WE PRINT LETTERS FROM YOU, THE READERS. LETTERS MAY BE EDITED FOR BREVITY. TIME CONSTRAINTS PROHIBIT PRIVATE (PERSONAL) RESPONSE FROM THE EDITORS.
Editorial Comment (Ed) is by Philip L. Powell (PP) or B. Michael Bigg (MB)
Greetings in the name of Christ, I have just finished reading your article ... on judging and judgment. I found it very good and full of wisdom. Also I like that all scripture verses are given. I especially like the understanding that I got from the rendering of the Greek language and its meaning and history. Therefore it shows the English words in a more succinct light. Thank you for the wisdom to be able to more clearly explain to other believers and to non-believers alike. —TH, Australia
Thanks From Dave & Ruth
Dear Philip, (December 9, 2007) My sincere gratitude and thanks to the Lord who moved the hearts of many hundreds of you to write or call from all over the world to express your appreciation of what the Lord has given me the privilege of writing and teaching through books, messages, tapes, radio, and TV these many years. I did read every one of the letters and emails. Obviously, it is impossible to respond individually to each of you, hence this general reply. Ruth and I and all the TBC staff were deeply movedandencouragedbysuchanoverwhelming outpouring of love and support for the ministry to which the Lord has without doubt called us. Your prayers were answered amazingly concerning my operation and time in the hospital. The nurses, therapists, and doctors were astonished at the almost miraculous recovery which they all assured me was not “normal” for anyone, and especially for an 81-year old. Within 36 hours of major surgery I was out of the hospital and home and back to work at the new iMac computer installed in my absence here in my study on the second floor of our home. The surgeon said I could climb the stairs immediately. I jokingly accused him of not really having cut into me because from the moment I awakened in the recovery room to the moment where I began working at my wonderful new computer I’d had no pain associated with the incision to redo the first of my two artificial hips installed ten years ago, which have been out of commission for the past four months. During that time, the Lord nevertheless allowed me to have meetings in Hong Kong, Brazil, and other far-flung places within the USA and Canada. As with my previous surgeries, being in the hospital was a fruitful time of ministering Christ to the many the Lord graciously brought to me, even before entering the hospital. Actually, though I rejoiced in the opportunities and the great privilege the Lord gave me, the almost non-stop witnessing was exhausting and I had to come home to get a little rest! Through the past week I’ve experienced the normal pain associated with the healing process and I appreciate your prayers on my behalf. Thank you once again, from our hearts for the overwhelming expressions of love and support from your hearts with which you have blessed and encouraged us. With much love in Christ, —Dave & Ruth Hunt and TBC staff (The fourth hip replacement has been deferred for six months. Please continue to pray for Dave’s health.)
CWM Live-in Conference is Coming
Hi Philip & Kathleen, Just a quick email to say how much we enjoyed the conference. Great speakers and great fellowship. God willing, we will certainly be back next year. We are also actively trying to encourage others to go ... from here in Australia and the UK. Praise the Lord! It would be great to see a much larger number at the next CWM conference and we will be earnestly in prayer for this. We think it is absolutely vital to encourage the younger generation to come ... we pray this will happen and be a help to others with young families. Thank you so much for organising the conference. —L & L W, Sydney
Dear Philip, I am living in Japan now with a small church in Kobe/Osaka. I always enjoy your periodical. I have a young member here who I think will go into ministry. We are interested to do some extra theological study together as he has a lot of free time this year. If you could suggest any sound seminary style text books which we could use I would very much appreciate it. ... If you can help please let me know. Also if you could send the email of the sister researching John G. Lake I would appreciate it. My Filipino neighbour here works for a pastor of a small “healing centre” so I am just curious about the theology and history of John G. Lake. The pastor of RLC in Sydney once said that it was through the ministry of the Lakes that his family came into Pentecostalism in Sydney in the Early 1900s. —GT, Japan
Ed: Our friend and colleague Aeron Morgan wrote advising GT (including) investigating a FREE Bible College course online that is evangelically sound (though not Pentecostal) at www.ebcwa.org.au and www.newstartbible ministries.org.au. In addition, Jewel Grewe (www.discernment-ministries.org), who plans to be with us again this year at the CWM Conference and who grew up in Zion City where John G. Lake lived, wrote to GT directing him to an article about John Lake by Mike Oppenheimer at http://www.letusreason.org/Popteac40.htm. There is a cultic group in South Africa that developed from John G. Lake’s ministry there, linking animistic beliefs with Christian beliefs. They call their town Zion City to this day and are known as Zionists. Jewel writes: “Unfor- tunately there is a craze today to take off on many of these “old-timers” and try to replicate their ministries—or what they think were their ministries. John G. Lake was a “pioneer” of sorts in the beginnings of the Pentecostal movement in the USA. I have no doubt that God used him. The ‘healing rooms’ concept he got from attending a Christian Science Reading Room of which I have in a letter from him to the pastor of the church from which I grew up in Zion. (This was 1916—after he had been to Africa.) So many are desperately wanting signs, wonders and miracles and are losing sight of the reality of ’knowing nothing except Jesus Christ and Him crucified’. . . and truly being filled with His precious Holy Spirit.”
ED: We advise against people trying to link to the name of John G. Lake. I have had interaction with a woman whose surname is “Curry” and whose husband is heir apparent to the mantle of Lake. The whole things is in our opinion cultic. When you have men like Roberts Liardon and Copeland et al endorsing the present John G. Lake organisation that should be evidence enough to keep away from it. —plp
Danny Nalliah: False Prophet
(Letter received following one of our recent CWM electronic newsletters) I understand where you are coming from Philip. In light of “6” below [Preacher prepares Costello]—I wonder what Nalliah’s prophecy was all about. What a joke, what a complete joke. Peter Costello said on the news tonight [25/11/2007] he would retire from Parliament!
Ed: Comments invited—CWM-blog: http:// www. christian-witness.org/blog/?p=11#comments
At Death Do The Saved Go To Heaven Immediately?
Ref: CETF 43, p32, The Prize by Jack Kinsella
Emphatically yes. 2 Corinthians 5:8 says: “to be absent from the body” (is) “to be present with the Lord” .
... [I] commend you on your magazine. I eagerly await its arrival as it is a valuable source of information. I often find it includes information that confirms positions I have come to accept. ... my wife says I read it too quickly, not wanting to only read a little at a time. I may be taking ... a very minor stand but I do this in the interests of CETF’s integrity. ... Whether on death a Believer goes to heaven immediately is not primarily the reason for this letter, rather it is because CETF has allowed a false quote to be printed. Yes, technically the fact that (is) is in brackets tells the reader that it is not “in” the text but how many of today’s readers know this fact. The correct quote should be:
• We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. (N IV)
• We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be pres- ent with the Lord. (KJV)
• We are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. (NASB)
• [Yes] we have confident and hopeful courage and are pleased rather to be away from home out of the body and be at home with the Lord. (Amp)
As you can see from the four “versions” I have quoted—NONE FIT and Jack does not designate the version used. A Berean has to question what has been done here... the “(is)” changes the whole context of the verse. —JS, Mission Centre International Balcatta WA 6914 Australia
Ed: Thank you for your diligence. I will be interested to see how author Jack Kinsella answers if he responds to your letter. I allowed the quote because as you say the bracketed “is” indicated that such was not strictly part of the quote. However—Question: Is that a reasonable conclusion based especially on the KJV which you have accurately quoted?
Please note: The letter by JS has been published on CWM’s blog in full together with our expanded response. The matter is open for further discussion at: http://www.christian- witness.org/blog/ as is the following issue.
Don't Pass-Over Easter
Ref: CETF 43, pp2-7, Author: Nick Sayer
Ed: The following is a brief part of an approximate 2,000 word “letter” sent to CWM. Obviously we can’t publish it all, some of which seems to miss the point of the article. We at CWM do not endorse anything pagan. We simply do not believe that the origin of Easter is pagan. Pagan practices have been added. But the origin was NOT pagan. We also advocate that we do not deny our Judeo-Christian ethos by succumbing to the modern effort to surrender our Christian festivals such as Christmas and Easter. Rather use them as a witness opportunity. Please refer Readers letters in review to CWM’s blog ... URL http://www.christian- witness.org/blog/ for full letter (edited) and comments. Author Nick Sayer will return to the theme in a later CETF, God willing.
Dear Editor, I have been reading carefully and prayerfully as requested Issue 43 March 2008 the article pp.1-7. I must apologise for any disagreements. ... I really do love the body of Christ, and would not like to hurt or offend any member. Firstly: I cannot follow the reasoning and logic of this article. I have a problem with the claim that Tyndale translated the Hebrew word “pecach” as “passover” (p.3 coI.3). ... I feel Nick was a little tough on “Hislop” he seems to have two minds on him. On p.5 col.2 he speaks of ... “his pseudo- pretend-scholarship”. In the same column he says: “...he does offer some sound information about pagan traditions...”. I have no idea about Hislop’s scholarship; but I feel he could have been a “wake up call” to his generation. Let us remember that Jesus chose some fishermen as disciples, some of the minor prophets were men of low position; and at one stage God chose an anointed “ass” to speak to the foolish prophet (2 Pet.2:16. Num.22:28-30). It looks like God sometimes uses the base things of this world to confound those who are wise in their man taught knowledge. Anyway it’s a thought. Nick was kind to people like me (p.2 col.1) when he says: “Many good Christians feel obligated by their conscience to reject celebrating Easter... “He wasn’t quite so kind on (p.6 coI.2) where he says: “If you’re a Bible believer, you believe the Bible—if you’re superstitious, you believe Hislop”. Well, we can wear the name; but honestly we must all be Bible believers. And it would be good if we could grasp how God feels about “pagan altars” in our lives. Jesus called upon His people seven times to repent in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. In Rev 18:4 He calls for His people to “come out of Babylon.” Rev.chapter17 says that the woman riding the beast—on many waters—seven hills—is the great city Babylon who killed His saints. Chapter 18 verse 15 speaks of the merchants of the earth who were made rich by Babylon and her pagan altars. They will never let these things go before Jesus comes. They would go broke, if they did. In Matt.15:3 Jesus is speaking of man made tradition. In verse 13 He said: “every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted”. —LP, Kingaroy, QLD, Australia
How can you, I mean really, how can you endorse that the Archbishop of Canterbury’s presence at the pope’s visit is a betrayal of Anglicanism and that it is OK to observe Christmas when the Anglican 39 Articles says that mass is a “blasphemous fable and a dangerous deceit”? So what if JW’s and SDA’s attack Easter, etc? If a foolish man says a wise thing it’s still a wise thing. Also if it’s a moot point that Easter is named after a semitic fertility goddess, what is obvious is that the trappings of fertility worship are still present in the festival, ie. bunnies, eggs and buns (‘a bun in the oven’ = pregnancy). Get a grip brother. I don’t recall any of the prophets using the festivals of Baal to preach fidelity to Jehovah and Paul in Athens could use the “unknown god” monument not having to mention heathen gods which was against the law. —KH, Clifton, QLD, Australia
Ed: You seem to miss the point totally and with your circular reasoning actually destroy your argument. We at CWM do not endorse any of the pagan practices associated with Easter or Christmas. We simply argue that the origin was not pagan and that we can and should use the occasions to preach the Gospel, when secular people’s thoughts are towards the “truth” that the festivals proclaim viz the birth, death and resurrection of Christ. We also affirm strongly that we should not surrender to secular pressure to forfeit our Christian heritage. If Paul could use the reference to the “unknown god” without mentioning the false deities that the Greeks worshipped, cannot we do similar with Christmas and Easter. How is that people like you can refer to the days of the week with impunity when many of them are actually directly derived from the names of pagan “gods”. Your argument is totally inconsistent as well as lacking in logic, eg. the phrase “a bun in the oven” is a recent expression and has nothing to do with “hot cross buns”.
Rick Warren AG-USA and C&MA USA Links
This news item is provided by James Sundquist and is a brief summary of the absolute havoc being created by Rick Warren and his Purpose Driven antics around the world. Sadly both the Assemblies of God (AG) and Christian & Missionary Association (C&MA) claimed by some to be the largest group of “evangelical” churches in the world have been duped and are turning on their long time godly supporters, urged on by Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven mandate.
The Tony Blair Faith Foundation
Monday, April 14, 2008 Tony Blair has just embarked upon a project to further the cause of global governance, and he is intending to use religion as the vehicle. Called the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, its purpose is to create momentum for achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals. His role is not unlike that of John Foster Dulles (John Foster Dulles (February 25, 1888 – May 24, 1959). Clearly the writer has miscalculated.) (http://herescope.blogspot. com/2006/08/pseudo-mission-syncretism- ethics-moral.html) nearly a century ago (sic—see footnote), who worked to create “an international ethos” [through the church] which would be essential as any foundation for any lasting international political structure. Commenting on this, historian Dr Martin Erdmann wrote, “The first responsibility of the church would thus be to inform the general public about international affairs”. He explained how “the churches would need to unite their forces to transform the present sovereignty system into a world order system wherever possible.” (Building the Kingdom of God on Earth [Wipf & Stock, 2005], p.113)
The following post is from http://www. crossroad.to Used with permission.
TONY BLAIR, GLOBAL BANKING, UNESCO, YALE AND THE EU
“Religions have... led to division, hatred, and war. Peace entails that we understand that we are all interdependent.... collectively responsible for the common good.... Religions must be a source of helpful energy.... We will promote dialogue and harmony between and within religions .... We call upon the different religious and cultural traditions to join hands... and to cooperate with us.” —read on at above link
Here are three questions to ponder as you read the quotes below:
1. How will Tony Blair’s Faith Foundation SHAPE and USE churches to establish the socialist-Communitarian management system (http://www.crossroad.to/Quotes/ communitarian/third_way.htm) behind the UN Millennium Development Goals? (http://www. crossroad.to/articles2/TwoSummits.htm)
2. Will Blair work with compromising leaders such as Rick Warren (http://www.crossroad. to/articles2/05/peace-un-2.htm), who has already been pulling churches and nations into the Communitarian web?
3. How many churches will have the discern- ment (cf . http://www.crossroad.to/HisWord/verses/topics/discernment.htm) needed to resist this global process and refuse to trade God’s unchanging Truth for the world’s changing and deceptive ideals?
(See Warren's P.E.A.C.E. Plan and UN Goals—http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/05/ peace-un.htm)
“The Tony Blair Faith Foundation will orga- nise a global campaign to mobilise young people, across religious divides, to work together towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) (http://www. crossroad.to/articles2/05/peace-un.htm) . ... Tony Blair said that he is passionate about the importance of faith in the modern world and highlight[ed] the need for people of faith to reach out to one another. ... to promote understanding between the major faiths, and increase understanding of the role of faith in the modern world. ... to work with Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists. The foundation is inspired by the former Prime Minister’s belief that faith can be a progressive force, advancing humanity and ending global poverty. [to] ... bring people of faith together to deliver the Millennium Development Goals. Tony Blair believes that the capacity of faith organisa- tions to do good is immense—and their reach is unparalleled.” —Millennium Development Goals are Litmus Test of World’s Values.
“The issue of religious faith will be of the same significance to the 21st Century as political ideology was to the 20th Century. In an era of globalisation, there is nothing more important than getting people of different faiths and therefore cultures to understand each other better and live in peace and mu- tual respect; and to give faith itself its proper place in the future.” —Tony Blair http://tonyblairoffice.org
“The purpose of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation is to promote respect, friendship and understanding between the major religious faiths; and to make the case for faith itself as relevant, positive and a force for good in the modern world.” —The Tony Blair Faith Foundation ibid, above
“Yale President Richard C. Levin said: “’As the world continues to become increas- ingly inter-dependent, it is essential that we explore how religious values can be channelled toward reconciliation rather than polarisation. Mr Blair has demonstrated outstanding leadership in these areas.’... “Blair, who served as British prime minister from 1997 to 2007, has been mentioned as a possible president of the European Union and earlier in 2008 it was announced Blair would become a part-time advisor to the US-based bank JPMorganChase Yale has strong ties to US political leaders: both President George W. Bush and his father, former president George H. W. Bush, were Yale undergraduates.” —Tony Blair accepts Yale position on faith and globalisation (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/6901)
Tony Blair quotes:
• "...religious faith, crucial to so many people’s culture and identity, can play a positive or a negative role. Either positively it will encourage peaceful co-existence by people of faith coming together in respect, understanding and tolerance (http://www.crossroad.to/ articles2/007/tolerance.htm), retaining their distinctive identity but living happily with those who do not share that identity. Or it will work against such co-existence by defining people by difference, those of one faith in opposition to others of a different faith. In this context, inter-faith action and encounter are vital (http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/2003/ heresy.htm).
• "...religious faith...has a major part to play in shaping the values which guide the modern world, and can and should be a force for progress. But it has to be rescued on the one hand from the extremist and exclusionary tendency within religion today....
• "Faith as a means of exclusion. God in this connection becomes not universal but partisan....An adjunct to such a form of religious faith is a refusal to countenance scientific discovery if it appears inconvenient to an aspect of organised religion. ...
• "Mass migration is changing communities, even countries. People communicate ideas and images instantly around the world, creating immediate political and ideological movements in a ferment of quickly devoured information.... Faiths can transform and humanise the impersonal forces of globalisation, and shape the values of the changing set of economic and power relationships of the early 21st Century. This is one of the issues I’ll explore in a Faith and Globalisation course which I am starting with Yale University later this year...
• "...the centre of gravity, economically and politically, is shifting East. ... China and India together, will industrialise the bulk of their populations, presently employed in subsistence agriculture, probably within two decades..... It is one reason why a sensible long-term partnership with China, and of course with India, is of vital strategic importance to us....
• "In her remarkable book ‘The Great Transformation’ Karen Armstrong traces the evolution of religious thought from the earliest times, both East and West, when religion did indeed seem often cruel, unforgiving and irrational, to the modern times in which the faiths share many common values and much common purpose.....
• "The foundation will concentrate on certain key specifics. The first will be to help the different faith organisations to work together in furtherance of the Millennium Development Goals, which I helped advocate as PM and which are, in many ways the litmus test of the world’s values.... The second will be to produce high quality material—books, websites, every means of communication—to educate people better about the different faiths, what they truly believe not what we often mistakenly think they believe....
• "If people of different faiths can co-exist happily, in mutual respect and solidarity, so can our world. And if faith takes its proper place in our lives, then we can live with a purpose beyond ourselves alone, supporting humanity on its journey to fulfillment. " —Faith and Globalisation http://www.crossroad. to/articles2/006/solidarity-1.html
The Truth: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you: not as the world gives, give I to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:17).