Please Stop! Just Please Stop!

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22 Things Christians Need To Stop Doing…Now! by Chuch Tate

Christian preachers are often talking about the “mission” of God’s people, and this is absolutely right. Christians have a lot to do in this world, and our task to make disciples and take the gospel to the nations is immediate and apparent. But there are also other things that we should seek to cease in our lives. Here, Chuck Tate gives us 22 key things and attitudes that we need to cut out of our lives.

1. Quit expecting the world to like you. Jesus said it would hate you (John 15:18-27, Matthew 10:22).

2. Quit throwing your own teammates under the bus.

“We’re called to build each other up, not tear each other down. In fact, Jesus said that our love for each other proves to the world that we are really His true disciples (John 13:35, 1 Thessalonians 5:11).”

3. Quit gossiping.

This includes sharing “juicy prayer requests” with no intention of actually praying (Psalms 34:13, Psalms 101:5, Ephesians 4:29).

4. Quit replacing prayer with “good vibes” and “positive thoughts.”

No. Just no. Prayer moves the hand of God and the hand of God moves the world. “Prayer is much more effective than making someone feel warm and fuzzy inside. By the way, I’m not saying positive thoughts and good vibes are wrong (and they do make you feel good), I’m just saying prayer trumps them both (2 Corinthians 1:11, Philippians 1:19, Ephesians 6:18, James 5:16).”

5. Quit saying repentance isn’t necessary. It is. Jesus said so.

“And just so you know, there are 53 references to repentance in the New Testament. Now go repent (Matthew 5:17, Acts 3:19, Romans 2:5, 2 Peter 3:9, 1 John 1:9).”

6. Quit saying that the “portions of the Bible that make you feel uncomfortable” are irrelevant and nothing more than dated writings.

“All 66 books, 1,189 chapters, and 31,102 verse are the inspired Word of God. So the next time you think about throwing out the Old Testament, just remember that Jesus quoted it numerous times in all four gospels (John 1:1-4, John 1:14, 2 Timothy 3:16).”

7. Quit expecting unbelievers/non-Christians to understand the Bible and/or to live like Christ.

“It’s hard enough for Christians to live like Christ and it’s impossible to do so without Him (until the blinders are removed) (2 Corinthians 4:4, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Galatians 5:24-25).”

8. Quit acting like the Great Commission (Go into all the world to preach the gospel) is the Great Suggestion.

“It’s a command. Go already (Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:15).”

9. Quit thinking that it’s OK to be silent about your faith.

“Yes, it’s just as important to represent Jesus by how we live, but someone can’t respond to the Good News without hearing it … and they can’t hear it if no one opens their mouth (Matthew 10:27, Romans 10:14-15).”

10. Quit being more passionate about your political affiliation than your relationship with Jesus.

“If 99 percent of what you post on social media consists of bashing government officials and presidential candidates—you’re doing more damage than good (Romans 13:1-7, 2 Chronicles 7:14).”

11. Quit using the Bible to beat the “hell” out of people.

“That doesn’t work. Ever. I don’t care if you’re right—if you’re a jerk, nobody is listening. Love wins! (No, I don’t mean the book by Rob Bell.) (1 Corinthians 13).”

12. Quit your legalistic rants, knee-jerk reactions, and judgmentalism.

“You’re turning people off. You’re making good news bad news. Jesus befriended sinners. Try it and great things will happen (Mark 2:17, Luke 5:27-32, 1 Timothy 1:15-16).”

13. Quit calling yourself a Christian if you believe there are multiple paths that lead to salvation.

“Jesus said that He’s the only way to heaven. If you don’t believe Him, you’re not a Christ-follower (John 14:6, 1 John 2:4).”

14. Quit living like everybody’s going to heaven and nobody’s going to hell.

“Jesus died so the whole world could be saved, but He said the path to heaven is narrow and few find it. And for the record, He preached more about hell than heaven … but He did it without using a bullhorn and manipulative scare tactics. (Matthew 7:13-14).”

15. Quit acting like you’re better than those who don’t know Jesus.

You’re not (Luke 18:19, Acts 10:34, Romans 2:11-13).

16. Quit criticizing loving believers who take a biblical stand for godly morals.

“Jesus didn’t call us to be politically correct. Develop some backbone. And yes, I said wimp. And yes, I will repent for calling you a wimp (Acts 4-6).”

17. Quit pointing out the speck in your neighbor’s eye while ignoring the plank in your own eye.

“By the way, I can hardly see my computer as I type this because of the log in my own eye (Matthew 7:3-5).”

18. Quit being a jerk, period.

“Whatever your position is (on anything), if you can’t communicate it in love, you’re a clanging cymbal and your message is worthless. So yeah, I probably shouldn’t have called you a wimp in No. 16 (1 Corinthians 13).”

19. Quit defending sin. Quit hating sinners.

“These are equally important. Oh yeah, and lose your critical lens (Psalm 97:10, Matthew 22:37-39).”

20. Quit using the phrase “he who’s without sin cast the first stone” out of context.

“The next thing Jesus said was, “Go and sin no more” (John 8:1-11).”

21. Quit using grace as a license to live however you want.

“Jesus is grace, so don’t trample Him under your feet (Romans 6:1-2, 1 John 2:4, Hebrews 10:26-31).”

22. Quit using the phrase (when inviting people to church) “come as you are” if you’re going to complain when they start showing up (Mark 2:17, Luke 5:27-32).


Thank you for visiting and reading our post. God bless you!

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Why God Closes Doors By Sarah Martin

DOOR CLOSED

I sat with my computer on my lap and Google at my fingertips. Surly this search would come up fruitful and all of my heart troubles would be alleviated by one confirmation from the ever knowledgeable, all knowing search engine. I typed in this phrase into the little box with the eyeglass…

When God shuts a door, He opens a window.

After years of seeing this phrase on those cutesy little posters with kittens perched on windows, I was for sure this tidbit of wisdom was straight up truth from the Bible. Right? Weren’t there songs in the 90’s on our mixed tapes that assured us that when we sat in front of a closed door, God would absolutely open a window of bigger and better opportunities?

My friend Google kindly dropped the news to me… “When God closes a door, He opens a window” is not, in fact, in the Bible. I’m not sure what concerned me more: that this well-known Christian cliché was not in the Word or the fact that I had no good reason for my season of camping out in front of that proverbial closed door.

Three months prior, I sat dreaming and planning and creating my agenda. As I made moves to set these dreams and plans into motion, I abruptly received “no’s” or “not right now” or “no way!” The echo of those doors slamming in my face rings in my ears to this day. After a couple of months and a hurt heart, I couldn’t help but recognize the Lord was doing something here. I wasn’t sure what He was up to but I knew this was pivotal moment in my life and in my understanding of who He is. You see, I’m am really good at kicking doors open and making things happen. At the beginning of my closed door season I stood ready with my super cute cowboy boots ready to kick the doors open and make my dreams and plans come true. But when my “feet” grew tired of kicking to no avail, I surrendered.

Lord, I get it. You have me in front of a “no.” I will sit here and wait. I will not pop my head up to peek around for that open window in which I was for sure you would open right now. Have your way. I surrender.

That one prayer changed it all. God showed me that what He would do IN me during this season of waiting is of more value than what He would or would not do WITH me. I found freedom in that moment to lay my dreams and plans and agenda in front of the closed door and began to seek after God. I mean, really seek after Him through His word and through intentional prayer and worship.

Have you found yourself with the echo of closed doors –– “no’s” and “not yet’s” and “no way!”? Can I take a moment to encourage you straight from experience? Embrace it! Take some time to prayerfully ask God…

What do I need to learn about YOU during this season of waiting?

What do I need to learn about myself in front of these closed doors?

What do You need to root out in my heart and in my spirit to prepare me if and when You say “Go!”?

I timidly asked these questions, too. When we are licking our wounds from closed doors it certainly isn’t fun to go deep with the Lord and seek out the greater purpose. Our Father knows our hopes and dreams. He also has a greater Kingdom purpose and plan and in His sovereign ways, the Lord melds the two together all the while holding our tender heart. Our job is to sit, wait, and obediently trust His ways. This is the Scripture that convinced me this inward work is just as exciting and valuable as my hopes and dreams––what God would hopefully do WITH me.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”(John 15: 5-11)

As I abided, sat ever close to Jesus, He did His work in me.

Sometimes the pain was unbearable. Oh but His gentle hand. All in love…

He rooted out pride.

He rooted out my obsession with control.

He rooted out pride some more.

Simply abide. Take some time to soak in His truth. Sit with Jesus in prayer and allow God to use your season of waiting to take you to a new level of faith, trust, love, mercy, joy…whatever it is that He is doing IN you. It will be so worth it. Trust me. I’ve been through it and made it to the other side. I’m better for it and so will you be, my friend!

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The 8 Most Dangerous Christian Prayers

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The 8 Most Dangerous Christian Prayers

There are certain prayers as Christians that we should be careful of praying. Not saying we shouldn’t pray these prayers for we should. What we are saying is be aware of what you’re praying for and be ready for the outcome…

1. Teach me humility.

After you pray this Christian prayer for humility, be ready for people to badmouth you, slander you, and drag your name through the mud. If you pray for humility, be ready for false accusations, for that “skeleton in the closet” to be revealed, or for people to belittle you and talk down to you as if you were inferior.

The only way to learn humility is to be placed in humbling situations, so if you pray for humility, be ready!

2. Teach me patience.

If you pray for patience, get ready to be surrounded by the most annoying people you have ever met. Get ready for your car to break down when you are late for an appointment. Get ready your children to go bonkers. Get ready for prayers to not get answered. Get ready for setbacks, roadblocks, and pitfalls.

Just like with all the other Christian prayers on this list, God teaches us patience by taking us through trying times.

3. Lead me wherever you want me to go.

One way this Christian prayer is often prayed is with the words, “Here I am, Lord, send me.”

Usually when we pray this Christian prayer, we think that God is going to send us into high profile ministry positions, places of honor and glory, and opportunities to be heard. This is why ministry leaders almost never “feel the leading of God” to go to smaller ministries and places of lesser significance. God always seems to “call” pastors and ministry professionals to bigger churches, richer ministries, and positions with greater power.

While I do not deny that God sometimes leads people in these directions, I think that more often than not, God wants to lead us downward, but we refuse to go. Of course, this does not mean that we will stay in the gutter if God leads us there. God may very well lift us up out of the gutter to a place of prominence, but when He does so, He gets the glory instead of us.

That’s why this is such a dangerous Christian prayer. We want to be used by God for great things in His kingdom, but God’s path to greatness usually does not mirror what we had in mind. God’s path to greatness usually leads to prison, death, and the gates of hell.

Also (and this fits with #1 above), when we pray this prayer, we will often be faced with a choice between two ministry positions, one that leads to honor, glory, and fame, and one that leads to obscurity and insignificance. Though the temptation is to choose glory and honor, such decisions may actually be a choice to follow Jesus downward into humility.

I once heard Francis Schaeffer say in an interview that if given the choice between two ministry positions, we should choose the one with less fame and glory.

4. Help me understand the plight of the poor.

This Christian prayer is like asking God to make you poor. Yikes! How can you understand the plight of the poor unless you become poor yourself?!

So do you like your nice house, your two cars, your steak dinners, and your Caribbean vacations? Don’t ask God to help you understand the plight of the poor.

5. Make me more like Jesus.

In one way or another, this has been a constant life prayer of mine. A couple years back, I realized that this prayer ruined my life.

I had my life all figure out, and it was all going according to my perfect plan. Then I started praying this prayer. Before long, all my hopes and dreams lay shattered around my feet. I often tried to pick up the pieces and glue everything back together, but God would come through with His baseball bat and smash it all to hell (almost literally… all of my plans and dreams deserved nothing more).

When you pray to be like Jesus, God will begin to break down, burn away, and slough off anything and everything in your life that does not look like Jesus. This sounds nice until you begin to experience it. The purification of our life may be with God’s refining fire, but it sill burns!

6. Give me more faith.

Christians like our beliefs in nice, neat packages. But life is not like that, and neither is life with God.

When Christians pray for God to give us more faith, we are likely to enter into some of the difficult and doubt-filled times of our lives. You will begin to question everything you have never known and everything you have ever believed. You may even begin to doubt God’s goodness and maybe even His existence.

This is not bad. Embrace the doubts. Understand that if what you believe it true, it can stand up against all questions. Truth does not fear a challenge. There is no other way for your faith to grow than for your faith to be tested.

7. Give me victory over sin and temptation.

Christian prayerHow do you think victory comes, except through ever-increasing cycles of temptation? Sure, God does not send the temptations, and He never allows us to be tempted with more than we can bear, but if we pray for God to give us victory over sin and temptation, this is the same thing as asking God to strengthen us so that we can stand up under greater and greater temptations!

So if you pray this Christian prayer, be ready for an onslaught of all the wiles of the devil.

8. Please help my annoying neighbor/coworker come to Christ.

This is a great Christian prayer. Except guess how God is going to help your annoying neighbor or coworker come to Christ? That’s right. He’s going to use you.

I once heard a story of a Bible study group who decided to make a prayer list of all the people they “disliked” the most, and then pray for these people every week as part of the Bible study. Over the course of the next ten years, all but one of the people on that list became believers, and almost all of them became Christians because the members of that Bible study showed grace, love, mercy, and forgiveness to these “annoying” people.

Have you prayed any of these prayers???

Article by Jeremy Myers
Image by Project Inspired

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Is It Ever Right to Be Angry With God?

 

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I learned recently that when a person uses the words, “Is it right to be angry at God?” he may be asking a very different question. He may be asking, “Is it right to express anger at God?” These are not the same question, and the answer is not always the same.

The question usually arises in times of great suffering and loss. Disease threatens to undo all your dreams. Death takes a precious child from your family. Utterly unexpected desertion and divorce shake the foundations of your world. At these times people can become very angry, even at God.

Is this right? To answer this question we might, perhaps, ask the angry person, Is it always right to get angry at God? In other words, can a person get angry at God for every reason, and still be right? Was it right, for example, for Jonah to be angry at God’s mercy on Nineveh? “God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it. But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry” (Jonah 3:10-4:1). I assume the answer would be, No. We should not get angry at God for just any reason.

But then we would ask: Which deeds of God is it right to get angry with, and which is it not? Now this is harder to answer. The truth begins to close in on the angry heart.

What about the things that displease us? Are these the acts of God that are good to be angry at? Is it the acts of God that hurt us? “I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand” (Deuteronomy 32:39). Are these the acts that justify us in directing our anger at God? Or is it his choice to permit the devil to harass and torture us? “The LORD said to Satan, ‘Behold, [Job] is in your hand; only spare his life.’ So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and struck Job with loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head” (Job 2:6-7). Does the decision of God to permit Satan to hurt us and our children justify our anger at him?

Or come at it from the other side. What is anger? The common definition is: “An intense emotional state induced by displeasure” (Merriam-Webster). But there is an ambiguity in this definition. You can be “displeased” by a thing or by a person. Anger at a thing does not contain indignation at a choice or an act. We simply don’t like the effect of the thing: the broken clutch, or the grain of sand that just blew in our eye, or rain on our picnic. But when we get angry at a person, we are displeased with a choice they made and an act they performed. Anger at a person always implies strong disapproval. If you are angry at me, you think I have done something I should not have done.

This is why being angry at God is never right. It is wrong – always wrong – to disapprove of God for what he does and permits. “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” (Genesis 18:25). It is arrogant for finite, sinful creatures to disapprove of God for what he does and permits. We may weep over the pain. We may be angry at sin and Satan. But God does only what is right. “Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments” (Revelation 16:7).

But many who say it is right to be angry with God really mean it is right to express anger at God. When they hear me say it is wrong to be angry with God, they think I mean “stuff your feelings and be a hypocrite.” That’s not what I mean. I mean it is always wrong to disapprove of God in any of his judgments.

But if we do experience the sinful emotion of anger at God, what then? Shall we add the sin of hypocrisy to the sin of anger? No. If we feel it, we should confess it to God. He knows it anyway. He sees our hearts. If anger at God is in our heart, we may as well tell him so, and then tell him we are sorry, and ask him to help us put it away by faith in his goodness and wisdom.

When Jesus died on the cross for our sins, he removed forever the wrath of God from our lives. God’s disposition to us now is entirely mercy, even when severe and disciplinary (Romans 8:1). Therefore, doubly shall those in Christ turn away from the terrible specter of anger at God. We may cry, in agony, “My God, My God, where are you?” But we will follow soon with, “Into your hands I commit my spirit.”

Humbled under the mighty and merciful Hand,

Pastor John

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How Should a Christian Respond to Evidence of Paranormal Activity?

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The word paranormal can be defined as “the occurrence, or perception of, an event without scientific explanation, or other purportedly supernatural phenomena.” Paranormal activity is an encompassing term that includes not only ghosts and hauntings and demonic activity, but also other unexplainable phenomena such as unidentified flying objects (UFOs) and extrasensory perception (ESP), to name just a few. With the proliferation of movies and television shows that in one way or another sensationalize paranormal activity, it is clear that many are indeed fascinated with this realm. In fact, a 2007 low-budget movie titled Paranormal Activity went on to become one of the most profitable movies of all time. How, then, should Christians respond when we read about supposed hauntings and other paranormal occurrences?

A common misconception is that disembodied spirits can remain on earth or perhaps come back to “haunt” or otherwise interact with us. However, nothing in the Bible supports this belief. Rather, “man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). But the Bible does make it clear that there are spirit beings—angels and demons—that operate in the heavenly realm. The angels serve God. They are ministering spirits who are sent by God “to serve those who will inherit salvation” (Hebrews 1:14). Demons, on the other hand, are fallen angels under the control of Satan, and they roam the earth looking to destroy God’s children (1 Peter 5:8). They are cunning and wise and keenly aware of our weaknesses and our propensity to desire that which will satisfy our fleshly desires. Worst of all, they can masquerade as “angels of light” or as “servants of righteousness” (2 Corinthians 11:14–15). Regarding the immensity of Satan’s earthly “operation,” the apostle John reminds us that the “whole world” is under his control (1 John 5:19).

Now, some of the paranormal activity we read about today could very well be hoaxes perpetuated on a public that is all too eager to believe. In some cases, well-meaning people could be innocently mistaken as to what they think they might have seen or experienced. There is probably a logical explanation for much of what gets passed off as “paranormal activity.” However, if there is genuine evil spiritual activity occurring, it would have to be the work of demons. Either way, however, when Christians read or hear of such activity we should not be intrigued by it or drawn to it; rather, we should use it as a solid reminder of the spiritual battle that is the Christian life and the one against whom we struggle. “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood,” but, it is against the “powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12, emphasis added).

Many people are no doubt intrigued by tales of ghosts and hauntings. Yet, if getting angry can give the devil a “foothold” into our lives (Ephesians 4:27), how much more so would a fascination with the “dark forces” of this world that he controls? Jesus Christ came to earth to destroy the devil’s work (1 John 3:8), and it took His death to accomplish it. Our response to paranormal activity, at least as it pertains to any sort of demonic activity, is to be reminded of the evil that ultimately led to our Savior’s great sacrifice. Beyond that, Christians should avoid any and all contact with the paranormal.

Article by S. Michael Houdman [© Copyright 2002-2015 Got Questions Ministries – All Rights Reserved]

Image by markgregorykarris

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The Sin of Santa Claus

NOT REAL

They ought to call him The Sinister Santa.  It is my sincere hope that many children will find this article and be shocked with the reality that THERE IS NO SANTA CLAUS!  Parents who teach their children to tell the truth all year long, hypocritically turn around and lie to their children at Christmas about Santa.  Santa Claus was designed to replace Jesus Christ.  No parent should deceive their child about the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the SOLE meaning of Christmas. 

The name “Santa” rearranged spells SATAN.”  Whether coincidence or not, Santa has allowed Satan to lead children astray from the doctrine of Christ, i.e., the Word of God (2nd John 1:9).

Santa = Satan

America’s public school children are growing up confused, with no moral compass, devoid of the knowledge of God.  Even worse, they’re being brainwashed that there is NO God, and that the universe evolved over billions of years from stardust.  From the lie of Santa Claus to the lie of Evolution, America’s children are being woefully deceived.  All we hear about at Christmas time is songs praising Santa Claus, Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, Oh Christmas Tree, Jack Frost, Old Man Winter, Little Saint Nick, and so forth.  Sadly, the name of Jesus is seldom if ever mentioned throughout the Christmas holiday.  It is no coincidence that “Santa” rearranged spells SATAN!  The average person is woefully ignorant of these obvious attempts to remove Jesus Christ from society.

And then to add insult to injury, many ingrates refer to the precious Savior with an “X.”  I don’t care what you say, the Word of God gives the Savior a name, and that precious name is JESUS!  Anyone that says Jesus can appropriately be symbolized by an “X” is an idiot and a blasphemer.

It is no coincidence that Santa Claus is given the same powers as God.  This is an attempt to mislead children at a young age.  Santa is given omnipresence and omniscience, knowing whether each child has been bad or good.  Santa is given omnipotence, being able to visit every child’s home in the entire world in a single night.  This is something that only God alone could do.  Santa is given the power to understand and speak any language, which again, is something that only God could do.  Also, Santa is portrayed as being righteous, i.e., the “good guy,” who is always happy, and is the higher moral authority.  Clearly, whoever designed Santa Claus wanted to make children believe that he was a god.

In addition, the entire concept of being rewarded by Santa Claus (an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-present being) for being good is a dangerous teaching.  Children are being taught works salvation at an early age.  No wonder the average adult today thinks that they might go to Heaven if they’re good enough.  Hmmm?  I wonder where that teaching got started?  It’s the same naive parents who see no harm in teaching their children about Santa Claus, who also have no problem with their children idolizing Harry Potter’s witchcraft.  What is wrong with parents?  The problem is that the average parent doesn’t love the Lord Jesus Christ, and thus doesn’t care about the Word of God.  Santa is an imposter, cleverly designed to replace the Lord Jesus Christ in the mind of the world’s children.

The very same unbelievers who have no problem with children being taught about some mythical fat slob named Santa; go ballistic at the very mention of the precious name of Jesus.  What a bunch of hypocrites!  You can have a Jewish Christmas display, a Muslim Christmas display, or any other heathen religious display, and people don’t mind; but those same hypocrites go insane when you set up a manger featuring the baby Jesus.
The Evils of Brainwashing a Child with Santa Claus

Santa Claus is a cleverly conceived fraud, intended to rob children of their faith in Jesus Christ.  Santa Claus is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, an enemy of the cross of Jesus Christ… Philippians 3:18, “For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ.”  Please don’t allow the malicious MYTH of Santa to brainwash your child.  Satan has a bid for your child mom and dad, and he’ll use Harry Potter, Santa Claus, Lyra from The Golden Compass or any other Satanic deception to lure your child away from God’s Word.

We are living in apostate days where, as the church becomes more worldly, so is the world becoming more churchy.  So many religious people today talk about God and truth; but the Word of God has been completely abandoned.  Anytime you hear someone like Oprah Winfrey talking about spiritual matters, but they never mention the Word of God, you know that the Devil is involved.  Santa Claus never mentions God or the Bible.  The whole notion of Santa is void of God; thus, it is heathendom.

Children must be taught the Word of God.  Proverb 22:6 instructs, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”  A parent who deceives their child about Santa is sinning horribly against that child.  A child loves toys and gifts.  In fact, this is what children think about most of the time.  So when you mislead a child to believe that all good things comes from Santa Claus, you are effectively causing that child to think about Santa all year round.  In sharp contrast, James 1:17 states… “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”  Biblically, all “good gifts” come from God.  Yet, heathen parents mislead their children to think that good gifts come from Santa Claus.  Thus, the teaching of Santa Claus is a direct ATTACK against the Scriptures and Christianity.
Lift Up the Name of Jesus!

Romans 10:17 states… “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”  It is the Word of God that increases a child’s faith; not the nonsense of Santa Claus.  It is a sin for any parent (Christians included) to mislead their child to believe that good things come from Santa.  The Bible plainly states in James 1:17 that ALL “good gifts” come only from God.  Please teach your children that Santa is a Satanic deception and that Jesus Christ is the One to Whom we should be singing Christmas praises.

Article by David J. Stewart

Image by Shutterstock

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“I’ve Been Seeking God, but Can’t Seem to Find Him”

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I occasionally hear from people who say that “seek and ye shall find” didn’t work for them. They explain that they prayed, read the Bible, researched, asked Jesus to help them, opened their hearts and minds, etc. but didn’t end up any closer to belief.

I sincerely, truly tried. I prayed. I asked others to pray for me. I sought humility. I went on not only a cynicism fast, but a complete media fasts more than once (no internet, no radio, no tv, no reading, no writing). I cried myself to sleep on more than one occasion, begging God to help me. I spoke to priests. I blogged. I attended Mass several days a week. I signed up for RCIA. I went to adoration. I read books. I went on retreat at a monastery…

I’m at the point now where I don’t even believe that God, if God exists, has any interaction with humans at all, and to me the question of God has become irrelevant, let alone Christianity. I assure you, it is not a place I wanted to end up, but I am coming to terms with it.

Reaching out to Jesus feels like hearing that some guy likes you and wants to get to know you, but never calls. You sit by the phone, wondering what you did wrong.

After reading this; I thought this would be a good subject to bring up and share the thoughts of others on this post…

Nic (Not Perfect) says…

Stop trying so hard. I know it’s cliched but it’s so true. Stop looking and start living your life with a mere openness to God. Give love and kindness freely and abundantly. Pray prayers of thanksgiving: be thankful for the flower in the crack of the sidewalk, be thankful for the rains that nourish the earth. God IS there, but we can’t command him to show up in exactly the ways we expect, and maybe, sometimes we’re so focused on the rules, regulations and steps we aren’t open to the experience

Marie says…

“We love Him because He first loved us.”

Do you love Him? If you do, it is because He loves you.

Don’t chase a certain presupposed feeling you are supposed to have, imagining some unknown ecstatic experience. God is sovereign.

Rest in His sovereignty

Susab says…

 

If you know in your heart that you are a sinner and that only Christ can forgive you and if you have asked Him to forgive you, and to take control of your life, then you are a Christian. You will, however, be unique Christian with your own journey. My advice would be to focus on just loving God and getting to know Him, much like you would a new friend. Try to view going to mass and adoration as an opportunity to get to know this new someone, not as an experiment to see if they exist

Notjustlaura says…

What made everything come together for me was being willing to believe. My sticking point was the Real Presence in the Eucharist. I just couldn’t get my head round it, let alone believe it. Eventually I told God that I was willing to believe it if it was true but that He’d have to do something because I couldn’t create a belief myself – believe me, I’d tried!

Then I went on to behave ‘as if’ I believed. And an indefinable something inside of me changed and, gradually, I came to believe.

Anonymous says…

Keep seeking. The One you are searching for is worth it. It’s completely normal to be weary and discouraged sometimes – but keep trying. When He comes, you’ll forget all your difficulties and even be grateful for your long longing.

 

Carl says… 

God is there but neither I nor anyone can really explain why He has chosen not to make Himself present to you at this time. No matter what may have happened in your efforts to find faith so far, He does know you, love you and wants you to continue seeking Him. If you continue to simply seek the truth, you will find Him. That is His promise.

Anonymous says…

Been there, done that. I remember a very low period in my life when everything was wrong, I prayed, and listened, prayed and listened. Nothing. Then my parish practically abandoned me in my time of need. (I am a cradle catholic) Then the priest pedophile scandle broke. I tried another church (and denomination) and I felt like every Sunday I was sitting thru a speech debate or a concert. Did not hear anything from God. I quit going to church all together for about 5 years. Then out of the blue I felt a tugging or a inner voice tell me to look again. This was a long process that I won’t go thru all the details but now I have come to believe that maybe that voice was there all the time but I was too worked up in my own problems to hear it.

 

George @ Convert Journal says…

Praying to God is communicating with Him. I believe He hears us each and every time without fail.

We are not always so good at hearing His reply! Sometimes we “hear” God’s reply when we pray for someone sick and they are healed. Sometimes we “hear” God’s reply when a thought pops into our head (recognizing these “thoughts” as God speaking to us can take some practice of discernment).

Sometimes we can detect no direct reply but that does not mean God did not hear us. His reply is in His time or perhaps His plan is beyond what we can understand.

We must trust, not test, Him. Like any skill, hearing God through prayer is something that improves with practice.

 

Julia says…

I agree with Nic that sometimes there is such a thing as being too absorbed in trying to feel God. God is a relationship, God is about giving yourself to others. So I would suggest volunteering, taking the extra step to help others, being more attentive to others.

When I do this, I often realize two things. One is the mysterious workings of God (which I won’t be able to explain coherently here). The other is how I fall short. When I try to imitate Jesus, I become painfully aware of how hard it is. Then his love and mercy become a little more real. Real not only because I am a sinner but because the more we try to reach for perfection, the more sensitive we are to it, and the more easily we will recognize Christ.

Kathleen@so much to say, so little time says…

I would say two things:

1. I find that sometimes when I’m desperately seeking Presence, I need to shut up and Be Still. I get in my own way.

2. I think in our society we get caught up in emotion, and without that “feeling” of faith, we think we have none. But emotion is fleeting. I remember going to confession once as a child saying, “I don’t FEEL anything.” The priest said something very wise. He said that if I see someone who needs a coat, and FEEL bad for them, that doesn’t make them warm. A better act of faith, he said, would be to give them a coat, whether I FELT anything about it or not.

 

Tim Terhune says…

I would first ask:

“what is it you are looking for?”

this may help you understand what it is they expect and what their notion of God is. It may be that they are looking for a “god” of that doesn’t exist (that is, a “god” of their own making)

BettyDuffy says…

Sometimes believers receive consolation, or a “feeling” of God’s presence–but they are not mandatory for Christian practice. And practicing Christianity does not absolve us from doubt. Doubts persist to the grave. The bottom line is that Christianity is something that one “does.” Faith, or certainty in God and Christ, is a gift that often begins when a person commits to going through the motions. Ask for it: “I want to believe, help my unbelief.”

Anonymous says…

I’m sorry if I got the wrong impression, but from the comments it sounded that the individuals were looking for the big “bang”! They seem to be looking for that mystical experience which would tell you without a doubt that there is a God. While such things do happen, it is something which should not be wished for. “To those who much is given, much will be expected…” Do they really want to join Christ in the suffering of his passion? Expect to suffer if you encounter God mystically.

Instead, it is in the little things that they should look for God. Ask for God’s guidance everyday and then you’ll see him, in a friend, a stranger, a stone, a beautiful blue sky

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