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Posts Tagged ‘study’

I think the time is here and past.  I am no one, not some prophet crying out.  I’m just a Christian lady, but I have to say this, I agree with those who believe churches in America are bringing judgement upon themselves.  I am not speaking of the true Church, mind you, though there is still a remnant here in our nation.  We will be walking through this judgement too, but it’s those who have twisted scripture and lied to us that will be judged, and those who want to remain in the lie that will be judged.  It’s going to likely cause more persecution for the true church actually.  It will be hard to find truth in all those mega church wanna be buildings out there.  It will be harder to find comfort for the souls sitting in those numbered chairs.  Sure, they’ll feel good on Sunday morning when they sing and raise their hands, but what of the rest of the week?  Numb to the decay in their souls?  Numb from prescriptions taken to hide the pain?  Numb from socials and planning and work to be done?

I know an easy way to numb yourself….screen time!   Meanwhile, our nation is being taken over and when we do wake up, we’ll find our liberty gone.  Those who stand for Christ and who really want to be Christians, well, we’ll be quite unpopular around here.  The Christian nation will become something else entirely.  Muslim, atheist, whatever…these will be used to futher judge.  There will be a time of seperating.  There may not be an America left for hiding.  We may be a small lot, we may be a secluded lot.  We may end up underground. 

Of course, this is just an opinion and I am not speaking from a direct knowledge of anything.  I do know feelings (and they cannot always be trusted)…but in my gut I sense a terrible darkness.  With all that’s going on in our government, and all that’s going on in the church, it’s like God has turned from our America and is letting it go.  So now there are Christians sitting in the USA who are going to have to cling to Jesus, read the scriptures, and pray.  We have to wait to see what else needs to be done.  We have to choose not to compromise.  We have to teach our children well, they’ll need the strength that only God can give to stand when tested. 

This is not the world I knew when I was a girl, it’s not the same America anymore.

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We’re doing a verse by verse of Revelations in our Sunday School classes at church.  All the children are also studying this in their classes (except the youth for some reason, I think I’ll have to find out why not because I would love for them to be on the same page as the rest of us but they are talking the Sermon on the Mount so that’s good too).  We’re in the sweeping overview stage right now, and so we’re not in real depth yet. 

Despite the depth, it’s not your usual yada yada yada study of Revelations.  Typically, in my past, we would study this in small groups or have a quick sermon or set of sermons for a few weeks.  There was always a timeline, there was always discussion about the future.  There were even scary movies at camp.  Anyone out there subjected to those B (or C or even F) movies about the end of the world where they were cutting off people’s heads?  I recall a guy with dark hair and eyes was the main character, and as a little kid this whole thing scared me.  Kids were talking about end times and saying there were micro chips in Proctor and Gamble products. 

With my experiences with Revelations in the past, I have avoided the book.   I did read it several times on my own as a teen/young adult, but then rarely go back to it anymore.  I thought it best for me to focus on things I could grasp better.  I heard Hank Henergraff’s more recent comments on the book, and am not sure I agree with the bits I’ve heard from him.  Is it that he believes it has ALL happened already?  Not sure, but I know he’s marketed a fictional book about it.

Our assistant pastor was different in his initial presentation of Revelation.  Nothing was sensationalized, there’s not an ad outside the front of the church for the series.  There was really not much announcement the study was coming.  It’s just a study like any other study, and it’s being treated as such.  We’re in the first part of the book, so I am not sure but do doubt the charts will be coming. 

The best thing I’ve heard the pastor say, and he says he’s going to remind us over and over again, is the answer to the question, “what is being revealed in Revelations?”  Hmmmm.  How to answer this one?   He made it very clear that to find that answer you have to READ it.  Open your bible, read the first words.  You’ll find, as I did, the book’s main purpose not the future revealed, not the scary judgement revealed, and not the end times revealed.  It is the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Yet again, Christians (or so called Christians) and especially the secular world misses the point.  The point is to reveal the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.  It shows His magesty, His dominion, His sacrifice, His love, His judgement, His glory.  He is worthy.  He alone is worthy.  It’s not an oracle for us to see the future, it reveals His plans as the ruler of the universe, but it’s not about the plans.  It’s about HIM.  The pastor did such a good job explaining this, it’s shocking to me how I’ve missed the obvious all along.  How many people have died early deaths because they read too much into that book?  So many cults twist it to place their leaders into it.  So many people search the newspapers for proof they are living in some special time and that the anti-Christ is coming.  Books are sold, and men propped up.  Who is the book supposed to glorify and prop?  The Lamb that was slain, that’s who!

I am looking forward to getting into this book and not missing the obvious any more.

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The difference between the Spiritual Formation and sanctification is where you go for it. In Spiritual Formation a person goes inward…and supposedly listens. In sanctification, a person goes into God’s word…and the focus is on God. Though both are a process, one is about the Glory of God and the other is about “making my life better now.”

I would love any insight on sanctification vs. spiritual formation…I am not as studied as I should be on this for sure.

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There are many, many pastors who have no business being at the pulpit.  This is one reason we have all the issues we have in the church, pastors who either don’t take their job seriously, are ill prepared, and of course, there are also those who are “peddlers of the word” and those who are just plain wolves.  Here are a few links that make the point clear about pastors and preparation.  It may seem a nit picky topic to correctly pronounce Greek and Hebrew, but taking the current state of churches today, I say it’s better for pastors to study more not less.

http://teampyro.blogspot.com/2009/07/pastordude-please-before-you-say-that.html

http://bibchr.blogspot.com/2009/07/1-timothy-215-parable.html

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I have come to a conclusion that there is a disconnect somewhere between those who are trained in Reformed theology and are highly educated and the general run of the mill Christian out here.  The disconnect has to do with the knowledge of church history and the study of historical figures such as Martin Luther, Spurgeon, etc.  I do not have a grasp on this church history.  I do not know TULIP, and need to actually read up on this.  I am a Christian who has really relied on sermon and bible study, that’s it.  I read my bible and listen in church.  I’ve been in bible study groups and been most happy when we actually have studied the bible rather than topics (around here we often say “stupid topics).  I have read a few books that have very little to do with church history.  I recall reading Josh McDowell’s book More Than a Carpenter, Cumby’s The Dangers of the Rainbow, Lindsey’s The Late Great Planet Earth (yes, this scared me in my youth).  I read the Peretti books as well as the Lewis book, Screwtape Letters. Because of interest in popular themes, I read a book about one of the Columbine victims…was the title She Said Yes I also read the book about the McCoy babies and the one by Gracia Burnham about their captivity.   Because of my interest in cults, I have read books about witnessing to Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons, and Hank’s book  Christianity in Crisis.  I’ve gone through various bible study books on many New Testament letters.  I have also read through books of the bible straight through for personal study.  At times I’ve gone through devotionals such as My Utmost for His Highest.  Because of my interest in the music of Rich Mullins, I’ve read a book with his articles and after his death, a book about his life.  I have a Strong’s concordance, an English Greek interlinear and several bibles around the house I dig into.

I didn’t really have leaders steer me in the direction of any kind of church history, or of studies on theology.  It wasn’t even on my radar.  Consequently, I am very confused about what would be best to read, best to search out.  There was quite a curve on reading up on emergent, Purpose Driven error, and contemplative/missional.  I just feel so ignorant, and also wonder if I am going in the right direction.

I am quite concerned for my children, wanting to teach them correctly and help them avoid the pitfalls I have come across.  I would like them to have the correct knowledge, not just for knowledge sake but as a tool to help protect them and also help them proceed as Christians confidently knowing the truth. 

Sometimes I just think, we should be able to just know what we need to know from the bible?  Yes, that would be nice.  Scripture is sufficient.  However, we do need the body of Christ to meet with so we can serve each other and so we can hold each other accountable.  Bereans likely studied scripture and pointed out things to one another.  I believe that’s what the theologians have done through out.  They study the scriptures and then point things out to the body, always teaching and shepherding.  I just want to be sure what I am learning is right, and who to read about first?  An unstudied person like me can find myself using a dictionary just to go through some blog posts of those who study these theologians.  I am perplexed.

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