[Fire Away! Podcast] Episode 028 – Pastor Emilio Ramos On Islam, Homosexuality, and Red Grace Media

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  • On today’s show Landon welcomes Pastor Emilio Ramos to discuss open-air preaching, Islam, homosexuality and his upcoming Truth & Love Conference, and Red Grace Media.

(Click “Read More” for detailed show notes.)

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A Biblical Response to the Case of Kelly Gissendaner

WillChristianityLeave a Comment

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On the evening of February 8, 1997, Kelly Renee Gissendaner dropped off her boyfriend at her house in Auburn, Georgia, before going to a party with friends. Kelly admitted later that it was her idea to have him, Gregory Bruce Owen, murder her husband, Doug Gissendaner. In a plea deal with prosecutors, Owen described what happened:

Owen said he put a knife to Doug Gissendaner’s throat and forced him to drive to a spot near the Walton County line, then made him walk into the woods and kneel down. Owen beat Doug Gissendaner with a nightstick, he said, and stabbed him repeatedly in the neck and back.

Then, Owen said, he drove around in the victim’s Chevrolet Caprice until Kelly Gissendaner paged him. She arrived with a Coke bottle filled with gasoline, Owen said, and he used it to burn the car.

kelly-gissendaner

Kelly Gissendaner

As part of that plea deal, Owen testified against Gissendaner in exchange for a life sentence, avoiding the death penalty. Owen will become eligible for parole after spending 25 years in prison, sometime in 2023.

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The Daily Discovery (March 26, 2015)

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ARTICLES I LIKE FROM AROUND THE WEB:
(Click title to go to full article)

Five facts about pastors most church members are unclear on – “In my experience, most pastors hesitate to teach the biblical understanding of the role of pastors because to do so might sound self-serving, as though they were trying to carve out a bigger role for themselves in leading the church. This is a serious error for which we are now paying as many congregations are turning the minister into a hired hand, employing him as an errand boy, or treating him as an executive brought in to lead their ‘country club.'”

Christians, You Will Suffer – “I had a brief interaction with an atheist on Twitter a couple of weeks ago that unexpectedly turned to the issue of suffering when she said: You clearly never had a time you were hurt. I don’t mean sick. I don’t mean heart broken. I mean literally a near death experience or rape or abusive relationship…. You can keep floating on a [expletive] cloud thinking Jesus will do everything for you but it’s a lie. What makes you so special?”

Charismania Embraces Glenn Beck – “Recently, charismatic apostle and prophet Dr Chuck Pierce offered Mormon political pundit and commentator Glenn Beck a “new mantle for the future” because of his stand with the nation of Israel.”

UnPhiltered Moral Philosophy: Phil Robertson Speaks Out Again – “About 15 months ago, Duck Dynasty Christian media mogul, entrepreneur, and popular preaching circuit speaker Phil Robertson took some flack in te press for his candid and biblical description of homosexual behavior as recorded in an interview with GQ. In the midst of a controversy over his comments, Robertson was suspended from his own A&E Network Reality show. The outcry over his comments, as well as his suspension, was short. In little time, Phil’s legions of supportive, evangelical Christian fans demanded that he be returned to A&E’s airwaves. He was.”

What Happens When You Replace “Movie Title” With the Breathed-Out Word of God… – “Dumb question: Why does the visible church think that it needs Hollywood movies to draw people to Jesus Christ? Why do so-called anointed pastors feel they need to use sermons designed by Christian mystics who dramatize a very different Jesus and a different gospel?”

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The Daily Discovery (March 25, 2015)

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ARTICLES I LIKE FROM AROUND THE WEB:
(Click title to go to full article)

5 Reasons to Rejoice in Persecution – “When I was growing up and still living with my parents, my family supported ministries based in the USSR, and on our fridge we had a big poster covered in photographs of Russian pastors who were imprisoned or endangered because of their faith. Every night in our devotions we would pray for one of them, that God would bless and protect him. Meanwhile we lived in middle-class suburbia in Toronto. We freely told our neighbors about Jesus, we went to church twice each Sunday, we read the Bible openly, and even went to Christian schools. It did not seem fair that we had it so easy.”

Religious Symbols Attacked—Unless They’re Secular Ones! - “Secular groups are becoming increasingly aggressive in trying to remove any Christian symbols from the culture in America. They are intolerant of any religion but their own! I’ve blogged before about several of these instances when Christian symbols—like nativity scenes or an ark-related display—were removed from public places. One of these secular groups is also behind the recent attacks on Ark Encounter that resulted in the state of Kentucky unlawfully discriminating against us because we are a religious group.”

Is Theology Your Idolatry? – “We have often loved what we’ve learned about God more than God himself.  The Bible warns us about the dangers that come with our knowledge of God, especially for the theologically refined and convinced. ‘You cannot serve both God and theology.’ Good theology is a means to enjoying and worshipping God, or it is useless.”

What is a Zionist? – “I once received a mass email from a politically conservative writer (who is a non-Christian as far as I know) asking for readers’ input answering the question: “What is a ‘Zionist.’  Typically I just glance over emails like those and delete them; but the subject matter is one I frequently encounter among both secular conservatives and evangelical Christians, so I thought I would respond to the writer’s inquiry.”

Hating “Little” Sins – “While all sin is a transgression against God and his law, some sins are less heinous and vile than others. For example, it is far worse if I would kill my neighbor’s beloved dog than if I would lie to him and say I liked the dog. However, as Christians, we should detest all of our sins and repent of them all – not just the worst ones, but the ‘little’ ones as well. One question comes up: why should we hate the ‘little’ sins in our hearts and lives? Thomas Brooks gave some good answers to that question (I’ve edited them for length & grammar)…”

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The Daily Discovery (March 24, 2015)

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ARTICLES I LIKE FROM AROUND THE WEB:
(Click title to go to full article)

College Ministry Kicked Off Campus – For Requiring Leaders to Be Christian – “A Christian campus organization has lost recognition from its university and been accused of ‘religious discrimination’ for not allowing non-Christians to hold leadership positions in the group.”

Squashing Christians – “We have a lot of news to cover today. A little later, a Christian campus organization in California has lost recognition from its university and been accused of “religious discrimination” for not allowing non-Christians to hold leadership positions in the group. It’s the kind of new normal we never thought we’d see a decade ago.”

Was the Serpent Right? – “God told Adam, ‘of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die’ (Gen. 2:17). In response to the Serpent, Eve more or less quoted God: “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die'” (Gen. 3:2-3).”

Lifeway Pulls Heaven Tourism For Good…Still No Acknowledgement of Alex Malarkey – “his is not true, and no one believes it. The 2014 SBC meeting was nine months ago. Thom Rainer thumbed his nose at the Convention until a brave young man named Alex Malarkey wrote an open letter to Lifeway that became the biggest news story in the world on January 17 and put Rainer’s shame on the front page of publications from the New York Times to the Today Show (and basically everywhere on the right-hand graphic you see on this website). And as we revealed previously in emails between former Lifeway Trustee and world famous apologist, Justin Peters and Lifeway executives, Thom Rainer and Ed Stetzer, they continued to sell the book even though they knew that it was false and the boy had recanted. And to this day, by the way, Lifeway has not returned the young man’s letter or even acknowledged his existence.”

Q&A with a same-sex attracted pastor—Sam Allberry – “I recently moderated a Q&A with Sam Allberry where he fielded questions from me and from students (see above). Sam is a same-sex attracted Christian, and a faithful brother. I cannot overstate how grateful I am for his life and testimony. The Lord has raised him up for our time. If you haven’t yet read Sam’s book, you need to. It’s titled Is God Anti-Gay? (Questions Christians Ask).”

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The Daily Discovery (March 23, 2015)

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ARTICLES I LIKE FROM AROUND THE WEB:
(Click title to go to full article)

You Are Dust, Not Divine – “We Christians put on a good face, don’t we? Each of us shows up on Sunday morning looking like we are doing just fine, like our lives are on cruise control, like we have had the best week ever. But ask a couple of leading questions, and probe just beneath the surface, and it soon falls apart. Each of us comes to church feeling the weight and the difficulty of this life. God has something he wants us to do in these situations. There is something he calls us to—something beautifully surprising and uncomfortable. Track with me for a couple of minutes here, and I’ll show you what it is.

Is Proverbs 22:6 a Promise for Parents? – “Is Proverbs 22:6 a promise? Many Christian parents feel guilty when their children do not ‘turn out right.’ They ask questions like, ‘What did we do wrong? What else could we have done?’ What is more problematic is that the guilt so many Christian parents feel finds its root in the Bible. After all, Proverbs 22:6 states, ‘Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.'”

John Calvin’s 4 Rules of Prayer - “For John Calvin, prayer cannot be accomplished without discipline. He writes, ‘Unless we fix certain hours in the day for prayer, it easily slips from our memory.’ He goes on to prescribe several rules to guide believers in offering effectual, fervent prayer.”

Persecution is the natural result of teaching or preaching God’s Word without compromise – “A study of the book of Acts reveals that as Christianity spread as the Apostles obediently made disciples wherever they went, it was always accompanied by persecution. The hotter the persecution the more encouraged the brethren became. While that is not logical to the fallen mind, that is exactly how God grew His church. In the early 2nd century the bishop of Smyrna, Polycarp who was a disciple of the Apostle John, was brought to the Roman authorities and ordered to confess that Caesar is lord. Polycarp was eighty-six years old at this point. All he had to do was utter that statement as he offered a pinch of incense to Caesar, but he refused. He was martyred by fire.”

Contend Mondays: The Importance of Preaching the Resurrection – “With Easter approaching, I want to encourage you to share the wonderful hope of the eternal life we have because of the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. That Jesus rose from the dead is important because…

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The Daily Discovery (March 14-15, 2015)

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ARTICLES I LIKE FROM AROUND THE WEB:
(Click title to go to full article)

Cage-Stage Calvinism – “My friend Michael Horton often comments on the phenomenon of ‘cage-stage Calvinism,’ that strange malady that seems to afflict so many people who have just seen the truth of the Reformed doctrines of grace. We’ve all known one of these ‘cage-stage Calvinists.’ Many of us were even one of them when we were first convinced of God’s sovereignty in salvation.”

6 Ways to Become A Welcoming Church – “In his important book, Outgrowing the Ingrown Church, Jack Miller recounted an experience he had at a church in which he had been invited to speak. As he and his wife walked around and met people in the church, they continually heard the members saying things like, ‘We’re one of the friendliest churches in the community,’ and ‘we are a very friendly church.’ Sensing that something was not right (since he had been told that the attendance of this church had shrunk considerably over the past several years), Miller began asking individuals and officers in the church what was really going on. What he discovered was that the congregants were friendly–to one another in a cliquish way–but that the congregation had started relying on the pastor to do all of the welcoming of visitors.”

‘If I Hear One Homophobic Word, I Will Arrest You:’ Street Preacher on Trial for Biblical Preaching – “A street preacher in the UK who is charged with making ‘homophobic’ and ‘Islamophobic’ remarks has just completed a two-day trial and awaits a verdict on whether or not biblical speech about the issues is considered a crime in the country.”

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day – “Although St. Patrick’s Day appears on our calendars each year, most modern celebrations of St. Patrick’s Day have little to do with the person behind the holiday. Next week many people will wear a little extra green, some will celebrate their Irish heritage, and more than a few will drink a pint or two in honor of St. Patrick. But my guess is that relatively few who celebrate St. Patrick’s Day know much about Patrick himself, and in fact, some of what is commonly ‘known’ about Patrick is actually mistaken.”

This ‘n’ That – “As far as I am concerned, communication is essential in all relationships, whether business or personal. We’ve all seen projects at our place of business become more conflated and confusing simply because team members failed to properly communicate. And of course, it is probably sadly safe to say that we all have experienced, or witnessed firsthand, a broken personal relationship due to a failure to communicate. Well, our relationship with our Creator, Lord and Savior is no different.  Don’t worry, I haven’t gone charismatic.”

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Five Marks of a False Convert

JeffChristianity1 Comment

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Being a Christian is by far the greatest blessing one could receive. Who can reject the glory of God and the awesome love and forgiveness that Jesus has to offer? Yet sadly, there are many out there who have convinced themselves that they are Christians when, unfortunately, they are not. I have put together a short list of signs that you can use to examine yourself (or someone else) to test whether or not you are truly in the faith. This is not an exhaustive list, nor is it meant to discourage true believers. Every Christian struggles with certain things, some more than others.

If you are a relatively new convert, expect to struggle more than the seasoned Christian who has been saved and serving God for decades. The fact is you should be improving constantly in all of these areas. There may be ups and downs, but if you take a look at the last year of your life and you see no improvement in any of these signs, I would suggest you start praying and ask God to open your eyes and reveal himself to you. I pray that this list be glorifying to God first and foremost, but also that it be edifying to those who take the time to read it.

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The Daily Discovery (March 13, 2015)

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ARTICLES I LIKE FROM AROUND THE WEB:
(Click title to go to full article)

Suffering and Prayer in the Christian Life – “Today we look at two important, yet often misunderstood doctrines in the Bible: Suffering and Prayer.  No one really wants to suffer.  We would all prefer a life of comfort.  But the Bible warns us that suffering is an important part of the Christian life–and that when it happens we should rejoice!   Tough teaching indeed.”

Seek the Lord While You Are Young – “Experience tells me that people’s hearts are seldom changed if they are not changed when young. Seldom indeed are men converted when they are old. Habits have deep roots. Once sin is allowed to settle in your heart, it will not be turned out at your bidding. Custom becomes second nature, and its chains are not easily broken.”

10 Marks of True Conversion – “In the midst of a busy family life, it can sometimes be difficult to get or make the time to sit down with our wife or husband and discuss the Bible. The Bible can be at the center of our church life in weekly services, at the center of our personal lives in private devotions, and even at the center of our family life in family worship, and yet not be at the center of our marriage.”

Obama Enacting His Religion As President – “David French has an article for National Review on Barack Obama’s religious views. There’s a lot of significant information there, but here are some good portions that have implications beyond Obama…”

Possessing the Treasure – “In his fine book Escape from Reason, Francis Schaeffer analyzed 20th Century philosophy, science, art, and popular culture to get to the ’cause,’ if you will, of the decline of reason, which was and is still shaping our society. Modern thought in our time, it seems, has been diverted from an eternal, heavenly focus to one that is entirely geared to the temporal. Part of his thesis is that the advent of humanistic philosophy and reason began with Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274). He contends that prior to Aquinas, the heavenly things were all-important, but since his teaching and discussion of “nature and grace,” the focus of human thought has made the temporal all-important with the heavenly becoming only an abstract ‘unreality.'”

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[Fire Away! Podcast] Episode 027 – Erin Benzinger on Christian Women

LandonPodcast Episodes2 Comments

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Summary

  • On today’s show Landon welcomes Erin Benzinger of DoNotBeSurprised.com and Equipping Eve to the program.  They discuss a plethora of topics primarily relating to Christian women, false teachers, and places for women to find solid teaching.

(Click “Read More” for detailed show notes.)

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