spirits. Even the positions are a `worship stance` to foreign gods. (I have an extensive four page teaching on this subject by an expert available if you like) It cannot be Christianized. It conflicts with Christianity.
That is just `one` example but one other incident I would like to mention is one that happened at a very large born again, spirit filled church that I visited. They decided to raise $25,000..... then they placed a golf gadget/gizzmo thing on the platform on Sunday morning and a dozen parishioners were invited to try and get a `hole-in-one`. The winner was to go home with a $10,000 prize. I was horrified.
This is the type of hype we do not need to keep our members entertained or to attract members from other churches that are not having as much "FUN". We are not to be attending church for the purpose of being entertained and it certainly should not be a `bless me` club. In the book of Revelation they were standing around the throne of God singing, "Holy, holy, holy" not "Bless me, bless me, bless" but it seems many are going to church expecting to be blessed, entertained and made to laugh. If repentance or crucifying your flesh is preached they tend to complain and go elsewhere.
I have watched many churches turn into `social clubs`. They have abandoned the true reason & purpose for our coming together.... but that is an entire sermon in itself.
One other disturbing situation is the "Message Bible" that churches have introduced to make the Word of God more easily understood. People agree that it is ONLY a paraphrase but it has taken out the words "homosexuality" and taken out every and any reference to homosexuality and talks about ´commited relationships´ instead. It completely minimizes sin chapter after chapter. THAT ISmost certainly an attack on the Gospel! It is preaching ´another Gospel and another Jesus´ and the next generation will not have any conviction of sin whatsoever and will live any way they please.
I hope I have expounded on this matter to your satisfaction. Please contact me again and feel free to post additional comments.
Published By Donna Martonfi (firstname.lastname@example.org) - October 20 2005 15:28:55 Interesting notions, but I have a couple questions. You state that
"the notion that ‘times have changed and that the culture has changed, so we have to change to reach this new generation’, is an outright attack on the Gospel."
How far do you take this? Do you believe we should speak King James english, when we talk, or should our speech reflect the culture`s language? Is it an outright attack on the Gospel if we decide to use video to speak the word, or should we walk around from town to town speaking in the synagogues? Obviously there must be some sort of balance.
My second question is,where do you get the idea that prophets always issue warnings. What is your biblical basis for this statement.