Do I Believe A Gospel That Comes From McDonalds?

What is the most effective weapon of mass destruction? Historically it is not an atomic bomb or even a biological weapon. The most effective weapon of mass destruction is nothing more than a simple piece of paper… a counterfeit bill.
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Mormons - What do they believe?

The doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) are very interesting. Most of the 'odd' ones are not initially taught to potential converts. But they should be. Instead, "they are revealed later as one matures and gains the ability to accept them."  The LDS Church tries to make its official doctrines appear Christian but what underlies those Christian sounding terms is far from Christian in meaning.

Following are the teachings of its officials throughout the years.  Please note that these teachings are documented from Mormon writers, not anti-Mormon writers.
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Jehovah's Witnesses - My Experience

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When was the last time the Jehovah’s Witnesses stopped at your door? This summer, they stopped twice at mine. I should thank them. It was because of a Jehovah’s Witness in 1990’s that I became a pastor. I was beginning to study Greek and was reviewing the Greek alphabet at a car dealers auction with a friend. A man at the auction saw me studying and gave me a booklet titled, “Should You Believe in the Trinity?: Is Jesus Christ the Almighty God?” After my first reading of the booklet, I was surprised. It is well written. It seemed convincing. It appeared Jesus Christ wasn’t God. Of was he? Over the next months I examined the booklet in detail. I checked Scripture references in their context. I read my Bible to see for myself. The research culminated in a January independent study course where I wrote a response to the pamphlet.
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Jehovah's Witnesses - In Detail

This is a clip from the ESV Study Bible which goes into more detail on the Jehovah's Witnesses

Jehovah’s Witnesses
The divine name. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that God’s one true name—the name by which he must be identified—is Jehovah. Biblically, however, God is identified by many names, including: God (Hb. ’elohim; Gen. 1:1), God Almighty (Hb. ’El Shadday; Gen. 17:1), Lord (Hb. ’Adonay; Ps. 8:1), and Lord of hosts (Hb. yhwh tseba’ot; 1 Sam. 1:3). In NT times, Jesus referred to God as “Father” (Gk. Pat─ôr; Matt. 6:9), as did the apostles (1 Cor. 1:3).
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Solomon on Sex in the iBookstore

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Solomon on Sex is now published by Apple and is available for free in the iBookstore! It is available in 32 countries around the world.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/solomon-on-sex/id520743905?mt=11
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Help Scott Orpen with His Recovery

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Great Rap on Marriage!

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Merry Christmas from Faith Church Staff

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"Courageous" Movie Review

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I will admit it. We are a movie junkie household. Deanna, my youngest, loves to watch television. If I let her, she would play videos until the DVD player broke. Cindy, my wife, loves watching movies. My family loves movies so much that last Christmas I caved into the family pressure and we bought them a big screen HD television. It is not just our family that enjoys a good movie but movies and television are a big part of our culture. There is one big problem with all this entertainment on the big screen. It is hard to find something edifying to watch.
Many families settle by watching the least offensive media.

My friends, your search for a good movie is over. Last night I took my family to see “
Courageous,” the new movie by Alex and Stephen Kendrick. It was simply topnotch entertainment. Like a good movie should, it had us laughing, crying and on the edge of our seats all the way to the end. David, my high school sophomore, was surprised. He thought it would be boring. Instead, he loved it. It was filled with great action scenes, heroes and villains. He wants to get his friends together and bring them to see it tonight, less than 24 hours after seeing it the first time.

The Kendrick brothers are not just using film to entertain but, as solid Christians, the film has great spiritual value. To begin with, the gospel is clearly presented in a relevant way. Beyond the gospel, the film repeatedly applies the Bible to life. Such as how to overcome the loss of a child and how do I maintain my integrity when the pressure is pulling me to fall.

Beyond the cinematic and spiritual excellence, another aspect of the film I appreciated was its multi-cultural emphasis. The heroes of the film are White, Black and Hispanic. They come from the middle-class and the poor. This was a wise choice by the Kendrick brothers. A “white-boy” only film is not realistic to modern America and, I believe, it commits the sin of partiality and would minimize the films audience.

The main thrust of the film is a challenge for men to be the spiritual leaders of their homes and churches. It gives all men a serious, but necessary, kick-in-the-seat-of-the-pants from the first scene until the last. It was well done. Men won’t be offended but they will be challenged to excellence.

From my study of spiritual revivals, they always begin when men repenting of their sin and begin taking spiritual responsibility for their homes and churches. "Courageous," is a wakeup call for the men of our culture to take responsibility for the leadership in these areas.

One big element in the movie is the resolution the men make before God, their families and one another. It is a resolution for the men to be the spiritual leaders God created them to be. I wish they gave you a copy of the resolution when they walked out of the movie. Unfortunately, they didn’t. It isn’t even found on the official “Courageous” movie web site.

I did a little research and found it for you. Men, print the
PDF version off and think through it. Get together with some friends and adopt it.

THE RESOLUTION
I do solemnly resolve before God to take full responsibility for myself, my wife, and my children.

  • I WILL love them, protect them, serve them, and teach them the Word of God as the spiritual leader of my home.
  • I WILL be faithful to my wife, to love and honor her, and be willing to lay down my life for her as Jesus Christ did for me.
  • I WILL bless my children and teach them to love God with all of their hearts, all of their minds, and all of their strength.
  • I WILL train them to honor authority and live responsibly.
  • I WILL confront evil, pursue justice, and love mercy.
  • I WILL pray for others and treat them with kindness, respect, and compassion.
  • I WILL work diligently to provide for the needs of my family.
  • I WILL forgive those who have wronged me and reconcile with those I have wronged.
  • I WILL learn from my mistakes, repent of my sins, and walk with integrity as a man answerable to God.
  • I WILL seek to honor God, be faithful to His church, obey His Word, and do His will.
  • I WILL courageously work with the strength God provides to fulfill this resolution for the rest of my life and for His glory.

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. – Joshua 24:15

There are many excellent ways to take a next step from the movie as God calls you to respond. The
Courageous Movie Web Site has numerous resources. If you are into reading, Randy Alcorn wrote a book from the movie. I am confident it will be an excellent read.

Courageous is a “Must See” movie. I recommend it for families and children of all ages. If you are a teenager that thinks you are too cool for a Christian film, think again. This movie is one you not only will like, but one you must see.

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Pride Goes Before a Fall

I found myself laughing at these. Remember the Proverb… pride goes before a fall!



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Congregational Report on Vision Trip to Prairie Lakes Church

I took a trip with four members of the Leadership Board to Prairie Lakes Church in Cedar Falls, IA. The goal was to experience some of the creative ways they do church.

locations-prairie-lakes-church

We arrived on Saturday night to watch them set up their night service, video record it, process the video and prepare it for presentation at their satellite church locations on Sunday morning.
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Dr. Tom has arrived and he needs your help!



Let Dr. Tom know what questions you would like him to answer. Click Here to fill out the survey. (It shouldn’t take more than two minutes!)
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What is the Meaning of Christmas?

An evangelistic short film (10 minutes) from St. Helen’s Bishopgate in London on whether or not the Christmas story happened and what it means—featuring New Testament scholar Paul Barnett:

That's Christmas (Short Film) HD from St Helen's Church on Vimeo.

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I'm Basically A Good Person

How many times have you heard the phrase, “I am basically a good person?” We live in a safe community of home-spun people with traditional values. We enjoy low crime, low drugs, and good schools. While we have many good things going for us, there is something killing us. It is called sin.
Don’t let the comfort and safety of our community blind you to the sin in our lives. Most of us think we are “basically good people” because we don’t understand how the Bible defines sin. Like our morning look in the mirror, the Bible shows our problem with sin is much more serious than we first realized. Some ways the Bible defines sin are: Read More...
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Is God Sovereign Over Death?

This past weekend, I preached on God’s sovereignty in the face of death and tragedy. While it is hard to comprehend how God is good, yet sovereign over the tragic deaths of those we love, the Bible tells us both are true. To help us in our thinking, below is a section of a paper I wrote in response to Open Theism, the belief that God lacks sovereignty over all situations.

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Easter at the SAMI Invitation Tickets

I gave our congregation "invitation tickets" to help them invite friends to the Easter service.
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Easter at the SAMI Video Promo



Video promo I sent to the congregation for Easter.
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How Much Hollywood Should We Let Into Our Home?

How Much Hollywood Should We Let Into Our Homes?

How would you react if someone were to break into your home and kidnap your children? You say, “Well, thankfully, that won’t happen. We live in a safe community where our doors are locked and the police are only a phone call away.”

What if I told you that children are being stolen, right from within their homes? The bodies of the children are left in the home but their hearts are lured away to serve a dark master.

Most surprisingly, many parents are in cahoots with these thieves. Who are these thieves that come to capture the hearts of our children and already rule the hearts of many adults? They are the media outlets that use music, movies and the web to re-educate our children.

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