Joyce Meyer and False Confidence in Self

ImageFor starters, this post has been breaking my heart the past few weeks. For large amounts of time I had locked away a portion of my heart, convinced that people that listen to Joyce Meyer do not exist. The only people that listen to Joyce Meyer are ghosts and people

It confounds me that for all the advances of feminism and the empowerment of women in modern culture (which I’m all for), that we still have women that allow themselves to listen to this. I am honestly convinced that Joyce Meyer is an insult to the intelligence and theological brevity of all women in the world. She is evidence that we, as the human race, have not gone far enough in the elimination of inequality between sexes because people still listen to her mind-numbing ignorance.

I seriously believe that. The same goes for men, that we have sure a derelict of godliness and Berean spirit that we listen to Joseph Prince, Joel Osteen, Creflo Dollar e.t.c. It confounds me, that we as a human race, have catapulted technologically so far in the past century, but still follow these ritualistic, materialistic gods of wheat and rain. Never before in history have we had so much access to theological resources, but we seem to be in the greatest times bereft of seeking after God.

The Confidence in Self

Anyway, upon recommendation, I was listening to some Joyce Meyer the other day. The talk, I deign to describe it as a sermon, was on “Seven Secrets of a Confident Woman”.

I didn’t really understand the structure of the talk. The talk seems to be a lot of stories told in succession like a comedy routine. I guess it was entertaining, with chuckle or hint of laughter was merely another soul going to hell.

It was only thirty minutes in that the seven steps began. Of which, the first step toward becoming a confident woman was “knowing that God loves you”. She was very adamant on how important it was: Read more of this post

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Individualism and the Prosperity Gospel

ImagePhotos of this nature are maddening.

This is, of course, excepting my presence in reading my facebook newsfeed, which is exceedingly more maddening. I am just a slave for slogans and the ilk.

As far as I’m concerned, it’s largely correct, as far as I can tell or what meaning I can infer from it: God is our healer through providential care and grace. We can put our faith on Him to bring us through this world, nothing can extend or shorten our allotted time on this earth. Admittedly, I’m not sure what “heart doctor” means exactly–perhaps they mean cardiologist. Moreover, when they refer to “energy booster”, I assume they aren’t referring to chugging down Red Bull energy drinks and mistaking angels for people with “wings”.

God is our portion, He fills our cup overflowing. But if that is all the post is about, it’s entirely incomplete–I would argue it’s blasphemously incomplete.

The problem of the post is not itself, but the underlying motivations of the post.

The intention behind the post is what is lacking as it is brazenly existential.

It assigns most of our hope on the current alleviation of suffering and none on the reward of faithfulness. Read more of this post

Dear Hipster Church,

So many thoughts I am likely not allowed to put on facebook. So, WordPress is in for a treat today! A early Christmas special as you would have it. ^__^

1. We Get It.

You love Jesus, we get it. You love others, we get it. However, it’s confusing when you treat Jesus and His words so flippantly.  It’s confusing when He’s merely “the man upstairs”, or “big bro in heaven”. I don’t really understand this Jesus you guys have placed your faith and hope, and ultimately laid down your life for. It’s confusing the obtuseness of your theology and lack of clarity in soteriology. Read more of this post

The Dangers of Asking The Lord.

I’ve been really blessed the past few weeks by this hymn.

Written by John Newton, it speaks of the danger of asking for holiness, growing in the Lord. On the flipside, it proclaims the comfort and security in amidst the turmoil and despair. It’s quite lovely.

I asked the Lord that I might grow
In faith, and love, and every grace;
Might more of His salvation know,
And seek, more earnestly, His face.

‘Twas He who taught me thus to pray,
And He, I trust, has answered prayer!
But it has been in such a way,
As almost drove me to despair.

I hoped that in some favored hour,
At once He’d answer my request;
And by His love’s constraining pow’r,
Subdue my sins, and give me rest.

Instead of this, He made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart;
And let the angry pow’rs of hell
Assault my soul in every part.

Yea more, with His own hand He seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe;
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.

Lord, why is this, I trembling cried,
Wilt thou pursue thy worm to death?
“‘Tis in this way, the Lord replied,
I answer prayer for grace and faith.

These inward trials I employ,
From self, and pride, to set thee free;
And break thy schemes of earthly joy,
That thou may’st find thy all in Me.”

The Ripple Effect of Abortion

“Abortion seems to be the only medical procedure that people want to deny you based on how you got in that situation.

Drove drunk, got in an accident and need an organ transplant? No problem.

Messing around with a gun, accidentally shoot yourself in the leg and need surgery? Of course.

Smoke tobacco for most of your life and need treatment for lung cancer? Yep.

Climb a tree, fall out and break your leg? We’ll fix that right up.

Have sex and get pregnant when you don’t want to be? YOU GOT YOURSELF INTO THIS SITUATION AND YOU DESERVE NO MEDICAL HELP OR COMPASSION! THIS IS YOUR FAULT AND YOU WILL DEAL WITH THE CONSEQUENCES!”

—– Worry About Your Own Uterus (via quoilecanard)

I don’t normally care a lot about people arguing about abortion. I feel there is a lot of baggage associated with the pro-life, pro-choice debate. In that, I don’t think a lot of pro-choice arguments are about whether a baby is being killed in abortion, but the whole issue is intrinsically tied with feminism. Therefore, it is difficult to engage the abortion debate when the two sides aren’t talking about the same thing.

Regardless, I stumbled across this little tib-bit on tumblr. There is obviously a great amount of hyperbole, and a bit of irrelevance. I don’t think that a hospital is really a good idea of what is morally right or wrong.

It also disturbs me that the writer has compared having a baby to: [having] lung cancer”, “breaking a leg”, or “[receiving an] organ transplant”. Moreover, that having sex is like “smoking tobacco”, “driving drunk”, or “falling out of trees”.


The Ripple Effect.

The core of my problem with this argument is that none of those examples given involve a life outside of the person’s own life. It’s not very much like you drove drunk and got into an accident because that is all about your own life’s preservation.

Abortion has a much greater far-reaching impact on not only yourself and whatever you’ve done to yourself, but your own unborn child. It has not been engaged with properly by the author, but some rather fantastic analogies have been given for an abortion.

The Reality.

The reality goes more like this:

It’s more like you were driving home from a dinner with your girlfriend. You had a few glasses of wine, but not that much that you thought it wasn’t safe to drive home. On the way home, you didn’t stop at a red light. It somehow slipped your mind as you were thinking about work the next day. The car door has been wrenched open, where you T-boned the car at the intersection.

You start mumbling in a drunken haze:

“WHYYY ARE YOU IN MY WAYYYY?!”.

You then begin to explain your conditions. You expect the person to pay for the repairs to your own car, and not to call the police or anything. Basically, you begin to demand to the body that they don’t interfere with your life and to pretend that nothing happened. After a while, when the body doesn’t respond you realize that the person you crashed into is actually dead and you’re actually just talking to a bloodied corpse.

Maybe the corpse is on fire and the clothes have burnt off leaving a naked body. You shake the limp body and ask for compensation for your own mistake and lack of foresight.

After a while, you become sober, and you walk home. The police never come knocking at your door. The whole car disappears overnight, the midnight bells have caused the carriage to revert to its former state. The shards of broken windshield scattered on the road the night before is no more when you drive to work the next day. It’s almost like it was a dream.

It is blatantly obvious if you drive drunk, you have an increased chance of crashing into someone and causing loss of life. If you have sex with someone without a condom, you have an increased (well, almost 100% greater) chance of having a baby.

There is a risk taken. Abortion immediately assumes that there is a positive and negative side to this coin flip. It has this idea that life is always great or unimportant according to someone who doesn’t know anything about the person they just crashed into.

The Solution.

Christians fail in this department. More often than not, they are too willing to condemn babies born outside of wedlock because it makes them feel good about a sin they are not guilty of. More often than not, there needs to be a sense of humility and service to people that are unlike us.

On the reverse, the condemnation they dish out, they create an environment that distances rather than draws sinners close. Admittedly, I am one of those who would be more likely to be standing outside abortion clinics, but you would never see me supporting the single mothers. You never see me play an important part of raising these babies not judged as interference to life. It’s so much easier to wave signs and say sermons to people for a short time, rather than invest a lifetime into seeing someone grow to value life and what a gift that God has given.

Don’t miss the forest for the trees. Don’t miss the babies for the political stance.

The Church needs to be that vehicle the gives the help and the compassion.

The Antithesis of The Centrality of War And Violence In Culture

I had to bite my tongue in class when the topic of war came up.

I find that my views on war and violence are often quite controversial. I suspect that it is because they are controversial, that people are not always willing to hear them. Furthermore, people seem to not like opinions which span more than one sentence. They like black and white views on life–I am a Democrat, I am a Calvinist, I am a Cessationalist, I am a capitalist etc. More often than not, people don’t have the patience or time to hear a full exposition of how my view of war has been formed and evolved through time to arrive at what I believe in this. With this in mind, I think with any opinion there is a time to voice them, and there is a time to be silent. I also think there are clear opinions on war, that are reflected in our society.

It is unfortunate, because I would argue that the evolution in the history of someone’s thought is immeasurably more interesting than the final opinion that one finally arrives at. John Piper in Bloodlines: Race, Cross, and the Christian talks about how his initial views on race were shaped and influenced by growing up in a conservative culture in the South. As he grew up, he began to realize and change how he saw the world in a profound manner.

The Status Quo   Read more of this post

Comprehending Short Term Missions

In many things, I have learnt not to be too caustic towards other people. I often adopt this tone when I really dislike something–under the guise of sarcasm, I make very disparaging remarks, and the lines between where I’m being serious and joking blur. Unfortunately people get offended easily, especially when something as sacred as the modern pilgrimage to overseas countries, is questioned. It is certainly something that is important as being born again for many Christians today.

A lot time has to be spent at the beginning of any conversation exerting that I was generalising. I wasn’t talking about all missions trips, and I wasn’t judging any specific one. It was a general trend that I’ve been assessing and thinking about, not any specific trip I was thinking about.

Read more of this post