Hollywood, the Bible, and Weird Things

The Bible is the number one show on TV with 14.8 million viewers during the season premiere.  Given the large amount of professing Christians in the US, that is not a surprise.  The Passion of the Christ enjoyed this type of success for the same reason.

I admit it bothers me (slightly) that the most depraved industry in the world (other than the abortion industry) is taking advantage of the Word of God to make money.  Hollywood struck gold with biblical themes, and The Bible will be on display until Easter making the most of it.

Not only are they using the Word of God to make money, but Mark Burnett the producer of The Bible is now marketing to Christians who are not grounded in the Word of God.

Very ironic.

Burnett has borrowed on old technique previously used by the producers of The Passion to increase the shows audience.

He is marketing his perception that “weird things happened” during the filming of The Bible to invoke the work of the Holy Spirit in the making of the show.

From the Christian Post:

“Reportedly, when Jesus referenced the Holy Spirit as being like the wind, a huge gust of air blew across the entire crew for 20 seconds, which was filming the scene on a very still night in the Sahara desert.

In another incident, the set’s snake wrangler, who usually recovered one or two snakes per day on set to protect crew members, found 48 cobras and vipers hidden near the scene of the cross, where the crew was to film Jesus’ crucifixion.

The third incident, according to Burnett, happened when the crew was filming a baptism scene in a giant Sahara reservoir and part of Jesus’ detailed costume, which took months to create, floated away.

According to Burnett, a young boy from miles away returned the costume days later.”

Could Burnett possibly be trying to fool naive Christians into believing that God has given His stamp of approval to the show?

That the Holy Spirit really had a special presence there during the filming of the show?

That would sure make the audience grow… Naive Christians will be amazed by these incidents.  They would rather watch a show with special effects and beautiful actors, a show about the Bible, than read the Bible itself.

Ultimately, I hope the show will spark the interest of unbelievers to pick up a Bible or perhaps attend a church where they can hear the Gospel.

But for Burnett to imply the work of the Holy Spirit in this project is manipulative.

The Church as a Model for Atheists

Scripture tells us that God placed eternity in the hearts of men, and the sentiment to seek God, to worship, and to have fellowship with a purpose beyond just a “get-together.”

Surprise, surprise… even those who are atheists provide evidence for this in their actions.

The Sunday Assembly in London is an atheist church, a godless church,  which has copied the practice of the Body of Christ.  They meet on Sundays, they sings songs, have some announcements, a reading, and a sermon from guest speaker.

The godless are copying the godly.

It might be a good thing.

They claim to be very open-minded and I hope they would eventually invite a Christian speaker to present to them a Christian worldview and the Gospel, which may give the Holy Spirit the opportunity to change some of them.  What an amazing testimony that would be!

On the other hand, this may turn into a larger movement, an alternative to the real Church which will deceive many towards perdition.

In a Christian Post article, Matt Slick, president and founder of Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry, says that a movement like this is dangerous. “The devil is working through them to replace the Christian church with the church of the devil.  Atheism is the ultimate denial of God,” Slick said. “This movement is a manifestation of the enemy of the Gospel trying to replace Christianity, corrupt it and weaken it.”

“It might be that they become united and become a stronger front against Christianity. That is my concern. This has potential to do a lot of damage to the Church”

If Satan has the capacity to disguise himself into an angel of light to attempt to deceive the masses, he surely can use a copycat church to do the same.

Our job is to show unbelievers that even atheists feel the deep longing for that Something, for the unknown God of Acts 17, for the need to gather with purpose.  Under the light of Scripture we know that purpose is to worship the One and true God.

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Pet Care… After the Rapture?

In an effort to highlight the things that some of today’s Christians are concerned with, I bring to your attention this little scheme targeting Christians who love their pets.

You can go to the Christian site www.aftertherapturepetcare.com, and for a fee you can register your pet to be matched with a volunteer of the atheist worldview or perhaps a non-Christian religion who will take care of your pet in the aftermath of the Rapture event.

It was such an entertaining venture watching the video below and scrolling through their site, that I had to share this with my beloved readers and friends 🙂

What people will do these days to make a buck going after the emotional bond between people and their pets!

And to think that Christians are so tied to their worldly possessions, including their pets!

Imagine this.

The Rapture occurs and we meet the LORD in the air with our incorruptible bodies.  Assuming the predominant premillennial view common among evangelicals today, the Rapture occurs at some point in the Great Tribulation (beginning, middle, end) and the elect is taken up.  Imagine the chaos, the oppression of the AntiChristic reign, imagine God’s wrath being poured out on the earth via physical and spiritual disaster… Matthew 24;21 “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.”

Now image some pet volunteer who was left behind in the greatest disaster that this planet has ever endured finding and looking after your non-raptured pet!  Funny and ridiculous!

Just another way to make money off the gullibility of people.

Watch this promo for “After the Rapture Pet Care” via “Chief of the Least” and be entertained!

The Bible Has Gone Hollywood

Or perhaps Hollywood has gone… biblical?

Hollywood has a long history of digging into biblical story lines to come up with epic productions like Ben Hur, The Ten Commandments, and The Passion of the Christ.  And now, Hollywood mega couple Roma Downey and Mark Burnett (producer of popular shows like Survivor) have come up with the highly acclaimed and well reviewed miniseries “The Bible,” which will run this Spring on the History Channel.

The docudrama will present 10 episodes with major stories from the Old and the New Testament, and evangelicals like Rick Warren are not only endorsing it, but Rick Warren himself is presenting a preview and a behind-the-scenes look at the series.

Unlike Rick Warren, I personally do not endorse Hollywood efforts depicting aspects of the Judeo-Christian faith and stories from the Bible.  This is a personal decision, and I understand that many Christians are eager to promote movies such as The Passion in an effort to extend the Kingdom of God.

There are several reasons why I do not get excited about these projects, and have serious reservations about recommending them:

1. I have a difficult time receiving a Bible story, especially one that encapsulates the gospel, told by directors and actors who do not know the LORD.  Some may know the LORD, but I suspect that their numbers are very low, or perhaps almost non-existent.  Again, this is a personal stumbling block for me.  Generically speaking, how can an actor “become” a depraved character in one movie, and then turn around and depict Christ in the next movie?  How can a depraved director depict for us the inspired word of Scripture in a film?

2. Every year around Easter and Christmas (I stopped watching TV for the last few years but I assume the trend continues) the Discovery Channel and History Channel present shows about Jesus and various aspects of our faith which are plain wrong.  Various forms of heresies are presented mixed in with fragments of truth as was the case with the all the shows surrounding the Gospel of Judas and the Da Vinci Code a few years ago. Moreover, authorities from all kind of backgrounds are interviewed, from Universalists, to Catholics, to atheist historians who weigh in on Christian doctrine, and these are people who do not know the LORD.  Having been illuminated by the Holy Spirit to understand God’s Word, it becomes a difficult exercise watching these “everyone-has-an-opinion” on the Bible shows.

3. Many of these shows and movies are not done with the intent of spreading the gospel message but with the intent to make money.  Lots of money.  The masses of Christians out there soak these projects up like they are supposed to soak up the real thing: God Word.  For example, the Passion of the Christ is the highest grossing R-rated movie of all time (yes R-rated in the same sentence as Christ).  It made $600 million just during its theatrical release, and many millions since then.  Producers are getting very wealthy from these “Christian” films.

4.  The gospel message and the Word of God as a form of entertainment is a turn-off for me.  Many Christians do not have a problem with this aspect, but the Holy Spirit speaks to me when I read Scripture, and I feel that the Word is profaned when the depraved of this world take advantage of it to create films… whatever their motives are.

So, starting next week I will not hold my breath for “The Bible” miniseries to entertain me.  “The Bible,” the real thing, is sitting right here on my desk ready to receive my delight.  It’s a delight in truth.

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Counterfeit Praise and Worship in the Evangelical Church

A friend added me to a Facebook group called Gear Talk: Praise and Worship.  It’s a place where worship leaders discuss their instruments, gear, songs, and other things related to praise and worship through music.  There are thousands of members in this forum.

As I scrolled through the posts, I come upon this beauty:

“Prepping songs for Lifechurch.tv Stillwater campus tomorrow.  Here’s the set list:
Lights – Journey (opener)
Cornerstone
One Thing Remains
Christ Is Risen
God of Our Salvation

Pumped for 6 services!!”

So, under the category “be angry and do not sin” I felt the need to tax this level of counterfeit Christianity and leave this comment:

“you guys play non-Christian songs by non-Christian bands during worship? (Lights – Journey)”

Journey is a rock band from the 80’s and not only is their music NOT praise and worship, but they are completely secular.  The responses I received from these so-called praise and worship leaders included:

“Love me some Journey!!!”

“There really is no such thing as a Christian/Non-Christian song…songs are songs, meat is meat, days are days. (Rom 14:5-6)”

“Lights is a great song and pretty fun to play so I don’t have a problem with it.”

My friends, this is counterfeit Christianity at its worst.  These praise and worship leaders do not understand the first thing about our God, and the fact that He is “holy, holy, holy,” and He will not receive the worship of the depraved!  How can He receive a song by Journey, a song that has nothing to do with Him, an uninspired song written by people who do not know Him?

Moreover, the guy is using Scripture to defend his position! Unbelievable!

Looking through this forum, and seeing other similar posts, I began to realize how deep this unholy cancer runs in our post-modern churches.  I am realizing that we have people who are not born-again leading congregations in so-called “worship.” And God is not receiving this worship unto Himself because these are not his children. These congregations have a “form of godliness but denying its power.”  They are doing exactly what the Israelites of old were doing in mixing their worship for God with worship for Baal, Asherim and Molech.  And God despises it today just like he did back then.

The rebuke through prophet Isaiah applies to these false Christians today: “this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men…” Isaiah 29:13

This is how we have wanna-be rockers in their 50s rocking out in churches secular songs such as the theme song from the depraved adult TV show The Simpsons.  Watch the “worship” below from Granger Community Church and be shocked that this happens in church:

Was Mark Driscoll Right in Calling Out Obama’s Faith?

On Inauguration Day, Pastor Mark Driscoll tweeted this controversial quote:

“Praying for our president, who today will place his hands on a Bible he does not believe to take an oath to a God he likely does not know.”

Driscoll took a big risk in tweeting this direct attack on the president’s faith. Since then, a multitude of progressives, atheists, and liberal Christian leaders have been ripping Driscoll to pieces over the tweet, but also other well respected Christian figures have labeled it as insensitive.

Regardless how one feels about Driscoll and his tweeting, is there truth in the message?

Obama is a professing Christian who believes in Jesus as a “role model” based on how he describes his Christianity. Christian author and theologian A.W. Pink would call him a professor based on the way Pink describes people like Obama in his 1300 page “Exposition on Hebrews.”

The President takes a number of unbliblical positions on important social issues which validates the first part of the quote:

1. He supports the abortion platform vehemently, despite multiple biblical passages demonstrating that unborn babies are persons who feel joy, who can be filled with the Holy Spirit, and their life and servitude is planned out by God before they are born. Obama previously said he would not want to punish his daughter with a baby if she made a mistake and became pregnant. He may have hinted that pre-marital sex is ok, as long she takes the necessary precautions not to get pregnant.

2. He supports the gay agenda despite multiple Bible texts which speak against homosexuality.

3. He accepts an unbiblical view of marriage by supporting same sex marriage.

4. In a TV interview Obama made clear that he embraces the idea that all religions lead to heaven and that Jesus is not the only way to salvation. He makes clear that following the moral code of other religions can lead to salvation, which is really a salvation by works and not by grace through faith.  Such statements are against the Bible, further supporting Driscoll’s claim that he does not believe the Bible.

As for the second part of the quote, Driscoll knows the issues listed above and that is why he states that the president probably does not know the God, Jesus Himself, revealed in the Bible, Who stated the He is “the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but through [Him]” (John 4:16). The president disagrees with this statement, and this leads me to conclude that he believes in a different god than the One revealed in the Bible.

No one can be sure about anyone’s salvation but we can make educated guesses based on the things they say and do, in other words are the fruits of the Spirit in their life…?

Is president Obama a Christian? Yes, he is a professing Christian.

Is he a born-again Christian? No.

Was Mark Driscoll insensitive in this tweet?  Probably.

Was Driscoll correct in his assessment? Yes.

Truth is controversial. Truth hurts sometimes.

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Ray Lewis, When Will You Tell the TRUTH?

Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis will forever be haunted by a double murder in Atlanta in January 2000.

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Ray Lewis claims to be a changed man, a born-again Christian, but it is this claim that brings shame to the Christian faith. Lewis, the heart and soul of the Superbowl contender Baltimore Ravens has been on a joy ride of fame and glory, but also a ride of depravity and deception.

Ray Lewis, when will you tell the truth about the altercation and the double murder you were involved in following the Superbowl in 2000?

What happened to the white suit you wore at 4 AM in that night club in Atlanta, the suit that investigators could not find and you did not help them find?

The prosecutors were only able to obtain a lesser charge of obstruction of justice against him as all of a sudden witnesses changed their stories and Lewis blamed his friends.  All this despite the fact that the blood of the victims was found in Lewis’s limo.  When he could not be convicted of murder, he settled out of court for millions of dollars with the families of the victims to avoid civil law suits.

If you came clean before God after that event and you changed your life, why do you continue to father children out-of-wedlock with multiple women?

Instead of flamboyance and attention seeking behavior why don’t you practice Christian qualities like meekness, humbleness and the most important of them all, repentance?

But we are getting ahead of ourselves and dwelling on spiritual subjects which clearly do not have much meaning for Ray Lewis. He fathered 6 children ranging in age between 11 and 17 years old with 4 different women, a pattern that continued after the club murders 13 years ago. This is evidence of a life lived in sin for a man who wears his “Christian” faith on his sleeve.

The most important and visible aspect of someone’s conversion is their repentance and the regret they have for the crimes and sins of their past life. This is where Lewis fails, and he gets a pass on it by the sports media and the sponsors.

His actions on the field do are not in sync with his professed faith.  He singles himself out after every play and every win.  It’s all about him.  Victory shouts, dances, in-your-face-rub-it-in attitude that polarizes everyone who sees it.  This is not the way a Christian is supposed to act.

Despite the repertoire of sin, crime and depravity, apparently Rev. Ray preaches in some churches.  Instead of reciting Bible verses and instructing others in the way of the Lord, Lewis needs to first repent and truly repent, and then show the world evidence of his repentance.  And no, donating money to charity is not evidence of repentance.

Repentance must be evident in your everyday actions, in the way you carry yourself, in the way your life undertakes a 180 degree change from before, and in the way you tell the truth.

Ray Lewis is the same loud, flamboyant, arrogant man he always was.

And the TRUTH about the murders is still out there.

Ray Lewis, when will you finally tell the TRUTH?

The Prosperity Gospel and the Poor of Africa

Watch this short documentary and be shocked at how this false gospel is taking advantage of poor Christians in Africa.  Material gain is the central message and it resonates well with the poverty-stricken people there.  The Church needs to be aware of this false teaching which has replaced the message of Christ with the message of prosperity.

Universalism Inflitrating the Post-Modern Church

 

Universalism is the belief in the doctrine of universal reconciliation, the view that all human beings and all fallen creatures will ultimately be restored to right relationship with God in heaven.  Is is unbiblical, and it directly contradicts Jesus’s statement in John 16:4 “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Many of the churches which subscribe to Universalism do not advertise it outward.  It’s almost like they know that this is wrong and they are trying to sneak it in.  This false doctrine is hidden deep in their theology.  Such was the case with Rob Bell and Shane Hipps at their exposure at Mars Hill Bible Church in Michigan.

What is a bit surprising is that the church in the picture above is advertising it in bold letters in front of the church!

Their motto is a verse taken out of context:

“Glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism.” (Romans 2:10-11)

Their statement of faith says:  

“We really believe that God is all-loving, and He loves us no matter what religion we belong to. He cares more about our life than our religion. He cares that we love one another and what we intend toward each other… And that is how even non-Christians can be saved, as they love each other and God as they know Him to be, they will in actuality be obeying God’s teachings and laws and therefore will be rewarded according to their heart. That’s what an all-loving God is concerned about, our heart, not our religion.”

This inclusive view comes from the father of lies, he has blinded them by distorting the truth presented in the Bible.  Love and acceptance have become the supreme motto of the post-modern church.  Concepts like the wrath of God, the justice of God, sin, holiness, Scriptural inerrancy, and most of all Jesus’s message have become completely foreign to them.

This is a warning for the authentic Church.  As you visit other churches and hear people preaching religiosity and “god,” analyze for winds of false doctrine.

Pay close attention to statements of faith.  Look for key words like “acceptance,” and an overly heavy accent on love.  If Christ is not at the center of any church, they are preaching a false gospel.

Jesus is the only way! “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

Never forget the warning given by apostle Paul in Galatians 1:

6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!