Help My Doubt

Faith seeking reason- Mark 9:24

Increasing in Jesus (2Pe.1:8)

 

King Saul started out as a good God-fearing man. However, he did not stay faithful. On one occasion Saul had specific instructions to defeat an army completely but he let the king live and let the soldiers bring back the best animals and plunder (1Sam.15:9). Saul’s army thought God’s command to kill all the people and animals would be such a waste. Instead they suggested that they keep all the good animals and sacrifice some of them to the Lord. Saul knew it was wrong but agreed to go along with them. When Samuel confronted him about his rebellion against God Saul lied and made excuses, so God removed his spirit from Saul and sent a tormenting spirit instead.

 

10The next day an evil spirit from God came forcefully upon Saul (1Samuel 18:9-10).

 

As Christians we are all tempted to do the same thing. For example, some churches today have stopped saying the word “sin”. They have taken out pictures of thorns and nails and the cross. Some don’t like to talk about “blood” and “hell”. It is tempting to obey only ½ of God’s word but we need to remember that God rejected Saul because he wanted the love of people more than the love of God. We need to increase our obedience to God’s word not our popularity among men. We need to be like David, not like Saul.

February 23, 2009 Posted by | Christian Celebrities, God | 1 Comment

Denzel Washington

I was pleasantly surprised to read Denzel Washington’s interview in Reader’s Digest last month. I also saw it online here: http://www.rd.com/content/denzel-washington-interview-devoted/

Note: 

RD: Do you think of yourself as a spiritual person?
Washington: Definitely.

RD: In what way?
Washington: I read the Bible every day. I’m in my second pass-through now, in the Book of John. My pastor told me to start with the New Testament, so I did, maybe two years ago. Worked my way through it, then through the Old Testament. Now I’m back in the New Testament. It’s better the second time around.

December 16, 2007 Posted by | Christian Celebrities | 1 Comment

Bono

People have been talking about U2’s religous identity for as long as I can remember. Bono has gotten a lot of press lately because of his advocacy for the poor, especially for AIDS in Africa.

I read a nice article about him online at Christianity Today from 2003 (http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2003/march/2.38.html). He certainly would not be called “orthodox” nor would he want to be, apparently. On the other hand he might well be called zealous in a postmodern sort of way because he is passionate about putting faith into action. This faith, as far as I can tell, does in fact seem to be rooted in the Scriptural Jesus.

While I would like to see Bono be more bold in his faith for the Gospel of Christ and not just the mercy of Christ I have no idea what it is like to be a celebrity. Jesus himself was silent when questioned by some. I’m not sure whether he submits to the mutual accountability of a pastor and worshipping community but that would be my main concern with his witness. As an entertainer and a citizen I don’t mind calling him a brother in Christ. I would not want him teaching doctrine or serving on the board of my church but I am certain that he would not want to either.

What do you think?

October 1, 2007 Posted by | Christian Celebrities | Leave a comment

Dave Mustaine

I heard that Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine had become a Christain too. The only thing I could find that remotely resembled faith was an interview with askmen.com where Dave mentioned God. He said, “Do I care about what mankind says in general? No, I care more about what God knows than what man says.” Unfortunately he also joked about masturbating and swore here and there (http://www.askmen.com/toys/interview_100/149_dave_mustaine_interview.html).

I like his style of music so don’t call me prejudiced. I have never purchased his material because the lyrics have an unChristian message but clearly he has talent for both poetry and musical communication. If you know where I can learn about Dave’s conversion I would love to see evidence of it. Please let me know.

October 1, 2007 Posted by | Christian Celebrities | 4 Comments

Alice Cooper

I read recently that Alice Cooper was a Christian. I visited his web site and I don’t see any claim to faith in Jesus. On the contrary I see more of the same. If he has discovered the truth about Christ then he has some serious sin to confess and turn away from. The pictures are wicked (literally). Like the guy from Korn, I would like to see Alice apologize for the sins of his past and make a clear change.

To his credit I did visit his youth center’s web site at http://www.srfrock.org/. The mission is TO HONOR CHRIST BY HELPING TO MEET THE SPIRITUAL, ECONOMIC, PHYSICAL, AND SOCIAL NEEDS OF TEENAGERS & CHILDREN WITHIN OUR COMMUNITY. That’s a great mission and I’m glad Alice is doing good things but how can he continue selling evil music on the weekends and then return home to tell teens how to live spiritually pure and socially redeeming lives after the show? I hope his live shows have changed from the blood and perversion and deviance I see in his pictures and album covers but if he were a prostitue wouldn’t we expect him to stop turning tricks after he claimed faith in Christ?

 I don’t want to be overly critical or unfair towards Alice but public figures are open to public scrutiny. Like Jesus told the wealthy young ruler I would say to celebrities like Alice, “if you  want to be perfect then sell all you have and give it to the poor”.

What do you think?

October 1, 2007 Posted by | Christian Celebrities | 6 Comments

Bad Pastors

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them (2 Tim 3:1-5).   

Tell me you guys, would you know a bad pastor if you saw one? When I heard this news report last month I was furious:

 Randy and Paula White, the founders and co-pastors of what has been one of the nation’s biggest and fastest-growing churches, plan to divorce. Members of Without Walls International Church reacted with tears and a chorus of ‘Oh, no’s’ after the Whites’ announcement at Thursday night’s service. Randy White called Paula White to the podium about an hour into the service. He was somber; she appeared choked up. ‘It’s the most difficult decision I’ve ever had to make in my entire life,’ he told the congregation, describing her as an exceptional woman, mother and preacher. She pledged to return frequently to preach. The most shaken members left the service and went into the entryway to cry or call loved ones. Most said the news came as a shock, but it didn’t shake their faith in the ministry. http://www.tbo.com/news/nationworld/MGBA6S84Q5F.html 

If you could see the picture of this couple they are beautiful and young. If you read the rest of the article you would hear how both of them earn millions and millions of dollars. The problem is that they are preachers of the Word of God and at the same time are betraying a clear command not to divorce. They are being, “lovers of themselves, lovers of money” and God warns us, “Have nothing to do with them (2Tim.3:5)”. Their congregation, however, responded by saying, “it didn’t shake their faith in the ministry”.

If Anissa and I had stood up and done the same thing in our church last week I would have been immediately suspended from my position as pastor and placed under the care of a guidance board. Pastors who have such devastating moral failures need to be taken to the spiritual emergency room. Pastors who teach that such sin is only a “difficult decision” need to go to the spiritual woodshed.

Please don’t be fooled by young and attractive and successful preachers. There are so many of them and they preach so much better than I do but some of what they say can lead you astray. God forbid but some of what you hear may even lead to spiritual death. Instead, “have nothing to do with them”.

September 26, 2007 Posted by | Christian Celebrities, Ponderings | 6 Comments

Stephen Baldwin

I may be an idiot for not knowing who Stephen Baldwin was before hearing that he was a Christian (about a year ago). Everyone knows the Baldwin name and the family all look the same to me (he’s on the left, right?). What I have heard in the news seems consistent with genuine faith in Christ.

 I like “Judgment Day” movies so I watched him in Six (http://themoviesix.com/index.htm) and enjoyed it. I also liked the other acters even though the movie was low-budget.

 He has a quality web site too (http://www.stephenbaldwin.com/). Some Christians might consider it “worldly” but what I saw and heard in 3 minutes was okay with me. How do we define “worldly” according to God?

It must be very difficult to be a Christian in Hollywood (or Las Vegas or Washington or New York or…). We have the 10 Commandments and the Great Commandment as moral guides for Christian living but how to apply them in different circumstances is not always clear.

July 26, 2007 Posted by | Christian Celebrities | Leave a comment

Korn- Brian Welsh

http://www.headtochrist.com/index02.html

I had heard of Brian’s decision some months (or years) ago and got hesitantly excited. I have never listened to Korn but I knew they were very popular and attracted angry youth. At the time I just hoped to see his future confirm the reality of his testimony for Christ.

 Now that several months have passed, and years since his decision, I am thrilled to see that his witness for Jesus and transformation continues. I am thrilled, not so much because of his celebrity but because of his testimony. It is exciting to think of how many people God might use him to witness to but it is even more exciting to see evidence of God’s power over darkness and eternal love for His prized creations. God can save anybody! And He wants to!

Brian’s web site is pretty yucky but not evil. He has a crunching guitar loop, fire, blood and somber pictures of himself but I don’t think they cross “the line”. Maybe it would be worth talking about “the line” and the “transformation” God would establish for us as Christians. Do Brian’s Biblical tatoos give evidence to the Holy Spirit’s transformation? Do his changed lyrics give evidence of new birth and sanctification even though his mucic remains the same?

 I praise God for Brian and pray that the Lord will bless him and his daughter. Perhaps it is not too late to repair his divorce and other relationships in his family. Nothing is too difficult for the Lord.

July 26, 2007 Posted by | Christian Celebrities, Doubt | 5 Comments

Christian Rambo

I was listening to the Family Life Network (http://www.fln.org) this morning and heard John talking about the new Sylvester Stallone movie called, “Rocky Balboa”. They said he is talking like a Christian, and since I like his macho characters, I looked into it.

I found a little information written by a pastor who heard a conference telephone call with Stallone here: http://blog.ourchurch.com/2006/11/10/just-got-off-the-phone-with-sylvester-stalone/. As you might expect, there are many who hope he is sincere and there are those who think it’s all about money.

My feelings are the same as everyone else, some hopeful and some doubtful. I want him to be a Christian because he encouraged the hero in me during my teenage years and became sort of an imaginary friend. It would be great if he would (or did) accept God’s gift of eternal life (http://www.jimberg.com/bridge-tract.htm) so that we could become true brothers in Jesus Christ forever.

At the same time we need to put childish ways behind us and love the real people we have living right beside us every day. If Rocky or Rambo or Stallone were our neighbors, we would quickly discover that, just like everyone else, they would be VERY hard to befriend. However, if we are willing to put time and love into our real neighbors, we will find some who will become passionate and loyal friends; and some may become loving brothers in faith forever!

December 20, 2006 Posted by | Christian Celebrities | 2 Comments