Thanksgiving Perspectives

This Thanksgiving Day, we are providing a post written by the Pilgrim from Thanksgiving 2009. So much has happened and changed in the world in the last 4 years, but there are also many things that have not. This is a reminder we should have in front of us every year.

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As we in America celebrate Thanksgiving, and all the great freedoms, advancements, and benefits that the exporting of Christianity to this land brought with it, let us not forget about those millions of other people who are trapped in the bondage of their nations who are held captive to false religions and the human wreckage that those false religions bring.

Becoming Last had a post containing some pictures which reminded me exactly how thankful we should be, and exactly how starkly different the continent of North America may have turned out had the light of Christianity not pierced the darkness that covered this land.

The pictures in the post came from a piece in the Sacramento Bee. I’ve included some of these sobering but needful reminders below.


Let us not go to our graves having done nothing to see the advancement of the gospel to the uttermost parts of the world, where the worship of idols and demons keeps millions, if not billions, of souls in bondage.

DefCon Writer is on YouTube

20130702-073500.jpgIn addition to blogging and co-hosting a radio program, I also maintain a YouTube account. I have recently begun posting new video blogs there that I wish to share with our readers. In the past, my video efforts were more in the area of highlighting the need for biblical evangelism so as to encourage other brethren to preach the gospel to the lost. However, more recently I have felt burdened to produce videos that encourage and edify the body of Christ to be serious about our faith. It is my conviction that we as Christians need to delve deeper into the Word of God because it is the only source of truth, the only thing that can truly answer the problems we face today. To that end, I have posted two videos (which are linked below) that I hope and pray glorify God and equip the brethren. It is my intent to produce similar videos in the weeks to come. I ask you to consider watching and sharing these videos with other Christians. I also welcome questions and suggestions for future videos. If you have any thoughts on what else you would like to see covered, please email me at defendingcontending@gmail.com.

The Bible For Bloggers – By Bryan Chapell

Wise words by former Covenant Theological Seminary President, Bryan Chapell. This was posted on the Gospel Coalition website and has a little something for everyone of us who write blogs, read blogs, and comment on blogs. Enjoy this read, it is very profitable for our approach to the written word on the internet and seeks to glory Christ in all we do as our first and foremost function.

The Bible for Bloggers

Bryan Chapell | Aug 27, 2012

What biblical principles should guide Christian bloggers? I am increasingly thinking about this question because maintaining the mission and reputation of the institution I lead increasingly requires me to respond quickly and frequently to questions, assertions, and criticisms from the unjuried world of the blogosphere.

I do not think I have always responded well. Defending truth may well require correction and rebuke (2 Tim. 4:2). Still, I confess discomfort with the ready sarcasm and flip accusations that seem so prevalent in the world of blogs and but so foreign to the biblical ethic of esteeming others more highly than ourselves (Phil. 2:3-4).

Listening to the “ouch” from others about things I have written, and feeling the “ouch” from what others have written, have convicted me of the need to think more seriously about the biblical benefits and boundaries of such words—a task also urged by leaders with similar concerns at a recent meeting of The Gospel Coalition’s Council.

I am particularly concerned about two issues: What general principles should guide Christians in distributed communication, and what special principles should guide Christians when they address issues about and to the church in such communication?

Some may shrug off the question of what is proper Christian communication on the internet, saying it is hardly likely that all internet dialogue will honor the rule of Christ. Even Christians may argue that internet sites and social media create something of a digital lunchroom where participants not only expect the conversation to be free flowing but also less accountable to the standards of traditional media.

Of course, the context and genre of communication properly influence our judgment of what Christians can or should say. We do not expect a stage play to sound like a Sunday sermon, or a website to be as careful as a catechism. But if Christians are to be salt and light in every sphere of life, then they must also consider what should characterize internet communication that honors Christ.

The present era is not the first in which Christians have considered whether the Bible’s standards apply to new forms of communication. Gutenberg, Marconi, Coughlin, Hearst, Limbaugh, Drudge, Huffington, and Zuckerberg represent waves of new communication approaches that have changed the shoreline of expectations regarding what utterances can or should be distributed. Still, we limit our God if we presume that he cannot establish transcendent standards of truth and love that supersede changing communication expectations.

As a Christian who believes in the lordship of Christ over the whole of life, I know that I have a responsibility to discern what the Bible requires of me in all aspects of life—even those of the web. [1] I also know that I cannot here address all possible issues (such as those faced by bloggers in lands of persecution). Still, I hope the following discussion of biblical principles will make all of us who engage in internet communication more conscious of applicable biblical principles—and also a bit more reflective before hitting the “post” button.

I. Christian Communication Must Be True

Christian communication that purports to be true, should be. That’s obvious, but some additional specificity may be helpful—and challenging. The third commandment (which requires care for God’s name, particularly in taking oaths and vows in support of the truth) and the ninth commandment (which is more narrowly concerned with malicious slander) plainly forbid spreading falsehoods in either personal or public communication. [2]

The Bible repeats the requirement of guarding the truth many times and in many ways in both the Old and New Testaments (e.g., Ex 23:1; Lv 19:11-16, 35-36; Ps 82:2-3; Prv 23:10; 31:8-9; Rom 12:9-10; 2 Cor 12:20; Eph 4:25; 2 Tm 3:3; Jas 3:17; 1 Jn 4:20). The judgment of charity binds us not only to tell the truth but also to seek to interpret other’s statements and actions in the best light (Mt 7:12; 1 Cor 13:6-7). We are also obligated to protect the reputations of others against slander, innuendo, false implication, and even the damage to truth caused by inappropriate silence (Zech 8:16; Prv 17:15; 1 Tm 6:4; 2 Tm 4:16).

These standards of truth are high, but they merely form the ground floor of the biblical architecture for communication that honors God. Simply telling the truth is not enough.

II. Christian Communication Must Be Provable

The Bible does not allow us to publish what we think is true if we cannot prove it. Before we disseminate favorable or unfavorable information we are required to ensure and evidence its accuracy.

Continue reading here: The Bible for Bloggers On Gospel Coalition website

Old Mormon vs New Mormon.

I created these videos and posted them on DefCon back in September of 2010. Since then, we’ve received many new readers to the blog that may have missed them. So I’ve decided to dust them off and re-post them here so that our new readers can see what happens when a 19th century Mormon meets a 21st century Mormon.

Enjoy!

Celestial Marriage

The Missouri Prophecies

Free cult flyer and gospel tract download.

Back in 2008, I made a cult flyer/gospel tract combo available to the readers of this blog to download for free. Since then, this flyer/tract combo has undergone refinement and is now in its fifth printing.

This flyer/tract combo was drafted as a way to inform the public about the truths of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons, and to provide them with the true gospel of Jesus Christ. It was originally designed to hang on doorknobs in the area where I live and was in response to the constant canvasing of neighborhoods by these two cults. But since its inception, this flyer/tract combo has also found its way into the hands of numerous people throughout America and has even found its way to the shores of Africa (with another box full currently en route to Liberia as I write this).

The cult flyer is a single tri-fold (printed on the front and back). The tract comes three to a page (printed on the front and back). Each tract fits nicely inside the cult flyer as an insert.

Please feel free to download, print, and make as many copies of each of these items as you wish to distribute as you see fit. You can even put your church name, website, or other personal information on them to help in your evangelistic contacts if you so desire.

The Great Exchange

Who’s Really Knocking at Your Door?

Help and encouragement for those with critical spirits.

Below are links to parts one and two of Teri Maxwell’s article on how we can so easily become negative and critical, the ramifications of being negative and critical, and how we can overcome being negative and critical.

I highly recommend these two articles, and especially part two for parents.

Part One: Are you normally a positive or negative person?

Part Two: How to overcome a critical spirit.

Sermon of the Week: Retracted

In the desire to keep Christ the center of what we do here at DefCon, the Sermon of the week has been retracted by the Author due to concerns regarding the character of the man who preached it.

Quotes (942)

How is it that the Gospel can move one man to wade through an army of opposition to publicly identify with Christ in a deadly winter baptism, and yet in another man who confesses the same Gospel, it has no power to make even the most insignificant changes in his life? When will the church in the West regain the fundamental biblical truth that faith is evidenced by works; that a tree is known by its fruit; and that not everyone who confesses ‘Lord, Lord’ in the comfortable confines of Western evangelicalism will enter the kingdom of heaven?

– Paul Washer

HT: Saved by Grace

Sermon of the Week: “Why Every Pastor Should Be a Biblical Theologian” by Michael Lawrence

https://i1.wp.com/t4g.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Michael_Lawrence.jpg

This week’s sermon comes from Pastor Michael Lawrence who is formerly of Capital Hill Baptist (Mark Dever’s Washington DC church) and now pastor at Hinson Baptist Church in Portland, OR. This sermon comes from the 2012 Together For the Gospel Conference and is a direct plea to pastors, elders, Sunday school teachers and all Christians to not be professionals in the area of ministry; not to be about numbers, seating, programs, and the like, but to be BIBLICAL THEOLOGIANS. Biblical Theology is different from systematic theology in that if we compare theology to a tree, Systematic Theology would be the study of the full grown tree and its fruit while Biblical Theology is the study of the tree from a seed and watching it grow progressively over time and how its growth progresses from one stage to another. Biblical Theology, therefore, requires the Christian, pastor, teacher, or elder to be a person of the Word of God…to be fully drenched and saturated in the Word of God, and not systems or frameworks or theology books. Enjoy Michael’s interesting message here:

Why Every Pastor Should Be a Biblical Theologian

T4G Website with Link

Hinson Baptist Church Website for more information.

Book recommendation: “Escape from the World Trade Center” by Leslie Haskin.

I fully understand that this will be a very controversial post (perhaps the most controversial post in DefCon’s history) and I’ve even been reluctant to post it (opting to leave it sitting in pending drafts for quite awhile). But even if it causes some to cease their readership of this blog, the truth needs to be told.

For almost a year now I’ve been revisiting the events of 9/11/01, without prejudice or preconceived notions, and I have come away shocked with what I have discovered. The more I look into the events of that day the more I am convinced that we have not been told everything about what occurred on that September morning almost eleven years ago.

So when this short book written by  professing Christian Leslie Haskin (detailing her escape from one of the three WTC towers that fell on September 11, 2001) became available for free on Kindle (from the longer book Between Heaven and Ground Zero), I download it. I was curious to read a survivor’s account of that day to see if it corroborated more with the government’s official version of the events of that day, or instead, with that of the mounting evidence pointing to a conspiracy of the magnitude never before seen in this country.

In this book, Haskin tells of her upbringing in a Christian home, her eventual turning from the faith, and how the events of September 11, 2001 brought her back to her faith in God. Haskin has written a few other books and she’s been a guest speaker around the country (and has even appeared on The 700 Club). But it was the details of her escape from WTC Tower One that I was most interested in and she did not fail to deliver. What I read in her account contradicts the official version of what happened on that day, and corroborates the evidence pointed to by conspiracy theorist’s (term not used pejoratively) to prove that not everything we’ve been told to believe about 9/11 is true.

As for the book itself, I found that the placement of Scripture throughout it seemed to be sporadic and random and it became somewhat distracting. Oftentimes the verses cited were completely out of context with the storyline. I also did not find the writing to be as polished as it could have been, as the jumping back and forth between 9/11 and other events in her past didn’t flow well to me and seemed somewhat disjointed. And the overuse of ellipses was very taxing, offering an unprofessional appearance and tone to her writing.

I also wouldn’t recommend this book on the grounds of theological meatiness as it is weak on doctrinal distinctions. I understand that this book is not meant to be a theological tome, but with the profuse employment of Scripture throughout it I would have hoped for a little more solidness in the biblical message she was trying to convey, instead of the man-centered, Hallmark card flavor it carried.

You can read more reviews of the book here where others had similar criticisms about the book.

But in spite of my above cited dissatisfaction, I still highly recommend this book because of the valuable information contained within it as the author details the things she saw, smelled, heard, and felt during her escape from the terror in her tower; things that should cause every American to ask questions without fear of being marginalized with ad hominen attacks pejorative labels like “crazy conspiracy theorists.”

So what is it in Haskin’s book that contradicts the official governmental 9/11 conspiracy theory and instead supports an alternative 9/11 conspiracy theory?

Continue reading

248 children found murdered.

I wonder if the murder of these 248 children will get as much attention (including around the clock news coverage) as the Colorado murders. Methinks the answer, sadly, is no.

Why? Because murdering 12 people in a movie theater is a crime, but murdering 248 children in their mothers’ womb is a “choice.”

It’s what happens when the culture of situational ethics and the culture of death collide.

From RT.com:

A fishing trip in Russia’s Urals ended with cries of horror as a man found canisters filled with human embryos, some already shaped to baby bodies.

­Lids on the bright blue containers apparently unlocked as the canisters hit the ground, and many embryos spilled out. The little bodies, no longer than 15 centimeters, shrank, turning into mummies.

A friend of mine called at night and said he went fishing and wanted to get some wood for his fire. He found some abandoned water canisters and wanted to take them for his house. And when he came up, he saw… little baby bodies,” a local told Russia’s Channel 4.

Arriving Monday morning, police found 248 embryos aged 12-16 weeks in and around the four canisters. Labels attached to tiny hands and legs listed family names of assumed mothers and some digit codes, which may refer to the pregnancy period, date of abortion or the hospital where the body originated from.

The 50-liter canisters filled with formalin seem to have been thrown out of a vehicle not far from a road leading to Nevyansk, a town on the slopes of the Ural Mountains.

Nevyansk authorities immediately said the canisters could not have originated in their town.

Our area is too small; we can’t have so many stillborns, miscarriages or artificial abortions,” they said.

Later it was revealed that the horrifying content was “biological waste” from at least three hospitals in Ekaterinburg, the region’s major city.

It appears a waste disposal company has failed to carry out its duties properly,” remark local authorities as the investigation continues. The Ministry of Health has been requested to determine which companies provide embryo disposal services to Ekaterinburg hospitals.

In Russia, embryos are subject to immediate disposal as they are classified high hazard waste. Prior to disposal, they are to be kept in special packages, not in canisters with formalin. It is also out of practice to attach labels with any information, at least in Ekaterinburg hospitals.

But the bodies found near the Urals not only fall out of this description – the labels show they may have been stored for over ten years.

Some medical experts believe the embryos might have been meant for studies or other purposes, as they contain stem cells. The cells are widely used for immune illnesses treatment and in cosmetic procedures.

Prosecutors are talking tentatively of criminal charges, but most probably the guilty party will bear an administrative punishment.

See more here (with news video).

The Fall of the United States of Rome. (Repost)

Martin Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) offers a sobering warning from the grave:

“If the West goes down and is defeated, it will be for one reason only: internal rot. . . . If we continue to spend our lives in jollification, doing less and less work, demanding more and more money, more and more pleasure and so-called happiness, more and more indulgence of the lusts of the flesh, with a refusal to accept our responsibilities, there is but one inevitable result—complete and abject failure. Why did the Goths and Vandals and other barbarians conquer the ancient Roman Empire? Was it by superior military power? Of course not! Historians know that there is only one answer: the fall of Rome came because of the spirit of indulgence that had invaded the Roman world—the games, the pleasures, the baths. The moral rot that had entered into the heart of the Roman Empire was the cause of Rome’s ‘decline and fall.’ It was not superior power from the outside, but internal rot that was Rome’s ruination. And the really alarming fact today is that we are witnessing a similar declension in this and most other Western countries. This slackness, this indiscipline, the whole outlook and spirit is characteristic of a period of decadence. The pleasure mania, the sports mania, the drink and drug mania have gripped the masses.”

Book recommendation: “Under the Banner of Heaven” by Jon Krakauer.

I recently finished Jon Krakauer’s book, Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith. I found the book to be very revealing of early Mormon history (much of the stuff modern day Mormons prefer you didn’t know about). Namely this book tackled Mormonism’s twin doctrines of polygamy and Blood Atonement (and detailing the hellish results those unbiblical doctrines wrought on Mormons and non-Mormons alike).

Although this work was a scathing revelation of Mormonism’s twisted and violent history, I could not help but detect the author’s occasional sympathetic bent toward Joseph Smith and the Mormon organization as a whole.

Sympathy or poor research in some instances (I am not certain which), but one example of less-than accurate reporting is when Krakauer said that when Joseph Smith fired his gun at the angry mob (the gun that was smuggled into the Carthage jail), he wounded “at least one.”

However, Mormonism’s own History of the Church cites that Jospeh Smith actually “snapped the pistol six successive times; only three of the barrels, however, were discharged. I afterwards understood that two or three were wounded by these discharges, two of whom, I am informed, died.”

I must say that there’s a chasm of difference between “wounding at least one” and “two or three were wounded . . . two of whom . . . died.”

Another instance in the book where the author would have done well to have done better research is when he writes that Calvinists teach that God is “bent on making humans atone for Adam’s original sin.”

If Krakauer did his homework he would have known that that is not the historic Calvinist position (and never has been). Calvinism teaches that God’s Son (and Him alone) is the only One able to atone for mankind’s sin that was inherited through Adam and for the sins man commits daily. It is actually the belief of Mormonism (and Roman Catholics, and Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Seventh Day Adventists, and Muslims, etc.) that man can atone for or add to Christ’s atoning work on the cross; and this in direct opposition to Galatians 5:4.

In all, although the author was incorrect on a few points, I found the book to be a fascinating look into both the mainstream LDS organization (the one’s who broke away from the original teachings of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young) and the varios fundamental LDS organizations (the one’s who still follow the original teachings of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young) with the Lafferty brothers’ murder of Erica Lafferty and her baby, Erica, on July 24, 1984, as the back drop of the book.

The book, although containing a critical overtone toward all religion, horrifyingly exposes the results of following Joseph Smith and Brigham Young’s teachings faithfully, showing that Mormonism (much like Islam) is a violent religion full of lies, deception, adultery, sexual immorality, and forever marked by the bloodshed of innocent men, women, and children.