Prayer Request for Holly’s Son Adam

Following are recent updates from Holly:

UPDATE 9-2-2015

We made lots of calls today. Adam is very close to the same status, unresponsive, and more out of it. I have asked him to look into other alternatives to the morphine since it seems that this may be the timing of his change in alertness. He was just starting to come awake, and now he doesn’t even open his eyes or move. We have called other hospitals, and legal help. We have contacted the insurance and human resources for Red Robin and asked for patient advocacy. We wait upon the Lord now, we’ve done much more than that, but won’t bore you with all the details. We continue to look for what the Lord might do, and continue to call upon the One who made Adam’s body. Adam was fearfully and wonderfully made, marvelous are His works, and that my soul knows very well (Psalm 139).

Please continue to pray for my dear son, Chris and his wife Cristina and those taking care of him.

UPDATE 8-31-2015

Evidently my update from last night didn’t ‘take’. The meeting was not good, they offered us no hope. Basically what I said is that Dr. Hu may not know Who made the universe, and Who is judge of all the earth, and Who it is that we pray to. We understand it is serious, but while there is life there is hope, and my hope is in the Lord. I told them of the miracles with my dad, my mom, my husband given seven more years. They said my experiences were ‘valid’. I told them I trusted God no matter what the outcome, but I was not going to just accept that prognosis after such a short period of time. After all my questions, Hu looked past me to Adam’s father and asked him if he had questions, and his father said no. Hu left at that point, I imagine he felt he was doing us a favor with his grim prognosis. The chaplain and nurse stayed and he asked me about our beliefs, so I was able to tell them both that my son had believed upon the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior, and that because of that if he died, I knew where he would be, and that was of the utmost importance. How many other people in the hospital have that expectation to look forward to? Have they heard the good news? Have you? Please listen here.

My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved.
In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.
Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him:
God is a refuge for us. Selah. Psalm 62:5-8

UPDATE 8-30-2015 NIGHT

Meeting with the trauma team in the morning. Have a list of questions that I’ll be posing to them. Listened to the series on Severe Brain Trauma injuries with the Shepherd institute. Trying to do my part to be an informed advocate. Pulled off a lecture from Georgetown on Cognitive therapy, and did some range of motion exercises with Adam today. He has had no physical therapy or OT or cognitive therapy, so I’ll find out why tomorrow. Pray that the insurance will cover an acute care facility that specializes in severe brain trauma injury. My body is tired, but I have good support, and am blessed. His friend Amber is there, I read to the middle of John 10 and she’s continuing with the Bible reading and prayer and music and going to do some range of motion movement with his legs and arms too. Thank you all for your many prayers on our behalf. May the Lord bless you for it.

UPDATE 8-30-2015

When I came in, he was sitting up in a medical chair. He was dripping feeding fluid, evidently he had pulled out the line. I told his nurse and she re-attached it and went next door. His heart rate when I looked was over 145-150, so I went looking for her, finally found a nurse to tell. They changed him back to his bed, and his heart rate finally went under 100.

Respiratory just took him off his cpap ventilation, he has a vaporizer hooked up to his trach and breathing on his own right now. That is one good report from the Lord. We take each thing and thank Him. Please continue in prayers for Chris and Christine.

UPDATE 8-29-2015

AFTERNOON

The news is not what we would wish to hear regarding his brain injury. I know the Lord will help, no matter the outcome, and I also know He only has to say the word, so I continue to wait upon the Lord’s report. Please pray that I might only hear what is necessary to take care of him, but also to continue in hope. I stopped and spoke to Christine, gave her a hug, and talked to their business partner. I read some more from the book of John to Adam, and we’ll just keep going, and let the Word do the work, as the Lord wills. The positive news, is that he is breathing somewhat on his own, he is on assisted breathing with the ventilator but initiating more of his own breaths. He is getting oral meds and food already through his tube. I will continue to keep my eyes on the Lord and when my feet slip, I know who will uphold me. I posted this before, but it bears repeating from Eph 3, specifically regarding the breadth, and length, and depth, and height of the love of Christ which passes understanding (or knowledge), and He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us…(see vs. 14 on)

We wait in hope.

MORNING

Not much news yet. The feeding tube was placed later than they thought. His temperature is still up, they continue with the antibiotics, although they stopped one. This is a long road that only the Lord knows the ending to, and He is good in all things. The good news is, He walks with me and He talks with me, and He tells me I am His own… (In the Garden – the song Alan Harkrader sang at Gilbert’s funeral).

Please continue to pray for comfort and provision for Chris and Cristina in this time. One patient did wake up yesterday. That is hope for the whole floor. Pray for hurting hearts, and for people that are burdened to come to the One who gave Himself for them out of great love.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matt 11:28-30

UPDATE 8-28-2015 – NIGHT

They will take him in shortly (they say) for the feeding tube. His blood pressure and heart rate is stable for the moment. Temp is not going up. Once the tube is in 24 hours they will be able to manage these things better. He was moving his one arm more, which meant I stood a lot more to keep him from grabbing for things (wanted to leave his arm untied). I am tired, and ready to rest. Thank you all <3

UPDATE 8-28-2015 – AFTERNOON

How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee. Psalm 139:17-18

SPECIFIC PRAYER REQUEST: Right now he is ‘storming’ they think, which means his blood pressure and pulse along with temperature are not reacting well. Please pray for those three things. Feeding tube is delayed.

UPDATE 8-27-2015 – NIGHT

Adam is done with surgery for today, he is back in his room and resting for tomorrow’s PEG tube. This will at least be a respite for all the tubes in his mouth. Thank you all for your continued prayers for all concerned <3

UPDATE 8-27-2015 AFTERNOON
I was looking through Adam’s texts for the pictures he sent me when they went to visit my dad for Father’s day breakfast (boys only). We had been talking about good books to read in, he had been reading Psalms and John. I didn’t remember this past text conversation.

Last night I asked Amber if she would read to him from John, and she did, all the way through chapter 5. When I read this text, I had to smile, thinking on him thinking what he had told me in his text, “Amber, my grandpa made me memorize chapters 1-4, so you can just start with chapter 5”. <3

Then he said this: “I just want you know, I’ve always felt God. Even before it was taught to me who He was” (I taught him, from the time he was in the womb, and sang Jesus loves me to him, and told him stories, so he was taught even if he didn’t remember – so always teach them). He continued, “He will always rule my life and speak wisdom and joy into my ear. I can’t even tell you my first encounter with God because it’s as far back as 2 years old… He always guides me, sometimes I stray but he NEVER lets me go.” (As I mentioned, Jesus is faithful when we are not, and He never denies us).

The next text, I can’t put into words what it does to this mother’s heart. Please everyone, tell someone you love, how much they mean to you now. Adam said, “I love you mom. You are the best woman I’ve ever met.” (I told him I was taking a screen shot and laminating it on a card to hold up in front of him if he was being naughty to me). He told me, “You go ahead, I would expect no less lol!”
Let your children, your friends, your loved ones know that you love them. Tell them in sincerity and at unexpected times and often.

Adam goes in for his oral surgery at around 5, as always, being put under is a risk, so please pray for him and for the one’s who are working on him.

Love you all.

UPDATE 8-27-2015 NOON
Daily I see these religious or philosophical quotes on FB float by on my page. A few minutes ago, I saw this one, ‘he lived to make Christ known’. The question was would our biography read like that. And I don’t know if it’s just me, but I don’t hope for those things to be said about me. It actually made me feel a little sick. I do most certainly want others to know Him as their Savior, don’t misunderstand me please. But instantly what came to mind about what my biography might be, is what I had just shared with someone a moment ago. Mine might read something more like this.

He is faithful, when she was not. Jesus never denied her. (2 Tim 2:13)

It’s not about us, it’s all about Him. He has done it all. The apostle Paul said this about himself. “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.”

That’s me.

I’m not here to hold myself up as anything other than a mother who needs to cling to the Lord at all times, because I am weak. But He is strong and will help us through this.

12:45 pm – Spoke to his nurse, the tracheostomy went well, they just got him all cleaned up, and settled in. No visitors today. Better on these days of in and out. He will go in for another surgery around 4-5 pm today on his mouth. Pray for his blood pressure and pain which has been reactive to any pain and other stimuli. The peg tube will happen sometime tomorrow.
Right now (around 10:45 am), they are doing the tracheostomy, I will update underneath this during the day as I am able. They should do also the peg feeding tube and the mouth and oral surgery later if he does well.

UPDATE 8-26-2015

Adam was up and down with fever last night, over 103, they cultured him to see if they can find out the cause of the underlying infection. He is to go in to surgery tomorrow for the damage to his inner lip and tongue, please continue to pray for wisdom for the doctors. Please also remember always Chris and Cristina in your prayers.

Thank you all for upholding us in prayer. Having walked this journey more than once, I am of course sad, sometimes afraid, weak, but I’m at peace. I really do think on how when I cry, He stores my tears (Ps 56:8), or when I am afraid, I can trust Him (Ps 56:3), and my strength means nothing, His grace is sufficient for me. Any strength or peace is because of Him and His saints who are praying for us. Not because I am anything at all, Not because I am strong, I am weak. If anything, all I have learned that is the most important for anyone to remember, is when you take your eyes off of Jesus, turn them back as soon as you realize. And endure in that. Remain in His Word. When you get distracted, go back again. We don’t have enough strength to get through these times. But He is our strength. I can do this because I know how good the Lord is. How good He always has been. And how good He will be in the future. I am no Job, but the Word shows us even Job had his breaking points with his friends.

I will continue to ask Him for both these boys to be healed with the knowledge that He hears and He cares, and those of you who are His? The effectual, fervent prayers of a righteous man avails much (and we are righteous because of Christ).

And no matter the result, I also will trust that He knows the best for everyone considered. The Lord loves my son more than I do.

One of my friends said it was o.k. to ask why and I agree with that. But I don’t know why I have not, I just don’t ask “Why Lord”? I guess it’s because He has always shown me good things in all the bad. And the picture above with His Word on it has been true of His deliverance in my life more than once, and I am in the best place possible. I have the Lord with me.

I cannot imagine those in these situations, that do not have a friend to cry with when they are alone, someone to talk to. When I hold my son’s hand, the Lord upholds me with His righteous right hand.

Please pray for more to come to know Him, so they will never be alone again. So that they might live with Him eternally, for this life is but a vapor. The grass withers and the flower fades, but the Word of the Lord endures forever. Eternity is forever. Please be sure you have believed upon Him, and not upon your own goodness, or something you have done, but upon what He has done in your place.

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. Thank you all for your support.

I just spoke to the head of the trauma team, they will do the tracheostomy in the morning and peg (feeding tube) sometime tomorrow as well as the mouth surgery. Don’t need to overload with info, the Lord knows all, but please continue to pray for the right timing, and the right staff to care for them both (Chris and Adam).

His friend Amber read to him last night from the book of John. She read five chapters. My Bible is in there on the back window, so if anyone comes in, read from John a little. The are just under 1000 words in the book of John, I feel like that will be a good place to get him started with a basic foundation.

Love in Christ to you all.

UPDATE 8-25 AFTERNOON

I received an update from the MRI. He has lots of brain bleeds. The types they saw are not good, they are called ‘shear’ injuries where tissue shears other tissue. It’s very common and also very devastating, so it is hard for this mother to hear about her first baby. I have learned that man’s report is not always God’s report, so I wait upon the Lord. I thank you all for your prayers, your FB comments. I appreciate if people will think about their comments before they are written, as some I have seen are distressing. I know you mean well, but please save opinions on his prognosis, and be in prayer asking our Savior to heal him. I know, God’s will be done. God bless you all.

UPDATE 8-25 MORNING

They have been waiting to take him in for MRI, to see if they can remove the cervical collar, that would be nice. Temperature is still kind of high, but manageable so far, they think it’s just his brain’s inability to regulate itself right now. They took out his ventricular i.v. from brain yesterday and cleaned up his head and nose again, much abrasions there. He is still not breathing on his own, and the trach is still an option, but they haven’t made a decision yet on that. His spinal fluid did come back clear, so that is good news. Each day things change. Many of you have asked about Chris and Cristina, of course I can’t update there for obvious reasons more than to share, keep praying for their comfort, for their peace, and for Chris to heal and grow stronger. For her little ones too. When it is your husband (having been there myself), and you have little ones at home, it is very difficult. My youngest, Koby was just a baby when Gilbert was first in ICU at Mayo. And Jessup was a 3 year old, along with all the other little ones I had at home, 5 more ranging 5,7,8,9 & 10. Pray for supportive people to continue to surround our families, and anyone disruptive to be kept away, including all nursing or doctors. We’ve been fortunate a majority of the time.

We know there are tender new mercies each morning from the Lord, I actually made that Bible verse picture below thinking on Cristina, who looks quite a bit like that, with beautiful long hair, and sweet, kind face. It’s surreal how one would have to meet in these circumstances, but the Lord knows and cares, and stores all our tears (Psalm 56:8).

Love in Christ to all who are reading.

_______________________________________________________

I just received an e-mail from Holly that her son Adam was involved in a serious motorcycle accident last night.

Following is the full text of Holly’s e-mail:

I don’t know where it’d be appropriate to ask for prayer, but my son Adam was in a serious motorcycle accident last night, he has severe head injuries and is not responding to any commands. I don’t know what happened with the guy who was driving, I know they took him into surgery. They’re not acting as if they are holding much hope out, just appreciate whatever prayers.

Please join me in praying for Adam, Holly and her family, as well as the other person involved in the accident.

 

 

 

 

 

Note to Calvinists: YOU are Responsible

By johninnc

Matthew 7:13-14: Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way that leadeth to life, and few there be that find it. 

Today I read a comment, on another website, that was highly creative in trying to use scripture to prove the false Calvinist doctrine of predestination.

While the individual who posted this comment is certainly creative, he is “grasping at straws” to avoid the clear teachings of the Bible.

Those clear teachings include who is responsible, and who is not responsible, for a number of things.

First, man’s responsibility;

1. We are responsible for sin. God is not responsible for our sin.

2. We are responsible for accepting or rejecting God’s gracious gift of eternal life. God is not responsible for compelling us to make that decision. As Matthew 7:13-14 (and its companion passage in Luke) clearly teaches, most people will willfully reject the gift of eternal life.

3. We are responsible for believing God’s word when it conflicts with the teaching of men. God is not the author of confusion, so any “paradoxes,” “tensions,” “mysteries,” “enigmas,” or other contradictions of God’s clear teaching on how to receive eternal life are not of God.

Second, Christians’ responsibilities:

1. We are responsible for being faithful stewards of the gospel, even though it is not (and has never been) widely accepted. The rejection of the gospel is pervasive both within, and without, professing Christendom. And, I believe it has been that way from early in church history, to present.

2. We are responsible for participating in fulfilling The Great Commission – preaching the gospel to every creature We are not responsible  for who believes and who does not believe the gospel.

3. We are responsible for how we live our lives as Christians. We have the Holy Spirit indwelling us, but we must choose to walk in  the Spirit. We are not responsible for keeping ourselves saved, transforming ourselves, nor examining the way we conduct our lives for an indication of whether or not we possess eternal life. We are also not responsible for looking to others’ behaviors or lifestyles for indicators of whether or not we think those people possess eternal life. And, if we encourage others to look to anything other than God’s promises for assurance of eternal life, we are pointing them away from Christ.

Third, Calvinists’ responsibilities:

1. You are responsible for teaching that God does not desire that all men be saved, even though His word CLEARLY says that He does desire that all men be saved.

2. You are responsible for corrupting the gospel message. Some of you will say that you believe that Christ died for the sins of everyone, but you must torture logic to make that comport with your view that God only elects some to eternal life.

3. You are responsible for teaching that “faith” is the gift of God, while the Bible teaches that eternal life is the gift of God.

4. You are responsible, by logical implication, for teaching that God is responsible for sin. In your twisted defense of God’s sovereignty, you make God responsible for everything.

5. You are responsible for teaching works for salvation. Since God is sovereign, and He elects only those who will receive eternal life, your logical conclusion is that those whom  He has elected to eternal life will persevere (to some extent) in a lifetime of holiness and good works.

6. You are responsible for teaching that the “Christian testimony” is a litany of the “I used to do…, but now I don’t do…, and instead I do …”

7. You are responsible for teaching that “saving faith” includes “repentance from sin,” even though there is nothing in the Bible that teaches this. You also teach that God gives people repentance unto eternal life, even though God COMMANDS people to repent.

I would urge everyone reading this today to think about a few things.

If you have believed in Jesus Christ alone as your Savior, and are clear on all of the above, please share the clear gospel with as many people as you can, in the best way that you know how.

If you are clear on the gospel, but are cooperating with a church or ministry that persists in teaching Calvinism and its ugly progeny Lordship “salvation,” separate from them.

If you have believed in Christ alone as Savior, but are still confused or troubled by certain scriptural passages, pray for wisdom and guidance.

And, if you would like to know the truth about how to have eternal life, click below:

https://expreacherman.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/the-gospel.pdf

Lordship Salvation: Is THEIR Report OUR Report?

By johninnc (illustration by Holly Garcia)

image001-1

Romans 10:16: But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?

We were recently meeting with some Christian friends, who mentioned that a prominent writer would be appearing at a local megachurch to make the case for Christianity. This writer’s book makes the case for Christianity by describing how much faith it would require to be an atheist.

That is a great topic for a book, and for attendant lectures. But, let’s look at a little bit of background on the teachings of the church (Forest Hills Church, Charlotte) hosting this event.

From their pastor’s blog:

(he is explaining things from Jesus’ perspective)

Through my obedience, my Father has given me the final authority to execute judgment over all humanity. One day, everyone will hear my voice and appear before me in final judgment. Don’t marvel at this saying. It is true. This judgment will solely depend on those who have believed in me. John’s gospel repeatedly states this truth (3:16;5:24,25; 14:6). However, good and bad deeds will prove an individual’s faith. If good deeds aren’t there, it proves faith isn’t present. These people face eternal judgment. If good deeds are there, it proves faith is present and they are granted eternal resurrection life.

Do you believe in me today? Do you believe I came from heaven, lived in human flesh as a man, lived the perfect life you’re incapable of living, died for your sins and rose from the dead to prove your righteousness and grant you eternal life? It’s a free gift, given by grace through faith. Accept this gift. Believe in me. Trust me for your eternal life.

This is a terrible Calvinist “perseverance of the saints” message that is entirely unbiblical. It is an affront to the real gospel message. If good deeds prove the presence or absence of faith, then one must look at himself to determine if he is saved.

The question then becomes:

Is the person teaching that the Bible is reliable reliable? Or, are they setting records (attendance, book sales, etc.) by changing the record?

Let’s look at the conflicting, unbiblical statement of faith (in works) of another megachurch in North Carolina – Summit Church in Raleigh:

We believe that salvation is a free gift given at God’s initiative, and must be received personally by faith.  
John 5:24; Rom 10:9-10; Eph 2:8-9

We believe the Bible to be God’s Word, a true and fully accurate account of God’s love for us.  Its purpose is to teach us how to have a relationship with Him, worship Him and bring Him glory.  
Psalms 19:7-10; 2 Tim 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21

Sounds good so far, right?

Ah, but then the contradiction:

If you’d like a more in-depth explanation of our doctrinal beliefs, you may want to read The Baptist Faith and Message.

Following is an excerpt from the “in depth explanation” from the Baptist Faith and Message:

Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification. There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord.

A. Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God’s grace whereby believers become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace.

Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Saviour.

 This statement of “faith” requires that someone be regenerated before believing (unbiblical), defines repentance as “a genuine turning from sin toward God” (unbiblical), and thereby makes Jesus necessary for salvation, but not sufficient.

In the false gospel presented in the Baptist Faith and Message, Jesus’s work on the cross, and His victory over sin and death must be augmented by our works – in this case turning from sin.

This is not the record that God gave of His Son. And it is not a message that will save anyone.

1 John 5:10-12:

[10] He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.

[11] And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

[12] He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

Have you believed OUR report? Or have you believed THEIR report?

OUR report:

Eternal salvation is a free gift, available to every person on the same basis: by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

THEIR report:

Their reports vary widely. They often look the same as ours – on the surface. But then, they contradict themselves with other statements or beliefs. Some examples:

  • We are saved by grace alone through faith alone. But, the faith that saves is never alone.
  • A true Christian will…
  • You must repent of your sins to be saved
  • You must commit your life to Christ to be saved
  • You must have heart faith, not just head faith to be saved
  • You can lose your salvation

For more information on OUR report, click here: OUR REPORT

 

Christian Privilege

It has become fashionable, of late, to use the term “privilege” to address perceived inherent advantages that some groups have over others.

Examples of privilege:

  • White privilege
  • Male privilege
  • Heterosexual privilege
  • Cisgender privilege (refers to agreeing with the sex and/or gender one is assigned at birth)
  • Able-bodied privilege

My teenage daughter recently brought home, from a summer program she is attending, a “Christian Privilege Checklist.”

Following are each of the items listed (source: itspronouncedmetrosexual.com). The “privileges” are in italics. My responses to selected “privileges” are parenthetical, in bold.

  1. You can expect to have time off work to celebrate religious holidays.
  2. Music and television programs pertaining to your religion’s holidays are readily accessible.
  3. It is easy to find stores that carry items that enable you to practice your faith and celebrate religious holidays.
  4. You aren’t pressured to celebrate holidays from another faith that may conflict with your religious values.
  5. Holidays celebrating your faith are so widely supported you can often forget they are limited to your faith (e.g. wish someone a “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Easter” without considering their faith).
  6. You can worship freely, without fear of violence or threats.
  7. A bumper sticker supporting your religion won’t likely lead to your car being vandalized.
  8. You can practice your religious customs without being questioned, mocked, or inhibited.
  9. If you are being tried in court, you can assume that the jury of “your peers” will share your faith and not hold that against you in weighing decisions.
  10. When swearing an oath, you will place your hand on a religious scripture pertaining to your faith.
  11. Positive references to your faith are seen dozens of times a day by everyone, regardless of their faith.

(My comment: yeah, right. Christians are at least equally-often maligned as non-intelligent, superstitious, hateful, ignorant, etc.)

  1. Politicians responsible for your governance are probably members of your faith.

(My comment: Some probably are. Many say they are. Most pander to Lordship “salvationists” and other large, mainstream groups within professing Christendom, because that is where the big blocks of votes are.)

  1. Politicians can make decisions citing your faith without being labeled as heretics or extremists.
  2. It is easy for you to find your faith accurately depicted in television, movies, books, and other media.

(My comment: It is not even easy to find my faith accurately depicted in churches that claim to be teaching the gospel. Most churches teach a false gospel, so the depictions in television, movies, books, and other media pick up on this.)

  1. You can reasonably assume that anyone you encounter will have a decent understanding of your beliefs.

(My comment: Almost no one I encounter will have a decent understanding of my beliefs, unless I tell them. Even if I were to give my testimony in a “Christian” church, it is likely that most in attendance would look at me like I had two heads. My testimony would be unwelcome in most mainstream churches).

  1. You will not be penalized (socially or otherwise) for not knowing other people’s religious customs.
  2. Your faith is accepted/supported at your workplace.

(My comment: My workplace has affinity groups for every conceivable special interest group – except Christians – and encourages employees to be identified with pet special interest causes).

  1. You can go into any career you want without it being associated with or explained by your faith.
  2. You can travel to any part of the country and know your religion will be accepted, safe, and you will have access to religious spaces to practice your faith.
  3. Your faith can be an aspect of your identity without being a defining aspect (e.g., people won’t think of you as their “Christian” friend)
  4. You can be polite, gentle, or peaceful, and not be considered an “exception” to those practicing your faith.
  5. Fundraising to support congregations of your faith will not be investigated as potentially threatening or terrorist behavior.
  6. Construction of spaces of worship will not likely be halted due to your faith.
  7. You are never asked to speak on behalf of all the members of your faith.
  8. You can go anywhere and assume you will be surrounded by members of your faith.

(My comment: I cannot even go into a Southern Baptist church and assume that I will be surrounded by members of my faith.)

  1. Without special effort, your children will have a multitude of teachers who share your faith.

(My comment: This is just simply not true. Even if I were to send my children to a “Christian” school, I could not place confidence in that label without performing extensive due diligence to ensure that the “Christian” school was not corrupting the gospel.)

  1. Without special effort, your children will have a multitude of friends who share your faith.
  2. It is easily accessible for you or your children to be educated from kindergarten through post-grad at institutions of your faith.
  3. Disclosing your faith to an adoption agency will not likely prevent you from being able to adopt children.
  4. In the event of a divorce, the judge won’t immediately grant custody of your children to your ex because of your faith.
  5. Your faith is taught or offered as a course at most public institutions.
  6. You can complain about your religion being under attack without it being perceived as an attack on another religion.
  7. You can dismiss the idea that identifying with your faith bears certain privileges.
  8. Share more in the comments below!

(My comment: ETERNAL LIFE! All Christians have eternal life. Those who are not Christians do not have eternal life. If you would like to know how to have eternal life, click here: ETERNAL LIFE FOR YOU.)

Camp Lordship Salvation: Are Your Kids Safe?

image001

By johninnc

(illustration by Holly Garcia)

As summer vacation time rolls around, I am reminded of the legion of camps and vacation Bible schools being offered by “churches” of every stripe. And, since there is so much false doctrine being promulgated from the pulpits, books, and websites of “Christian” ministries, it stands to reason that their camps and vacation Bible schools would follow suit.

Christian camps and vacation Bible schools can be a great way to train our children in Biblical doctrine, but not if they are doctrinally aberrant – particularly with respect to the gospel message.

As alluring as it may be to give the kids a nice, wholesome getaway (not to mention giving the parents a break from the kids), we should be cautious where we send them.

Most parents would not even think about sending their children some place where their physical safety would be a concern. This vigilance should extend to children’s spiritual well-being. We should not send our children to church camps or VBS without knowing EXACTLY what they are being taught, and whether or not it lines up with scripture. Otherwise, our precious children may be being fed a  diet of theological poison, without our being aware. This could have serious long-term consequences.

Some good up-front questions to ask yourself would include:

  • Do I know what the gospel is? If you are not sure, click the link below:

The Gospel

  • Do my kids know the truth of the gospel?
  • Do I know what the false gospel of Lordship “Salvation” is? If not, click the link below:

Lordship “Salvation”

  • Who is the sponsoring organization, and what are their beliefs?
  • What print and other media are being used?
  • Who prepared those media, and what are their beliefs?
  • Who are the teachers and counselors, and what are their beliefs?

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. If the sponsoring organization, materials, or teachers are not crystal clear on the doctrine of salvation, then sending your kids to their camps or vacation Bible schools would be ill-advised.

The camps and VBSs are often packaged with clever themes, focused on fun and adventure, or some special interest. Those that are teaching false doctrine will not advertise that, because most of the time they don’t even know.

I have come up with several examples of false doctrine that one may encounter in camps and vacation Bible schools, and have chosen to illustrate those with the following fictitious offerings:

  • Camp Sherlock: Join Holmes and Watson on a Journey of Fruit Inspection
  • 19th Hole Christian Golf Camp: Shooting Par for Salvation
  • Social Media Evangelism: Lordship Salvation Proof Texting
  • Green Missions: Become Equipped to Save Planet Earth!
  • All Aboard! Choo Choo the Meat and Spit Spit the Bones on the Ecumenical Soul Train
  • Camp Vegas: Salvation Roulette and 21 Reasons Why Christ is not Enough

I used hyperbole in the above examples to make a very serious point. We should stay away from false teachers, and we should keep our kids away from them too. If we don’t know whether or not a teacher is sound, we should not use our kids as guinea pigs.

Lordship Salvation: Where I Come From

by johninnc

Following is the refrain from the song “Where I Come From” by country music star Alan Jackson:

Where I come from it’s cornbread and chicken

Where I come from a lotta front porch pickin’

Where I come from tryin’ to make a livin’

And workin’ hard to get to Heaven, where I come from

I heard this song today for the first time, and it reminded me of where I come from.

I was raised in the southeastern US, and North Carolina is where I currently live. I like fried chicken (sorry PETA) and cornbread. I feel most at home when I’m here. And, I used to think I had to work to get to heaven.

Let me take a moment to explain what I mean.

I am a 53 year-old man that didn’t become a believer in Christ until age 49. As far back as I can remember, I believed that Christ was the Son of God, that He died for our sins, and was raised from the dead.

But, I thought that in addition to believing in Jesus for eternal life, I had to internally resolve to turn from my sins and commit my life to Christ in order to get to heaven. I had fallen for the false gospel of Lordship “salvation.”

Until just a few years ago, it had never dawned on me that faith in Christ and faith in Christ plus me were mutually exclusive. Resolving to turn from sins and committing one’s life to Christ are works. We cannot be saved by our works.

Romans 3:20: Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Most churches, evangelists, and print ministries teach Lordship “salvation” either explicitly, or implicitly. It is appealing to us, because it fits into our preexisting belief that we can somehow work our way back to God.

Following are excerpts from our page entitled Lordship “salvation” Defined:

At its core, Lordship “salvation” (LS) is not salvation at all but man made PROBATION – a disbelief in God’s Word which clearly states that salvation is by Grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

LS is the unsupportable belief that the PERFORMANCE of good works, the PROMISE of good works, or the EVIDENCE of good works MUST accompany faith in Christ in order to establish, or provide evidence, that such faith has resulted in eternal life.

LS can be overt (one must forsake all of his sins and follow Christ in obedience and discipleship in order to be saved) or VERY SUBTLE (one’s behavior will change once he is saved).  But, do not be deceived. Trying to add ANY human merit to Grace makes it no longer Grace. (Romans 11:6).

Anyone who is a Christian has repented (changed his mind) from some false belief  to belief in Christ alone as Savior. For me, I had to repent (change my mind) from thinking that my good intentions had any bearing whatsoever on whether or not I was going to go to heaven.

We receive eternal life when we stop working for it, and believe in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone.

Romans 4:5: But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

LS is where I come from. Belief in Christ is where I am now. God never gave up trying to draw me to him.

If you are workin’ hard to get to Heaven and would like to know how to have eternal life, click here: The Gospel

God has not given up on you either. How do I know? I know, because you are reading this post.

 

 

Stemming Fruit Inspection

See new page Stemming Fruit Inspection, which contains the full text of the chapter “Fruit Inspectors” from Preston Greene’s new book.

This subject is vital to the defense of the gospel, so I hope you will read it and refer others to it.