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The Noble Character

This other day, I was attending a certain Christian gathering and one of the speakers at the meeting  made a remark that ended up being  my food for thought.  The speaker said that one of the major challenges facing Christianity today is that Christians don’t want to critically examine various messages that are being preached in the name of Christ.  It is true, is it not?

It seems very few Christian today bother to scrutinize various messages we listen to or read. As long as the speaker or the author is mentioning God or Jesus that’s fine.  However, this tendency renders us susceptible to error that has serious consequences to both our spiritual and physical life.

We ought to be challenged by Bereans of Acts 17:11. Apostle Paul was a great man of God.    Almost half of New Testament books were written by him. Yet when he went to preach in Berea, the Christians there never ceased to critically examine Paul’s message in the light of Scripture. This was not disrespect but maturity and the Bible strongly recommends the Bereans for this.

“Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true” (Acts 17:11).

Christians today ought to be like Bereans by receiving the messages that are being preached with eagerness but we should not stop there.  We should go further to examine if the messages being preached are true according to the Bible. This is a noble character.

And may add that you even examine the contents of this blog in the light of  Scripture. That too is a noble character.

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THE INK SLINGER

Sam Harris:

Either God can do nothing to stop catastrophes, or He doesn’t care to, or He doesn’t exist. God is either impotent, evil or imaginary. Take your pick, and choose wisely.

Or maybe there’s a fourth option, Mr. Harris.

Maybe God is neither impotent, nor evil, nor non-existant. Maybe He is, in fact, GOD: wholly sovereign, wholly wise, wholly good. Not subject to your whims and wishes. Not dangling on a string from your finger. Not concerned with what you think is “fair” or “unfair,” “right” or “wrong.”

Maybe He is, in fact, working all things (yes, Mr. Harris, even catastrophes) for His glory. Maybe He moves as He pleases and does what He pleases because He is the infallible architect of a Greater Good which you, in all your fallible human wisdom, cannot see or understand.

Maybe. Just maybe. And if so…

Who are you, Sam Harris, to reply against God? Who are…

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Reformedontheweb's Blog

I know, I know, you are saying to yourself that the writer of this blog is completely delusional because you the reader are an atheist and therefore there is at least one atheist in the world.

In my response, I would tell you that you are no atheist. First to be an atheist, you would have to have all knowledge. You see the word ‘atheism’ basically means ‘no God.’ Of course, you knew this, right. But what you do not seem to be able to comprehend is that you can’t state that there is no God, unless you are omniscient or all knowing. By stating that there is no God, then you are trying to convince the rest of us, that you are God.

Secondly if there is no God, then why do you live as if one exists? You get up every day and go to work. You feed…

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J.S. Park



Two questions, both anonymous:

how do you know if you have tongues? i went to a retreat a last year, and i received the gift of tongues but i feel awkward using it like i’m just making up my own words.

And:

Hi, until last Sunday I never heard anyone speak in tongues. After hearing it last week … I decided to investigate pretty thoroughly. … I’m concerned my family thinks it is cultish. What are your thoughts on spiritual gifts and also on explaining Christianity is not a cult? Thanks (Edited for length)


Since this is such a cultural issue with tons of history and stigma, I really don’t look forward to answering this one.  Someone somewhere with a degree in something will tell me I’m wrong about this or that.  Okay, cool. I have degrees too, but I prefer going to the Bible.

The two big mention…

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Christianity and theology

Africa the Hope of Christianity???

Map of Africa.

Africa: Can it be the hope of Christianity?

I remember while in Bible college, my Church History and Systematic Theology professors (both of them from the West) used to reiterate that Africa is the hope of Christianity. The Church History professor could go further and foretell that a time is coming when missionaries from Africa will go and evangelize the West reversing the trend of having Western missionaries coming to evangelize Africa.

Their observation was mainly based on what is happening in Africa where more people are being converted to Christianity unlike in the West where Christianity is not growing very much and in some parts it is slowly dwindling into oblivion.

All along I have believed my professors’ observation but now I have started having second thoughts because the main issue is not just having many Africans becoming Christians but what type of “Christians” are these people becoming. Indeed, Christianity is growing in Africa but what type of ‘Christianity’ (if I may use that word) is growing roots among us Africans.

I stand to be corrected, Christianity in Africa stands at the crossroads today because despite that we have some people who are preaching the Gospel as given to us in Scripture, there are also others who are advancing Liberalism and Neo-Orthodoxy. It is sad that many Africans, knowingly or unknowingly, are buying into Liberalism and Neo-Orthodoxy as pure Gospel.

But what do I mean by Liberalism and Neo-Orthodoxy.  Allow me to use the word ‘Biblical Christianity’ to define better Liberalism and Neo-Orthodoxy. Biblical Christianity recognizes and teaches that the Bible is God’s Word. But Liberalism teaches that the Bible is man’s word about God. In other words, the Bible is not God’s word. Neo-Orthodoxy, on the other hand, teaches that the Bible is God’s Word only in the passages that speaks to you the rest is man’s word.

Now, on first glance, many of us would dismiss the fact that liberalism and Neo-Orthodoxy are growing roots among some Christians in Africa but when you take a closer look, you will be greatly surprised.

Is it not in our churches today where people can stand up and say something like: “Well, the Bible says … but that was then, things have changed let’s do it this way.”

Again I ask: Is it not in our churches where statements like: “I know the Bible says… but I have received a new and special revelation, God wants us to do….” are made?

Don’t we have some people within our churches who stand in authority over God’s Word and we tend to believe what they say and teach more than Scripture?

I can go on and on; however, the truth I am endeavoring to put across is that if we keep on compromising on Biblical Christianity and let Liberalism and Neo-Orthodoxy rule in our churches then we should forget of Africa being the hope of Christianity. If Liberalism and Neo-Orthodoxy have killed and continue to kill Christianity in the West, should we believe that they will revive and grow Christianity in Africa?

Bible

The Bible is God's Inerrant Word

The number of conversions to Christianity should not deceive us and cause us to take our eyes off the ball. We need to be sure of what type of Christianity these people are being converted to. If it is not Biblical Christianity then Africa cannot be the hope of Christianity and we will never see African missionaries going to evangelize the West.  What message will they take there?

I always pray that God in His greatness and grace will open the eyes of Christian leaders in Africa to see and realize how evil and destructive Liberalism and Neo-Orthodoxy are.  It is my prayer that God in His mercy and grace will raise Christian leaders who do not shrink from declaring the whole counsel of God.  I pray for leaders who pay careful attention to themselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made them overseers, to care for the church of God (Acts 20:27, 28). If this can happen, then, for sure, Africa is the hope of Christianity.

Please Lord, help and bless Africa to contended for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3). In that way, we will become the beacon of hope. All this to your glory alone. Amen!

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Christianity and Society

My Random Thoughts on Death of Bingu and Rise to Power of Banda

On Thursday, April 5, 2012 the then president of Malawi Professor Bingu Wa Mutharika passed on after experiencing cardiac arrest. Later on Saturday, April , 2012, the then Vice President of the Republic of Malawi, Joyce Hilda Mtila Banda was sworn in as a President of Malawi by the Chief Justice, His Lordship Lovemore Munlo. No one, except God, knew that these things will happen. Again, God showed us that He is sovereign over His creation and no one can second guess Him.  What Apostle Paul wrote about God in Romans 11:33-36 is very true:

 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever.
Amen.

After I heard the news of the passing on of Mutharika, I, just like most Malawians, have keenly followed the developments that have occurred since then.  A couple of thoughts have entered my mind.

First, I, strongly, believe that God loves the nation of Malawi in a special way. Going by media reports, some individual fought hard to violate the constitution of Malawi so that Banda should not become the president. However, their plans never came to fruition and all Malawians witnessed the rule of law prevailing in the land as Joyce Banda was sworn in as President.  I don’t believe that this just happened but God being in control, he guided the events in our country to be what they are today. To Him alone be the glory indeed!

Secondly, my thoughts go to Her Excellency Joyce Banda. This should be a very difficult time for her as she has a huge pile of decisions to make in order to propel our country out of the current quagmire of problems to better days.  Just to remind you. The President has to appoint a new cabinet. She, therefore, has a challenging task of choosing selfless people to serve our nation. She has to appoint people who will put the agenda of turning around the problems of our country before their own personal gains. Believe you me, such people are hard to find since the heart is deceiving above all things. Some might appear very good people who love the country, but deep down their hearts, they harbor selfish plans and are mere opportunists not true servants of the people.

Apart from this challenge, the country is in a very serious economic crisis. We are facing forex, fuel and drug shortages. The cost of living is rising almost every day. Our record of human rights has been worsening. There has been bad governance in the country and the rule of law has in some cases been comprised. Our relationship with most international donors and neighboring countries is not cordial.

Now,  addressing these challenges is not easy. Some will even take longer to be sorted out. No matter how wise and knowledgeable Banda can be, she cannot solve these challenges without the guidance and help of the Lord. Therefore, this calls for us Christian to spring into action and continually pray for her that God should guide and lead her.

We should pray that God should give her the courage to take even those difficult actions that in the end will improve our situation for the better .  As a matter of fact, our responsibility to pray for our leaders is very clear in Scripture:

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way (1 Timothy 2:1-3).

We should pray for President Banda that power should not corrupt her to become insensitive to the suffering of Malawians due to careless and selfish decisions of the government.  We should pray that in all things she should trust in the Lord with all her heart and not lean on her own understanding  and that in everything she should acknowledge the Lord so that He can make her path straight (Proverbs 3:5, 6).

Thirdly, my thoughts go to the former first lady, Callista Mutharika and the entire family of late Bingu wa Mutharika. This is, no doubt, a very hard time. They have lost a husband, a father, a grandparent, a brother, an uncle and what have you.

As this is not enough, there have been some people, especially politicians, who were very close to late Bingu who have deserted the family during this time when the family needs them most. It should be very painful seeing those whom you thought were true friends to your relative deserting you because the relative is no more.

Despite whatever bad things that the late Mutharika did, as Christians we are supposed to mourn with family. By mourning with them, we are not approving the bad things rather we are carrying out our responsibilities as God’s children to “rejoice with those who rejoice and to mourn with those who mourn” (Romans 12:15).

So, we should pray that God should comfort the family when some of the close friends of the late Bingu are deserting the bereaved family. Above all, we can pray that God, in his grace, should help the family focus their attention on Jesus rather than on man because man can and will always disappoint, but Jesus never disappoints.  Although the context might be different but I believe the Psalmist put it better when he said:

Do not reject me or forsake me, O God my Savior. Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me (Psalm 27:10).

These are some of my random thoughts on the passing on of late Professor Bingu Wa Mutharika and the ascension into the office of president of Malawi by Her Excellency Madam Joyce Banda. God bless our land of Malawi and continue to keep it a land of peace. Amen!

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Christianity and theology

We Celebrate Easter

Cross in the village of Úsilné, České Budějovi...

Cross in the village of Úsilné, Czech Republic. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is that season once again when we celebrate the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We celebrate and not mourn because Jesus’ death paid the penalty for sin of all believers in Him. We can now confidently declare that “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ” (Romans 8:1).

We also celebrate Easter and not weep because although Christ died, death could no longer hold him. After three days in the grave, he rose from the dead and right now he is at the right hand of God the Father. His resurrection defeated death that was the penalty of our sin (Genesis 2:17; Romans 6:23).

We, indeed, celebrate because  the penalty of our sin was paid by Christ’ death as Scripture affirms: “While we were enemies (of God) we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son” (Romans 5:10).

We, surely, celebrate Easter because  Christ’s resurrection signified the defeat of death hence all believers in him are assured of everlasting life. “Thanks to God! He gives us victory (over death) through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57 ). Jesus also says, “I am the resurrection and life. Whoever believes in me though he die, yet shall he live” (John 11:25).

We celebrate and we shall forever celebrate  Easter because the work of saving sinners was completed. The old hymn writer put it better when he wrote “Jesus paid it all. All to him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain; he washed it white as snow.”

This is the essence of Easter. We miss these truths, Easter loses its meaning. Happy and joyous Easter to you!

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