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Monthly Archives: September 2013

Sabnock’s Sermons: Put the Fear of God in them!

Xaphan,

 

I trust my revisiting the previous lesson helped you gain a further foothold in your church; you’re going to need it as this next lesson builds on that. I’m going to share with you what I have found to be the most effective tool in controlling people through religion of any kind – FEAR! That’s right, you get people afraid of something and they’ll do anything to avoid it. I’ve even been able to convince Christians to use fear of hell in their “evangelism” to get people to, as they say, “accept Jesus into their heart”. Shocked? Trust me, they’re not real converts, they just don’t want to burn forever so they jump through whatever hoop the Christian tells them to so they can have peace of mind – but they are no more a follower of Jesus than I am. I’m telling you, the surest way to keep people from following Jesus is to give them a false one and convince them that following that one is right. Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

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Sabnock’s Sermons: Defending the “Faith” cont.

Xaphan: you Moron!

I received your letter explaining how your church is having revival services into Wednesday (which is good as Lucifer knows you need practice), and while you see progress in getting them to idolize their teacher, you failed in implementing my most recent lesson. Didn’t work?! What do you mean it didn’t work?! You are a son of Sabnock!!! Failure is not an option! I traveled to your jurisdiction today and spent some time in the pastor’s study. I was only there a little over 10 minutes when I realize why it didn’t work. Have you even looked at his bookcase or perused his kindle? The man has at least 10 different digital translations of the Bible on there and 90% of the books he has are by knowledgeable authors who have given their entire careers to studying the authenticity of Scriptural manuscripts. Gosh, boy! You’re just like your mother! If you’re gonn’a get recognized by the master, you’d better get your head in the game. I’m giving you an inside track, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to work at it.
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Sabnock’s Sermons: Defending the “Faith”

My dear Xaphan,

I hope you have had time to meditate on the previous letter and attempted to implement it in your local jurisdiction. If you haven’t yet taken that initiative I expect you to do so by weeks end as you’ve already let one Sunday pass. Oh, and don’t tell your colleagues about these lessons just yet as it will give you an edge on them. I want to make sure Master recognizes MY SON above all your peers – trust me, it will be good for both of us.
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Sabnock’s Sermons: Idolatry

My dear son, Xaphan,

I was roaming random bookstores the other day, just to stay up with the culture, and came across an old book by one of their authors named C.S. Lewis. This book, “Screwtape Letters”, is a fictional work relating how onescrewtapelettersbook master demon wrote letters to his nephew in order to pass along the wealth of knowledge he had in attempting to defeat the enemy. While clearly a work of fiction (it didn’t end well for the two demons) there was still an element of insight to this man’s work. I have decided to make his work a reality and pen you e-mails imparting my knowledge and experience to you. Archive them, if you would, for posterity also. Just put it under “Sabnock’s Sermons” as I’m going to give you lessons on how I infiltrated the enemy camp and now have their pastors, teachers, and even the lay people preaching the propaganda of our master! Plus, “Sabnock’s Sermons” has a nice ring to it and reminds me of how I even have them hooked on alliteration as they think it makes their “message” more palatable to the listener, and those in the pew get mesmerized by that sort of fickle thing and seem to just accept any point as long as it started with the same letter as the last one. (These people are all too funny, as you’ll begin to see.) By doing this, I have been able to massively stunt the growth of professing Christians as well as ensure any prospective Jesus-follower is effectively turned off by religion of the Christian flavor. I’ve been able to not only keep people from entering the enemy camp, but also have convinced many to actually leave it! Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Once Saved Always Saved? “BOLOGNA!”, I say:

{This article is a bit lengthy, but I hope not without benefit to the reader.}

There is one question that has been asked by 99.9999999% of professing Christians at some point in their life – “How do I know I’m saved?”. And there are multiple ways we have attempted to answer this question in a biblically comforting way.  Read the rest of this entry »

 

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The Gospel is not simply “Here’s how to be saved”

I remember, years ago,  being involved in a conversation including my dad and a few of my cousins. The conversation had turned to salvation and Dad asked one of my cousins if he had ever been saved. My cousin replied that he had, and recounted a time when he was nearly electrocuted but survived. He reckoned that since he had been saved from death at that moment that’s what Dad was talking about! (For the record, this cousin now knows what my Dad was talking about and does profess faith in The Messiah). Many people have no real idea of what one means by “been saved”. And to add to the confusion, many people in the American church today who profess to be saved, have an incorrect understanding of what it is they actually profess to have “been” because they don’t really grasp the gospel.

Gospel is a word that means, “Good News”. We church people often times forget that, as we do with a lot of “churchy” words and phrases. When Peter, Paul, John, James, Jesus was proclaiming the good news it was more than merely, “Here’s how you get saved!” Somehow, though, we have reduced it down to just that. Evangelism has become much like the task of being an insurance salesman.saleswoman as we try to convince people to get their fire insurance before it’s too late. If they don’t open a policy before death then there’s nothing they can do to protect themselves from external damage.

If You Died TodayThis faulty view of the gospel has taken it’s toll in how we live afterwards. While this “fire insurance” works well with certain worldviews – like the escapist worldview that says it’s all going to hell anyway and we just need to get as many people out of this Titanic as possible and into the lifeboat of Jesus – but it doesn’t jive with the whole of Scripture nor does it deal with sin, evil, and death as God tells us He dealt with it through Jesus. See, sin doesn’t win. God isn’t just going to destroy this creation since it’s been infected and take all those who believed in Jesus up to their mansion in the clouds way, way up high. (in comes the children’s chorus, “Somewhere in outer space, God has prepared a place for those who trust Him and obey!”) No! God is going to reclaim His creation. He is renewing it in and through Jesus. This is what was so glorious about the resurrection. The body that was mutilated by evil was resurrected. It was renewed. Not a different body, but the same body. Sure it was different in some aspects, things were changed about it, but it was the same body that hung on the cross that got up out of the grave! This is the Good News! That although this creation is mutilated with sin and evil, God is putting all things right, and He’s doing it through Jesus!

Why is this important? Because this affects the way we live. We see God’s creation as something that is good and our lives here and now as a means to further His kingdom. We actually become a part of what we have termed “The LORD’s Prayer”:

“Our Father Who art in heaven hallowed be Your Name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven…” ~ Jesus

If you think it’s only going to get worse then there’s nothing we can do about it but bunker down and pray for Jesus to come back before it gets too bad. But if you see the good news as God, through Jesus, setting things to the way they should be then you will be a part of that work. You will be a part of a city on a hill! You will effectively be the salt of the earth! You will be the one performing good works of love that others see and glorify The Father because of! You will be a part of the church that the gates of hell will not prevail against!

The gospel is not simply about how you can get to heaven. The gospel is much bigger than you.

“The Gospel is not simply, ‘Here’s how to be saved’; it’s the good news that, through Jesus the Messiah, the creator God is putting the whole world right.” ~ N.T. Wright

 
 

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Worldly “Christianity”

There is a movement that spends the majority of it’s effort in warning those who ascribe to its belief system of the dangers of worldliness. Nearly every sermon will include a plug for prohibition of alcohol, hair length and/or earrings on men, abstinence from the theater, the evils of TV, how modern Christian music is from the pit of hell… essentially how our society is degenerating and the ever pressing need to refrain from the popular. This mindset is not only unbiblical, oppressive, and it is anti-Christian as it actually promotes worldliness. You may have guessed the movement by now – it’s known in the Christian community as “Fundamentalism”. The mindset that is the foundation of this movement is LEGALISM.

Legalism uses fear to keep it’s people “in line” (see a good article depicting that here), and produces nothing but undesirable results. There is either a form of self-loathing, and the unshakable feeling of failure and worthlessness from one’s inability to keep all the rules (or undergoing ridicule for merely questioning the validity of the rules), or there is arrogance as one feels they have done a great job at keep the rules. Each box checked in their spiritual life is confirmation that they are living a life that God is pleased with while those around them are failing to be “godly”. These successful legalist see others as worldly while they remain “unspotted from the world”. What they don’t see, is that they are the epitome of what is worldly and 100% opposed to Jesus. That’s what legalism does, it enable us to turn one of the most beautiful things in the world, GRACE, and slather it in the fecal matter of our own pride so we can rub other’s noses in it.

southernbygrace

Jesus tells us a story of people like this:

He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and looked down on everyone else: “Two men went up to the temple complex to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee took his stand and was praying like this: ‘God, I thank You that I’m not like other people —greedy, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of everything I get.’

“But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even raise his eyes to heaven but kept striking his chest and saying, ‘God, turn Your wrath from me—a sinner!’ I tell you, this one went down to his house justified rather than the other; because everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” ~ Luke 18:9-14

 

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2013 in Christian Life, Culture, Legalism

 

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