By Ken Silva pastor-teacher on Jun 30, 2009 in AM Missives, Current Issues, Emergence Christianity, Emergent Church, Features

Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. (Romans 8:8, ESV)

The First To Present His Case Often Appears Right…Until…

In MYTH #6: You Must Believe Jesus Is the Son of God To Follow Him by Tim Timmons over at the hugely popular the Emerging Church aka Emergent Church, now morphing into Emergence Christianity, website The Ooze we read:

Now, in debunking this myth I want to direct your attention again to the early disciples. When they first answered the call to follow Jesus, did they believe that Jesus was the Son of God? No!

They believed Jesus was the latest and greatest Rabbi on the religious scene. They believed Jesus was an amazing teacher and example. (Online source)

Really; that’s odd, when John the Baptist sees Jesus his own disciple John-who would go on to follow Christ-informs us that John the Baptist says, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). In verse 34 John the Baptist is also quoted as saying, “I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.”

These statements actually equate Jesus of Nazareth to ha Mashiach (i.e. Messiah; the Christ) Whom they both had been expecting might just possibly arrive in their lifetime. In fact, then John the Baptist calls Jesus, “the Lamb of God” again to two of his disciples (v. 35). As respected Bible scholar Dr. Robert Reymond brings out in his Jesus: Divine Messiah:

In sum, John intended by this epithet to ascribe nothing short of deity to Jesus, and here accordingly at the very dawn of the New Age in the Forerunner’s testimony is the highest conceivable declaration about [Jesus]…we must conclude that for John [the Baptist] Jesus was the Christ, the Lord who was to come into his temple, the messanger of the covenant who was to come, indeed, just Yahweh himself who spoke in Malachi 3:1, and thus the divine Son of God. (304, 305)

And one of those disciples of the Baptist mentioned above, who wrote this eyewitness deposition that we now call the Gospel of John, then informs who that other disciple was:

who heard John speak and [then] followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ). He brought him to Jesus. (John 1:40-42, ESV)

That’s pretty clear from the record. Now Timmons does suppose that:

The disciples have been following this attractive, irresistible and relevant Jesus for quite some time and now the question comes from Jesus: “Who do you say I am?” Peter’s answer was right on when he said, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” This is the first time this has been expressed with a sense of conviction by the disciples. The thought was there, but this seems to nail it down. (Online source)

The above actually tends to work against his own thesis; however, because the Emerging/ent/ence Church has an incorrect seeker-sensitive soteriology (doctrine of salvation)-one that’s actually backward-in what follows Timmons will end up outlining a works-righteous system. One in which as a person is supposedly “following Jesus,” essentially meaning while attempting to rectify societal ills, “you will at some point discover your Creator-God.”

No; sorry about that. The Light of our opening text above cuts through this EC mystic maze with the exacting precision of a lazer beam thus revealing that Timmons is dead wrong when he surmises:

There seem to be three stages of following Jesus. FIRST-Jesus is followed because He is so flawless and attractive-unimpeachable. He is the one person who has truly walked the walk and the talk perfectly. No one argues with this. And the disciples believed in Him enough to follow Him. There is nothing wrong with this type of following Jesus at all.

SECOND-Then as you follow this attractive Jesus, you will begin to embrace His lifestyle, teachings and principles and find them to be very practical and meaningful for your life. Following this Jesus just makes sense.

THIRD-Finally, as you continue to follow this Jesus and find His teachings meaningful, you will at some point discover your Creator-God. You will experience transformation of your heart and your mind and see Jesus as the Son of God.

So, wherever you are in this continuum of the stages in following Jesus, ultimately you are seeking and hoping to receive this gift of transformation from God Himself. When you understand this, you then can embrace the fact of Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, Agnostics, Muslims and even Christians who are followers of Jesus. (Online source)

What needs to be understood here is that Emerging/ent/ence Church truly began as an extention of the seeker-sensitive Church Growth Movement as you can see in e.g. in the Apprising Ministries article The Emerging Church Sowing Its Neo-Orthodox Confusion On Scripture. There you’ll also find the link to an excellent piece from my friends at the fine online apologetics and discernment ministry Herescope wherein they expose the rotten root of this whole EC Diseased Tree.

It’s an ill-fated attempt to make Biblical Christianity relevant and appealing to the alleged “postmodern” [read” relativistic] culture. I have no reason to doubt that Timmons is sincere in tyring to make being a “Christ-follower” attractive, but he is, sincerely wrong. What’s missing here in this man-made attempt to add to the Lord’s Church is the requisite role of God the Holy Spirit. And don’t forget that He Himself tells us above that – Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

That means one in an unregenerate (i.e. spiritually dead) state is not able to follow Christ. And the truth is that the below from Dr. F.F. Bruce (1910-1990), whom many looked to as “the dean of evangelical scholars,” gives us a much more accurate picture of the real Jesus of Nazareth-the Christ-Who died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, was buried, and was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures (see-1 Corinthians 15:3-4):

Our Lord’s sayings were all of a piece with His actions and His way of life in general. The fewer preconceptions we bring from the outside to the reading of the Gospels, the more clearly shall we see Him as He really was. It is all too easy to believe in a Jesus Who is largely a construction of our own imagination-an inoffensive Person Whom no one would really trouble to crucify.

But the Jesus we meet in the Gospels, far from being an inoffensive Person, gave offense right and left. Even His loyal followers found Him, at times, thoroughly disconcerting. He upset all established notions of religious propriety. (Hard Sayings of the Bible, 18, 19)

US slaps sanctions on Iran firm

US slaps sanctions on Iran firm

Tuesday, 30 June 2009 20:39 UK

The US has imposed sanctions on an Iranian firm accused of helping North Korea with its nuclear programme.

The US Treasury says Hong Kong Electronics moved millions of dollars to two North Korean companies linked to Pyongyang’s nuclear programme.

The action means that bank accounts or any other financial assets found in the US belonging to the Iran-based company will be frozen.

US citizens are also banned from doing business with the firm.

“North Korea uses front companies like Hong Kong Electronics and a range of other deceptive practices to obscure the true nature of its financial dealings,” said Stuart Levey, US Treasury under-secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.

“Today’s action is part of our overall effort to prevent North Korea from misusing the international financial system to advance its nuclear and missile programs and to sell dangerous technology around the world,” he added. …

Will Obama Take Jerusalem from the Jews?

Will Obama Take Jerusalem from the Jews?

Reported: 22:17 PM – Jun/30/09

( The Center for American Progress, an American think tank which has served as a source for several of the Obama administration’s policies, issued a report recommending that control of Jerusalem be taken away from Israel. Operating with the premise that the Old City of Jerusalem is the central problem in the peace process, the report discusses various options for a third-party entity that would replace Israel as its administrator.

A liberal political policy research and advocacy organization, the Center for American Progress’s reports have frequently stated the thinking of the Obama Administration, according to One Jerusalem. Recent articles from the center predicted Obama’s Cairo speech to the Muslim…

Jordan: King meets US congressional team

Jordan: King meets US congressional team

[30/06/2009 17:57]

His Majesty King Abdullah II today met with a delegation of U.S congressional aides currently on a visit to the Kingdom.

The King spoke about pressing regional issues and challenges, calling for intensive efforts in the coming stage to achieve tangible progress in the Palestinian-Israeli peace process through launching serious and direct negotiations within a regional context.

Such negotiations, he stressed, should lead to a comprehensive peace and the setting up of an independent and viable Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

King Abdullah said the opportunity was at hand to achieve tangible results on the ground towards solving the conflict on the basis of the two-state solution envisaged by the Arab peace imitative, which would secure peace for Israel and its acceptance in the region….


Qaeda warns France of revenge for burka stance

Qaeda warns France of revenge for burka stance

Jun 30 11:42 AM US/Eastern

Al-Qaeda’s North Africa wing threatened on Tuesday to take revenge on France for its opposition to the burka, calling on Muslims to retaliate against the country, the US monitoring service SITE Intelligence reported.

Earlier this month, President Nicolas Sarkozy said the burka, which covers the whole face, was not welcome in the strictly secular country.

“Yesterday was the hijab (the Islamic headscarf long banned in French schools) and today, it is the niqab (the full veil),” Abu Musab Abdul Wadud, head of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb was quoted as saying.

“We will take revenge for the honour of our daughters and sisters against France and against its interests by every means at our disposal.” …

My oldest son

My oldest is going to be filling in for the pastor of a church south of here sometime in August. Please pray that God will give him the words that He wants spoken and that God will prepare open hearts to receive His truth. Thanks :hug:

This will be a first for him and is kind of a tiny first step in what ds feels is a call of God to become a pastor.

IDF Navy intercepts Gaza-bound ship

IDF Navy intercepts Gaza-bound ship

Jun. 30, 2009 Staff , THE JERUSALEM POST

An IDF Navy unit took over a ship that was en route to breaking the naval closure on the Gaza Strip, the IDF said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.

Overnight, Navy troops spotted a vessel with a Greek flag, which had embarked on a journey from the port of Larnaca in Cyprus towards the Gaza Strip.

After the Navy contacted the ship and realized it was headed to Gaza, the troops clarified that the Strip is under naval closure and that because of security concerns it will not be allowed to reach the beach of Gaza. …

North Korea trying to enrich uranium, South says

North Korea trying to enrich uranium, South says

Tue Jun 30, 2009 7:16am EDT

By Jon Herskovitz

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea appears to be enriching uranium, potentially giving the state that has twice tested a plutonium-based nuclear device another path to making atomic weapons, South Korea’s defense minister said on Tuesday.

“It is clear that they are moving forward with it,” Defense Minister Lee Sang-hee told a parliamentary hearing, adding such a programme was far easier to hide than the North’s current plutonium-based activities.

North Korea earlier this month responded to U.N. punishment for its most recent nuclear test in May by saying it would start enriching uranium for a light-water reactor.

Experts said destitute North Korea lacks the technology and resources to build such a costly civilian reactor but may use the programme as a cover to enrich uranium for weapons….

Netanyahu tells envoys he supports Lieberman

Netanyahu tells envoys he supports Lieberman

June 30, 2009

Benjamin Netanyahu told a meeting of European Union ambassadors that he has “complete confidence” in Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

Israel’s prime minister met Tuesday in Jerusalem with over 20 ambassadors from EU member states. Netanyahu added that he knows Lieberman “is fully committed to peace and security and that he is an important member of the elected government of the democratic State of Israel.”

Netanyahu made the comments a day after an Israeli television station reported that during a meeting last week French President Nicolas Sarkozy told him to “get rid” of the foreign minister, and reinstate opposition leader Tzipi Livni to the position….

Court declares Jew for Jesus 'kosher'

Court declares Jew for Jesus ‘kosher’

Jun. 30, 2009


A Jew for Jesus who demanded kashrut supervision from the Chief Rabbinate won a Supreme Court decision on Monday likely to spark another confrontation between the nation’s highest legal arbiter and the Orthodox rabbinical establishment.

In its verdict, based on a precedent that found belly-dancing to be unrelated to kosher food, the court ruled that an Ashdod baker’s belief that Jesus was the messiah did not make her baked goods unkosher.

Therefore, argued the court, the Chief Rabbinate could not demand more stringent kashrut supervision arrangements than for any other baker.

The Orthodox rabbinate reacted negatively.

“It’s absurd that the Supreme Court is telling rabbis how to keep kosher,” Ashdod Chief Rabbi Yosef Sheinen said in a telephone interview with The Jerusalem Post.

“What does the Supreme Court know about kashrut?” asked Sheinen. He said that according to his understanding of Halacha, an apostate Jew could not be trusted to adhere to the laws of kashrut. …