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Mike Bickle: “Manifestations of the Spirit are at least 80% false.”

That’s all, folks. All y’all Pentecostals can come home to a good, confessional Lutheran church now. Mike Bickle (the founder of IHOPKC) said that at least 80% of the “manifestations of the Spirit” which take place in the global Pentecostal church  (“thousands of manifestation meetings worldwide”) are faked. (It’s in the first 20 seconds, but the whole video is important.)

Ah, yes, remember how the Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians and told them that a little disorder in their church was okay, how they could enjoy the nonsense without believing it, and how 80% of their speaking in tongues could be babble? That’s definitely what he wrote, right?

This is key, though. The modern Pentecostal movement is based on signs and wonders. But Mike Bickle said that 80% of those are fake. What was it Jesus said about a house built on sand?

Suppose you were sick and you went to go see a doctor. If he introduced himself and said “Now, I only get the diagnosis right about 20% of the time,” would you stay and try your luck or would you get out of Dodge?

That’s the big question, then: If a major leader of your movement is openly admitting your movement is based on falsehoods, why stay in the movement? As I said before, so I say again: It’s time to leave Pentecostalism and come home. Lutheranism is waiting for you.

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Update: Published! and a return to regular scheduling.

Happy Monday, friends. Two posts today, of which this is the first, so be looking forward to a Mormonism Monday post. Here’s a brief update, though.

First, I have a short story that got published as an honorable mention in a writing contest. I’m very excited about that. I’d love for you to go and read that story, but be aware that it deals with a miscarriage and read at your own discretion. If you’re interested, click here.

Second, I’ve finished my crazy Latin intensive at school (I’m almost entirely done with Latin grammar, if I understand correctly) and I will be able to return to a more regular schedule of posting. That includes a Mormonism post today, so check back soon and read up on that.

That’s all I’ve got for now. See you soon.

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Schedule update. 

I’m taking a intense month long Latin course right now. As a result, I’m going to post Thursday’s only this month, and go from there. Thanks for your support! I’ll see you in a couple days. 

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Reboot!

I snagged a snazzy new domain name, and I thought this was as good a time as any to reboot, rethink, and reshape my blog.

I am starting a new posting schedule:

On Mondays I will post about topics related to Mormonism. Current events, witnessing encounters, and more, all covered with an eye toward the Latter-Day Saints. I look forward to these “Mormon Mondays.”

On Thursdays, for now at least, I’ll post something about the theology I’m studying (Theology Thursdays, if you’re keeping alliterative score at home). This will include time in the Lutheran Confessions, the Bible (especially original languages as I learn more of that) and other general theology things.

On the first Friday of each month, I plan on offering a “First Friday free-for-all,” curating some of my favorite articles, videos, and memes from the previous month.

That’s the plan for now. If this sounds like something that interests you, there are a couple of ways you can stay in touch:

  1. If you’re on WordPress, click on that nifty blue follow button on the right (or try this link).
  2. If you’re on Facebook (who isn’t, these days?) check out my page here.
  3. If you want an email whenever I update the blog (or at whatever frequency you’d like to receive my posts) put your email in the little box to the right and hit “Follow me!”

So what do you think of the new schedule ideas? Anything you’d add? Ditch? Change? Let me know via the comments below, or email me.

See you tomorrow for our now-regularly scheduled posting!

Jonathan.

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Updates: School, Travel, and More.

Last semester I was very busy at school, and then left to take some time for travel with my wife. It was quite a wonderful trip; God’s providence allowed me to meet and talk to Mormon missionaries in almost every major city we visited!

I’m headed back to school soon, and will be neck-deep in Latin and Greek – I cannot wait! I missed academia.

I have been blessed with an opportunity to participate in a moderated interfaith discussion with Jeremy Goff. Jeremy is a Returned Missionary for the Latter-Day Saints, and a prominent LDS blogger. If you’re going to be in Charleston on July 24th, then check out more information about this event here.

That’s all for now. More updates to come soon, and hopefully a return to some regularity of posting.

God bless you.

 

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Atheists encourage everyone to be good in cold, uncaring universe.

A billboard from the American Atheists Organization is causing God’s Christian Church throughout the world to quake in fear of their soon and certain defeat.

 

The evangelical atheist group American Atheists posted the sign to encourage closeted unbelievers to embrace their unbelief and skip church. “We want to make people think,” said atheist Rick Dickens, National Evangelism Director for American Atheists.

“You only have one life, and then death swallows up everything for which you ever hoped or dreamed. All ideas of human transcendence are bunk — God doesn’t exist to care about what we do. So we ought to be good just for goodness’ sake,” Rick also told us. “At the bottom of everything, the universe isn’t just or good. It’s indifferent. There is only the meaning that we ascribe to life.” He also pointed to the numerous examples of explicitly atheistic regimes in the 20th century. “America needs to separate religion from the public square. It just works,” Rick said.

While many Christian pastors are in a panic over the billboards, a few foolish holdouts remain. In response to the billboards, one Lutheran pastor remarked “No one comes to my church on Sundays in order to be good. They come to my church on Sundays because they’re not good, and they need to receive the Body and Blood of the One who was good for their sake.” A parishioner commented “The Christmas season is one of hope, and that’s exactly what atheism doesn’t offer.” They both insisted that if you were the kind of backward person who needs the delusion of hope in their life, you should contact a Lutheran church and speak with the pastor there.

I think it’s clear that this post is satirical and the quotes are (mostly) made up. The billboard, however, is very real. God be with you through this season of Advent and Christmas as you remember the only hope we have in life and death: Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners like you and I. 

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Happy Advent (and my personal stuff).

I generally keep the personal posts to a minimum on this blog, but I wanted to wish everyone a happy liturgical new year! It’s Advent! Christ is coming soon. Amen.

I’ve been working on a fiction project for about a month now, and it’s really shaping up quite nicely right now. I hope to have most of the draft finished by the new year. If you’re interested in reading it, let me know. I’m compiling a list of about 10-15 first-round readers to give me feedback before my first round of revisions.

Thank you for your attention. That is all.

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The Wolf, the Sheep, and the Good Shepherd: A story about death.

There was once a wolf who tormented a flock of sheep. Every day he would come to them and swallow up as many of them as he could fit in his greedy mouth. Night after night, these sheep trembled as the wolf howled and prowled outside of their fold, never far from them.

The shepherd saw his trembling flock, and took pity on them. That night he covered himself in the wool from his sheep, and hid among them. He slept with them and ate with them until the wolf came again.

When the wolf came he saw the shepherd, and thought to himself “What a large sheep! Surely he will make a fine meal!” The shepherd stepped forward and the wolf swallowed him up. He was so full that he lay down contentedly in the middle of the field. The sheep saw this and scattered in fear. 

But soon they heard the wolf groaning and moaning. “Oh, what a terrible pain!” One by one the sheep snuck back to see the wolf writhing in agony. As the last sheep rejoined the flock, the wolf’s stomach suddenly burst open, and out tumbled the shepherd! He lead all of his sheep out of the belly of the wolf, who scampered off defeated into the woods.

Now, though the sheep still shudder from time to time at the baying of the wolf outside their fold, they are not afraid, for their Good Shepherd has walked into the belly of the wolf called Death and carved a path straight through for His sheep to follow. So it is for all who fall asleep in the Lord: They will follow Him in His resurrection, for He is the first fruits from among the dead.

Last week I was laughing with my father when we received the news of my cousin’s death. For now, he has fallen asleep. But soon — oh God may it be soon — he will rise bodily from the dead, for his Savior has already Risen. And when He comes He will gather His flock, awake and asleep, into a place where tears do not flow and life does not end and there is no dark night, for the glory of God will perpetually chase it away. Until then, pray for my family, especially his young wife and their children.

Come quickly, Lord Jesus. Amen.

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St. John Chrysostom’s Easter Homily

Is there anyone who is a devout lover of God?
Let them enjoy this beautiful bright festival!
Is there anyone who is a grateful servant?
Let them rejoice and enter into the joy of their Lord!

Are there any weary with fasting?
Let them now receive their wages!
If any have toiled from the first hour,
let them receive their due reward;
If any have come after the third hour,
let him with gratitude join in the Feast!
And he that arrived after the sixth hour,
let him not doubt; for he too shall sustain no loss.
And if any delayed until the ninth hour,
let him not hesitate; but let him come too.
And he who arrived only at the eleventh hour,
let him not be afraid by reason of his delay.

For the Lord is gracious and receives the last even as the first.
He gives rest to him that comes at the eleventh hour,
as well as to him that toiled from the first.
To this one He gives, and upon another He bestows.
He accepts the works as He greets the endeavor.
The deed He honors and the intention He commends.

Let us all enter into the joy of the Lord!
First and last alike receive your reward;
rich and poor, rejoice together!
Sober and slothful, celebrate the day!

You that have kept the fast, and you that have not,
rejoice today for the Table is richly laden!
Feast royally on it, the calf is a fatted one.

Let no one go away hungry. Partake, all, of the cup of faith.
Enjoy all the riches of His goodness!
Let no one grieve at his poverty,
for the universal kingdom has been revealed.
Let no one mourn that he has fallen again and again;
for forgiveness has risen from the grave.
Let no one fear death, for the Death of our Savior has set us free.

He has destroyed it by enduring it.
He destroyed Hades when He descended into it.
He put it into an uproar even as it tasted of His flesh.
Isaiah foretold this when he said,
“You, O Hell, have been troubled by encountering Him below.”

Hell was in an uproar because it was done away with.
It was in an uproar because it is mocked.
It was in an uproar, for it is destroyed.
It is in an uproar, for it is annihilated.
It is in an uproar, for it is now made captive.
Hell took a body, and discovered God.
It took earth, and encountered Heaven.
It took what it saw, and was overcome by what it did not see.
O death, where is thy sting?
O Hades, where is thy victory?

Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!
Christ is Risen, and the evil ones are cast down!
Christ is Risen, and the angels rejoice!
Christ is Risen, and life is liberated!
Christ is Risen, and the tomb is emptied of its dead;
for Christ having risen from the dead,
is become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.

To Him be Glory and Power forever and ever. Amen!

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April 5, 2015 · 12:00 pm

A brief poem on the beheading of 21 Christians in Libya.

Twenty-one men gave up the ghost;
for Christian faith they perished.
Twenty-one men joined heavenly host;
Their blood the Church shall cherish.
Twenty-one times evil stopped hearts,
and stole away their breath.
Twenty-one heads from bodies part,
yet still they taste not death.
Twenty-one tongues for now are stilled
that once confessed their Lord.
Twenty-one times a martyrs cry,
“Christ, my Lord and God.”
Twenty-one we pray will hear,
“Well done, my faithful sons.”
Twenty-one who now behold
the blessed Three-in-One.
Twenty-one not coming home,
until that blessed day,
when Twenty-one will rise again,
and we will hear them say:
“There is a Death that conquered death, and love that covered sin.”
Twenty-one whose race is done;
Lord, may we also enter in.

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February 24, 2015 · 2:43 am