The Most Dangerous Book In The World

daily_commentary_04_26_16

Every year, the American Library Association “receives reports from libraries, schools, and the media on attempts to ban books in communities across the country.” The Association says it then will “compile lists[s] of challenged books in order to inform the public about censorship efforts that affect libraries and schools.”

Not surprisingly, virtually all of the books that make the top 10 list contain explicit sex or seek to advance the homosexual and transgender lifestyle: books like “Fifty Shades of Grey,” “Two Boys Kissing,” “Looking for Alaska,” and “I Am Jazz’—a transgender picture book.

What might surprise you is the book that comes in at number six on the most-challenged list. It’s the world’s all-time best-seller: the Holy Bible. The ALA says that the Bible makes the list because of its “religious viewpoint.”

Of course.

Apparently many folks find Scripture more dangerous than explicit sex. And you know what? Those who hold to a strictly materialistic and atheistic worldview probably should! And tyrants, from Roman emperors to Soviet premiers to North Korean dictators could agree with Mark Twain’s quip: “It ain’t the parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it’s the parts that I do understand.”

To them, the Bible is the world’s most dangerous book.

And this is why, as Bible Gateway general manager Rachel Barach told Christianity Today, “The Bible has been criticized, challenged, and banned by individuals, groups, and governments through centuries of persecution.”

Of course, here in America, the Bible has, until recently, been a cornerstone of our culture and our national life. The famous lines from the Declaration of Independence, what Chuck Colson called our “national creed,” were based on a distinctly scriptural worldview: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights . . .”

And our nation’s founders, whatever their degree of Christian faith, certainly understood the importance of the Bible. Patrick Henry—who famously said, “Give me liberty, or give me death!”—not quite as famously also said, “The Bible… is a book worth more than all the other books that were ever printed.”

Then there’s Abraham Lincoln, who stated in 1864, after receiving a Bible from a group of African-Americans in Baltimore, “In regard to this great book, I have but to say, it is the best gift God has given to men. All the good Savior gave to the world was communicated through this book. But for it we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man’s welfare, here and hereafter, are to be found portrayed in it.”

These statesmen would find it startling, to say the least, that the Bible would end up on the same list with “50 Shades of Gray.”

At her coronation in 1953, Queen Elizabeth II was instructed, “To keep your Majesty ever mindful of the Law and the Gospel of God as the Rule for the whole life and government of Christian princes, we present you with this Book, the most valuable thing that this world affords. Here is Wisdom; this is the Royal Law; these are the lively Oracles of God.”

So let’s understand what’s at stake here. Attempts to deny anyone—whether at a public school or in a public library—access to the lively oracles of God is not something new under the sun. But it is another sign of our culture and our nation, as Chuck would say, “sawing off the branch we’re sitting on.”

 

Read Original Article Here

Advertisements

Pastor being persecuted by fellow pastors for speaking boldly about Jesus, refusing political correctness

A German pastor is reportedly being persecuted by fellow pastors for preaching boldly about Jesus Christ and “refusing to bend a knee to political correctness.”

Pastor Olaf Latzel preaches at the historic St. Martini Church in Bremen, where the church’s former pastor, Joachim Neander, wrote the great hymn, “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty” in 1679, CBN New reports.

Latzel’s sermons are known to be direct and bold and would cut no corners when attacking other religions, which could sound mean to some, according to the report.

“I’m only preaching the Gospel in a clear way,” Latzel said. “I think it is my duty to do this preaching in this way for our Lord.”

pastor-olaf-latzel

 

He claimed that much of Germany today “is covered by profound spiritual darkness,” as are most Western nations.

The chief battle in the German church today, according to him, is over who God is.

Some Christian pastors have reportedly said “Allah and Jesus Christ, the Christian God, is the same god.”

“But if you ask a Muslim, ‘Does your god have a son?’ he would say no!” he continued. “Our (Christian) God has a son; his name is Jesus Christ. So, they are not the same.”

“If you speak out loud and clearly about the truth of the Bible, that there’s only one way to heaven and this way is Jesus Christ, there is only one God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and there is no other god beside Him, then you have a problem,” he said.

CBN reported that the Bremen pastor has been attacked in the media, investigated by the local government, and even denounced by fellow pastors over what he sees as a spirit of compromise that seems to have swallowed Germany and the German state church.

At least 70 German pastors reportedly gathered in Bremen this year to denounce Latzel behind a banner celebrating “diversity.”

The public prosecutor investigated him for hate speech and then cleared him. The Bremen parliament even passed a resolution against him, the first time a German pastor was condemned by a German parliament since World War II, said the report.

But instead of backing down, Latzel said the attacks reassure him that he is in a “war” between Christ and the devil.

“This is one sign that you are on the right way in your preaching, when you get problems. If you preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and everyone is clapping his hand, then you have a problem.”

He also admitted that while he has been receiving numerous praises through his email for his sermons, he does not want to get a big head.

“I am nothing. I am only a sinner. I am only a tool for Jesus Christ. And when Jesus can use this tool, give any honour to Jesus Christ. I am nothing.”

The pastor who comes from a family with a long military tradition, said he is now paying the price to see Germany’s spiritual revival.

He also lamented that 80 percent of pastors in Germany’s state church have not been reborn, which makes it a “great problem” as they reportedly make their own doctrine.

 

Read Original Article Here

Wycliffe National Translators Killed by Militants

Friend, my dear Prayer Partner, this morning I find these words of Scripture very hard to read. Yet, I must tell you of our precious co-workers—our dear friends—who have been brutally murdered.

Militants killed four national translators and injured several others in a raid on a translation office in the Middle East. They shot and destroyed all the equipment in the office including the Print On Demand (POD) equipment. The invaders burned all the books and other translation materials in the office. Two workers died of gunshot wounds. Two other workers laid on top of the lead translator—saved his life—and died deflecting bludgeoning blows from the radicals’ spent weapons.

We praise the Lord that He protected the computer hard drives containing the translation work for eight language projects.

The remaining translation team has decided to re-double their efforts to translate, publish, and print God’s Word for these eight language communities.

Will you pray with me for the injured translators? Prayer Watch | Four national translators martyred in Middle EastPray for others to step up and take on the translation task. Please ask the Lord to mend the hearts and wounds of the translation team who have gone through this horrible ordeal. Pray that God will strengthen their minds, their hearts, and their bodies to be able to continue the translation of the gospel for their people.

Please pray for Wycliffe Associates as we come along side this translation team to assist them, to replace equipment, to help the martyrs’ families, and the families of those hospitalized.

Please pray that a new location will be found that will provide safety, security, and the freedom to continue translation and printing. Pray for the safe delivery of new computers and POD equipment that Wycliffe Associates will be providing the translation team.

Pray with me for the killers too. Pray for these whose hearts are so hard. Pray the Lord will open their eyes to what they have done. Please ask the Lord to meet them, each one, right where they are. Pray that He will show Himself merciful, that they will know His forgiveness, His love, and His peace.

And dear friends, as you pray for this one situation in the Middle East, you may be led to give to the Emergency 911 Fund. Please take this opportunity to be an encourager to translation teams in dangerous places. And continue to pray. Pray for all the newly formed translation teams diligently translating Scripture in their own language, for their own loved ones, in extremely difficult places.

As I wrote these words, I received a note telling of four New Testaments completed in the past couple months! Praise God. 

Thank you dear prayer partners for taking this burden to our Lord,

Praying together,
Mae Greenleaf
Prayer Coordinator
Wycliffe Associates

 

Read Original Article Here

4 Factors That Define an Evangelical Christian

Proclaiming that we are evangelical has taken on a new, unflattering meaning in culture today. While the term was once used to describe those who believed faith required conversion of the heart and assent of the mind, and were devoted to sharing the gospel with others, “evangelical” has come to mean “narrow-minded,” “fundamentalist,” “intolerant,” and “hatemonger.”

Anthony Blair, president of Evangelical Seminary, writes in Christianity Today that it is time to give “evangelical” a new definition. We must offer the world an evangelicalism that is bold, broad, beautiful, and confident.

1. Bold

Stop letting fear get in the way of sharing your faith. Instead, boldly proclaim the kingdom of God!

Blair writes, “Our core proclamation is that Jesus is Lord of all and the divine Lover of our souls. Like the woman at the well, we run excitedly to our neighbors, even (or especially!) those who have marginalized us, and we joyfully invite, ‘Come see a man who knows everything about me… and loves me still.’”

2. Broad 

As we boldly share our faith with our neighbors, let it be done with broad love. We are called to be a people of love and grace. Offer this incredible love with a serving heart.

“We cannot with credibility proclaim a gospel of love and grace if we are not people of love and grace. We dare not offer a God of reconciliation and peace if we are persistently unwilling to be agents of reconciliation and makers of peace,” Blair says.

3. Beautiful

The picture of God’s love that we offer our neighbors is beautiful. As the world struggles in chaos and evil, the beautiful love of God is steadfast.

Blair writes, “God is love, and that such words reflect a deep, painful commitment. His beautiful love permeates a broken world so that we are slowly, sometimes imperceptibly, conformed to his beautiful image.” 

What is perhaps the most beautiful aspect of God’s love is its ability to reach us in our darkest times of suffering, pain, and darkness. These worldly things cannot separate us from His love.

4. Confident

As evangelicals, we should not have a lack of confidence, as our confidence comes from the Lord.

“This confidence that is nourished by the realization that such grace has been wonderfully present in those who came before, upon whose good work we today merely add another layer,” Blair writes.

We can do the Lord’s work, knowing that we are capable of doing amazing things for the kingdom through abilities that are not our own.

Crosswalk.com editor Ryan Duncan wrote, “For many people, we will be the closest thing to Christ they will ever see. If we wish them to understand the true meaning of the word ‘Evangelical’, we must first redeem it.”

And we can redeem our faith by being bold, broad, beautiful, and confident in Christ.

Read Original Article Here

Christmas Near The North Pole

IMG_1735Unfortunately, this is what the average person in Northern Ontario has in mind when they think of Christmas. This photo was taken of a local building that was straight across from the post office for everyone to see.

 

On December 23 a few of us decided to brave the cold weather and go outside at the local mall and distribute the gospel.  We put together some packages that were handed out to people as they were shopping.

IMG_1615

Each package included a “Good Person” tract, a DVD of “The Biggest Question?” and a tree ornament that was made with a nail, a red ribbon and a card with a poem of how a nail was used to hang Jesus on the cross.

 

 

 

IMG_1671To our surprise we stepped outside and it was… let’s say frigid.  Nothing a cup of hot chocolate couldn’t fix! After quickly freezing our little toes (approximately 1 minute), we decided to step into the mall for the distribution. It only took 1 hour before we ran out!

There was 1 person who refused the gift. A couple of people were surprised that we weren’t charging them anything for it, and most everyone was pleasant as we wished them a Merry Christmas.

The one time of the year when you can talk about Christ and the majority of people will politely accept what you give them. If you were to try this the following month, you would get a very different reaction.

I think this will be a new yearly tradition. Of course, we will have to expand it over several days leading up to Christmas.

 

Hell’s Best Kept Secret

Did you know that according to the Bible, you can know with 100% certainty that you can have everlasting life in heaven? Ray Comfort’s presentation of what I call “Connecting the Dots of the Incomplete God” is an eye opening, soul stirring, and freedom finding description of The One True God.