Sun, Moon, Stars, Plants…

Sun, Moon, Stars, Plants…

Solomon once observed that there is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

Men frequently like to think that their generation is different from those which came before, their life experiences unique, and their understanding wiser, being more modern and up-to-date.Yet a casual study of history shows that the problems facing men today are the same problems men have always struggled with; which is why the Bible is perpetually relevant to men. God wrote it knowing the struggles and issues men would deal with in this world, and those struggles and those issues remain ever the same.

Plant worship

Some things should not have to be said…

A case in point: Union Theological Seminary, in New York, held a recent chapel in which the students confessed to and prayed to plants, and then bragged about doing so on a social media platform. Lest you think this to be an exaggeration, their statement was as follows: “Today in chapel, we confessed to plants. Together, we held our grief, joy, regret, hope, guilt and sorrow in prayer; offering them to the beings who sustain us but whose gift we too often fail to honor.” When more than a few people criticized their worship as being heretical (which it was), the school issued a defense of itself, explaining that Christians needed to repent of their violence to plants, and that the church needed “new spiritual and intellectual frameworks by which we understand and relate to the plants and animals,” and a “new theology, new liturgy.”

Yet, despite this school’s vanity in thinking they are fashioning some new theology, they are merely engaging in an ancient form of paganism called nature worship. Praying to plants, animals, rocks and even the weather has been going on for thousands of years; there is nothing new about it. Pantheists and animists are eager to welcome the students and teachers of U.T.S. into their fold. And, as men rush into their folly, the Bible will continue to contain and proclaim God’s opinion on the matter, for, as already observed, there is nothing new under the sun, and the things men think of as being new are just variations on the same things they have always been doing in rebellion against their Creator, and God has spoken to these things time and again.

The Scriptures explain the process by which men turn away from God, saying, “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things… they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! (Romans 1:21-23, 25; ESV)” Men today, failing to properly honor God, remain as futile in their thinking as their ancestors ever were.

When God gave the Law to Israel, the first commandment was, “You shall have no other gods before me,” and the second commandment warned against making idols, saying, “you shall not bow down to them or worship them. (Exodus 20:3, 5)” Praying to plants, by almost an reasonable understanding, would be worshipping an idol, and the creation of a false god. In point of fact, within the Law, the Israelites were specifically warned about worshipping trees, and were told not to do it (cf. Deuteronomy 16:21). Apparently there were other cultures and peoples in the vicinity of Israel who were doing exactly that. Incorporating plants into worship has been going on for a good, long time, and God has always been rather clear as being against it.

Because people have a tendency to think that their ideas are new, and because there is a school of thought, common to man, that believes new is always better, it is necessary, upon occasion, to point out that not only are certain ideas not new, but that these ideas are as bad today as they have always been.

The faithful believer in God understands that it is God, and God alone, who is worthy of worship and thanksgiving. To the extent that plants “sustain” mankind, they do so only as an instrument of the Father’s wisdom and it is God who gets all the glory. Specifically, concerning this point the Bible teaches that it is in God that “we live and move and have our being,” and it is God, through Christ, who “upholds all things through the word of His power (Acts 17:28; Hebrews 1:3).” If anyone is going to get credit, Christians need to give it to God, “giving thanks for all things to the Father, through the Lord Jesus (Colossians 3:17b).”

When someone tries to tell us that what Christians need to start doing is praying to plants and confessing our sins to plants, we should recognize their doctrine for the old, old paganism that it is, and, remaining true to God’s word, soundly reject it. And, while it may seem a silly sort of issue to pontificate on and meditate on, the fact that it is an issue that has been popping up for a few thousand years reminds us that men can frequently be quite silly in matters of religion.

Posted in Jonathan McAnulty | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Sun, Moon, Stars, Plants…

What About Sickness, Death, & Suffering?

What About Sickness, Death, & Suffering?

Sin, sickness, death and suffering were never a part of God’s desire for His human creation. In the beginning, He created a beautiful garden that was completely free from all of those horrific evils. Indeed, it was very good (Gen. 1). It was so good, so perfect, and so pristine in fact, that the pure and sinless, eternal God and Creator of the entire universe walked freely therein, along with His beloved creation (Gen. 3:8).

suffering garden

In the beginning, it wasn’t so… man chose.

But although God so loved and provided them with every possible blessing they would ever need in order for them to remain eternally joyful, fulfilled, and sin, sickness, death and sorrow free, true love is always a choice. Thus God, in His great and infinite wisdom, knew He must allow His beloved and much-blessed creation to make their own choice, as to whether or not they wanted to truly love Him in return. Did they truly love Him enough to trust Him, and hence trust Him enough to obey and remain loyal to Him, or not? That was the test, the choice, the decision and the question, which He knew He must allow them to fully and freely make and answer for themselves. So; God stood back, allowed the devil to make his play, and Adam and Eve to make their choice (Gen. 3). As we know, it was an epic fail. They chose to love, trust, listen to and obey Satan, instead of their Lord God and Creator. Hence, sin, sickness, death and suffering entered the world as a result, driving a deep wedge of division between their pure and sinless Creator, and His now unholy and sin-stained creation (Gen. 3:22-24; Isa. 59:1-2).

But even then – despite their lack of love for, trust in, and obedience to their almighty and all-loving God and Creator – He did not stop loving them… not for one moment. Despite the fact that due to their own chosen disobedience they would now have to live in a world far less wonderful and much more painful than He had ever planned, purposed, or wanted for them in the first place, He promised His now-fallen and sin-stained creation that He had a plan in place to give them yet another chance to be with Him forever (Gen. 3:15), if they would but simply choose to love, listen to, and trust and obey Him this time.

Each and every day, we are given the same exact choice as Adam and Eve were. God still loves and provides for us more than we can ever imagine (Jn. 3:16; Ro. 8:28-32). And so, the question is not does God love us, but do we love God – according to His definition? Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will obey My commandments” (Jn. 14:15; see verses 21-24). Do you love Him, enough to listen to and obey, only Him (Matt. 4:10)? Have you obeyed the gospel – God’s commandment to be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins (2 Thess. 1:7-9; Acts 2:38)? Are you daily listening to, learning of, and walking in, obedience to and with the Lord your God? Or, are you choosing to love, trust, listen to and live for someone else, resulting in eternally more death and suffering?


Posted in Doug Dingley | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on What About Sickness, Death, & Suffering?



            A nadie le gusta estar triste. Realmente hay muchas razones por las que uno se puede desanimar y sentirse solo sin ganas de continuar. Para los cristianos es mucho más difícil. Uno no puede solamente renunciar y darle la espalda a todo lo que ha creído y todo con lo que ha soñado. Cuando en la puerta del ministerio el desánimo toca incansablemente, ¿que debe uno de hacer? Muchas veces uno cierra la puerta y no permite que entre, pero de repente la puerta es tumbada y es ahí cuando nos encontramos en serios problemas. El desanimo N.1 viene por las decepciones amorosas, pero también si usted es predicador el desanimo numero uno viene a causa de decir, servir y vivir en  la verdad.

precadores triste

A nadie le gusta estar triste.

 Es interesante observar que en 1Rey.18 Elías acababa de experimentar una tremenda victoria para Jehová y su causa pero tan solo un tiempo después de haber matado tantos profetas falsos, él va y se mete en cueva. El hermano Robert Spurlin en su Libro “Nunca te rindas” pg.22 y 23 nos da 4 ingredientes para nunca darnos por vencidos, él recomienda: 

1.     Un amigo con quien puedas hablar diariamente.

2.     Alguien a quien le importes y que vaya a proveer cariño y animo.

3.     Hable con una persona que vaya a ser honesta y verdadera al dar consejo.

4.     Busca consejo de alguien que haya pasado por terribles problemas y haya salido victorioso permaneciendo.

5.     Lea y estudie Romanos 8:31-39. 

La vida del hermano Bod fue realmente difícil, él sabia de lo que estaba hablando sin lugar a duda. Permítame sugerir que el desanimo tiende a bloquear nuestra mirada del futuro. Puedo comprender a los predicadores que con lagrimas en las manos deben de ponerse de pie para deliberar el mensaje de Dios el Domingo por la mañana. He visto el dolor intenso cuando por ejemplo has enseñado a alguien intensamente la verdad o incluso a la Iglesia completa y luego de un tiempo cuando ya pueden sustentarse a si mismos y funcionar por si solos piden tu cabeza en bandeja de plata. Realmente uno puede desanimarse al punto de no querer predicar más, pero ¿como renunciar cuando tu exhortas a otros todo el tiempo a seguir adelante?. Trabajar con personas siempre va a causar dolor y desanimo a las personas, pero trabajar con Almas que quieren ir al cielo es mucho más complejo. 

Jeremías fue un profeta de Dios que fue un hombre amoroso pero fuerte a la exhortación del Pueblo. El predicó por poco más de 40 años. Nadie puede hablar mejor que Jeremías en el A.T en cuanto al desanimo de un predicador de verdad. Es de difícil aceptación el hecho de que una nación toda le de la espalda a Dios (Jr.6:16). Después de tantos y tantos años  en los que el Señor había sido fiel a su pueblo ellos simplemente decidieron no amar al Señor. 

Predicar es difícil y Cristo en el N.T dijo que estábamos en buena compañía cuando nos vituperaran, levantaran falso testimonio o hablaran todo tipo de mal contra nosotros mintiendo.

Como miembro en la Iglesia del Señor recuerda que tu predicador también se deprime y que necesita de tu amor y cuidado. Como predicador en la Iglesia del Señor recuerda que servimos al Señor y que todo lo que aquí pase valdrá la pena cuando estemos en gloria (Fil.3:20) 

Posted in Heiner Montealto | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on LOS PREDICADORES TAMBIEN SE DESANIMAN 

Major Issues

Major Issues

The Christian family in America, (and I suspect abroad), has major issues! I do not say this in a judgmental way, but rather to point out something that I have observed.

When I started preaching, I knew there were families out there who had been touched by things like divorce, death, chronic illness, lost children, etc. But I assumed those families were relatively rare and that most people in the audience were “normal.”

issues problems

Lives are not as simple as a picture.

The more I’ve traveled and have gotten to know people, the more I realize there is no such thing as “normal.” The Norman Rockwell family featured in pictures does not exist. After almost twenty years of preaching I’ve discovered basically every single family has issues.

Maybe it is a spouse who is not a Christian.

Maybe it is a spouse who is verbally abusive.

Maybe it is a spouse who is a workaholic.

Maybe it is a spouse who no longer loves you.

Maybe it is a spouse who is addicted to pornography.

Maybe it is a child who is rebellious.

Maybe it is a child who got pregnant out of wed-lock.

Maybe it is a child who is chronically sick.

Maybe it is a child who suffers a mental illness.

Maybe it is an older child who has never obeyed the Gospel.

Maybe it is a sibling that is unable to take care of himself/herself.

Maybe it is a sibling who is causing your parents mental anguish.

Maybe it is a sibling who is addicted to drugs or alcohol.

Maybe it is a sibling who died at a relatively young age.

Maybe it is a parent who has been diagnosed with cancer.

Maybe it is a parent who committed adultery.

Maybe it is a parent who suffers from dementia.

Maybe it is a parent who is unable to pay their bills.

And the list could go on and on and on. These are not theoretical “issues” that a few people have. These are very real scenarios that individuals sitting in the pews around you are suffering. And many of these issues affect the physical and emotional well-being of those around us.

Here’s the problem as I see it: Satan has convinced us that we must have perfect families—families without blemishes. Social media like Facebook and Instagram have fed this lie, encouraging Christians to only display pictures of a beautiful happy family. As a result, we never share what is really going on at home and in many cases, we are left to suffer all alone through our issues.

I don’t believe this is what God wants and I don’t believe this is how the church in Acts 2 behaved. I believe in times past church families were closer. People spent more time with one another in their homes. I suspect being in one another’s homes and having all things in common allowed these individuals to have real conversations about what was really going on at home. This was a church family that saw one another more than just an hour or two per week. I believe there was great comfort in knowing you were not the only one struggling. Did they have issues back then? Absolutely. But their stress and emotional health were much better because they had Christian family to talk to and lean on.

Today, pride causes us to hide behind the façade that everything is “fine.” We are too busy to have brothers and sisters over for a meal. We settle for fast-food Christianity and believe that 1-2 hours on a Sunday is enough. And Christians all around us suffer silently, thinking they are the only ones who have issues.

How refreshing would it be if we were closer to one another and could be real with each other? How liberating would it be to know you do not have to have the perfect family? How thankful would you be to know that others are going through similar trials? How amazing would it be to have an entire church family that truly rejoices and weeps together?!

I believe it could happen. I think it needs to happen. Deep down I think people want it to happen. But there is one final “issue” that would need to be exposed before this problem can be fixed—and that “issue” is for Christians to have the courage to admit they have issues and are not perfect. We have to feel comfortable getting our hands dirty with our church family, as we all share in the reality that we have issues. We have to have the strength to admit we are not perfect, and therefore we need Jesus Christ!

Can you picture it? Can you imagine walking in to an auditorium full of people with issues who openly acknowledge they have problems and need Jesus? What a beautiful sight that would be…

Posted in Brad Harrub | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Major Issues

Broken Hearts Like Jeremiah

Broken Hearts Like Jeremiah

In the five lamentations of Jeremiah one is struck with how personally the prophet takes the punishment of Judah and Jerusalem. They have been removed due to their sin, sin which Jeremiah pleaded with them to repent of and turn to God. But they refused. Jeremiah’s heart is broken over the desolation of the once great city of David and the derision that is spewed forth toward its remains. But in the midst of his wailing he reminds himself and the people of God of the wonderful mercies of the Lord and His impending judgment upon His enemies.

Jeremiah Grief

What causes your heart to Grieve?

When the church falls into sin do we mourn over her destruction? Do we weep over the ridicule hurled at her by her enemies? Do we seek the mercy of the Lord, His judgment upon His enemies, and a restoration of the old paths? Do we weep over the sins of our day? Do we care for the lost and dying?

If every Christian grieved like Jeremiah consider just how strong and glorious the kingdom on earth would be. How Christ would be exalted. How God would be glorified. It starts with me! Be faithful.

Posted in Tim Dooley | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Broken Hearts Like Jeremiah