God’s Kind of Prosperity

It is evident that God, in his Word, wants us to prosper, but what does that mean? The word in Greek for prosperity also means “to be successful.” Does that mean riches? Finances? Fruitfulness in the Spirit? Fame?

God’s definition of prosperity: That you have everything you need to do what God has called you to do.

A lot of preachers talk about prosperity and they imply that it is all about money. They imply that if you give especially to their ministries, that you will receive an hundred fold return. The problem with that mentality is that it is giving to get.

Dante’s Inferno, Pedophilia, and the Catholic Church

Dante’s Inferno is a picture of hell with 9 levels, each with greater punishments for sins committed on the earth. Dante was not afraid to place in hell Cardinals, Bishops, and Popes. Dante’s point was that corruption in the Roman Catholic Church by its leaders was just as worthy of punishment, if not more so, as sinful deeds done by pagans and government leaders. His political activity was not admired by all, but his writing exposed the abuse of power by Popes and church leaders. We hear today that Pope Francis is engaged in a similar battle, facing much entrenched opposition to his attempts to cleanse the church of its sins. This week I met an artist, Butch Casanova, who invited me to his home. There I saw a work of art that reminded me of Dante’s Divine Comedy. He was disgusted by the corruption exposed in the pedophilia scandals that rocked the Roman Church. And putting brush to canvas, he created a great allegory of the cover up by  Bernard Cardinal Law of Boston. He tried to have this work displayed through the Boston media, but at that time, no one would touch it because Bernard Law was feared and so powerful. He has … Read more…

The Tithe is by The Law, but Generosity is By Faith.

What I am about to say will frighten a lot of pastors who teach tithing to their congregations. Tithing is an old word meaning “giving one tenth.”  The Law of Moses required that all Covenant people give ten percent of their income (their herds, grain, oil, etc.) to God (Lev. 27:32) in order to feed and house the priests and the Levites (teachers of the Law – Num. 18.21). Jesus spoke about tithing, saying in Matthew 23:23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy and faith; these you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.” Considering that Jesus agreed with the tithe, many interpret the tithe as a Law carried over into the New Covenant, binding on all believers. But after the Gospels, tithing is only mentioned once in the rest of the New Testament in Hebrews (7:4), and that is in regard to the New Covenant in Christ  being anticipated in the Law of Moses.  In fact, Paul says plainly in Romans 10:4 “Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.” Jesus … Read more…

Turning the other cheek? What it meant in its historical context

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also; and if any one would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well; and if any one forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to him who begs from you, and do not refuse him who would borrow from you. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” – Matthew 5:38-45 Most of Jesus’ counsel about not resisting evil had to to do with not resisting Roman authority. A Roman solider could legally require you to carry his pack 1 stadia; Jesus said then to … Read more…

Strategies for Leaving The PC(USA) with Property Intact

The latest rulings by the supreme judicial committee of the Presbyterian Church(USA) have made an absolute mockery of their Book of Order and the votes of the General Assembly. The attempt to exert absolute control over the local churches gives lie to the appearance of tolerance that liberals so much advocate. If you disagree, you are still forced to accept the views of the elitist bureaucrats.  Lately the GAPJC (General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission)  has ruled in 3 cases which void any ruling of the General assembly as a whole, while threatening to take the property of any presbytery or church that wants to leave over matters of conscience.   If you want to leave, I have some strategies for you. If your presbytery wants to leave, quickly vote to relinquish all presbytery claims to church property to the respective churches, then vote to leave the denomination as a presbytery. When the synod comes in with an administrative commission to remove the presbytery leaders, it will be too late.   For an individual church: give all your endowments away to valid missions and ministries, indebt your buildings, and then see if the presbytery still wants them. Walk away if they do. … Read more…

Victorious Eschatology, a book review

Victorious Eschatology/Second Edition

A Christian Philosophy of Life – Part 1

Introduction: The Love of Wisdom In ancient Greece, the first schools of philosophy flourished. They were called academies, or colleges, and their goal was to prepare young people to lead the State by giving them instruction in morals and ethics, mathematics, dialectics [or logical reasoning], and the natural sciences. The crucial aspect of this education was not simply to gain knowledge but to build wisdom and character. A greedy, corrupt, and selfish person could not be a good leader of the State. Citizenship and virtue were requirements for a true education. The schools  established by Socrates and Plato  were not started simply because they had a desire to know facts. Facts by themselves do not reveal ultimate meaning, nor do they reveal the purpose of life. Socrates, Plato’s teacher, was interested in discovering truth. The very meaning of the word philosophy is the “love of wisdom.” This pursuit of truth is not a dispassionate and disinterested inquiry into the nature of things. Philosophy is a journey of ultimate importance, a journey whose purpose is to discover the meaning of life – the ultimate meaning of all things – the reason “why.” No one can enter such a pursuit dispassionately and … Read more…

Compromised by Immorality

  The attempt to resist from within forces those who remain into moral compromise Jefferis Kent Peterson, Posted Thursday, May 19, 2011 in the Presbyterian Layman I was a PC(USA) pastor in Grove City, PA who resigned from the denomination in 1990 because I could see what was coming. In my letter of resignation, I wrote:   … I have watched with admiration the devotion and dedication of many fine pastors, who have truly been called by God to work in His vineyard. I have seen the grief in their spirit as they cry over the course our denomination has taken, turning from the Word of God as the authority for matters of faith and practice. They have witnessed, as I have, how human opinion and contemporary cultural values have become as authoritative as Scripture in General Assembly decisions and positions; whether that be political or moral. As a result, our debates, which should have the character of godly deliberation, have degenerated into mere political posturing to bring about a majority rule for one side or the other.  God’s truth is not decided by majority vote, but discerned with reverential fear by men seeking the voice of God in His revealed … Read more…

What then does it mean to be a Presbyterian?

  ‘What then does it mean to be a Presbyterian?’ Posted Monday, November 7, 2011  in the Presbyterian Layman What does it now mean to be a Presbyterian?  Every country club, civic association or condominium, for that matter, has rules of organization, statements of principle and codes of conduct to which members must adhere. Every religion has tenets of faith by which members define themselves and their beliefs in contrast to the values of other religions, cultures, governments and groups. Reading through the new Form of Government (FOG), I have to ask, what makes anything about the new PCUSA distinctly Presbyterian? When I was in seminary, aside from a basic adherence to the great confessions of the church, a partiality to Calvinism was part of the distinctiveness of Presbyterianism, in contrast to the doctrines of the Methodists, Catholics and Lutherans. But I think the new FOG is foggy to say the least.  Take this section for example: In Christ, by the power of the Spirit, God unites persons through baptism regardless of race, ethnicity, age, sex, disability, geography, or theological conviction. There is therefore no place in the life of the Church for discrimination against any person. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) … Read more…

Book Review of Paul & the Law: A Contextual Approach

Paul & the Law: A Contextual Approach by Frank Thielman, InterVarsity Press, 1994. They shall not defile themselves any more with their idols and their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions; but I will save them from all the backslidings in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God. “My servant David shall be king over them; and they shall all have one shepherd. They shall follow my ordinances and be careful to observe my statutes. They shall dwell in the land where your fathers dwelt that I gave to my servant Jacob; they and their children and their children’s children shall dwell there forever; and David my servant shall be their prince forever. I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; and I will bless them and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. My dwelling place shall be with them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Then the nations will know that I the LORD sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary is in … Read more…

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