Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Making a mockery of God

Tonight was a good night. I exchanged a DVD at Costco and ended up leaving with more than I had intended - isn't that how it always happens? =). I then went to do some homework at Stapley Bucks. Cathy called, that was fun. Then it was back to the books. Shortly thereafter I finished my homework, and picked up Piper's book Counted Righteous In Christ - Should We Abandon the Imputation of Christ's Righteousness?. It's a marvelous book! How refreshing to read a positive defense of the gospel after reading Mark Seifrid's mockery of the doctrine of imputation.

Weeeell, while I was reading, Stephanie, a friend from high skewl, came over to say hi. Stephanie is a Christian, and we each shared about our walks with the Lord. Eventually she asked what I was reading. As I passionately began explaining the work to her, Stephanie's friend joined us at my table. I caught her up to what Stephanie and I had been discussing, and continued. As I began reading Romans 4 to them, Steph's friend interrupted me and asks, "Umm, do you believe in prophecy?"

I had no idea what relevance this had to do with our conversation. Furthermore, I wasn't in the mood to have this discussion at 10:30pm (I think my internal clock shuts down my desire to debate after a certain time). But she pressed the issue, so I asked her what she meant. She said to me, "Do you believe that God speaks to us through people by communicating a Word directly?" I explained my belief in Sola Scriptura; that today God speaks to His Church through the Scriptures.

Again she interrupted me, this time by putting a finger over her mouth ... "shhhhhhhhhhhhh," she said. I was taken aback at the absurdity of this situation. I asked why she continued to interrupt me. "shhhhhhhhhh," she responded ... "God is giving me a prophecy for you... I'm trying to listen." I sat there, totally confused about what could possibly be going on in her head.

After a long moment, she finally came to: "God . . . wants you to stop your 'rigidity' . . . He has so much more for you . . . He wants you to be broken before Him . . . He is telling me that there is more than the Scriptures for you . . . and to let the Spirit work in your life . . . He has great things planned for you..."

There are no words to express what I felt. I was offended, deeply offended. Here is some girl that I have never met claiming to receive direct revelation from the Lord God. Moreover, her prophecy was directing me away from the Scriptures.

I asked if I could respond without her interrupting me. I opened up to 2 Timothy 3 and began reading at verse 14. Before I got to verse 16 she stood up and burst outside. I was speechless. I could not believe what just happened. I turned around slowly to see where she was - she was standing just outside, about 10 feet from the door. After about 30 seconds she shuffled back in and sat down at my table. I immediately asked her, "What in the world was that all about?" She smiled and said, "I didn't know what to say, so the Spirit directed me to go outside." I tried to think of the kindest possible way to respond ... "If you do that again, this conversation is over" I finally replied.

Her tactics from this point on were completely dependent on subjectivism. She repeated her mantra of "trusting her feelings," as if this were somehow a sound argument? I, on the other hand, pressed her for an argument from Scripture to demonstrate that God continues to speak to His people apart from the Scriptures. She then closed my Bible and coldly said to me, "I don't expect you to believe a word that I am saying to you. I don't know the Bible that well, but I know that God speaks to me, and wants to speak to you. Whether you believe what God has said to you tonight is irrelevant. It isn't my job to convince you, only the Spirit can convince you that He wants to speak to you."

When she finished, she stood up as if to leave. I asked if I could respond to her rebuke, and said, "Assuming that your pressuposition is true about God continuing to give revelation apart from the Scriptures, I would test your prophecy by the Scriptures. By examining your alleged prophecy, you have proven yourself to be a false prophetess. You inform me that God's Word is not sufficient, and you have done this by pointing me to revelation that is not found in the written Word of God. You then claim God told you that the Spirit is not presently working in my life - again you are horribly mistaken. The Bible is very clear that God will not go against His Word. So then, by claiming that God has told you that there is more than the Scriptures, you again prove your status as a false prophetess. Your actions tonight have made a mockery of God. You claim to receive revelation, when in fact you have received none. This can mean one of two things: (1) You are receiving revelation from the Devil and/or his demons, or (2) you are a liar. Your greatest error is that you are not grounded in the Scriptures. I am amazed that in all of our interaction tonight you have not cited one verse from God's inspired revelation. My charge to you is to repent from your sin of claiming divine relvation, when indeed, you are not. I also ask that you read the Scriptures - in particular the text that you walked out on: 2 Timothy 3:14-17."

We all left Starbucks tonight amazed at each other's actions. Stephanie's friend was amazed that I did not gladly receive her prophecy. I imagine she was also amazed that I continued to cite Scripture in response to her "feel the Spirit" arguments (a view analogous to the Latter-day Saints). I was amazed that someone would make such a complete mockery of God and His Word. For goodness sakes, the thrust of her false prophecy encouraged me to lessen my view of the Scriptures!

I hope that she noticed that I was offended tonight. Because I was, very much so. When you claim to be a prophet(ess), you better stand up to the test of Scripture.

Deuteronomy 18:20-22: " But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.' 21 "You may say in your heart, 'How will we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?' 22 "When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him."

Isaiah 8:20: "To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn."

These are some serious warnings! You had better take the Lord Almighty seriously. Speaking in His name isn't a joke, and should not be done presumptuously. God will not be mocked. My prayer for Stephanie's friend is that she learns what it means to fear the Lord. Otherwise she better prepare herself to face the judgments of God, which are a terrible thing.

Steve Camp has a wonderful song titled "Here I Stand." I know, people generally never read songs when they are posted on a blog, but I encourage you to read this one. It is relevant to my entry, and should be an encouragement to God's people.

"The grass withers, flowers fade away, but the Word of God shall stand forever. Though enemies of the cross attack it from age to age, there is no stone it cannot whether. It's all we ever need for life and godliness. This Word has saved our souls, delivered us from death.

Here I stand, upon the once for all delivered faith. On the Word. Here I stand, never changing one command. On the pure sufficient Word of God. Here I stand.

Our people trust in visions, they claim to receive. Others build their faith upon their feelings. The prophetic Word made more sure is righteous, true and clean, without it our experience means nothing. The Word that God has spoken is final and is proved, and all who place their faith in it shall never be moved.

Here I stand, upon the once for all delivered faith. On the Word. Here I stand, never changing one command. On the pure sufficient Word of God. Here I stand.

The Word of God is living, shaper than any sword. It's not the tales of men, but the Word of the Lord."

I will conclude this entry with one of my favorite passages of Scripture: Hebrews 4:12, "For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart."


This is Case of Base, signing off

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Romans 10:14 - A blessed week at the temple

Romans 10:14, "How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?" (NASB).

Last week the Alpha and Omega Ministries crew were witnessing at the LDS temple in Mesa. The week was spectacular. We handed out a lot of tracts and had plenty of convos.

Here's a shot of the lawn, the visitor's center, and the temple in the background:

The stage:

Eddie and I:

The highlight of my week was Saturday night. Austin (also mentioned in my previous entry) approached me to talk about our conversation from 3 years earlier. He brought up a prophecy of Joseph Smith (their founding prophet) that I claimed was a false prophecy. Joseph Smith prophesied in 1832 that his generation would live to see the temple of Zion be built in Jackson County, Missouri. The Doctrine and Covenants (part of their Scriptures) not only contains this clear prophecy, but a number of other sermons by Joseph state the same thing. To make things worse, not long after Joseph's death, Mormon leaders (1850's and 60's) all believed the prophecy would be fulfilled in their lifetime. To avoid dealing with this glowing example of a false prophecy, Austin took me to Matthew 24. He focused on verse 34, that "this generation will not pass away until all this has been fulfilled." His argued one of two possibilities: (1) Jesus was wrong, thus making him a false prophet, or (2) the phrase "this generation" is not to be taken literally. Austin seemed to be saying that if Jesus gave a false prophecy, it is okay if Joseph did as well. At this moment I silently thanked the Lord that He has so thoroughly prepared me to respond to this particular objection. ... Because of my dealings with Hyper-Preterism, I was more than equipped to give a sound explanation of Matt 24 (and Luke 21) and still affirm the future Second Coming of Christ. When I finished going through the text with him, we went back to Joseph's prophecy. There was an awkward silence. He shook my hand, thanked me for my time, and went back to watch the show. I am thankful that God has kept our conversation from 3 years earlier in his mind all this time! My prayer is that God does not give him rest until he turns from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints unto the God of Scripture.

If you would like to pray for the folks I witnessed to this week, here are the memorable ones:

KJV-Onlyists - that they would turn from KJV-Onlyism, and believe the gospel of grace and peace

A Return Missionary - We discussed the eternal law of progression (a foundational Mormon teaching)

Jacob - a Christian who wants to study Mormonism so he can witness to his Mormon family members. I gave him the aomin web addy, and my email.

Paul - a return missionary. We discussed the Great Apostasy (the Mormon belief that the Church completely fell away after the apostles). We exchanged phone numbers, and I will be calling him this week.

A guy who was initially upset for us being there - ended up having a decent discussion about the priesthood and our authority as Christians.

Tanner - raised LDS with a long family history in the LDS church. We discussed epistemology (how you know what you know). He recognized that my beliefs were from Scripture, his were from his feelings.

2 missionaries - They were stuck on the corner next to me waiting for their ride, so yea, we had a convo =). They were extremely rude, but nevertheless I managed to discuss the Trinity with them in great detail.

3 high schoolers - discussed monotheism versus polytheism, the eternal law of progression, and the authenticity of Scripture.

Kim - a Roman Catholic whom Jerry and I spoke with at Starbucks after the temple on Sat night from 10pm-12:30am. Spent much of our time on the gospel, and epistemology.

*** Pics/vid from the week

"Heavenly Father, I pray that you would bless the tracts that were distributed this week. We are thankful for the many conversations throughout the week, and ask that You might be pleased to save many. Deliver men from the gods of Mormonism by granting to them the ability to repent and believe in the one true God. I am honored you have used us, your servants to speak your truth to an almost unreached people group. May Your Name continue to be honored and glorified. Amen."

Case of Base

Thursday, March 24, 2005

The Corner of Main and Hobson

Obviously Easter is on Sunday. Yay. Good Friday, Easter Sunday, lunch/dinner with the fam. Good times.

This also means that the LDS church is hosting their annual Easter pageant at the temple in Mesa. The play runs in the evenings, from Tuesday to Saturday. It is a spectacular show and a remarkable production. 80,000 people are expected to view the event. Most of the obvious Mormon doctrine has been removed, and they quote mostly from the King James Version of the Bible - although a few distinct doctrines are noticeable to the informed viewer. The pageant is used primarily as a proselytizing tool for non-members.

This is my fourth year handing out tracts at the pageant, but my first year officially with AOMin. Kinda exciting =). To my surprise, I was not nervous at all tonight. I felt adequately prepared and was eager to engage in conversation with Latter-day Saints. There were only four of us tonight: Rich Pierce, Larry, Adam, and myself. But we were armed with tracts and ready to go!

My first conversation was with the King-James-Onlyists. Adam and I were waiting at the light when one of the KJVOnlyists tried to hand us a tract. Adam informed him that we were Christians also handing out tracts. This fellow then asked what church I went to. "The Phoenix Reformed Baptist Church," I said. "Isn't that James White's Church?" Lonnie, the leader of the pack, piped in. I responded, "James is one of the elders at my church, but Don Fry is our pastor." "JAMES WHITE is a false teacher! He mocks the true Word of God!" Lonnie began yelling at me. You see, Elder James wrote The King James Only Controversy years back about KJV-Onlyism, and he has been the main source of attack by KJV-Only advocates. Odd thing is, however, James said in the book that he did not write the book against the King James Version of the Bible, but only against KJV-Onlyism, and to defend modern translations. Be that as it may, these KJV-Onlyists have not actually read James' works, and choose to view him as literally the spawn of Satan. Hence, since I go to "James White's church" I must likewise be of the Devil. After I realized that Lonnie was incapable of listening to reason and engaging in a serious argument, I essentially told him that I was finished with this conversation, and turned to cross the street. He kept preaching at Adam and I until we were out of range. I turned to Adam and said, "That was the worst conversation I will have tonight." Thankfully I was correct =). Unfortunately, they crossed over to our side of the street. They held their huge, obnoxious signs, with pictures of Joseph Smith burning in hell, along with accusations of Mormons being homosexuals and rapists. Before and after the pageant they screamed through megaphones their not-so-nice message, all the while trying to convince the Mormons that they ought to read the King James Version of the Bible - but wait, ... I thought that they already used the KJV? Oh well, so much for having a coherent and relevant message.

Rich suggested that we stand across the street so as to disassociate ourselves from these whackos (I'm sorry, there is just no nice way to describe these people). Adam and I manned one corner; Rich and Larry, another corner. We still covered the same traffic as we normally would have. Although, I believe many folks were pleasantly surprised to see me and Adam's smiling faces as they left the hatefilled speech of the KJV-Only-whackos =).

The Lord blessed the two of us with a number of conversations. Adam was able to share the gospel with a guy in Spanish! (Boy am I glad he was there).

I spent about half an hour talking with 3 high schoolers - all LDS. I focused on monotheism versus polytheism (one true God, versus many true gods). They were particularly amazed at the sharp contrast between Joseph Smith's (Mormonism's Founder) statement:
"In order to understand the subject of the dead, for consolation of those who mourn for the loss of their friends, it is necessary we should understand the character and being of God and how he came to be so; for I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see" (The King Follett Discourse)
compared with Psalm 90:2,
"Before the mountains were born Or You gave birth to the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God."
I also quoted Malachi 3:9,
"For I, the LORD, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed."
It was a good convo.

Adam and I had an interesting time with a return LDS missionary. This guy appeared to have learned on his mission the art of avoiding meaningful dialogue with opposition =). Rather than respond to anything we said, he persisted to attack the Christian message, our God, and even Adam and myself. After going in circles (because I wouldn't accept his presupposition that "the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true Church because I feel that it is") we finally hit the issue we needed to address - that one's experiences and feelings are not a test for truth. After arguing that Scripture is the rule of faith, I then validated this practice by referring to Acts 17 ... Paul commending the Bereans for "examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so" (NOT by praying about his message, or waiting to hear from God). His response pretty much ended the conversation: "That is the 'sorryest' thing I have ever heard." He then urged me to attend a Mormon service, read the Book of Mormon, and sincerely pray about whether the LDS Church is the true church. I informed him that I have visited LDS churches numerous times, that I have read the BoM, but I will not ask God if the LDS Church is correct, because God, through His Word, commands me to test all things by Scripture, not by prayer. I pray the Lord softens that man's heart so he might truly examine his faith by the Word of God.

Not long after this I heard someone call out my name: "Hey Casey!" I turned to greet a nice looking couple. The guy held out his hand. As we shook hands I expressed that I forgot who he was... "Austin," he said, "We spoke 3 years ago." I exclaimed, "Oh, now I remember! You were in the play, right?" "Yea. I was a torch bearer," he said. After some small talk, he and his fiance headed off to watch the pageant - they're getting married in October. Congrats Austin! ... My first year at the pageant, Austin was handing out brochures (for the pageant) near where I was standing. Each night that week, for a couple hours we had a discussion. He was a very nice guy to talk to. It made my night tonight that he felt comfortable to approach me. I will definitely be praying for him.

My final convo was with a Christian. Jacob, a junior high student was there to learn about Mormonism so he could witness to his Mormon family members. I was able to encourage him in his pursuits, and gave him aomin's web addy. I told him to send me an email so I could help him in his studies. I'll letya know if I hear from him.

After the pageant, Adam and I hung out at Stapley Bucks (I'm still trying to come up with a more creative/semi-relevant nick for my Bucks). It was a good night.

As I was driving home tonight all I could do was thank God that He has saved me. I am thankful that He has given us His Word, and that the Bible is a clear revelation. Oh, how thankful I am that He alone is the one true God. How often do I take this truth for granted? As Christians, I think we sometimes believe that this is an obvious truth. Yet, Mormons don't know this simple fact. They believe that God is an exalted man, and we may become gods like Him. I shudder at the famous couplet stated by Lorenzo Snow, "As man is, God once was. As God is, man may become." Nights like tonight are a clear reminder to me how precious God's truth really is. The one and only God, loves me, and chose to save me from my sins so that I might have eternal life with Him.

My heart goes out to the Mormon people. They are sinners like me, and desperately need to hear the good news of the gospel. They need to hear about the one true God of the Bible. My prayer is that God's truth would be proclaimed this week. I pray that the tracts handed out tonight would be blessed. I pray that, if it God's will, that He might be merciful to those we have talked to tonight. Finally, I pray that God would be honored and glorified in our proclamation of His gospel.

Thank you God, for saving me, a sinner.


Tuesday, March 22, 2005

"Don't make me the weird one"

To Maryland and back.

Adam, Luz and I spent our spring break across the country in Maryland. Janet has visited AZ 4 times this year, so we figured it was our turn! Adam and I stayed at The Launching Pad, which is where much of the parte-ing takes place. Mike, Andree, Matt, and Drew were kind enough to take us in for the week. See the Starbucks picture on the wall? - We felt right at home =)

I prolly won't go over minute details from the trip. But how about some of the highlights?

Adam and I had never seen the nation's capital, so spent Sunday afternoon in DC. We visited the WWII Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam War Memorial and the Korean War Memorial. We took another day trip to Annapolis, and also saw Baltimore.

Monday night we enjoyed fine dining at Mama Lucia's, one of Janet's fav's. The food was delic (pronounced: "de-lish"), but our waitress, Janine, could very well be the worst waitress of all time. She walked up to the table, opened up to her pad and asked what we wanted for dinner. At no point during the meal did she offer to get us anything to drink (thankfully the bussers brought us water). She had a ... visible attitude emanating around her. Her body language, the tone in her voice, and even the words escaping her mouth all indicated that she was ticked off. As the night progressed, things only worsened. Every request we gave her seemed to peeve her off even more. When we finally received our food, Luz's order wasn't to her satisfaction. But when we grabbed Janine to have it remade, she seemed unwilling. While we tried to convince Janine that the order wasn't correct, the manager happened to stop at our booth to check on our evening. Immediately he sensed something wasn't right, and asked about our food. We spent half a breath explaining our situation, when he reached over, grabbed the food, and went off to reorder it. Janine, the dark lady of the land, was defeated. But the night was not over yet. We still had to pay. Everyone paid with cash, except for Adam. Well it turns out that Adam accidentally gave Janine the customer receipt copy. She couldn't care less, and expressed as much, "No, it's okay. That copy will work." Adam tried to explain it as simply as possible, "I don't think you understand. The copy I gave you has an X across it. It's no good." What she did next is worthy of the Annals of Unsatisfactory Service ... she grabbed the check out of Adam's hand, turned, and mumbled so we could all hear her, "OH MY GOSH!" She hurriedly walked off while she moaned and groaned to herself. It was quite the experience. The following morning Janet gave the restaurant a call and explained our situation. We were offered a free meal for our group, though Janine, with all her poofy hair, was nearby to remind us that we knew that she knew it was us that complained about her. Here's how Janine made me feel the second time around:

Curbage - By far, the greatest story of the week involves Janet driving us to Jess' apartment. We were nearly to the apartment when we got stopped by a train. I'm thinking, eh, no big deal, we'll wait till it passes. But that is not at all what was going on in Janet's head. She decided that this would be a good idea to get some gas for her jeep. After she finished refueling, the traffic was still backed up from the train. She pulled up behind a car, also waiting to pull out. Then, suddenly, Janet vears left, drives over the curb onto the grassy knoll (to protect pedestrians, and babies that might be crawling around) and cuts in front of the car that was formerly ahead of us! She then proceeds to squeeze her way out. We are flipping out. "Jaaaneeeet! Oh my goooosh! What was that?!" Yet all the while, Janet acted like her stunt was no big deal =). After some effort of trying to convince me that going over curbs to cut off drivers ahead of you is nothing unusual, I responded to her with, "Janet, don't make me the weird one..." Aaand, the phrase stuck throughout the week. Friends, please, listen to me now. Whereever there is Christian fellowship, continue this story. Continue the statement. May it ever go beyond the borders of Maryland and Arizona =). Oh, and Janet - I still need a picture of the curb =)

I also had the priviledge of having my first SGM experience at Covenant Life. I had a great time that morning. The preaching was excellent - on Stephen's martyrdom. This *points to himself* Reformed Baptist had a grand ol' time.

During the 6 days I was in Maryland, I can honestly say that I made some friends. These are friendships that I hope become longterm. We invaded their lives, and they went out of their way to make us feel welcome. Janet, especially put forth a great deal of effort to ensure that we had a blast. And oh, we did.

Oh! Oh! I almost forgot that I was introduced to "Covenant Life Bucks" - the Starbucks that everyone at Covenant Life hangs out at. It felt like my "3rd place" back home. The coffee tasted the same. Mmhmm. Good times, great oldies.

Been back now five days, and I miss Maryland. I cannot wait to hang out with ya'll again.

Janet: thanks for a good time.

The Guys: you r0x0rz.

Everyone else: w00t.

Pics/vids are posted on my site.

This is Case of Base, signing off.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Liberalism ... Eww, Gross!

Let's play make-believe for a moment. Pretend that John Kerry won the Presidency in November. Imagine hearing his voice every day on the news. And oh, the absurdity spewing from the mouth of Teraaaayzuuuuh Heinz Kerry! Can you imagine hearing comments like: "They want four more years of hell," from the First Lady, while flashing beer cans at the camera? Okay, that's all I can handle of make-believe.

*shutters at the thought of the most liberal Senator as the leader of the country*

Praise God that in the real world George Dubya won the Presidency. We have at least 4 years where Republicans (mostly conservatives) control the White House and Congress.

As you can tell from my blog, I have backed off politics a bit since the election. I needed a break. All that political talk can be tiresome! Anyway, in 2003 I became a Reagan Conservative, and I am unable to go back. I'm a political junkie for life =). I recently got back into the swing of things - listening to Rush, Prager, and of course, Sean Hannity (3 hours a day everyday). To be fair and balanced, and to know my enemy, I tuned in to Air[head] America, 1010AM to get a feel for "the other camp." What I heard was a most distasteful radio segment.

The hosts are supposed to provide political commentary. What I heard instead was a mocking of the President (not his policies, his person), Christianity, Christian morality, and lastly, Christians. They began with the comment: "Can Bush even read a sentence? Well, we know he can read the Bible because he shoves it down our throats at every opportunity. ... He expects us to all have the same values that he has. Yes, he has the right to believe whatever he wants, but I've had enough of Christian fundamentalists like him who claim absolute truth! Who is he to deny same-sex couples their civil rights? ... Christians are an arrogant lot aren't they? They think they know everything, but they are the ones stuck in the Dark Ages!"

What is truly remarkable about Air America is that this is fairly common. Every single time I tune in this is precicely what I hear. Why, oh why do I subject myself to such garbage?

Sadly, much of the country thinks along similar grounds. This is how the Left in America views conservatives. The Left despises conservatives ... but it HATES Christians. You may be wondering why? Liberals hate Christians because Christians are consistent in their worldview. Christians will not, and indeed, cannot be shaken from their convictions. This is what drives the Democratic Party nuts. They do not understand the Christian worldview or it's values at all.

The Democratic Party is so far removed from the Christian worldview that it boggles my mind how any Democrat can profess faith in Christ. Remember that it is the Democratic Party that is trying to redefine marriage to include homosexual couples. The Democratcs are in favor of a woman's "right to choose" [to abort/murder their unborn child]. Democrats want to give super rights to women and gays.

I can summarize the Democratic Party with three descriptive phrases: emotional reasoning, morally bankrupt, and anti-Christian.

From a Biblical standpoint, the behavior of liberals and the Democratic Party isn't overly surprising. They are unbelievers acting like unbelievers. They are actively supressing the knowledge of God and are doing everything in their power to rebel against their Creator by promoting ungodliness in our land.

As Christians, we ought to pray that God might bless America. In our prayers let us be specific in how we want God to bless our nation. The only blessing our nation needs right now is the gift of repentance. More than anything else the people of America need the grace of God in the regenerating power of His Holy Spirit to raise men to spiritual life so they might turn from their sins unto the living God.

I'm reminded of Luke 13:1-5:
"1Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices.2And Jesus said to them, "Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? 3"I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. 4"Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? 5"I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.""

God demands that all men everywhere repent. Otherwise they will die in their sins and face the wrath of a holy God. May we ever be bold in our proclamation of God's truth to a lost and dying nation, trusting all the while that it is God who gives mercy to whomever He wills.

My pastor made some brief comments about Liberalism and Christianity in a sermon a few weeks back. Click here to listen (900kb, 2 minutes).

Until we meet again,

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

AOMin's Annual Business Meeting

Rich Pierce approached me at church a couple weeks ago and asked me to keep the evening of March 1st available. Apparently he wanted me to attend Alpha and Omega Ministries' annual business meeting. I had no clue why they would want me there, but I figured we would sit around and talk about theology or something to that extent.

The meeting was held at Rich's house last night. All the board members were there: James White (Director), Rich Pierce (President), Simon Escobedo (Executive Vice President), Warren Smith(Secretary), Mike Porter and Benny Diaz. We began by eating dinner ... pizza, soda, and brownies (food for theological champions!) *grin*. Of course, Simon and I chatted about the Trinity and Oneness Theology. Chillin with da AOMin boys, eating junkfood, talkin theology, does it get any better than this?

Eventually we got around to the business aspect of this meeting. Besides the ocassional humor, the meeting was fairly normal and followed standard procedure.

When it was time to review the current corporate board members, James asked if anyone wanted to make a motion to add new members. What happened next came as a complete surprise. James then made a motion to add me to the board. I was stunned! The motion was seconded, and it was official: I was now a member of the AOMin corporate board (though I am not an officer like James, Rich, or Simon -- just to clarify). James asked me to share my testimony to encourage everyone present. Honestly, the rest of the meeting was a haze due to my excitement.

My heart's desire has always been to preach the gospel to everyone in my life. In my sphere of influence I regularly encounter LDS, Witnesses, Oneness Pentecostals, Muslims, Romanists, Atheists, homosexuals, and so on. I strive to clearly communicate the gospel to each of these groups, which has led me to study not only what I believe, but what others believe. This, by the way, is the exact reason why I am spending so much time studying Oneness Theology (and the Trinity). Before I forget, Simon mentioned to me that he and Eddie Dalcour did a 3 hour series about Oneness Theology on the Dividing Line a few years back. Okay, where was I... Ah yes!

After the meeting, each of the guys approached me in turn to welcome me aboard. I shook their hands, honored to be apart of what AOMin does. I am honored to serve with these men, all of whom are heroes of the faith. I remember a time when the AOMin guys were just theologians and apologists to me. But they have become my friends.

If I may brag about Alpha and Omega for a minute. It is absolutely incredible what they have accomplished in their 20 some odd years of ministry: 50+ debates, 23 books, newsletters, The Dividing Line as a radio broadcast -------> now a webcast, radio appearances, lectures, a blog that won the "Best All Around Apologetics Blog of the Year" award, numerous online articles, dozens of tracts, countless speaking engagements at churches/seminaries around the world, more than 20 years of street evangelism in Salt Lake City and Mesa, and ministry at the Phoenix Reformed Baptist Church.

When you visit or familiarize yourself with their ministry, you'd never guess that they have accomplished all this with only 2 paid staff employees and a few handfuls of volunteers =). Tonight, as they discussed the state of the ministry, I was impressed by their humility. The Lord has blessed AOMin by continuing to grow the ministry. Yet in the face of this growth, James took some time to explain that he doesn't want to end up like some ministries who try to please their "constituants." Rather, James will continue to remain faithful in proclaiming the truth, even if that means losing some support, and making some enemies (as we have seen this year, unfortunately). Let me just briefly say about James, he is the real deal. James is as sincere as they come. He is an elder at my church, a loving husband and father, and passionately serves AOMin. But most importantly, he loves the Lord with all of his heart, sould, mind and strength.

I am ecstatic that the Lord has continued to allow me to serve Him in the realm of apologetics. Your prayers are certainly appreciated. To my faithful 5 readers, kudos to ya'll. Thanks for joining in my excitement.