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Suspended on Prayer
By T.M. Moore|Published Date: January 30, 2012

Revival

“And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”
Matthew 21:22

Ministers of Scotland: Lectures on Revival VI
The Rev. Alexander Cumming, Minister of Dunbarney Parish

“Prayer is an ordinance remarkably suited to the exigencies of our fallen condition, because it tends to preserve in our minds a vivid impression of the divine agency. We are too apt to let our views terminate in the operation of secondary causes, and to forget that Almighty power to which they are indebted for their energy and existence; but when God suspends the communication of his benefits upon prayer, he compels us to recognize his providence in the economy of human affairs.”

Contemporary American Christians have become adept at relying on “secondary causes” in doing the work of the Lord. It’s why we run programs, tweak our liturgies, and organize our churches like businesses rather than flocks. We see ways of doing things that have worked in the world, and so we simply import them into the ministry of the church, forgetting that “God suspends the communication of his benefits upon prayer”. Certainly we will not realize the revival, renewal, and awakening we seek until we give ourselves at least as earnestly to seeking the Lord in prayer as we do to understanding the latest methodology or technology.

What are the greatest obstacles to prayer becoming a more prominent aspect of your own life? Of the life of your congregation?

Book

To learn more about revival, order the book, A God-Sized Vision: Revival Stories that Stretch and Stir, by Collin Hansen and John Woodbridge, from our online store.

Pastor to Pastor brings the insights of great servants of God from the past to pastors in our own day, to link our ministries with theirs in the grand tradition of building the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ

New Bible Versions REMOVE ‘Father’ and ‘Son Of God’ Because It Offends Muslims

Mainline Christian organizations are changing their holy scripture to avoid offending Muslims. Not only does this violate their scripture, but it also defeats the purpose of their mission–to share the Gospel. If mainline Christian organizations fear Muslims so much that they have to edit what they believe to be the Word of God, how far can they be from submission? Where are the righteous, the outraged, the proud?

It is Islamic authorities who should be excising the quran and hadith of the ideology that calls for jihad, genocide, subjugation and oppression of women, Jews, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and all non-Muslims. It is the ummah who should be calling for sharia bans. Instead, the Christians are bastardizing their scripture?  The Muslims refer to Christians in their daily prayers as “those who are led astray” (Muslims curse Christians and Jews multiple times in daily prayers). This madness validates their contempt and supremacism:

Concerned Christian missionaries, Bible translators, pastors, and national church leaders have come together with a public petition to stop these organizations. They claim a public petition is their last recourse because meetings with these organizations’ leaders, staff resignations over this issue and criticism and appeals from native national Christians concerned about the translationshave failed to persuade these agencies to retain “Father” and “Son” in the text of all their translations.”

Biblical Missiology, a ministry of Boulder, Colorado-based Horizon International, is sponsoring the petition. The main issues of this controversy surround new Arabic and Turkish translations. Here are three examples native speakers give:

First, Wycliffe and SIL have produced Stories of the Prophets, an Arabic Bible that uses an Arabic equivalent of “Lord” instead of “Father” and “Messiah” instead of “Son.”

Second, Frontiers and SIL have produced Meaning of the Gospel of Christ , an Arabic translation which removes “Father” in reference to God and replaces it with “Allah,” and removes or redefines “Son.”

For example, the verse which Christians use to justify going all over the world to make disciples, thus fulfilling the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19) reads, “Cleanse them by water in the name of Allah, his Messiah and his Holy Spirit” instead of “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Rev. Bassam Madany, an Arab American who runs Middle East Resources, terms these organization’s efforts as “a western imperialistic attempt that’s inspired by cultural anthropology, and not by biblical theology.” (more here)

Report: American Bible translators bowdlerize scriptures to avoid offending Muslims: no “Father” and “Son” Jihadwatch

If this is true, for the parties they are trying not to offend, anything short of Islam — of professing that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is his messenger — would be “offensive.” This is not making Christianity more palatable. It is de-Christianizing it. It is manufacturing yet another Christian heresy.

Indeed, for many denominations, the validity of baptism depends on the words used: “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” No euphemisms, no nicknames: for example, trial balloons aiming to portray a more gender-neutral God have already been burst: the use of “Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier” in baptism has been rejected by the Catholic Church, if not others.

Those who truly believe they are winning souls for Christ would not risk the validity of baptism, and those who are genuinely convinced that they possess the truth will not apologize or worry it is offensive.

As a technical matter, one wonders how the translators handle the words: “Who is a liar but he that denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denies the Father and the Son” (1 John 2:22). And “But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:33).

One last bit of holy writ: “You might as well fall flat on your face as lean over too far backward.” – James Thurber

“‘Father’ and ‘Son’ Ousted from the Trinity in New Bible Translations,” by Hussein Hajj Wario for the Yahoo! Contributor Network, January 27 (thanks to CGW):

A controversy is brewing over three reputable Christian organizations, which are based in North America, whose efforts have ousted the words “Father” and “Son” from new Bibles. Wycliffe Bible Translators, Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) and Frontiers are under fire for “producing Bibles that remove “Father,” “Son” and “Son of God” because these terms are offensive to Muslims.” Concerned Christian missionaries, Bible translators, pastors, and national church leaders have come together with a public petition to stop these organizations. They claim a public petition is their last recourse because meetings with these organizations’ leaders, staff resignations over this issue and criticism and appeals from native national Christians concerned about the translations “have failed to persuade these agencies to retain “Father” and “Son” in the text of all their translations.”

Clearly, they fail to appreciate the far-reaching ramifications that Christians not only may dare, but are commanded to call on the Creator of the Universe as “Father.” That fundamentally re-wires one’s relationship with God and describes a unique intimacy and bond of love that ought not be squandered to score short-term points.

Biblical Missiology, a ministry of Boulder, Colorado-based Horizon International, is sponsoring the petition.The main issues of this controversy surround new Arabic and Turkish translations. Here are three examples native speakers give:

First, Wycliffe and SIL have produced Stories of the Prophets, an Arabic Bible that uses an Arabic equivalent of “Lord” instead of “Father” and “Messiah” instead of “Son.”
Second, Frontiers and SIL have produced Meaning of the Gospel of Christ , an Arabic translation which removes “Father” in reference to God and replaces it with “Allah,” and removes or redefines “Son.” For example, the verse which Christians use to justify going all over the world to make disciples, thus fulfilling the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19) reads, “Cleanse them by water in the name of Allah, his Messiah and his Holy Spirit” instead of “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Rev. Bassam Madany, an Arab American who runs Middle East Resources, terms these organization’s efforts as “a western imperialistic attempt that’s inspired by cultural anthropology, and not by biblical theology.

Third, Frontiers and SIL have produced a new Turkish translation of the Gospel of Matthew that uses Turkish equivalents of “guardian” for “Father” and “representative” or “proxy” for “Son.” To Turkish church leader Rev. Fikret Böcek, “This translation is ‘an all-American idea’ with absolutely no respect for the ‘sacredness’ of Scripture, or even of the growing Turkish church.”

SIL has issued a public response stating “all personnel subscribe to a statement of faith which affirms the Trinity, Christ’s deity, and the inspiration of Scripture.” However, in the same statement, which is similar to Wycliffe’s, it claims “word-for-word translation of these titles would communicate an incorrect meaning (i.e. that God had physical, sexual relationships with Mary) [sic],” thus justifying substituting “Father” and “Son” in new translations. Calls and emails to Wycliffe and SIL to clarify their positions were not returned. Frontiers responded to calls with articles that critics have already dismissed as skirting omissions of “Father” and “Son” in new Bible translations.

The point about sexual connotations is baloney. Many of these countries have, or once had indigenous Christian populations with scriptures in indigenous languages where this was not a problem. If they’re coming up with something untoward, they need better translators.

Posted by Pamela Geller on Sunday, January 29, 2012

By T.M. Moore|Published Date: January 28, 2012

Revival

“On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, that they began speaking in tongues and prophesying.”
Acts 17:5-6

Ministers of Scotland: Lectures on Revival III
The Rev. Alexander Moody Stuart, A. M., Minister of St. Luke’s Parish, Edinburgh

“…while the Holy Ghost is always present in his church, there are times when he draws manifestly nearer and puts forth a greater energy of power. Every believer is conscious in his own soul of changes corresponding to this; for the Spirit is always with him, abiding in him, and yet there are times of unusual communion and far more than ordinary life. And as the Spirit draws near to an individual, so does he draw near to a land, and then religion is revived, spiritual life is revived, spiritual understanding, spiritual worship, spiritual repentance, spiritual obedience. At such a time the Holy Ghost is peculiarly present with his people and powerfully striving with sinners.”

Would you say that this describes the state of the Church, and of our nation at present? Would you think that most Christians would like this to be the state of things? Only the Spirit of God can bring about this kind of revival, renewal, and awakening. But we must seek His presence and power. We must cry out for Him to do what only He can do. We must unite our voices in extraordinary seasons of prayer and pleading, waiting on the Spirit to come nearer and to bless us as only He can. If we will not seek Him thus, we will not know the full power of what He is able to do.

Can you think of three ways your congregation might become more involved in seeking the Spirit for greater nearness and power? Now what can you do to implement these means?

Book

To learn more about revival, order the book, A God-Sized Vision: Revival Stories that Stretch and Stir, by Collin Hansen and John Woodbridge, from our online store.

Pastor to Pastor brings the insights of great servants of God from the past to pastors in our own day, to link our ministries with theirs in the grand tradition of building the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Post-prayer Satanic Whispers

Jan 27, 2012 • By David Murray

“…and forgive my sins. In Jesus name, Amen.”

Within seconds the wicked whispers start.

“Too short.”

“Too shallow.”

“Too distracted…again.”

“Missed out her, and him, and them…”

“Yawn. Nothing new to say?”

“You call that a prayer?”

“Not enough faith…not enough passion…not enough anything.”

“You don’t actually believe that made a difference, do you?”

“You’ll probably not even think about prayer for the rest of the day”

And on, and on, and on it goes.

Relentless, cruel, malicious Satanic whispers that begin the second I end my morning prayer with, “Amen.”

Anyone else get that? It’s so discouraging, isn’t it. I mean, why pray if all you get at the end of it is an even heavier feeling of guilt and failure? Prayer should be a delight not a dread.

I’d really welcome your own input on this, but here’s how I try to fight back, silence the whispers, and turn prayer into a soul-refreshing delight again.

  1. God has forgiven me all my sins – even my sinful prayers.
  2. Jesus is perfecting my prayers and presenting them absolutely flawless to my Heavenly Father.
  3. My salvation does not depend on my prayers but on Jesus’ prayers.
  4. My Heavenly Father listens even to the raven’s ugly grating squawks (Ps. 147:9) and gives it food; how much more will he hear and answer the ugly grating squawks of one of His children?
  5. God delights in those who fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy (Ps 147:9).
  6. God knows I’m a limited creature who cannot possibly pray for everyone everyday.
  7. Surely the Devil would simply leave me alone if my prayers were really so pathetic and useless.
  8. Just because my children don’t (can’t) tell me everything about their lives doesn’t make me love them less, nor does it reflect a lack of love on their part.
  9. But maybe best of all, “You, Satan, are going to be crushed under my feet shortly” (Rom. 16:2o)

Amen!

Collin Hansen

When Good Isn’t Good Enough

If former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno had died the evening of October 22, when I saw him pull away in a bus from Northwestern after defeating the Wildcats, he would have been celebrated as a national hero. One week later he coached his final game, a home victory against Illinois, giving him a record 409 wins for his distinguished career. A few short days later, the long-tenured and widely revered coach lost his job in perhaps the sorriest scandal in the history of college athletics. We’ve grown accustomed to learning that amateur college athletes shaved points or solicited pay for play. But the allegations that a longtime Paterno assistant sexually abused young boys roiled even the hardest sports scribes. Following the 85-year-old Paterno’s death due to lung cancer on Sunday, fans have struggled to make sense of his mixed legacy. In the case of Paterno, it turns out good isn’t good enough in the court of public opinion.

No one can dispute that Paterno did a lot of good in his long, illustrious life, probably a lot more good than you and I can boast. He coached players on how to maul each other on a field of grass, yes, but he also molded generations of young boys of 18 into model men of 22. Those disciples have turned out in droves this week to honor their beloved mentor. Paterno has been lionized for coaching winning teams that also succeeded in the classroom. Sure, he may have covered for some players who deviated from this culture, but his example contrasted with so many other coaches and schools who willingly sacrificed integrity for victory. Not content merely to win football games, Paterno also contributed to Penn State’s improving academic reputation. Indeed, the library bears his name, due to a multi-million dollar fundraising campaign he and his wife spearheaded. They also contributed at least $1 million to build an interfaith student center.

For the rest of the article…

Collin Hansen serves as editorial director for The Gospel Coalition. He is the co-author of A God-Sized Vision: Revival Stories That Stretch and Stir. You can follow him on Twitter.

From 22 WordsDon’t Give Up!

Perhaps the most astonishing characteristic of Jesus’ praying is that when He prayed for others He never concluded by saying “if it be Thy will.” Nor did the apostles or prophets when they were praying for others.  They obviously believed that they knew what the will of God was before they prayed the prayer of faith. They were so immersed in the milieu of the Holy Spirit that when they encountered a specific situation, they knew what should be done. Their praying was so positive that it often took the form of a direct, authoritative command:

“Walk”

“Be well”

“Stand up”

I saw that when praying for others there was evidently no room for indecisive, tentative, half-hoping, “if it be Thy will” prayers!

(The Celebration of Discipline by Richard J. Foster, 33)

Father in Heaven!

America is an election year and we have sinned against you because we have depended on political candidates much more than you!

You are the only hope for America Lord!

In 2012, please send revival!

In Jesus’ name!

Amen!

By Ray Ortlund

This is good

 

Permalink

 

We are children of the light. Abortion is a work of darkness. The apostle Paul said, “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them” (Ephesians 5:11).

Our aim, by the power of the Holy Spirit, in the name of Jesus Christ, through the authority of his word, is to glorify God by making much of his image in the unborn, and his mercy in forgiving sinners.

We would like to give you a free eBook based on three sermons I preached on abortion. We hope it helps you speak out. Please feel free to download it, print it, copy it, and share it with as many people as you like.

Here’s a sample sentence:

God is calling passive, inactive Christians today to engage our minds and hearts and hands in exposing the barren works of darkness. To be the conscience of our culture. To be the light of the world. To live in the great reality of being loved by God and adopted by God and forgiven by Christ (yes—for all the abortions that dozens of you have had), and be made children of the light. I call you to walk as children of light.

Thanks for caring,

John Piper

January 2012
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