The Rock and the gates of death

Matthew 16:15-18 is a very misunderstood passage in the Bible.

The Roman Catholic Church believes that the Rock on which Jesus builds his church was the Apostle Peter, who allegedly was the first Pope or Bishop of Rome.  Subsequently, all the Popes have been the spiritual descendants of Peter.

The true church is, therefore, all those who acknowledge the headship of the Pope and belong to the Roman Catholic structure.

In Roman Catholic doctrine, God’s grace flows from God through the Pope, through the Cardinals, through the Bishops, through the Priests, and then to the congregation via the sacraments.

To be excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church is to endanger your immortal soul.

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Are you a Trinitarian heretic?

One of the mysteries of the Bible is the nature of God himself; that God is Trinity.

Trinity means tri-unity – three in oneness.  There is diversity in unity.

God is three persons (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and each person in fully God.

Yet, we believe in one God, not three.

The word “Trinity” does not occur in the Bible and opponents of Christianity are very quick to point that out.  But the Bible certainly teaches the fact that God is Trinity.

There are many other words that do not occur in the Bible either.

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The God syndrome

Many religious practitioners, down through the centuries and throughout the world today, have suffered from (what I like to call) the “God-syndrome”.  It refers to religious leaders or church pastors who see themselves as the Lord’s Anointed or the anointed Man of God.

It’s the priest in Roman Catholicism who can absolve you of your sins and turn wine into Christ’s very own blood. Without his intervention, you would be eternally damned.

It’s the anointed prophet or healer in the Charismatic church who can call down God’s blessing and bring healing. Without his intervention, you would not have all that God intended for you.

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The (unintentional) battle royal

A few days ago, I posted what I thought was an innocent status update on Facebook.  The update has created more heat and debate than all my other Facebook posts together.  I was even accused of racism.

I thought I should try to clarify my comments.

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Are you an obvious or undercover sinner?

Most people don’t think they need their sins forgiven

Most people think that they are not as bad as Adolf Hitler, they’re not a serial murderer, they’re not corrupt like the Gupta’s and they’re generally nice people, so they really don’t need their sins forgiven.  They don’t understand why Christians keep going on and on about the forgiveness of sin.

Let me share an illustration that I heard recently.*

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WWJD is probably the wrong question to ask

You may remember the WWJD (“What Would Jesus Do”) bracelet phase.  The bracelets were a very well-intentioned movement to get Christians to think about their actions and responses.  How would Jesus react in any given situation?

Would Jesus get angry? Would Jesus be generous? Would Jesus pray for the sick?

Great questions to ask.

However, I think those bracelets got it a little wrong.

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The titanic struggle for church planting

I was greatly challenged at our Gospel DNA National Ministry Conference with Richard Coekin.

Richard emphasised many things, but mostly the need for church planting and church rejuvenation.

Richard compared the lack of church planting to the tragedy surrounding the Titanic’s sinking.

The luxury steamship RMS Titanic sank in the early hours of April 15, 1912, off the coast of Newfoundland in the North Atlantic after sideswiping an iceberg during its maiden voyage. Of the 2,240 passengers and crew on board, more than 1,500 lost their lives in the disaster.

Several factors made the tragedy so much worse than it could have been.

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