Thursday, September 5, 2013

All Around the Web - September 5, 2013

Washington Post - The U.S.’s lagging commitment to religious freedom 

Although religious freedom is a pivotal human right, critical to national security and global stability, key provisions of the landmark International Religious Freedom Act are being neglected years after its passage. A number of studies demonstrates the link between freedom of religion and societal well-being, while its absence correlates closely with instability and violent religious extremism, including terrorism. Many governments, including those topping the U.S. foreign policy and security agendas, perpetrate or tolerate acts of religious repression, such as arbitrary detention, torture and murder.

The International Religious Freedom Act provides vital tools, including identifying and sanctioning the world’s worst violators. But over many years and different administrations, the executive branch has not employed them fully or in a timely manner. With a key deadline for action arriving this month, it is time to confront this unwise failure to act.

Huffington Post - The False Promise of the Prosperity Gospel: Why I Called Out Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer

Joyce Meyer

When I first heard her tell her story I was deeply moved and impressed. She is an amazing example of overcoming hurts and abuse. She will forever have my admiration and respect in that regard. Furthermore, she gives spectacular advice. If my wife or if one of my daughters went to her in a moment of crisis, I believe they would return with magnificently helpful advice. If they went to her for teaching, they would return with deadly heresy.

False Doctrine

1. She teaches that Jesus literally stopped being the Son of God on the Cross (listen here):

"He could have helped himself up until the point where he said I commend my spirit into your hands, at that point he couldn't do nothing for himself anymore. He had become sin, he was no longer the Son of God. He was sin."
2. She teaches that Jesus went to Hell and became the first-born again man (listen here):
"Do you know something? The minute that blood sacrifice was accepted Jesus was the first human being that was ever born again. Now that was real it happened when he was in hell."
3. She teaches that Jesus paid for our sins in Hell:

"There is no hope of anyone going to heaven unless they believe this truth I am presenting. You cannot go to heaven unless you believe with all your heart that Jesus took your place in hell" -From The Most Important Decision You Will Ever Make
4. She teaches that words have power and you can release the power of Heaven through your words.

5. She teaches that you need special revelation from God to understand what she teaches because it is NOT contained in the Bible (listen here):

"The Bible can't even find any way to explain this. Not really. That's why you've got to get it by revelation. There are no words to explain what I'm telling you. I've got to just trust God that He's putting it into your spirit like He put it into mine." From "What Happened From the Cross to The Throne"

"Now spirits don't have bodies, so we can't see them. Okay? There probably is, I believe there is, and I certainly hope there is several angels up here this morning that are preaching with me. I believe that right before I speak some anointed statement to you, that one of them bends over and says in my ear what I'm supposed to say to you." From "Witchcraft & Related Spirits" (Part 1) - 2 A-27 Audiotape)
6. She teaches that she is no longer a sinner.

Unfortunately I could continue with examples of her utter misuse of scripture, false teaching and blatant heresy. In America, Christians have an embarrassment of riches. We can buy more books, download more podcasts and tune into more helpful teachers than anyone else on the planet. The lies that she teaches are easily lost in the hum of all the great teachers we hear. But this is not the case in the third world.

In many other countries their resources are far fewer. Uneducated pastors, who are doing their very best and uninformed Christians have this garbage pumped into their countries through radio waves and TV broadcasts. Because Joyce Meyer is endorsed here, she is trusted there. And, she can afford to spread her message with the money she makes from American Christians who buy her books, CDs and who attend her conferences. Her influence is severely disrupting the church in the third world. Her teachings are the unfortunate starting point for Christians in the third world and it is birthing even greater heresies.

The devastating reality that we have to come to grips with is that when we support her here, we support the churches she is undoing there.

Mark Driscoll - 7 key principles for interpreting the Bible

1. Listen for the truth
2. Understand the context
3. Let Scripture interpret Scripture
4. Read from the text, not into it
5. Trust the clarity of Scripture
6. Recognize literal and figurative language
7. Handle interpretation disagreements wisely

Tim Challies - Remembering the Christian Bookstore | I highlight this article only because I worked at Family Christian Stores for five years. So the slow death of books stores in general and Christian bookstore in particular is very sad to me.

Bookstores have fallen on hard times. Christian bookstores have fallen on especially hard times. Of all the industries utterly savaged by the rise of the Internet, e-commerce and digital distribution, books and music, the mainstays of Christian bookstores, are right near the top of that list. The consumer’s win has been the bookstore’s loss.

Christian bookstores played an important part in my life and in my spiritual development. When I was in my early teens I suddenly developed a great passion for Christian music. It seems silly now, but that music filled a great need in my life. I had always loved music, and when I became a believer, one of the great spiritual markers was the day I got rid of my “secular” music. It’s not that all of that music was so bad, but that it represented a past I was eager to move beyond. For many years I would listen exclusively to Christian music.

In that day Christian music was available from only one source—the local Christian bookstore. I became a regular at a couple of those stores. In my high school days I would often run off at lunch to see what was new. I still remember being there and waiting on release day for Petra’s Wake-Up Call. They had to crack open some boxes of newly-delivered music until they found it for me. Once it was in my hands I listened to it the rest of the afternoon and all evening long. On Saturdays I would sometimes jump on my bike, or when a little older, I would get into my truck, and ride clear across town to get to the bookstore, to spend time listening to the new and exciting albums, and to rifle through the bargain section. At one point in my life I had hundreds of albums lining my walls.

CBS News New YorkSeen At 11: Don’t Remember Sending That Text? You Might Have Been Asleep

Smartphones have become a major part of many people’s everyday lives. More and more smartphone owners use their devices to text, email, and surf the web throughout the day.

Now, some people have started using them in their sleep.

“My charger is right there in the corner so sometimes I would keep it right here next to me. I guess I got up and texted and went back to bed but I don’t remember it,” sleep texter Megan told CBS 2′s Kristine Johnson.

Friends and family were receiving messages from Megan that she didn’t even remember sending.

The Hobbit trailor Lego style.

For comparison, here is the actual Hobbit trailor.

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