Archives

Folks Get Bent Out of Shape Easily

According to Albert Mohler:

“… count the cost when you talk about yoga. These people get bent out of shape fast.”

Yahoo, Yoga, and Your’s Truly

We are in worse shape than we thought. I have heard from a myriad of souls who have called me insane, incompetent, stupid, vile, fundamentalist, and perverted. Some others are best left unrepeated. These souls claim to be Christian, but offer no biblical argument nor do they even acknowledge the basic fact that yoga, as a spiritual practice, runs directly counter to the spiritual counsel of the Bible. Instead, I have been treated to arguments like these. From a “devoted Southern Baptist church member who resents your ignorance”: I get much more out of yoga and meditation than I ever get out of a sermon in church. From “a Christian who goes to church every service”: My favorite image I use in yoga is that of Jesus assuming a perfect yoga position in the garden of Gethsemane as he prays. And, to cap it all off: How do we know that the apostles and early Christian guys did not use yoga to commune with Jesus after he left?

It appears that many folks got their toes stepped on.

I’ve noticed the same kind of things with other issues.  Sad commentary on those who claim to be “Christians”. 🙁


Share

Yoga & Christians

In September, Albert Mohler wrote a post about Yoga and Christians. I read it and agreed with it but didn’t think much more about it. But it seems to have become a serious topic of debate and today I read an article about it from the Associated Press. Here is the link to Mohler’s post and a few quotes.

The Subtle Body — Should Christians Practice Yoga?

Some questions we ask today would simply baffle our ancestors. When Christians ask whether believers should practice yoga, they are asking a question that betrays the strangeness of our current cultural moment — a time in which yoga seems almost mainstream in America.

Then later he quotes from the book The Subtle Body: The Story of Yoga in America by Stefanie Syman a proponent of yoga:

There certainly was no better proof that Americans had assimilated this spiritual discipline. We had turned a technique for God realization that had, at various points in time, enjoined its adherents to reduce their diet to rice, milk, and a few vegetables, fix their minds on a set of, to us, incomprehensible syllables, and self-administer daily enemas (without the benefit of equipment), to name just a few of its prerequisites, into an activity suitable for children. Though yoga has no coherent tradition in India, being preserved instead by thousands of gurus and hundreds of lineages, each of which makes a unique claim to authenticity, we had managed to turn it into a singular thing: a way to stay healthy and relaxed.

He then summarizes with:

The embrace of yoga is a symptom of our postmodern spiritual confusion, and, to our shame, this confusion reaches into the church. Stefanie Syman is telling us something important when she writes that yoga “has augured a truly post-Christian, spiritually polyglot country.” Christians who practice yoga are embracing, or at minimum flirting with, a spiritual practice that threatens to transform their own spiritual lives into a “post-Christian, spiritually polyglot” reality. Should any Christian willingly risk that?

The article today in the Associated Press:

Southern Baptist leader on yoga: Not Christianity

A Southern Baptist leader who is calling for Christians to avoid yoga and its spiritual attachments is getting plenty of pushback from enthusiasts who defend the ancient practice.

Southern Baptist Seminary President Albert Mohler says the stretching and meditative discipline derived from Eastern religions is not a Christian pathway to God.

Mohler said he objects to “the idea that the body is a vehicle for reaching consciousness with the divine.”

“That’s just not Christianity,” Mohler told The Associated Press.

Mohler said feedback has come through e-mail and comments on blogs and other websites since he wrote an essay to address questions about yoga he has heard for years.

“I’m really surprised by the depth of the commitment to yoga found on the part of many who identify as Christians,” Mohler said.

It is funny how some can defend yoga as not being what it is.  I remember when yoga was first becoming popular and most Christians then were not so swept up in the yoga craze and they understood the risk of spiritual “emptying”.  We as believers should be filling our minds with Scripture and with Christ.  I also never considered letting my children take Karate for similar reasons.  What causes those who claim to be believers to play around the edges of other religions with little thought of the effect or the will of God?



Share

Expositor’s Conference – Session 7 – Preaching the Immutability of God (Steve Lawson)

Session 7 – Preaching the Immutability of God (Steve Lawson)

The seventh and last session of the conference is led by Steve Lawson preaching on the Immutability of God. As a side note, next year’s conference will feature Dr. Al Mohler. Preregistration is $89.00. And if you are in the Mobile area, John MacArthur will be preaching at Christ Fellowship Church on Wednesday, October 6 for a prayer breakfast and the evening service. He will be preaching on the topic of his forthcoming book: Slave.

The text is Malachi 3:6. This is a revelation of God about Himself – His own absolute immutability. The location of this revelation is significant – at the close of the Old Testament. In the midst of the change to come, God declares that He will not change.

So is it true that, even though the message does not change, the methods must change? If God has never changed, if human nature has never changed, if the methods of grace have never changed, then why should we expect that the methods need to change?

1. The definition of God’s immutability. God is unchanging, forever the same, never mutates, His attributes never cease, they never change.

(a) God’s essence is unchanging. He is, was, and will always be spirit. Refer to Psalm 102:25-27.

(b) God’s attributes are unchanging. Refer to James 1:17. God has no shadows. God cannot change for the better because He is already perfect, and being perfect He cannot change for the worse (A.W. Pink).

(c) God’s purposes are unchanging. God’s purposes were fixed in eternity past. There is no Plan B. Refer to Isaiah 46:9-11. However, we must always be amending our plans to align with the immutable purposes of God.

(d) God’s word never changes. Refer to Psalm 119:89. Even man’s law changes, but God’s word never changes. Refer to Isaiah 40:8, Matthew 5:18, Luke 16:17. Application: a ministry that never goes out of style is preaching the word of God.

(e) God is unchanging in the object of His love. Refer to Jeremiah 31:3. Nothing shall separate us from the love of God.

(f) God’s judgment is unchanging. The execution of God’s justice is unchanging. God’s wrath is unchanging. Refer to John 3:18. Annihilationism is unthinkable for an unchanging God. Refer to Revelation 14:11, 20:10. Forever and ever is also used to describe how long believers shall be in heaven.

2. The implications of God’s immutability.

(a) Our message never changes. As long as we preach the Bible we will never contradict ourselves. Refer to Hebrews 13:8. Preach the same Christ every day. Human nature does not change. The sickness is always the same. God’s remedy to the sickness does not change.  Refer to John 14:6. And the requirement placed on sinners does not change – faith in Jesus Christ.

(b) Our method never changes. These are the ordinary means of grace – the word of God, sacraments, prayer. In every season, the word of God going forward in public proclamation is the primary method of grace. God only had one Son, and He made Him a preacher.



Share

Upcoming Events and Activities

~ CHEF – Christian Home Education Fellowship

The Annual State Convention

In 2010 our twenty-second annual convention is scheduled for May 14-15 at the Sumatanga Camp and Conference Center in Gallant, AL, located between Birmingham and Gadsden. We look forward to welcoming you to a new location, with nature surround sound. This year parking is free! We have moved away from the downtown inner city to one of  God’s beautiful nature creations. Bring the family. Enjoy the nature trail up the Chandler Mountain or the walking trail around Sumatanga Lake. This is a family friendly environment, that the whole family will enjoy.

Godly speakers will encourage and inspire you to fulfill your God given responsibility to train your children. You will have an opportunity to examine curriculum, hear keynote speakers, attend workshops, and make new homeschool friends.

Speakers:

Andrew Pudewa

Jeannie Fulbright

Betty Statnick

Becky Cooke

Ben Williams

Luke Milam

Convention information

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

~ Ligonier National Conference

Orlando World Center Marriott Resort & Convention Center
8701 World Center Drive
Orlando, FL   32821

June 17 – 19, 2010

  •  Alistair Begg
  •  Michael Horton
  •  Steven Lawson
  •  Albert Mohler
  •  Burk Parsons
  •  John Piper
  •  R.C. Sproul
  •  R.C. Sproul Jr.
  •  Derek Thomas
Share

Young Marriage

If you’ve been around any length of time you’ve heard parents and others encourage young people to delay marriage until ….

You can fill in the blank with any number of words.

  • College
  • Career
  • Established Career
  • Until Older
  • Enjoy your freedom first


Did He Get Married Too Young? – Al Mohler

He writes, “As college-educated, professionally aspiring young adults in New York, my wife and I were bucking the prevailing social script by marrying in our early 20s.” Indeed, the average age for first marriage for young men is now 28, and for women it is now 26. That reflects a significant change in the way Americans live, love, and marry. We now have the twin phenomena of delayed adulthood and extended adolescence. Young Americans, by and large, are not waiting for sex . . . but they are putting marriage off into a distant future.

As David Lapp reports, some social scientists argue that “early marriage” is a leading cause of marital breakup and divorce. Lapp puts that argument to flight with his point that the early marriages that fail are often teenage marriages.


Share

Have You Been Adopted?

Those of us whom Christ has called rarely think about the fact that we are adopted.  We were the slaves and sons of the Father of Lies, Satan, yet Christ came to adopt us so that now we are sons and heirs with Him to our Father.

Ephesians 1:3-6
3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,
4  even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love
5  he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,
6  to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
ESV

Galatians 4:4-7
4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,
5  to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”
7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God
ESV

Albert Mohler wrote this moving piece comparing our adoption in Christ to adoption in Haiti.

Adopted for Life . . . and in Death

Arno was inseparable from Mr. Penguin. The little Haitian boy was almost three years old, and the plush penguin with the word “love” inscribed upon it was his most treasured object. The orphan and his penguin were always seen together.

The boy had been given the penguin just after his birth. A Dutch couple was in the process of adopting him almost from the start of his life — they had been matched to him when he was only two months old. The penguin represented a promise.

The process of adoption took two years — the length of time considered adequate to determine that no living relatives might claim him. According to official estimates, there were over 50,000 parentless orphans in Haiti before the earthquake came and orphaned many thousands more. … Continue


Share

Challies – The Holiness of God Conference

Tim Challies has been live blogging The Holiness of God Conference. Here are the posts available so far.

Ligonier Conference – Al Mohler – John Calvin: Preacher and Teacher

Calvin understood the majesty of preaching because he understood the majesty of God. Calvin’s mode of preaching was verse-by-verse, book-by-book so he would not selectively avoid things he did not wish to teach. In this way God’s people receive all that they need and not just what the preacher determines the people need. The preacher is neither to add nor subtract from Scripture.

Ligonier Conference – Sinclair Ferguson – The Doctrines of Grace

Calvin says there is no such thing as grace, only Jesus Christ. There is not something outside of Jesus Christ that the Holy Spirit dispenses to you like a lump sum. There is only Jesus Christ which is why one of the most significant and startling things Calvin says is that all that Christ has done for us is of no value to us unless we get, by faith, Jesus Christ himself. And in just a moment you can see how the whole medieval system with priests and sacraments and sacrifices and saints and Mary was immediately exploded and destroyed. What the Spirit is doing and bringing you into is the same as the Lord Jesus himself. There is nothing between—no pope, no bishops, no sacraments, no priests—only the Holy Spirit bringing you to Jesus who is all your righteousness and all the righteousness you will ever need.

From Calvin we learn this: it is all there for you in Christ, so drink from no other fountain than Christ. We are all, even in our evangelical hearts, liable to sink back into errors that make us think there is something in us that qualifies us, something that Jesus Christ could give me without giving himself and me giving myself to him. This is Calvin: it is all of God, it is all in Christ, it all comes through the Holy Spirit.

Ligonier Conference – Q&A – Dr. Sinclair Ferguson, Dr. Ligon Duncan, Dr. Steven Lawson, Dr. Al Mohler

Where should people start to learn about Calvin?

Ferguson – If you are daunted by the Institutes, begin with The Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life. You will probably find that Calvin is not as daunting as it may seem. If he didn’t know that Packer was going to do it, he probably would have called this book Knowing God.

Lawson – Read his sermons. The preaching of the word is the primary ordinary means of grace. Begin with his sermons on Galatians and Ephesians.

Mohler – Dive into the deep end of the pool by reading the introduction to the Institutes. Even if you need to read them two or three times, read them! It is one of the greatest works of Christian devotional literature ever written.

Ligonier Conference – R.C. Sproul – I Am the Lord, There is No Other

We also need to consider from this text what this God does. He brings the light and the darkness, he brings well-being and calamity. After 9/11 it was unthinkable to the American people that God could have anything to do with calamity. We are people who believe that God can bless a nation but refuse to believe that he can also judge a nation. We believe this because we do not know who God is. The God of popular religion is not holy. This is not the God of Isaiah 45—the God who brings calamity, the God who brings the bear market and the bull market, who pulls kingdoms up and tears kingdoms down. “I will raise you up Cyrus, but I can also tear you right down.”

Ligonier Conference – Alistair Begg – The Breath of the Almighty: The Holy Spirit

The nature of this topic, he said, makes it virtually horizonless. Considerations of any doctrine, but particularly this one, that are not grounded within the controls of the Bible itself, may lead to all kinds of flights of fancy. There has been as much confusion within evangelicalism about the person and work of the Spirit as there has been in any other part of the Bible.

Ligonier Conference – Thabiti Anyabwile – Cosmic Treason: Sin and the Holiness of God

Sin is personal in nature. It is against God himself, provoking his wrath. Sin is apostasy, turning away from God. Our culture teaches that sin is not often against anyone but is just a mistake or a blooper. But this passage makes it clear that our sin does land on something. It lands squarely in the sight of a holy God who will not look upon sin. Our sin is an offense against God, a personal rebellion against him. It not only incites his anger but is also treasonous, rebelling against the rule and love of God. Israel is often called God’s wife. Can you think of a more treasonous act than to declare union with a husband but then to commit adultery with another?

Ligonier Conference – Robert Godfrey – Wounded for Our Transgressions: The Holiness of God and the Cross

Are you beginning to see what it cost Jesus Christ to be the Savior? When we say he is king it sounds good, when we say he is priest it sounds honorable. And he is those things. But the depth of our salvation is to be found in the willingness of Jesus to become a leper for lepers, to become sin for sinners. “Surely he has borne our sickness.” Jesus was not literally a leper, of course, but just as Uzziah the good king was afflicted with leprosy to show the people the sinfulness of sin, so in some sense we have to think of Jesus as a leper to realize the depths of what it meant for him to take our sins upon himself. We can make this sound like an easy transaction. How hard can sin-bearing be for the eternal son of God? We may slip into such an attitude as the cross becomes too familiar. We may begin to lose a sense of the horror of the cross.


Share

2009 National Conference – The Holiness Of God

the-holiness-of-god-conference

National Conference, March 19-21 (2009)

Conference Theme: The Holiness of God. This is an expanded conference with more speakers than ever (Anyabwile, Begg, Carson, Duncan, Ferguson, Godfrey, Lawson, Mohler, Sproul Jr., Sproul, Thomas). Holiness is the characteristic of God’s nature that is at the very core of His being. Without a proper grasp of God’s holiness we do not understand who He truly is, nor do we understand who we truly are. In our pre-conference seminar, we celebrate the 500th birthday of John Calvin.

Live Webcast of the 2009 National Conference

The biggest event of the year for Ligonier Ministries is just around the corner. We are excited to once again be able to offer a free, live webcast of the conference, available in both English and Spanish. See below for details.

While there is nothing quite like being able to attend the conference in person, the live webcast is a helpful way to serve those unable to travel or those living overseas. In the past, we’ve had up to 22,000 people around the world sharing the experience through the webcast. This ministry outreach helps fulfill our desire to “awaken as many people as possible to the holiness of God by proclaiming, teaching, and defending His holiness in all its fullness.” Spread the word and enjoy.

Click here to sign-up

Share

Al Mohler’s “He Is Not Silent”

From Al Mohler’s He Is Not Silent

“The audacious claim of Christian preaching is that the faithful declaration of the Word of God, spoken through the preacher’s voice, is even more powerful than anything music or image can deliver.”

“If we do not come face-to-face with our sin as individuals and as a congregation, we have not seen God, and we have not worshiped Him.”

“The anemia of evangelical worship–all the music and energy aside–is directly attributable to the absence of genuine expository preaching. If we as pastors are truly serious about giving our people a true vision of God, showing them their own sinfulness, proclaiming to them the gospel of Jesus Christ, and encouraging them to obedient service in response to that gospel, then we will devote our lives to preaching the Word. That is our task and our calling–to confront our congregations with nothing less than the living and active Word of God, and to pray that the Holy Spirit will thereby open eyes, convict consciences, and apply that Word to human hearts.”

“The health of the church depends upon its pastors functioning as faithful theologians–teaching, preaching, defending, and applying the great doctrines of the faith.”

Share