Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Banning the most dangerous book in the world - The Bible

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This discussion shows how far the world have gone in the opposition direction away from God. Even lands that most of their founders were basically Christians and their principles and laws were guided by the Bible. They have all rejected the Bible, the Word of God, which principles made them what they are today. People are even more comfortable having the Koran around them rather than having the Bible around. But it is not supposed to be a big surprise because the words of Scripture are alive and have an inherent power to challenge us and convict us to change our ways of life - which challenge the average fallen man fights and resists. Eric Metaxas.

"...
Apparently many folks find Scripture more dangerous than explicit sex. And you know what? Those who hold to a strictly materialistic and atheistic worldview probably should! And tyrants, from Roman emperors to Soviet premiers to North Korean dictators could agree with Mark Twain’s quip: “It ain’t the parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it’s the parts that I do understand.”
To them, the Bible is the world’s most dangerous book..."

Read all of it.
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Monday, 11 April 2016

Boaz's Kinsman-redeemer and elders' transparency

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At this, the kinsman-redeemer said, "Then I cannot redeem it because I might endanger my own estate. You redeem it yourself. I cannot do it." Ruth 4:6 NIV.

This is the second to the last post we are writing on this series. The first post dealt with the moral strength of Boaz which is indispensable in our lives as leaders if we are to finish strong in this ministry the Lord has committed into our hands. The tragedy that has come upon us as a generation is a situation where sex is promoted and advertised as if it is normal for everybody that wants sex to have sex, no matter your estate, whether married or not. We are even being bombarded with advertisements of sexual perversions and unnatural sexual affections and in some cases hounded to accept them as normal no matter what we believe. This has made most church leaders to accept what seems to be the 'lesser evil' - just having sex is not the worst thing after all. Hence, among church members and even leaders, every now and then, sexual scandals hit us, as it were, below the belt. Boaz showed character in his dealing with the young beautiful lady, Ruth.

In the second post, God taught us that we should not take the opportunities the enemy presents to us, no matter how cheap they may seem. As leaders, we should also be careful in our dealings making a conscious effort to avoid scandals. Read it.

In this post, we are dealing with the other character in the passage, the kinsman-redeemer who it was his right to inherit the properties of Ruth's late husband, including marrying Ruth in order to produce children for the deceased. When he was confronted with the matter, he agreed. However, when the issue of Ruth was added to it, he declined "because I might endanger my own estate". No games; no hypocrisy; no dancing around. He was truthful and transparent which helped the elders to quickly take decisions and the matter was resolved amicably. Elders' meeting that day at the gate did not drag unnecessarily, because this man was truthful to himself. Boaz married Ruth.

In our churches, every now and then, we have situations where elders rigmarole up and down in matters because of hypocrisy and personal interests. Matters have often complicated because elders who have the relevant information refused to open up and say what they know. Matters drag, sometimes very messy, even the church unity is affected and yet elders will not take the risk to be straight in their talk and pure in their interests and actions. Currently, there is a very big denomination in this country that is in a serious crises due to leadership tussle. In some cases, they have even called in the police to separate fights in order to avoid 'brethren' killing themselves. It is crazy and unfortunate. This is a clear example of the failure of elders to speak the truth strongly. When elders live in comprise for a very long time, they lose the right to exercise spiritual authority over young people, hence in crises times, their words will not have any power.

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Wednesday, 6 April 2016

The Church Does Not Exist to Entertain Us – Or Bore Us by Karl Vaters

Sphere: Related Content I found this very interesting and apt. A must read for every Church member including leaders.

I don't go to church to be entertained.
I also don't go to church to be bored.
  • I go to worship.
  • I go to read and hear from God's word.
  • I go to be taught.
  • I go to be challenged.
  • I go to be discipled.
  • I go to fellowship with other believers.
  • I go to be inspired into action
When we reduce the gathering of God's people to an entertainment venue, we don’t enhance it, we diminish it.
Diminish. That's such a benign word for the damage we do to the gospel when use it as a tool to put on a better show.

The only thing worse? Boring people with the gospel.

Truth Is Better than Entertainment

Entertainment is cheap. And easy. The laptop I'm writing with can access more entertainment than we could have ever imagined. Or than any church can ever compete with. As I wrote in a recent post, “If we compete head-to-head with Hollywood on entertainment quality, Hollywood wins, the church loses.”

Jesus never bored people with the gospel. And a lot of his parables were very entertaining. But entertainment was never the point. Truth was the point. And great truths are never boring.

Whenever entertainment becomes the point, or boredom becomes the result of our church services, we’ve missed something big. Something vital. Something beautiful, eternal and life-changing.

We’ve missed the truth of the gospel.

We’ve traded our birthright for a mess of stew.

We’ve cast our pearls before swine.

Read the whole post here. Subscribe for the Leadership Journal and download the Free Discipleship Book on Small Groups. God bless.


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Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Not a Church Building. Please cite this incident correctly.

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Building colapseThis incident was reported in the Blogosphere by several people who did not care to confirm their stories before pushing it to the Internet. If you search for this report, you will notice that it was not carried by the Main Stream Media but by different blog sites. The owner of this property is a very close friend of ours who has been a seasoned Christian for many years. He is not a pastor and there is no church on the property. He works with an Oil & Gas Company in Bonny. He bought the property from another friend who bought it from Ugwuaji people in Enugu State. There is a church adjacent to his own.


THE TRUTH

 He decided to do a dwarf wall fence around the property to secure it. However, some unidentified people went and pulled one side of the fence down for reasons yet to be resolved. No activity was going on at the site. The water tank used by workers was still left at the site and his work supervisor wrote his phone number on it in case other people developing their property around the place would need his services. One day, the supervisor called him that the Police asked him (the supervisor) to come and claim his water tank. He didn't understand what concerned the water tank on site and police calling him, hence he decided to investigate before going to answer the Police. That was when he discovered that there was an incident that some corpses were discovered under the pulled down fence. Meanwhile by this time, the story was all over the place about "corpses found under a church foundation", which our friend also read, not knowing that it concerned him. He engaged the services of two lawyers who started working with the police before his arrival.  He planned for the trip and took leave of absence for two weeks. When he got to Enugu, he went to the station with his lawyers, as usual, he was charged for all kinds of unprintable things. To cut the long story short, the Police discovered that he was innocent. The case attracted the interest of high profile Police officers in Enugu State. He was released after about a week while the Police continued their investigations. His lawyers later told him that the Police had arrested the culprits in Nnewi and they confessed to the crime. We do not have details of their confessions, you can obtain that from the police if you need it.

The concern of the EvergreenWord Team is because of the the way the church is being scandalized and people are spreading lies ignorantly. Why will these reporters not visit the Ugwuaji community to confirm this story before breaking it out this way? Why won't reporters call the police to confirm what happened? We recently saw another picture of a so-called pastor arrested as the suspect for this. Most likely, the picture has no connection to the incident. Christians need to be aware that some people peddle lies and use false pictures and videos on the Internet for different purposes including propaganda. Our goal is not to say that the church is perfect, but Christians, especially leaders need to know the truth because some of them refer to this incident during their preaching. Over the weekend, a respected Christian leader referred to it as if the story about "corpses found under a church foundation" is correct. PLEASE THE INCIDENT HAPPENED BUT IT IS NOT A CHURCH.

We do not yet have the consent of our friend to share the phone number of the lawyers who handled this case. But it is a simple matter that any serious-minded person can confirm since Ugwuaji is along the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway.

The Lord Jesus Christ said "I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it". Matt 16:18 NIV.



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Monday, 4 April 2016

Calvary Ministries (CAPRO) Pastors and Ministers Forum - Global Trends in Church Growth & Missions

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It was the Calvary Ministries (CAPRO) Pastors and Ministers Forum organized by Port Harcourt Chapter. Church leaders, Bishops, Pastors and Teachers from different denominations gathered to seek God’s face on Global trends in Church Growth and Missions. it held in Golden Tulip Hotels, Port Harcourt. Our brother, Dr. Chinedu Oranye, CAPRO International Mobilization & Media Officer, shared with us some of the things that God laid on his heart. This is just the highlight of the meeting.

He started by saying that the church is supposed to be connected to and in tune with global trends. Any church or church leader that refuses to recognize the global trends will not be able to strategically plan and will eventually lose out. Many things for example are happening to Christians around us and around the world but Christians and pastors go through church services and the motions as if nothing is happening. Issues are not taken up as prayer points in our services and members are not informed just because church leaders are not in tune with what is going on. Brother Chinedu shared what he called the Trends 3-3-3.

3 Current Global Trends that are with us today
  1. The growth in fundamentalism and heightened persecution of Christians. There is a dangerous rise in all sorts of religious persuasions. These include African Traditional Religion (ATR), Fundamental Islam, Militant Hinduism, Animistic practices, Secular Humanism ETC. The clear line between animism and some Christian practices today is becoming blurred. Most current Christians join in traditional practices that their Christian fathers rejected. We must teach our members of this global reality. We must teach them on how to survive in hostile environments. Persecution will come but we must be prepared. 
  2. Population explosion. Reproduction rate is on the rise in many nations and the youths form greater part of this population. Our strategic planning must take cognizance of these facts. Any church that is not putting youths and the younger generation in the forefront is losing out. The tendency is that church leaders feel threatened when young men begin to appear in the scene. Instead of helping them and giving them the platform to manifest, we tend to fight them and either derail them or pursue them out of our churches. However, the reality is that young people form greater part of this generation currently.  In his words, “we must push them up instead of pushing them down”. The crisis of young men going astray is because nobody cared to draw them close at the beginning. Many of them have no leadership cover. Because of population explosion, if we do not mentor these young men, they will grow to bring disgrace to the church. There must be intentional discipleship. 
  3. Migration. It is a phenomenon of the 21st century. Entire communities, sections of countries are being uprooted. In Nigeria, many northerners migrate to the south because of problems. If we do not take the opportunity, it will remain a threat to us. Many Christians among them do not even find a place of acceptance in our churches in the south. They do not find community among us. Europe is not ready for what is happening to them today but yet churches are taken the opportunities. Churches are filled up by migrants. We need to train and empower our people on how to reach the Muslims. (CAPRO has a training course on this called OASIS. You can contact them to run it for your church members 08034594878 Rowland, 08055457305 Brown). We must equip the church on how to take the opportunity of migration.
    Dr Chinedu Oranye Ministering
3 Things to note on Church Growth.
  1. There is the reality of church explosion. People fill our churches and church programs. Massive church explosion. Whether the people in the church are Christians is a different thing altogether. It is a segregated growth that is one sided. Even in Islamic centers, there is growth too. This growth gives us a potential to turn out armies for God. Church growth must not just be in numbers but to make men who are relevant to the kingdom.
  2. There is constant Church division.  This is a time we must be united but unfortunately, we fight each other.
  3. There is so much harvest and opportunities but we are embroiled in competition and in-fighting because we have lost the sight of the global trends.
3 Things to note on Missions
  1. Everybody is doing missions forgetting the Macedonian people, the Unreached/Forgotten Peoples.
  2. The non-priority of mission opportunities. we must send men and also send resources. we must do educational and social projects etc. The church must have budgetary allocations to missions and offer prayers for missionaries and missionary work.
  3. Non effective Church and Mission Agency partnership. There is rivalry and absence of synergy between them.
3 Opportunities
  1. Missions Partnership. Acts 16:9-10.
  2. Operation Joshua or Short term Field Visits. Sending a team of leaders and young people to the mission field.
  3. Restoration of correct doctrine.
CAPRO contacts can be found here or you can contact us to link you up with the Port Harcourt office.

We will be sharing later what our churches can do strategically in response to what God is saying to His Church. Remember to drop a comment or write us if you require further information. God bless you.


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Friday, 1 April 2016

Translators Martyred in Middle East

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Four national translators were martyred for their work of sharing God’s Word with their people in the Middle East. The location is not being mentioned for obvious security reasons. Wycliffe Associates, the missionary organization the slain translators worked for, said that the office was ransacked, books burned, and all equipment destroyed, including the Print On Demand (POD) system used to print precious copies of Scripture.

The joy is that the computer hard drives containing the translation work for eight language projects was not destroyed. "The remaining translation team has decided to re-double their efforts to translate, publish, and print God's Word for these eight language communities," the ministry said in a statement as reported by Christian Persecution India. To make donations to Wycliffe Associates for the work to continue, click here.

"Ask the Lord to mend the wounded hearts and physical injuries of the surviving translation team members, and to bring greatly needed comfort to loved ones who are now grieving over the sudden loss of the slain workers. Pray for Him to strengthen and equip the other translators as they rise to the challenge of continuing with the eight language projects so that this tragedy will in no way restrict the Gospel from going forth throughout the Middle East. Also remember the perpetrators of this crime, praying that their eyes be opened to the truth, as well as the seriousness of what they have done, so they will experience sincere repentance, forgiveness of sin and, ultimately, eternal salvation".

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