Archive | May, 2012

Marriage Faithfulness the Way it Should be

24 May

The world says marriage is all about individual happiness. If you’re not happy in your marriage, dispose of it and move on.

God says: “Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10).

This video portrays a faithful young couple united in marriage AFTER the groom’s disabling brain injury.

 

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Heavy Internet Use for Religious Purposes

21 May

Almost half of all American adults who are online are using the Internet for religious purposes, according to a new study from Grey Matter Research, of Phoenix. That 44 percent of online Americans use the Internet in this manner means the Internet is used for religious purposes by 35 percent of all American adults.

Grey Matter Research surveyed a demographically representative sample of 1,011 American adults who use the Internet and explored their use of the online world for religious purposes. The research shows a variety of ways online Americans use the Internet for spiritual purposes:

  • · 19 percent have, in the past six months, visited the website of a church or other place of worship they are currently attending
  • · During that same time frame, another 17 percent have visited the website of a church or place of worship they were not attending
  • · 19 percent have visited a website designed to provide religious instruction or learning during the last six months
  • · 17 percent read religion-oriented blogs once a month or more
  • · 14 percent have a pastor or other religious leader as a friend on Facebook or a similar social network site
  • · 11 percent have visited the website of a group or organization from a religious faith that is different from their own during the last six months
  • · One out of 10 have “Liked” a church or other place of worship on Facebook or a similar social network site
  • · 8 percent participate in religion-oriented discussions online (e.g. bulletin boards or forums) once a month or more
  • · 2 percent follow a church or other place of worship on Twitter
  • · 2 percent follow a pastor or other religious leader on Twitter

Among online Americans, Internet use for religious purposes is particularly common among the young. Fifty-seven percent of online adults under age 35 use the Internet for religion, compared to 48 percent who are 35 to 49 years old, 36 percent who are 50 to 64, and 31 percent who are 65 or older.

It is likely no surprise that people who are religiously active are particularly liable to use the Internet for religious purposes. For instance, 69 percent of those who attend worship services once a month or more use the Internet for spiritual purposes, compared to 27 percent of those who do not attend worship regularly. Similarly, religious use of the Internet is 70 percent among people who read the Bible or another sacred text at least once a month, versus 28 percent among those who do not.

However, religious use of the Internet does not tend to vary much according to which religious identity people claim. Protestants and Roman Catholics are equally likely to use the Internet for spiritual purposes, and people who identify with a non-Christian religion are just as likely as those who identify with a Christian group to do so. One exception is evangelical Christians. Ninety-one percent of evangelicals who are online use the Internet for religious purposes, which is much higher than for any other religious group measured.

What may be a bit surprising is how much the Internet is used for religious purposes by people who are not religious. In addition to the fact that 27 percent who don’t attend religious services still use the Web for religious purposes, The Internet is used in this manner by 23 percent of atheists and agnostics, along with 19 percent of online Americans who claim no particular religious identification. Of course, use of the Internet by the irreligious does not necessarily mean they are using it for spiritual purposes the same way religious people are.

Ron Sellers, president of Grey Matter Research, pointed out that the religious community online does not necessarily look like the offline religious community. “Young people are especially likely to be using the Internet for religious purposes, and considering that older Americans in general are less likely than younger people to be online at all, the gap is even greater when that’s taken into consideration,” Sellers said.

“Yet younger Americans in general are less likely than older people to attend worship services or claim any specific religious identity. Involvement in spirituality and expressions of faith differ considerably by generation – and young people are obviously looking to the Internet to be a significant part of their faith experience.”

Part of this diversity online extends beyond age. “Partly because of the younger skew of people using the Web for religious reasons, religious Internet use also is especially common among Latinos, Asian-Americans, and African-Americans. It’s also fairly common in locales that tend to show lower worship attendance – urban areas, the Northeast, and the West included,” Sellers explained.

Sellers also noted how much diversity there is in how the Internet is used for spiritual purposes. “No one type of religious use or method dominates Internet religion,” he explained. “Eight different activities we evaluated saw participation from between eight and nineteen percent of online adults, from blogs to church websites to social media. There’s tremendous diversity in who is using the Web for spirituality, but also in how it’s getting used for that purpose.”

The Role of Christians in Elections

17 May

Are you registered to vote? Should Christians vote?

Would you vote for a Mormon? Should Christians vote for Mormons?

Thousands of Americans have given their lives for our freedom. Citizens in many nations yearn for the right to vote — and for the right to vote in fair, non-rigged elections. Voting is incumbent upon us. Outside of the Bible, there aren’t many good sources of morals of ethics to guide the nation, so informed voting by Christians is crucial to good governance. If we leave voting to others, we may not be satisfied with the results we get.

In 2000, 52 million Christians were eligible to vote, but only 27 million cast a ballot. In 2004, 33 million voted, and then in 2006, just 20 million Christians voted. This is shocking and disappointing to say the least.

We should never delude ourselves into thinking we can vote in a utopia, but we are called to select our leaders. And we should choose men who love God and hate covetousness.

What about voting for Mormons like Mitt Romney and the many Mormon candidates for state and local offices here in Arizona?

The late Charles Colson, who was memorialized today at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., once said, “No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

Moreover, if we wait only for those of our own faith to run for office, we will be forced to sit on the sidelines throughout many elections. Therefore, we must vote for those candidates whose values most closely represent our biblical worldview. Some will not fulfill that entirely, but will still prevent those will secular humanist worldviews from gaining entry into the governing system and overturning foundational values. Such as life and marriage.

Those who say Christians should “only do evangelism, not politics” are misleading the Body of Christ. Christians and pastors have a long history in America of advocating for good, including the abolition of slavery, promoting civil rights, outlawing abortion and pedophila, and much more. We cannot withdraw from our culture and let it rot.

God instructed the Israelites to pick virtuous leaders:

But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.

Furthermore, the Bible is full of examples of godly people influencing their nations.

Daniel urged Nebuchadnezzar to do righteousness.

Moses demanded the pharaoh flee Hebrew slaves.

In his book “Politics According to the Bible,” Phoenix Seminary Professor Wayne Grudem writes:

“I think Christians should support the candidate who best represents moral and political values consistent with biblical teaching, no matter what his or her religious background or convictions.”

So if you are not registered for the August 28th Arizona Primary, get registered. Do your homework. Research the positions of the candidates in your city, county, legislative and congressional districts and for state and national offices. Most candidates have websites: look up “John Doe for Arizona Senate,” for example. Also, you’ll be receiving much direct mail from candidates. Don’t throw these flyers away; study them and become familiar with the candidates’ values and issues positions. Inform your family and friends. Some people will refuse to vote for anyone they receive a robo call from; this is a mistake because it means good, deserving candidates may lose to people with inferior, if not harmful, values. Ask others for information on candidates. Read the papers and listen to the radio, but be cautioned: The Arizona Republic and most daily newspapers do NOT want candidates who share your values to win election.

Furthermore, book the site of the Arizona Secretary of State’s elections information page and use it for information.

Save June 9th for an Evening with Bonhoeffer Biographer

16 May

Scottsdale Bible Church and the Alliance Defense Fund are hosting “An Evening with Eric Metaxas” Saturday, June 9th. He is the author of the highly-acclaimed biography “Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy.” A book signing will follow.

As a leading pastor in Germany during the reign of the evil Nazi era, Bonhoeffer warned against the Third Reich and was utlimately executed.

Metaxas has gained widespread acclaim for his work, and was a featured speaker at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C.

The event begins at 7 p.m. The location is: 7601 E. Shea, Scottsdale.

Register to Attend

Leading Scholars Uphold Bible, Identity of Jesus

1 May

We are living in a post-modernist age of growing unbelief and apostasy. A large share of the blame for that lies with those perpetuating academically dishonest “scholarship.” All kinds of wild claims about the life and identity of Jesus and the reliability of the Bible are misleading people. Here’s what some of the leading biblical scholars are saying about this problem:

Craig Evans, professor of New Testament at Acadia University, found “daring theories that run beyond the evidence, distortions or neglect of the four Gospels, misguided suspicions, unduly strict critical methods, questionable texts from centuries, anachronisms, exaggerated claims, and hokum history” all resulting in “the fabrication of an array of pseudo-Jesus.”

“We expect tabloid pseudo-scholarship from the quacks but not from scholars who teach at respectable institutions of higher learning. “

“When put to the test, the original documents hold up quite well.”

“Just about every error imaginable has been made. A few writers have made almost all of them.”

James Charlesworth, professor of New Testament Language and Literature at Princeton Theological Seminary, called today’s liberal claims on Jesus and the Bible: “the misinformed nonsense that has confused the reading public over the past few years.”

James D.G. Dunn, professor emeritus at the University of Durham, United Kingdom, said: “The quest of the historical Jesus has been seriously misled by much poor scholarship and distorted almost beyond recognition by recent pseudo-scholarship.”