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Last official Spanish execution for heresy

December 8th, 2006

Paul Johnson writes that the last official spanish execution for heresy was in 1826. Johnson writes, “a schoolmaster was hanged for substituting ‘Praise be to God’ in place of ‘Ave Maria’ in school prayers”. Wow, now there is the love of Christ in action.

Church and Parachurch

December 4th, 2006

“I think I am going to die.” That is the phrase from a loyal follower of Jesus, 27 years old, and totally turned off by church. This saint has preached the gospel all over the world, leads a Bible school and loves Jesus . She loves the church universal but is fed up with bogus theology, shabby homework and boring presentation from the pulpit. I am pushing 56 years old and I hurt for the generation following us. If we do not give them something worth going to now, they will not be around later. Spectator church is something of the past–either we get the message or the church in the west has no future. George Barna in the the book, “Revolution” had it right but the evangelical mafia has not wanted to accept his statements. Barna said, this really is the way things are whether we want to accept it or not.

Church History and Contemporary theology

June 9th, 2006

Church history students will not be kind to us relative to our weak statement of Trinitarian theology. Church History and Contemporary theology

Happy Birthday!

June 3rd, 2006

My father and brother were born on the same day, with of course 23 years separating them. And strangely enough, my oldest son and my grandson also have the same birthday. This of course means the birthday celebrations for the older of the two are always overshadowed by the younger. Maybe this has to do with us seeing the younger having a longer future than the first. Or maybe we just prefer the young. But as I talked with my son, he knows his birthday has been overtaken and it will be that way for many years to come (this does not negate the importance of his birthday…at least to me).

How does a double birthday like this happen? We could say it was because of planning, but that rarely works, unless you are open to induce delivery on the day in question, though I would suspect most wives would not be open to a husbands entireties to go through all that pain just so he and his son could have the same birthday.

I would venture to say that these births are beyond our control and somewhere in the mysteries of heaven a plan had been laid down for the purposes of God. Chance seems to have little to do with God’s purposes.

Sunday represents the second set of double birthdays for the Church. Let me explain.

In early April we of course celebrated Passover. We recognize this as a day of salvation, or atonement. Whether you were a Jew in Egypt, or a Christian today in Montana, or China, you celebrate this day as a new birthday from sin. We know the salvation in Egypt was a promise of the Messiahs future salvation, in the same way that Abraham found a ram to take the place of Isaac. The salvation required blood, first from a lamb and then from the Lamb of God. Again, a double birthday for which we primarily celebrate the second event, or birth, if you will.

Fast-forward forty days. The people of God are delivered from bondage and slavery, and escape the wrath of Pharaoh. They find themselves at the foot of Mt. Sinai, which is trembling and covered in God’s glory cloud. God speaks to His people so they understand His covenant. Moses returns from the presence of God with the 10 Commandments. God’s people are no longer a slave to Pharaoh, or under his covenant, but have become the Lord’s own people. This is truly the birth of a nation.

Yet, just as the people of God found salvation in Egypt by blood and became a nation through the voice of God, we, the Church of God, also have a day for which the voice of God spoke to his people, ratifying the new covenant. That day is on Sunday, the same day, as tradition holds, the covenant was given on Mt. Sinai.

What do I mean? Sunday, Pentecost, is truly the birth of the Church, as it was the birth of the people of God of the desert. The Apostles were told to wait for the Spirit and power from on high. On Pentecost began the fulfillment of the command, “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel”. The Church received power and a voice, a single voice (though heard in many different languages), a voice from God and His divine message. The Church was baptized and born into the Spirit of God along with all authority of heaven.

Again a double birth. The first Pentecost came with great glory, but second ushered in an age of power and completeness for the whole world of those being saved. The first was spoken to a single people and the second to the nations.

As you enter your local church to worship, remember that God has created a beautiful thing through the outpouring of the Spirit. It is a day of thanks and celebration. A day to remember what He has done, whom we belong to, and a time to contemplate the future of the Church. May God bless our birthday!

Steve

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