LIFE IN THE SPIRIT

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Location: Horsham, Pennsylvania, United States

John is a PA/NJ Architect with his own practice in its 41st year working on a wide variety of projects. He works on churches, convenience stores, residences, and academies as well as industrial projects. He has helped in numerous property acquisitions and worked with real estate investors. Acutely interested in politics since a teenager with many articles published over the last 55 years, he served as a guest on a Talk Radio show discussing race relations and on "It's Your Call" TV show with Lynn Doyle dealing with the subject of interethnic marriage. John is a "Tentmaking Evangelist" (Architect). An Evangelist with the Anchor Bay Evangelistic Association (non-denominational). Co-Founder of Kingdom Gospel Ministries, a ministry now in its 35th year with a mission to reconcile people of different racial, ethnic, and economic situations, and the producer of three weekly radio programs - a Sunday morning verse-by-verse Bible Study on Radio Delaware Valley, a weekly message from current events in California, and a weekly radio drama on the Wilkins Radio network. He also has archived many, many radio programs and written articles on the Internet.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

SCIENCE IN SEMINARY?

I was alerted to a paper stating we did not teach enough science in seminary. The writer advocates teaching all the memes of secular science and was totally dismissive of the science of the Bible. If you know me, you knew I HAD to respond. This is what I sent to him this evening:

It seems to me that the lion's share of seminary graduates ALREADY believe what you are advocating. It is rare to find any seminary which actually really believes the Bible whether a Westminster on one hand or an Assembly of God seminary on the other. As a minister, I know people on pretty much the entire spectrum, and I find almost none that have any real scientific training or have critically examined the predigested, one-sided secular pablum they were fed let alone the Biblical accounts attested to by the prophets, by Jesus Christ, and by the Holy Spirit.

On Easter today, especially since my message today was titled "Paradigm Shifts" regarding deviations from the Biblical norm to new fads such as Missional Theology, it was so disappointing that any theologian would repeat the error of so many of the Jewish leaders of almost 2,000 year ago who called Jesus a liar. Yet, your paper seems to not understand some very basics of faith or reason. 

First "science" means "knowledge", not a consensus of the memes that largely pagan philosophers have agreed on. Throughout history, consensus has often been wrong, even the opposite of objective truth. You have adopted the pagan ideas of the Big Bang, Evolution, and interminable time periods lock, stock, and barrel even as many very intelligent scientists, some of faith and some simply with a base level integrity are questioning these memes to one extent or another. All the above memes and numerous others have substantial scientific difficulties, and most are more based upon philosophy than any provable scientific facts. I have two degrees from the highly regarded scientific university, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. I have been studying these issues most of my 70 year life and intensively looked at different sides of the issues. I enjoy going to a lecture on white holes or time bending, so perhaps a bit of esoteric blood is in my veins. One interesting event at RPI was that an Orthodox Jewish professor put up an award that would pay for one semester's tuition and books to any student who could prove that the earth was any older than about 6,000 years. Many laughed, but none were able to prove it, and this man was a brilliant scholar and debater. The fact remains over 50 years later that what is told as absolute fact in deep voices is unprovable. Nonetheless, the evidence and data properly interpreted support this Jewish professor's contention.

I am bivocational, including being a minister of the gospel who has produced over 2,000 radio shows, have a long running blog, and minister on the Internet, social media, and in person stemming from an intimate personal relationship with Christ for 65 years, so I believe I am qualified to comment on the faith side of the equation as well. I have read the Bible through numerous times and studied every phrase of it. Jesus Christ attested to the timeframe of creation and wrote it on stone tablets for Moses, so when you make pejorative comments about what you dismissively call "creationism", you call Jesus Christ a liar. The same goes for the Holy Spirit, who plenary inspired the scriptures and who mentions the foundational stones of Genesis creation numerous times. Even Peter, who did not have the benefit of a scientific education other than learning the different ways of catching fish, defined the disconnect rather efficiently - uniformitarianism vs. the Biblical accounts that everything has NOT existed in a monolithic timeline forever. Honest scientists are questioning the Big Bang and even a 13 billion year old universe would have time issues concerning starlight with conventional secular thinking. They also question why at the volcanic eruption at Mt. St. Helens in Washington state, radiometric dating was used less than a year later which resulted in data that it happened many millions of years ago when we KNOW it was under one single year. How many cases where we were not present to observe would yield similar results that would stun unbelievers but coincide with the beliefs of Biblical Christians? The simple truth is that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. Without the fear of God, which of course is the case with ALL scientists who consider themselves agnostic or atheistic, wisdom has not even STARTED, let alone matured, Therefore, the last thing we need is for even more seminaries to teach as fact things not based in wisdom and which contradict the Lord of the universe. Those who actually are in Christ do not wrestle with the claims of those who reject our God. We simply follow the evidence and understand the nature of God, the testimony of God, and the total rationality of the Holy Spirit who has renewed our minds. We do not need to sit at the feet of those who are at enmity with God, but sit at the feet of God himself, who freely shares with us all things.

The second half of my bi-vocational life is as an architect with professional experience of over 48 years, with 40 years of those in owning my own practice. I understand design quite thoroughly and learned from various masters including Lou Kahn. I understand as well from anthropology and other sciences irreducible complexity and the design of nature. To claim there is no design in the universe, let alone in an eye assembly or even in a single cell is utterly absurd. Even secularists are forced to admit that Intelligent Design arguments often make a lot of sense. I know the skill it takes to even design a toilet room with excellence, let alone a building, and without that skill, they are all an utter mess that do not function well or look appropriate either. I love my work, but a complex building is simpler than a single cell and the comparison with our earth let alone the entire universe hits it out of the park.

I truly recommend that rather than ape the memes of the ungodly, that those in Christian education actually learn from the Master. Everything he has said and taught makes ultimate sense. However, without a personal, intimate relationship with him and without receiving the gift of faith, nothing will compute as long as a person is consumed by the world's way of thinking. We must never be conformed to this world and our minds need to be totally renewed, (Romans 12:1, 2). May God be true and every man a liar. (Romans 3:4).

 Thank you!

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

MISSIONAL?

MISSIONAL FOCUS, FORM AND FUNCTION ARE REDEFINING AMERICAN CHRISTIANITY
by Dr. David Hirschman for his PhD.  He is a professor at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.

I had a chance to read through a portion of your paper on Missional churches and scanned some other sections.  I include my personal information at the bottom.

I already had some fairly well established opinions on the movement, having known people within it, had them in our pastors’ fellowship, and having talked with people from a missional seminary on various levels.  I believe your paper reinforced those opinions.

First, there is in general a lower view of Scripture.  On the Ecclesia website for example, they cite the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed, but NOTHING on the authority of scripture. I also note in missional literature an emphasis on unity on PRIMARY issues while leaving what they call SECONDARY issues alone.  David, ALL scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness.  God has no secondary commandments - disobeying one “secondary” or “tertiary” commandment is enough to send someone to hell. On the Missio website, there is talk of the scripture in our current context. The word of God never changes, and those who love to dismiss aspects of the scripture love to talk about cultural relevance, not understanding the issues addressed in the Bible which are the most quickly dismissed by compromisers actually were written to combat things that were wrong in those cultures, not to reinforce them.

Second, and related to it, there is in general a lower view of doctrine. I have written a paper with every scripture related to doctrine noted. God REALLY cares about it, and to be his authentic church, we need to care as well. The Holy Spirit did not waste words - as John said, the whole world is not large enough to hold all the books that could be written.  What He did write is the core essence, not a Reader’s Digest Condensed Version. It is a curse to remove even one word from the word of God, and far more than one verse is being removed.

Third, most of the missional people I know belong to a denomination that REJECTS key doctrines in the scripture, and not simply ones with only one mention. If we want to have the power of the New Testament Church, we need to do things the New Testament way.  I have found that missional people RUN from I Corinthians 14, even though the Holy Spirit instructed Paul to write that these things MUST be done WHENEVER the church gathers for the strengthening of the church. Without obeying the Holy Spirit in this area, all the movements in the world mean nothing.

Fourth, Ed Stetzer in his Missional Focus blog on February 23rd wrote the following:
In the coming years people of faith who hold similar views around certain cultural issues—though they have divergent belief around essential theological issues—will end up working together more. We’re going to see in the next few years more evangelicals working with those outside our evangelical faith tradition— Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and even Mormons. On some issues I imagine this will include devout people of other faiths.
While I will speak to ANY group, and have spoken numerous times in a Catholic Church and also in Assemblies of God, Baptist, Apostolic and a 3rd Wave Churches among others, though I am non-denominational. They gave me complete freedom (I would never speak if I were asked to compromise my message), and I spoke on the FINISHED work of Christ in the Catholic Church one time and nuns came to me with great appreciation. Paul says we are not taken out of the world. Nevertheless, we must not be OF the world. The Bible says, “What fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness?” and “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers,” which is not solely about marriage. I could see adding an amicus brief in support of persecuted Sikhs for example, or marching in a pro life demonstration with mostly Catholics, but cooperating on a close level with any of these or with Muslims, Mormons, etc. is a recipe for compromise and spiritual disaster.  In fact, a local PCA church who shared services in a Mosque really appeared to lend equality to the truth and a lie.  This is treacherous ground.

Fifth and last though FAR from least, there appears to be extreme political deception in the movement. I have long maintained and written about the inextricable link between spiritual and political deception. I have seen it so often and it is truly alarming. Stetzer’s moments about the President were outright absurd and show a lack of Biblical knowledge on the issues. Tim Keller prides himself on having a “Missional” church but is soft on homosexuality, avoids talking about SIN, and has adopted “social justice” views closer to Marxist than Christian thought. It appears that “Progressive” Christians (translate that “Compromised Christians”) have migrated to the Missional movement. ProgressiveChristianity.org talks a lot about mission, and Jesus does not even merit even ONE mention in them explaining what they are all about.  That is very telling. Marc Galli, formerly head of Christianity today, a man I am polar opposites with politically, wrote on June 5, 2019, about “The Unfortunate Pedigree of the Missional Church”, going back to the social gospel and a system of seeking to please men without pleasing God. He made many valid points, and the backward orientation of those churches coincides almost perfectly with my experience with the movement.

I am an evangelist who has produced over 2,000 radio programs, and minister on the Internet, the marketplace, and non-traditional venues. I have been in Christ for 65 years and am 100% loyal to the Holy Bible.  I eschew denominations because I have not found even one that has not compromised and see them as artificial walls.  I Have long seen denominationalism as the breeding ground for Christian relativism.  If a newly born again person wants to choose a church, how can he be reinforced in “the only way to God” when these churches outright contradict each other even on the most basic theological issues?  There truly is ONE SET of truth, which Jesus clearly teaches. It is up to us to study the scriptures and find it - it really is not all that hard. I like mixed ethnicity, mixed economic, and churches who are not stuck in the mud.  We have had 7 interracial marriages in our extended family including my own and both our sons. We attend a church where it can be hard to even get a seat, where the Bible is taught Verse-by-Verse, which ministers in “small groups” to those fighting addiction, to first responders, to military, to prodigal parents, to the disabled, to the grieving, as well as fellowship groups catering to everyone.  The Bible is taught as inerrant, and the Pastor takes about 12 years to teach the entire Bible word for word.   In my ministry, I have taught 24 books of the Bible in this fashion, as well as topically and through unique radio dramas.  I am not an apologist for weak churches, compromised churches, or compromised preachers. Neither am I an apologist for new movements which do not appear to have the essentials needed to strengthen churches, encourage us to please God without compromise, and increase our effectiveness in winning souls Christ died for.  God has already given us the blueprint of how to operate. Too few have actually done it. When we actually do what was laid out almost two thousand years ago, we will be effective.

Evangelist John A. Teets

Kingdomgospelministries.org

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

TOUCH NOT MY ANOINTED (Psalm 105)

Psalm 105 1 Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done. 2 Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. 3 Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. 4 Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. 5 Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced, 6 you his servants, the descendants of Abraham, his chosen ones, the children of Jacob. 7 He is the Lord our God; his judgments are in all the earth. 8 He remembers his covenant forever, the promise he made, for a thousand generations, 9 the covenant he made with Abraham, the oath he swore to Isaac. 10 He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree, to Israel as an everlasting covenant: 11 “To you I will give the land of Canaan as the portion you will inherit.” 12 When they were but few in number, few indeed, and strangers in it, 13 they wandered from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another. 14 He allowed no one to oppress them; for their sake he rebuked kings: 15 “Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm.” 

You have likely heard pastors and evangelists quote verse 15 in isolation from the rest of the chapter. You really need to know the whole context. My Dad was pastor of the oldest Baptist Church in New Jersey which was founded in the 1700's. He was the first pastor to resign - all those who preceded him either died or were thrown out. He broke that tradition, though my mom thought he would have been thrown out as well had he stayed for much longer. Actually, though, I thought this particular verse applied to leaders abusing the flock. This verse immediately follows the rebuke of kings, and is in the same sentence, so I appeal to context. Abimelech was kept from touching Sarah, Elijah was protected from a wicked king Ahab within Israel, and there are many other examples. Trapp says, “This God speaketh not of kings, but to kings, concerning his people who have an unction from the Father, being sanctified and set apart for his peculiar purposes. To touch these is to touch the apple of God’s eye, Zechariah 2:8; they are sacred persons.”

Obviously Godly pastors also would fall in his category as sacred persons, but I share Trapp's view that the set of persons mentioned is not limited to leaders. While David respected the fact that Saul had been anointed, even though he was not walking in it, he refused to do any harm to him, I find it curious that many of the charlatans out there who are a dime a dozen on TV preach a different gospel and then use this verse frequently in an attempt to silence their Berean critics. If I have a difference with my pastor, I simply go to him or mail him a respectful note explaining what and why I believe something is amiss and then it is in his court. Actually I have one I sent which has not yet been answered and of course we are in a stressful time so am very patient - the issue was not with him but one of his assistant pastors who told me he believed God often does not remove same sex attraction until the rapture. I strenuously disagreed with him using scripture, and that opinion he expressed is totally at odds with what the pastor teaches about a totally changed and holy life, so we will see. There is a chain of command. Many are in rebellion and cause upset in the church not even giving the pastor a chance to consider your appeal.  I must add hear that the overwhelming majority of my contact with the pastor is to encourage him, tell him how something God spoke through him was a special blessing, so to ask for a clarification to be sure I understood him correctly.  Paul encouraged people routinely, and my pastor from years ago said we would do best to give nine encouragements for every correction!

I know this pastor has a lot of integrity and so do the other assistant pastors. This particular assistant pastor oversees the bookstore, and the reason the subject came up was that there were two books I came across which were clearly in error. Since they have always maintained they are very strict about their bookstore - they will not even sell any NIV Bibles, only approved versions, I thought these two tomes may have slipped in unnoticed, but this assistant pastor said he reviewed them, wholeheartedly agreed with them and approved them. He even gave some of them to the young people. I was appalled. If the senior pastor had said this, rather than a young millennial, I would have been even more stunned. Nonetheless, you cannot have a mixed message in your church or you are asking for trouble. Look what God did with Achan. I have noticed we are besieged with millennial "progressive" Christians among evangelicals who take what the LGBTQ people say as worth comparing with the Holy Scriptures! You cannot compromise the character of God by accepting the memes of the wicked. The Holy Spirit says, "ALL THINGS are become new." That certainly includes "same-sex attraction", which is a sanitized expression for the homosexual spirit. How can a homosexual spirit live side by side with the Holy Spirit, as we are temples of the Holy Spirit? He CAN'T and we need to lead people into deliverance rather than accept the meme "they were born this way", which incidentally has been disproven time and again - there is NO GAY GENE! Christ can and does redeem our lives from destruction, and homosexuality, whether the act, the identity, or the desire, is destructive and at enmity with God. We need to be transformed by the renewing of our minds to prove "what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." No leader could ever convince me that "same sex desire" is part of that "good and acceptable and perfect will of God."

 Obviously, if you are in a church where the teaching is patently false from the top down, or if error is allowed to coexist alongside the truth and is not dealt with, you need to vamoose as quickly as possible because "what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness"? Also, if your disagreements with the pastor are frequent and/or deep, you need to ask yourself if you are in left field or your pastor is and either repent and change or seek out a church where the Pastor is obviously sincere, faithful to scripture, and submitted to the Holy Spirit.

Monday, April 6, 2020

ROMANS 8:27

"Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God." Jesus the Son searches the hearts of men and knows the mind of the Spirit. This is because Jesus intercedes for us according to the will of the Father. The Holy Spirit as part of the Godhead is intimately familiar with those intercessions AND the will of God. That is why the Holy Spirit's prayers through us are so effective. Don't you want to pray according to the will of the Father? The ONLY prayers the Holy Spirit prays through us are according to the will of the Father! Jesus has promised that if we ask according to his will, he hears us! Those prayers are truly answered. Don't you also want to pray the same prayers to the Father that Jesus is praying to the Father on our behalf? Don't you believe that your prayers to the Father that are totally in sync with the intercession of Jesus to the Father will elicit the kindest of responses? This is a critical but not often taught benefit of praying in the Holy Spirit. We are commanded to do so, and if you read Ephesians 6, it is the final armor of God in verse 18 - it is"praying always with all prayer and supplication IN THE SPIRIT..." This weapon, this part of the armor of God is both offensive AND defensive. It also incorporates all three members of the Trinity into your prayer life. I do this every day and highly recommend to all the saints that you do the same.

Friday, April 3, 2020

PROPHETS WHEN YOU NEED THEM

If I were a mega-church pastor/prophet and came up with the following in December as a postscript to my Christmas sermon, how many of you think I would have been thrown under the bus and been collecting unemployment?
1) In three months you will not be allowed to go to this or any other church building. In fact, the signs on the front will say stay home and wash your hands.
2) In three months weddings will not be able to be held if over 10 people.
3) In three months funerals will be limited to 10 guests and in some places only 1.
4) In three months the government will demand most businesses close and will decide how much to give or loan the business owners if anything.
5) In three months it will be almost impossible to buy toilet paper and other necessities.
6) In three months people will wear masks into businesses and no one will tell them to take them off. In fact many of the employees will be wearing them as well.
7) In three months no one will be dating online.
8) In three months no one will be able to eat at a restaurant.
9) In three months you will not be able to get a bum knee replaced but you will be able to get an abortion because that is sacred.
9) In three months the Speaker of the House will defend the phony impeachment though it arguably caused most of the above and is a favorite to be reelected.

I wish I or someone else would have prophesied all that. Instead those who lied about hearing from God ignored or erased their phony prophesies which did not come to pass. Now that it is here, there are NOW oodles of prophesies about the plague. Before, it was about lots of blessing. Here is one from earlier this year by Hakeem from The Elijah List - 

"The Lord spoke to me about the fact that many of His people have been praying for weeks, months and even years for rain. They have been believing for breakthrough, financial provision, resources, increase, favor and wisdom to execute their purpose, calling and heart in the earth. God said that many of His people have been anticipating their breakthrough and prayers to be answered, but there was little or nothing in return. His people felt, at times, that their prayers had fallen on deaf ears. But God said, "Not so!" For He says that in this new season, era and decade, "The drought is over!" Elijah heard something profound while he put his face between his knees. He heard the sound of an abundance of rain before he actually saw rain."

Let's hope he is right.