PCUSA REJECTS POPULAR HYMN “IN CHRIST ALONE”

PCUSA REJECTS POPULAR HYMN “IN CHRIST ALONE”

I saw this over at Denny Burk’s blog today. (http://www.dennyburk.com/presbyterian-church-u-s-a-rejects-popular-hymn-in-christ-alone-because-of-wrath/ ) Apparently the reason the Presbyterian Church USA doesn’t like “In Christ Alone (one of my favorites), is because of that unpopular, un-politically correct word, “Wrath.” As we’ve pointed out many times here at SUFTT, the more sin is watered down, the less we have of the true Gospel. In other words – no sin = [COLOR=Green]FALSE gospel.[/COLOR] The PCUSA has been going down a concerning path for quite some time now, and it appears that this is just another symptom of the problem the devil delights in: a departure from Truth to appeal to the world. Here’s the article:

PCUSA rejects popular hymn “In Christ Alone”

Timothy George explains why the Presbyterian Church USA has recently rejected the hymn “In Christ Alone” from its new hymnal:

Recently, the wrath of God became a point of controversy in the decision of the Presbyterian Committee on Congregational Song to exclude from its new hymnal the much-loved song “In Christ Alone” by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend. The Committee wanted to include this song because it is being sung in many churches, Presbyterian and otherwise, but they could not abide this line from the third stanza: “Till on that cross as Jesus died/the wrath of God was satisfied.” For this they wanted to substitute: “…as Jesus died/the love of God was magnified.” The authors of the hymn insisted on the original wording, and the Committee voted nine to six that “In Christ Alone” would not be among the eight hundred or so items in their new hymnal.

There is no surprise in this news. Although not all PCUSA churches are theologically liberal, the denomination by and large is. Liberalism and wrath go together like oil and water; they don’t mix. And historically speaking, one of them eventually has to go. When wrath goes, so does the central meaning of the atonement of Christ—penal substitution. At the end of the day, the cross itself is the stumbling block, and that is why the PCUSA cannot abide this hymn.

You can read the rest of George’s article here:http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2013/07/no-squishy-love You can listen to the hymn and read the lyrics below.

In Christ alone my hope is found;

He is my light, my strength, my song;

This cornerstone, this solid ground,

Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.

What heights of love, what depths of peace,

When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!

My comforter, my all in all—

Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,

Fullness of God in helpless babe!

This gift of love and righteousness,

Scorned by the ones He came to save.

Till on that cross as Jesus died,

The wrath of God was satisfied;

For ev’ry sin on Him was laid—

Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,

Light of the world by darkness slain;

Then bursting forth in glorious day,

Up from the grave He rose again!

And as He stands in victory,

Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me;

For I am His and He is mine—

Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—

This is the pow’r of Christ in me;

From life’s first cry to final breath,

Jesus commands my destiny.

No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man,

Can ever pluck me from His hand;

Till He returns or calls me home—

Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand.

“In Christ Alone”

Words and Music by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend

Copyright © 2001 Kingsway Thankyou Music

http://standupforthetruth.com/2013/07/pcusa-rejects-popular-hymn-in-christ-alone/

July 31, 2013 Bible Reading

July 31

Reading for Today:

Esther 1:1–2:23

Proverbs 22:5-6

Psalm 89:38-45

Romans 2:1-29

Notes:

Esther 1:9- Queen Vashti. Greek literature records her name as Amestris. She gave birth (ca. 483 B.C.) to Ahasuerus’s third son, Artaxerxes, who later succeeded his father Ahasuerus on the throne (Ezra 7:1).

Esther 2:5- Mordecai. He was among the fourth generation of deported Jews. Kish. Mordecai’s great-grandfather who actually experienced the Babylonian deportation. After Babylon fell to Medo-Persia (ca. 539 B.C.), Jews were moved to other parts of the new kingdom. Kish represents a Benjamite family name that could be traced back (ca. 1100 B.C.) to Saul’s father (1 Sam. 9:1).

Proverbs 22:6- way he should go. There is only one right way, God’s way, the way of life. That way is specified in great detail in Proverbs. Since it is axiomatic that early training secures lifelong habits, parents must insist upon this way, teaching God’s Word and enforcing it with loving discipline consistently throughout the child’s upbringing.

2:6–10- Although Scripture everywhere teaches that salvation is not on the basis of works (4:1–4; Eph. 2:8, 9), it consistently teaches that God’s judgment is always on the basis of a man’s deeds (Is. 3:10,11; Jer. 17:10; John 5:28, 29; 1 Cor. 3:8; 2 Cor. 5:10; Gal. 6:7–9; Rom. 14:12). Paul describes the deeds of two distinct groups: the redeemed (vv. 7, 10) and the unredeemed (vv. 8, 9). The deeds of the redeemed are not the basis of their salvation but the evidence of it. They are not perfect and are prone to sin, but there is undeniable evidence of righteousness in their lives (James 2:14–20, 26).

2:11- partiality. Literally, “to receive a face,” that is, to give consideration to someone simply because of his position, wealth, influence, popularity, or appearance. Because it is God’s nature to be just, it is impossible for Him to be anything but impartial (Acts 10:34; Gal. 2:6; Eph. 6:7, 8; Col. 3:25; 1 Pet. 1:17).

DAY 31: Why isn’t God directly mentioned in Esther?

The question naturally arises when reading the book. Even the usual clues about God’s presence seem absent. No one refers to the Law of God, sacrifices, worship, or prayer. God does not appear to receive public or private recognition for the preservation of the Jews. When it comes to God, Esther seems strangely silent.

In fact, the silence is so obvious that it becomes an argument. Esther challenges the tendency to demand that God prove His power and presence. Must God be apparent? All too quickly we expect God to demonstrate in unmistakable ways His identity. Yet God has repeatedly resisted human ultimatums. God reveals Himself for His own purposes, not human requirements.

Throughout history, God has more readily operated behind the scenes than in plain sight. The Scriptures are filled with unusual circumstances in which God worked obviously. But Esther comes close to revealing God’s standard procedure. God’s fingerprints are all over Esther’s story. His superficial absence points to a deeper presence. God chose to be subtle, but He was there. The events in Esther give us a model for hope when God works in less than obvious ways in our lives.

http://www.gty.org/resources/devotionals/daily-bible

Your Present Deliverance

Your Present Deliverance

[COLOR=Red]”Obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls” (1 Pet. 1:9).

In 1 Corinthians 1:18 Paul says that “the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (emphasis added). That emphasizes the marvelous reality of the believer’s present deliverance from sin. Peter stressed the same truth in 1 Peter 1:8, where he says that believers obtain as the outcome of their faith the salvation of their souls.

The Greek word translated“obtaining” in 1 Peter 1:18 literally means [COLOR=red]”presently receiving for yourselves.”[/COLOR] It speaks of obtaining something that is due you as a result of your faith in Christ. “Outcome of your faith” refers to the logical result or end of faith. “Souls” speaks of the whole person. The entire verse could be translated, “You rejoice because you have and continue to hold onto the logical result of your proven faith–your ongoing deliverance from sin.”

You need ongoing deliverance because sin is an ongoing problem. You have new life in Christ, are a new creature in Him, and are no longer a slave to the penalty and power of sin, but you’re not yet fully glorified. Consequently you’re still subject to sin’s influence. Paul personalized that struggle in Romans 7, where he says, “The good that I wish, I do not do; but I practice the very evil that I do not wish. . . . I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wishes to do good. . . . Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?” (vv. 19, 21, 24). The victory comes in verse 25, which says, “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

Jesus is the Great Deliverer, through whom you have victory over sin, death, and hell. That’s the last spiritual privilege in Peter’s brief list, but it’s by no means the least. As you love and trust Him, you’ll know the joy of present deliverance.

Suggestions for Prayer:

Praise the Lord for your deliverance from sin’s bondage.

For Further Study:

Review all the spiritual privileges and sources of Christian joy we’ve discussed this month. Keep them fresh in your mind as you face the challenges of each new day.

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur Copyright © 1993. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.[/COLOR]

http://www.gty.org/resources/devotionals

The Great Mormon Paradigm Shift

The Great Mormon Paradigm Shift

by Ed Decker

July 30, 2013

I don’t know how to explain it other that I see a monumental Paradigm shift taking place in Mormonism. Their whole world view has been sliding from a group that preached “Come Out From Among Them” into religious, social liberalism.

It is no secret that they have been losing members as fast as they are bringing them in through the missionary program. Fewer people, fewer tithes.

Fewer young people are staying the course and going on missions. Fewer parents want their kids to go through the pressures associated with being out there ringing door bells for two years and facing rejection in nine out of ten encounters.

The Church is also losing some two-thirds of these young men and women who leave the church during or soon after their mission.

Now the church has lowered the entry age, bringing many more of these younger kids out before they go off to college or enter the work force. Conversions per missionary year have dropped significantly, but with more missionaries, more converts.

The Church taught that Blacks were a cursed race. John Taylor, Third Prophet and President of the Mormon Church spoke one of many such corporate pronouncements when he said,

” . . . after the flood we are told that the curse that had been pronounced upon Cain was continued through Ham’s wife, as he had married a wife of that seed. And why did it pass through the flood? Because it was necessary that the devil should have a representation a upon a the earth as well as God;…. ” Journal of Discourses, V22, P 304.

Now the god of Mormonism has forgiven them and they, too can become gods. I wonder of their skin turns white when they become gods?

First the Mormons were strongly and aggressively opposed to the gay lifestyle. Homosexuals at BYU were reprogrammed and many married off to willing young women who were selected for such duty.

Now they are all for gay marriage and Mormon groups now march in gay pride parades as a show of solidarity.

The LDS Church has used scouting as a divine part of the LDS priesthood program and strongly fought to keep anything resembling homosexuality out of it.

There was a day when a Mormon went through a careful interview, looking for any form of sin or impropriety before being called to any form of leadership. Now they are all for inclusion and even put gay men in Ward leadership positions.

At one time, the church was dogmatically opposed to abortion and had a dynamic adoption program set up for women of all ages with unwanted pregnancies. Now, it is a woman’s right and no longer a faith shattering stigma. The position of the church is that although it is not the best choice, it is still a choice.

The Handbook of Instruction for bishops went from stating there is no excuse for abortion in the 1988 edition to the 1992 edition that said there is seldom any excuse for abortion.

Listing all the politically correct, ‘seldom’ excuses for abortion, they also leave a side door open for church members with the caveat that it is a reasonable solution if the mental health of the women is fragile.

There was a time when the LDS Church made it very clear that they were the only true, divinely restored Christian church in the entire world. […there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth

Now we regular Christians are somehow no longer in the church of devil and they claim they are part of us.. Once we Christian leaders were hirelings of Satan. Now we are ‘fellow workers’.

Why the shift? I think it is because they have lost over two million members in the last decade or so and are lucky to keep the ones their missionaries are still dragging in one or two a time, still preaching a watered down version of their “Come out from among them” message.

The problem is that once they do come out from among them.. The LDS church is no different than the ones they just came out ‘from among’.

This is not just a Mormon problem. There is a paradigm shift taking place with a number of these cults. It seems that they have decided to blow by some of these issues as odd things but no longer relative. The Mormons aren’t preaching much of it to their own people anymore. The major doctrinal heresies aren’t being preached from their pulpits.

They aren’t alone. We rarely hear that Billy Sunday type of old time gospel preaching in so many of our own soft belly churches.

Many of the recent LDS converts and children born in the covenant less than twenty five years ago look at us like we are demented when we talk to them about certain doctrines.

Mormons have become more seeker friendly.. more open to accepting their oddness and less dogmatic. They kind of chuckle about it these days, brushing these heresies aside as not relevant any longer. Yet it is still the same underneath. Every Temple Mormon still wears that sacred, magical underwear.

I remember that back when I was a member, we were strongly admonished not to attend R rated movies. Now they corporately smile and point to the play, “The Book of Mormon” like it is just a happy kick, even though it mocks them and has some pretty foul language.

No matter how the Mormons have cleaned up their image to be part of the mainstream America, remember that mainstream America is still lost and in the grip of the god of this world, Lucifer.

No matter how nice and well groomed and happy looking those Mormon missionaries and friends seem, remember that they are victims of a terrible deceit and lost to the real Jesus.

Their leaders are still as dark and evil. They are just wearing a thicker coat of sheepskin..

Ed

http://www.worldviewweekend.com/news/article/great-mormon-paradigm-shift

Steve Lawson on the Role of the Holy Spirit

Steve Lawson on the Role of the Holy Spirit

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Christians exalt God—we understand that. That means we should exalt each member of the Godhead—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The charismatic movement, however, tends to focus attention on the Holy Spirit to an inappropriate degree. In the following video, Steve Lawson explains why that is a problem.

The ministry of the Spirit is to primarily magnify the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. That is a mark of any true movement of the Holy Spirit. The Strange Fire conference will declare and defend a biblical view of the Holy Spirit. For more information about the conference, please visit tmstrangefire.org. (See DTT info. below in ‘Conferences’)

GTY Staff

http://www.gty.org/Blog/B130730

July 30, 2013 Bible Reading

July 30

Reading for Today:

Nehemiah 12:1–13:31

Proverbs 22:3-4

Psalm 89:30-37

Romans 1:1-32

Notes:

Romans 1:17- The just shall live by faith. Paul intends to prove that it has always been God’s way to justify sinners by grace on the basis of faith alone. God established Abraham as a pattern of faith (4:22–25; Gal. 3:6, 7) and thus calls him the father of all who believe (4:11, 16). Elsewhere, Paul uses this same phrase to argue that no one has ever been declared righteous before God except by faith alone (Gal. 3:11) and that true faith will demonstrate itself in action (Phil. 2:12, 13). This expression emphasizes that true faith is not a single event, but a way of life—it endures. That endurance is called the perseverance of the saints (Col. 1:22, 23; Heb. 3:12–14). One central theme of the story of Job is that no matter what Satan does, saving faith cannot be destroyed.

Romans 1:18- wrath of God. This is not an impulsive outburst of anger aimed capriciously at people whom God does not like. It is the settled, determined response of a righteous God against sin.

Romans 1:20- they are without excuse. God holds all men responsible for their refusal to acknowledge what He has shown them of Himself in His creation. Even those who have never had an opportunity to hear the gospel have received a clear witness about the existence and character of God—and have suppressed it. If a person will respond to the revelation he has, even if it is solely natural revelation, God will provide some means for that person to hear the gospel (Acts 8:26–39; 10:1–48; 17:27).

Romans 1:21- knew God. Man is conscious of God’s existence, power, and divine nature through general revelation (vv. 19, 20). they did not glorify Him. Man’s chief end is to glorify God (Lev. 10:3; 1 Chr. 16:24–29; Ps. 148; Rom.15:5, 6), and Scripture constantly demands it (Ps. 29:1, 2; 1 Cor. 10:31; Rev. 4:11). To glorify Him is to honor Him, to acknowledge His attributes, and to praise Him for His perfections (Ex. 34:5–7). It is to recognize His glory and extol Him for it. Failing to give Him glory is man’s greatest affront to his Creator (Acts 12:22, 23). nor were thankful. They refused to acknowledge that every good thing they enjoyed came from God.

DAY 30: How did Paul maintain his commitment to the gospel?

Paul tells us in Romans 1:16: “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ.” He had been imprisoned in Philippi (Acts 16:23, 24), chased out of Thessalonica (Acts 17:10), smuggled out of Berea (Acts 17:14), laughed at in Athens (Acts 17:32), regarded as a fool in Corinth (1 Cor. 1:18, 23), and stoned in Galatia (Acts 14:19), but Paul remained eager to preach the gospel in Rome—the seat of contemporary political power and pagan religion. Neither ridicule, criticism, nor physical persecution could curb his boldness.

“For it is the power of God.” The English word “dynamite” comes from this Greek word. Although the message may sound foolish to some (1 Cor. 1:18), the gospel is effective because it carries with it the omnipotence of God. Only God’s power is able to overcome man’s sinful nature and give him new life (5:6; 8:3; John 1:12; 1 Cor. 1:18, 23–25; 2:1–4; 4:20; 1 Pet. 1:23).

“The power of God to salvation.” Used 5 times in Romans (the verb form occurs 8 times), this key word basically means “deliverance” or “rescue.” The power of the gospel delivers people from lostness (Matt. 18:11), from the wrath of God (Rom. 5:9), from willful spiritual ignorance (Hos. 4:6; 2 Thess. 1:8), from evil self-indulgence (Luke 14:26), and from the darkness of false religion (Col. 1:13; 1 Pet. 2:9). It rescues them from the ultimate penalty of their sin, i.e., eternal separation from God and eternal punishment (Rev. 20:6).

“For everyone who believes.” To trust, rely on, or have faith in. When used of salvation, this word usually occurs in the present tense (“is believing”) which stresses that faith is not simply a one-time event, but an ongoing condition. True saving faith is supernatural, a gracious gift of God that He produces in the heart (Eph. 2:8) and is the only means by which a person can appropriate true righteousness. Saving faith consists of 3 elements: 1) mental: the mind understands the gospel and the truth about Christ (10:14–17); 2) emotional: one embraces the truthfulness of those facts with sorrow over sin and joy over God’s mercy and grace (6:17; 15:13); and 3) volitional: the sinner submits his will to Christ and trusts in Him alone as the only hope of salvation.

http://www.gty.org/resources/devotionals/daily-bible

Enjoying Fellowship with Christ

Enjoying Fellowship with Christ

[COLOR=Red]”Though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory” (1 Pet. 1:8).

The recipients of 1 Peter, like us, had never seen Christ but they enjoyed fellowship with Him just the same. And their fellowship was genuine because it was marked by love, trust, and obedience.

The love Peter speaks of in 1 Peter 1:8 isn’t shallow emotionalism or sentimentality. It’s the love of the will– the love of choice. His readers had chosen to love Christ despite never having seen Him physically. Such love is marked by obedience, as Jesus affirms in John 14: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. . . . He who does not love Me does not keep My words” (vv. 15, 24). To have fellowship with Christ is to love and obey Him.

Another element of fellowship is trust. After hearing reports about Christ’s resurrection, the disciple Thomas declared that he would trust Jesus only after seeing and touching Him. Jesus honored his wishes, saying, “Reach here your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand, and put it into My side; and be not unbelieving, but believing” (John 20:27). But then Jesus said, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed” (v. 29). We as Christians are among those who believe in Christ, not having seen Him.

The result of loving and trusting Christ is “joy inexpressible and full of glory” (1 Pet. 1:8). This joy is something beyond the ability of speech and thought to convey. That’s obvious even on the human level–as evidenced by the thousands of songs that have attempted to communicate the joy of being in love. “Full of glory” refers to the divine element in Christian joy. It’s a supernatural endowment bestowed and energized by the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22).

Enjoying fellowship with Christ is one of the supreme privileges of your Christian life. Strengthen and enrich that fellowship by learning the Word and relying on the Spirit. As you do, you will learn to love and trust Christ more deeply.

Suggestions for Prayer:

Ask God to teach you how to love and trust Him more faithfully. Thank Him for the joy that comes as you do.

For Further Study:

Memorize Matthew 22:37.

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur Copyright © 1993. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.[/COLOR]

http://www.gty.org/resources/devotionals

IS THE POPE SIGNALLING HIS OPENNESS TO GAY PRIESTS?

IS THE POPE SIGNALLING HIS OPENNESS TO GAY PRIESTS?

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that aboard the papal plane this weekend, Pope Francis opened the door to greater acceptance of gay priests inside the ranks of Roman Catholicism as he returned to the Vatican from his maiden trip overseas:

Fielding questions from reporters during the first news conference of his young papacy, the pontiff broached the delicate question of how he would respond to learning that a cleric in his ranks was gay, though not sexually active. For decades, the Vatican has regarded homosexuality as a “disorder,” and Pope Francis’ predecessor Pope Benedict XVI formally barred men with what the Vatican deemed “deep-seated” homosexuality from entering the priesthood.

“Who am I to judge a gay person of goodwill who seeks the Lord?” the pontiff said, speaking in Italian. “You can’t marginalize these people.”

Pope Francis celebrated the final Mass of his Brazil trip at Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro Sunday.

The news conference was wide-ranging and hastily arranged aboard an overnight flight that returned the pontiff to Rome Monday from a weeklong trip to Brazil where millions of people flocked to see him, including three million at a Mass Sunday on the beach in Rio de Janeiro. The rock-star reception, analysts say, is likely to strengthen the pope’s hand as he confronts myriad challenges awaiting him at the Vatican, from corruption at the Vatican bank to the long-running sexual-abuse crisis.

Pope Francis’ remarks on homosexuality came as he mused at length on one scandal that erupted on his predecessor’s watch: A secret Vatican report leaked to the Italian media purporting that a clique of homosexual Vatican clerics had formed a “gay lobby” that was secretly pulling the strings inside the “Holy See.”

The comments cut to the core of one of the most challenging issues facing the Catholic priesthood. Bishops who run local dioceses have long been divided over whether to accept gay priests who are chaste. While some bishops are tolerant of homosexuality, the Vatican’s ban on gay priests has forced many clerics to keep their sexuality hidden from superiors who are likely to crack down.

For bishops, the issue boils down to if “you got a priest you know is gay but is not active is that a problem for you or not?” said John L. Allen, a Vatican analyst with the National Catholic Reporter. “For this pope the answer is ‘no.’”

The pontiff waded into the issue after a reporter asked him to comment on a report in an Italian magazine purporting that a Vatican monsignor named Battista Ricca promoted by Pope Francis engaged in gay sexual relationships years ago when he was posted overseas at a Vatican embassy in Latin America. The monsignor hasn’t commented publicly on the media scrutiny, and he remains in good standing with the pope, according to a senior Vatican official.

Msgr. Ricca declined to comment Monday.

The media scrutiny of the monsignor’s personal life is a delicate matter for Pope Francis. In one of his first moves as pope, he appointed Msgr. Ricca as interim overseer of the Vatican’s bank while a special commission weighs the bank’s future.

For years, the bank has faced allegations from Italian prosecutors and regulators that its internal controls weren’t strong enough to guard against money laundering. On Sunday, Pope Francis suggested he was keeping all options on the table, from transforming the bank into a charitable fund to shutting it down entirely.

“I don’t know how this story is going to end,” the pope said.

More here:http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324354704578635401320888608.html

Related articles:

Pope Says He Won’t Judge Gay Priests (kake.com)

http://standupforthetruth.com/2013/07/is-the-pope-signalling-his-openness-to-gay-priests/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+standupwi+%28Stand+Up+for+the+Truth+%7C+All+Feeds%29