Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Walk In A Manner Worthy of the Gospel

Pastor Scott Savell is a fellow member of the Omega Letter and member of Lakewood Baptist Church. He is also a military Chaplain serving in Alaska. This is a sermon he recently preached on Philippians 1:27-30. It addressed the growing challenges the church is facing and how the Christian should meet them.

only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.

Listen HERE

Monday, February 18, 2013

Tributes for Dr Mal Couch

Just as I was coming out of the New Age and getting centered on Christianity, I happened to stumble onto a now defunct website that was run by (I presume) Dr Couch. I can't remember the title now but it was something like "The Conservative Theological Society".

It was a somewhat long-drawn-out process but I jumped from haunting the corridors of the "Theosophical Society" to a Theological One. Before the website disappeared I managed to subscribe to The Conservative Theological Journal and bookmarked SpiritAndTruth.Org. That led me to some very good tracks to follow along The Way.

Thank you, Dr Couch.

The latest issue of Spirit & Truth Newsletter recognizes Dr Mal Couch's contributions HERE.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Mal Couch - Gone to be with the Lord

From Lacy Couch:

It is with deep, lonely sorrow and yet rejoicing that I tell you my darling husband and friend has gone home to be with the Lord whom he loved and served so long. 

    My husband fought a gallant battle with illness for many long difficult months and never complained, not even once about his painful condition. He simply said, “We all groan to be delivered- it's ok, Lace”...keep reading 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Hanegraaff defends Sizer

There has been a long growing list of notables rushing to defend Stephen Sizer against allegations of anti-Semitism. You can track them all at his blog where he has kindly catalogued them for his readers' benefit. I guess word travels fast and they've surprised the good vicar with a cheery word on his behalf. One recent defender is Hank Hanegraaff who writes:

"I recognize him [Sizer] as a gifted exegete and a much needed voice respecting unnecessary roadblocks erected on the path to peace in the Middle East. He consistently and even-handedly warns against the grievous sin of turning a blind eye to anti-Semitism as well as the abomination of turning a blind eye to a Zionist theology that divides people on the basis of race rather than uniting them on the basis of righteousness, justice, and equity..."

And this:

"Moreover, I find it wholly ironic that courageous men such as Dr. Sizer are uncharitably charged with anti-Semitism while precious little is said respecting the unbalanced perspectives of Christian Zionists who communicate that directly following their own glorious rapture a numberless multitude of Jews will be slaughtered in a bloodbath that they say will exceed even the horrors of the Holocaust. Indeed, those who dare question their notion of a pretribulational rapture followed by a Holy Land holocaust, in which the vast majority of Jews perish, are shouted down as peddlers of godless heresy. The ultimate pejorative phrase has even been coined for those who deny the heart of their Zionist eschatology. They are dubbed “replacement theologians” and are said to be guilty of spreading “the message of anti-Semitism.” Indeed, popular dispensationalists are blunt in their denunciations: “Replacement theologians are now carrying Hitler's anointing and his message.” Little wonder then that this charge is now being gratuitously directed at Dr. Sizer."

My guess is that Hanegraaff's real problem is with Scripture and not with Zionism or the rapture doctrine (Jer 31:36; Amos 9:14-15; Zech 2:8, 13:8-9). Note that even good friend Dr. Norman Geisler has taken Hanegraaff's eschatology to task HERE and HERE. Et tu Brute?

But Hanegraaff can be excused for coming across as a little emotional and throwing a bit of mud while defending his friend Sizer. After all, others have similarly attacked him and mutual friend Dr. Gary Burge for their understanding of Zionist and Israeli misdemeanors. The problem for Sizer, Hanegraaff and Burge is that a lot of criticism has come from non Zionist observers who can spot anti-Israel bias miles away:

"Hanegraaff and Burge both claim they are not anti-Israel or pro-Palestinian, but neutral in supporting peace and justice. Between being anti-Zionist, demonizing Israel, white-washing human rights abuses by Palestinian rulers in Gaza and the West Bank, and indoctrinating students to support Palestinian Arabs against Israelis, their claims of neutrality appear to be little more than posturing."

Other bloggers have noted the tendency for Sizer to obsessively focus on Israel while ignoring other Middle East issues that have affected Christians. At one point he even wrote favorably of the victorious Morsi (Muslim Brotherhood) in the Egyptian elections. That was despite several documented statements Morsi made about taking Jerusalem for Islam and destroying Israel; and we all know how pleased the Egyptians are with Morsi now.

Since the anti-Semite allegations, Sizer has half-heartedly tried to address that imbalance by posting the odd Christian-problems-in-the-Middle-East article that doesn't directly bash Israel. But his passion is to point out the failings of Zionism and Israel's hegemony. Even now he's promoting his anti-Zionist materials by having his "Seven Biblical Answers to Popular Zionist Assumptions" translated into Chinese.

Guess that makes him pretty "gung ho" about something, even if he denies it's anti-whatever!

Further reading:

Turning Churches Against Israel

UK Jews complain to Church of England over ‘anti-Semitic’ vicar

Stephen Sizer & anti-Semitism (Anglican friends of Israel

Saturday, February 2, 2013

A Native Canadian's View of Zionism

I would have thought that Canadian natives would have to sympathize more with the Palestinian people than with Israel - especially when one listens to the misleading narrative coming from Sabeel's Liberation Theology. But this isn't always the case. Thanks to Michael Rydelnik for pointing to this interesting article.

"I am a Métis from Northern Alberta. My father, Mervin Bellerose, co-authored the Métis Settlements Act of 1989, which was passed by the Alberta legislature in 1990 and cemented our land rights. I founded Canadians For Accountability, a native rights advocacy group, and I am an organizer and participant in the Idle No More movement in Calgary. And I am a Zionist. Let me tell you why."... keep reading