Wednesday, October 20, 2010

5 1/2 Religious Stupidity vs. Demonic Influence

I guess Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle made another uproar. He said that Yoga was demonic. The opinion bloggers got on board - well isn't that what bloggers do, have opinions?

Why does this matter? Well, for one thing, church is already a tough place. We have denominations (doctrinal opinions), we have Christians that hate Christians, Christians that mistake patriotism for Bible and we have those that like to stay in the middle, and then there is the black and white crowd. How could anyone sort through all these opinions, and actually be right?

Here is my take on the whole mess.

-1 Lack of Study: Barna Research said that a large number of Christians said that they relied on their own opinions and feelings as a moral guide over the commands of the Bible. And that is one of the big problems - people think they know what's best for themselves. Honestly, if that were the case, we wouldn't have the Darwin Awards, or the movie series Jack Ass. I'm just sayin'

MORE on the Bible - test your knowledge.

-2 Holy Spirit: Unless one is Born Again, they don't have the Holy Spirit. If the Holy Spirit is not a seal on your heart, he can't really teach you the things that you need to know to follow Jesus and be like God - it is not happening. If we can't hear God, how could ever figure out what He wants us to do? (WHO gets to go to Heaven?)

I find it interesting that a lot of Christians; many in fact, claim to be Born Again, and may in fact be Born Again, but they reject the doctrine of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit as it is known in theological circles. HERE is a pretty good teaching. If you are looking for more of God; to go deeper with God or are hungry, this is a great place to start.

-3 Understanding the Demonic: If we do not have a biblical view of the demonic, how the hell would we know if it's the Devil or not? That said, the Devil is no one to seek out. What Christians need to do is understand that when he shows up, they should be trained in dealing with him.

First there is some stuff that Christians should stay away from! HERE is a list.

Second, there is a real demonic realm - but I suppose if you think that you can't really know where God is and what he is doing, it is unlikely that you'll buy into an active demonic realm. In case you want to know more, here is a series a I wrote a while back.

Part I Curses, Oppression and Possession
Part II My Turn to Play
Part III On My Own
Part IV The Joy of Ministry

-4 Destiny: I can't tell you how many Christians I have talked to that do NOT know what God wants them to do!  How can you have destiny if you don't know where you are going? How can you have vision if you don't know how to get there?

Finding your destiny is part of the journey, but God will make it clear if you listen. If you are sitting there saying, "well, if God wants me to do something, then He needs to tell me." It's time to pray for the knowledge of your destiny.

HERE is the beginning of this latest trek with the Lord. Watch the video, you'll find it inspiring no matter where you are in life.

-5 Paying the Cost: What is doing God's will worth to you? Are you willing to put it all on the altar? Your job, your kids, your pastimes, your political opinions, and your sureness about what Jesus would really do? Knowing God intimately will cost your everything.

If we look at Peter, can we see ourselves?

He denied the Lord 3 times. (Matt 26:75) He asked to walk on the water trying out his new found faith. (Matt 14:28) He was a bit ticked when the Lord asked him to drop his net on the other side of the boat. (Luke 5:1-10) Satan clouded his mind. (Matt 16:23) He cut off the ear of a one of the priest's servants. (John 18:10) He loved Jesus. God entrusted him one of the most substantial revelations in the entire Bible. He preached a big sermon. (Acts 2)

And finally he wrote these words:
1 Peter 4:12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.  

HERE is a blog about the cost of following the Master.

Oh yeah, and Peter was crucified.

 5 1/2 Prayer...

What do you think? Do you believe there is a devil? How much power does he have?


photogr said...

If you think about it, there are demons/ devil ( evil) and a God (good). Both are equally trying to influence you. Both have super natural powers.

One promotes self serving, lust, evil desires, hate, spending eternity in the firey pits of hell, and rebelion.

The other promotes love, obediene to the word, forgiveness of sins, serving others in need, sacrifice of His Son for our sins, spiritual gifts, and eternal life in the kingdom of Heaven.

The choice is obvious who will reign in the end.

One can be baptised by water but if not baptised by the Holy Spirit one is not wholly saved or can have a close relationship with God. Sadly some denominations do not believe in baptism by the Holy Spirit but still profess to be Christians. Perhaps it is too charismatic a principle for some to accept.

It is not that we can't hear God, it is that we aren't or refusing to listen for Him.

Charlie Chang said...

Was Jesus baptized in the Holy Spirit?

David said...

@Charlie - well, I would say yes. Certainly there is the baptism in the Jordan in which the Holy Spirit descended on him. Then there are those that say the Holy Spirit didn't come until Pentecost - which is also true.

Then there are those that say we are baptized in the Spirit when we are saved. Actually we are sealed by the Spirit...

The experience is illustrated here:

Acts 19

Paul in Ephesus

1While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2and asked them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?"
They answered, "No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit."
3 So Paul asked, "Then what baptism did you receive?"
"John's baptism," they replied.

4 Paul said, "John's baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus." 5On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. 6When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.

The experience is not about tongues, but empowerment!

Good question!

Charlie Chang said...

David, how you explained baptism in the Holy Spirit make sense to me, yet it doesn't at the same time (not because of your explanation, just because of my lack of understanding).

I need to look more into this. Because honestly, I don't feel the Holy Spirit in me. I read Forgotten God by Francis Chan and he talks a lot about our misconception of the Holy Spirit.

David said...

@Charlie - thanks for the compliment. Now, I need to think about a way to convey the simple process of being filled with the Holy Spirit. It's a little bit like explaining how to get saved. There is the part you do, and the huge part that God does.

There are 4 books at the bottom of the page - I would suggest reading them all. It's really about the Holy Spirit and you. Being filled with the Holy Spirit in this way changed everything for me. I didn't just have the warm feeling, but I really began to witness things in a radically new way.

I will write a blog about it for you and try to distill it so that it is simple and makes sense too :)

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