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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

"Is Seed Faith Giving Scriptural?"

2 Peter 2:1,”… but there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.”

What do you think it means to deny the Lord? Many would say that any person or group that doesn’t believe that Jesus was the Son of God would be denying the Lord and that would be true enough. False religions like Islam and Hinduism would fall into this category. Most orthodox Christians would include the pseudo Christian cults like Jehovah’s Witness’, Mormons, and others of that ilk. And they would be correct but are these false teachers Peter is referring to here?

If you look closely you will see that Peter says these false teachers will be “among you”. Since he was writing to a group of born again, Spirit filled believers, we must conclude that he is not talking about the obvious false religions or even pseudo Christian cults. The false teachers he is speaking of will be found within the Body of Christ.

Now how do you suppose that false teachers will get away with denying the Lord among a group of believers?

The word denying as it is used here is the Greek word arneomai {ar-neh'-om-ahee}. It is the same word used in Titus 1:16, “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him….” Used in these contexts, the word means to contradict.

So a teacher that contradicts the Lord is in fact denying Him. He may say that Jesus is Lord. He may speak right sounding words claiming to be born again and he may have the biggest Bible you’ve ever seen but if his works or teaching contradicts the words of Jesus he is denying Him.

For example, when Benny Hinn claimed in 1999 that Jesus would physically appear at one of his upcoming crusades, he was contradicting the specific words of the Lord Jesus.

Math 24:23 -26
Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.

By making the claim that Jesus would physically appear at one of his crusades Hinn contradicted (denied) the words of the Lord and proved himself to be a false prophet and false teacher according to 2 Peter 2:1.

The so called principle of seed faith giving was first popularized by Oral Roberts almost 50 years ago. It proved to be so profitable to him that he essentially based his entire ministry on it. As with any other profitable venture others soon followed. Today it is used by virtually every “Faith” preacher, the majority of Christian television networks, and almost all TV preachers in general. It has even found its way into many mainstream and denominational churches.

How does seed faith giving work. It is loosely based (very loosely as we will see) on the parable of the sower found in Matthew 13, Mark 4, and Luke 8. Using the illustration of sowing seed, people are instructed that if they will give money to the church, the ministry, the TV network, the man of God, etc, God will multiply it back to them 30, 60, or 100 times more than they gave. In fact now days, about all you ever hear about is the 100 fold return. The 30 and 60 fold returns have pretty much been dropped altogether.

That’s a pretty good deal wouldn’t you say? Give God $1 and get back $100. Give God $100 and get back $10,000. Give God $10,000 and get back a cool million. And not only that, but you can also sow money and get back other things. Things like salvation for relatives, healing for incurable diseases, and deliverance from various demonic influences! That’s right; all you have to do is send your seed (meaning money) to the man of God!

Is this really what the parable of the sower is all about? What do you think? Let’s examine this important parable.

Luke 8:4-8 NASB
When a large crowd was coming together, and those from the various cities were journeying to Him, He spoke by way of a parable: The sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell beside the road, and it was trampled under foot and the birds of the air ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky soil, and as soon as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. Other seed fell among the thorns; and the thorns grew up with it and choked it out. Other seed fell into the good soil, and grew up, and produced a crop a hundred times as great." As He said these things, He would call out, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

Jesus explains the parable

Luke 8:11 NASB
Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God.

Now right here anybody with even a minimal level of reading comprehension should be able to see that this parable has nothing to do with money. The seed is the word of God. Even a brand new baby Christian should be able to look at this and say “I don’t think these fellows are teaching this correctly”

Let’s continue with Jesus’ explanation

Luke 8:12-15 NASB
Those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they will not believe and be saved. Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away. The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity. But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.

This parable is about what happens when the word of God is sown or revealed in the heart of a person. It may be the most important parable Jesus taught. Why do I say that? Because Jesus said this:

Mark 4:13
And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?

Jesus is saying that if you don’t understand this parable you won’t understand any of the parables he taught. This is a foundational teaching!

By misapplying the parable of the sower, these false teachers do great damage to God’s people. First, by falsely claiming that God works like some kind of cosmic slot machine, but the real damage is in the fact that believers are robbed of the true meaning of this teaching.

The parable of the sower is at work every time God’s Word is revealed to you. In fact it is at work right now in many of you who are reading this.

I know that many of you will read this and say “I don’t believe that. I don’t believe that my favorite preacher would preach a false message” You’ll reject what I’m saying. You’ll actually be rejecting the words of Jesus.

The devil has come already to steal this word from you.

Some of you will hear what I say and receive it gladly. “Glory to God” you’ll say, “preach it brother…. Hallelujah” But you won’t take the time to really meditate on this word. You won’t really apply it.

And then a testing will come, a test to see if you really believe, trust in, rely on, and adhere to what you claim to believe. Testing is because of the word sown in your heart. You’ll be challenged. God Himself will allow that challenge, that test.

Will you pass the test? Or will you revert back to your traditional thinking?

And of course some of you will hear and believe but you won’t give this word the proper place in your life. You’ll think about it for a while. You’ll decide that it’s right but then you’ll get on with your life. You’ll get busy with your job, your family, your daily responsibilities and it will recede further and further into the recesses of your heart until it has no real value to you.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

"What is the Doctrine of Salvation?"

The Hebrew and Greek words for salvation imply the ideas of deliverance, safety, preservation, healing, and soundness. Salvation is the great inclusive word of the Gospel gathering into itself all the redemptive acts and processes:

1. Justification - Declaration of righteousness.
2. Redemption - To buy back by paying a price.
3. Grace - God's favor to mankind without merit.
4. Propitiation - To actually care for sin and appease God's wrath
against sin.
5. Imputation - To reckon or put to the account of. Given or
imparted to.
6. Forgiveness - To absolve from sin and forget.
7. Sanctification - To set apart positionally and progressively in
8. Glorification - To perfectly conform the believer to God's moral
attributes in the future.

Salvation is in three tenses:

1. The believer has been saved from the guilt and the penalty of sin. Luke 7:50; I Cor. 1:18; II Cor. 2:15; Eph. 2:5,8; II Tim. 1:9.

2. The believer is being saved from the habit and domination of sin. Rom. 6:14; Phil. 1:19; 2:12,13; II Thess. 2:13; Rom. 8:2;
Gal. 2:19,20; II Cor. 3:18.

3. The believer will be saved in the sense of entire conformity to
Christ. Rom. 13:11; Heb. 10:36; I Peter 1:5; I John 3:2.

Salvation is by grace through faith, a free gift, and wholly without works. Rom. 3:27,28; 4:1-8; 6:23; Eph. 2:8. The divine order is first salvation then works. Eph. 2:8-10; Titus 3:5-8.

This is what the scriptures teach. Those who remain in sin, like Paul once said, were never part of us anyway. THEY WERE NEVER REALLY SAVED. If you aren't bearing at least some fruit you probably didn't really put your faith in Christ. Some people simply have an emotional high, whereby they make no real decision!

An illustration by Billy Graham has been adapted on the most important thing we need this new millennium. We have been saved by grace through faith. The apostle Paul emphatically states, "a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified." (Galatians 2:16).

Justification is a legal standing with God based upon Christ's death and resurrection and our faith in Him. The Greek word Paul uses, Daikyo, comes from Roman legal courts meaning to declare to be righteous or to pronounce righteous. Therefore, justification is the legal and formal acquittal from guilt by God who is the judge. It is the pronouncement of the sinner, who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ, as righteous.

For example, let's imagine for a moment that a person, called “Mr. Goner” died tonight and stood before the Lord God, who is the Supreme Judge of the Universe. No doubt God would ask Mr. Goner, why should I let you into my heaven? You are a guilty sinner. How do you plead?"
Mr. Goner’s response would be, "I plead guilty, Your Honor." Then his advocate, Jesus Christ, who is standing there besides him, speaks up for him. He says, "Your Honor, it is true that Mr. Goner is a grievous sinner. He is guilty. However, Father, I died for him on the cross and rose from the dead. Mr. Goner has put his faith and trust in Me and all that I have done for Him on the Cross. He is a believer. I died for him, and he has accepted me as his substitute."
The Lord God turns to Mr. Goner and says, "Is that true?" Mr. Goner
will respond "Yes sir! That’s the truth. I am claiming the shed blood of Jesus Christ to cleanse me of all my sins. I have put my faith in Jesus to save me for all eternity. This is what you have promised in your Word. Jesus said, 'For God so loved the world (and this includes Mr. Goner), that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.'” The Lord God
responds, "Acquitted! By order of this court I demand that you, Mr. Goner, be set free. The price has been paid by My Son." Conclusively, Mr. Goner gets to go home and live with the Judge!

Justification means that at the moment of salvation God sovereignly declares the believing sinner righteous in His sight. The believing sinner is declared to be righteous in His standing before God. From that moment on throughout life and through death, that sinner who has believed is now and forever right before God. God accepts him and the sinner stands acquitted of his sins.

A man is not justified by the works of the Law, but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified (Galatians 2:16)

What Shoud a Pastors Priorities Be?

Pastoral Priorities for Pastors/Elders

(1) Prayer, in-depth Bible study, and spiritual preparation for teaching and communicating the Word. Teaching then becomes an overflow of a life bathed in the Word (Ezra 7:6-10; John 15:7; Eph. 5:18; Col. 3:1-3, 16; 1 Tim. 4:14-16; 2 Tim. 2:15).
(2) Preaching and teaching the Word (1 Tim. 4:6, 11-13; 2 Tim. 4:1-2; 1 Cor. 9:16). Some Goals:
• Teach the people to love the Word of God (Isa. 66:2; Ps. 1:1-3).
• Lead people to submit to the authority of the Word and to see obedience as a major goal of their lives (Josh. 1:8).
• Demonstrate that the proclamation of the Word is critical to worship (John 4:24).
• Motivate people to look for and live in view of the coming of the Lord (Tit. 2:1, 11-15).
• Motivate people to good deeds or ministry (Tit. 2:14; 3:1, 8, 14)
(3) Discipling leaders and future leaders (Matt. 28:19-20; 2 Tim. 2:2)

(1) Calling, visiting, counseling (Rom. 15:1-4; 1 Thess. 5:11-12; Jam. 1:27; 5:14).
(2) Administrative functions: thinking, planning and organizing, letters, etc.

The Principle of Plurality and Equality
In keeping with maintaining the priorities, the limited capacity of one man, and the giftedness of the body of Christ under His headship, authority, and preeminence, New Testament leadership appears to have been plural and equal with no system of hierarchy. Certain men will naturally function as leaders among the leaders because of their training, giftedness, wisdom, knowledge, and experience, but all are equal and accountable to each other. (Compare Acts 15 and the leadership demonstrated by James among the leaders of the church at Jerusalem. Also compare Acts 14:23; 20:17; Phil. 1:1; 1 Tim. 5:17.) See Appendix B for elaboration.

The Principle of Selectivity and Quality
The most important element in selecting leaders is their spiritual qualification. Selection is the process of applying biblical standards to the selection of leaders, but these are to be leaders chosen by the Holy Spirit. It means the greatest need is not leaders, but spiritual men. It also necessitates the intentional training and preparation of men to take a leadership role (Acts 6:3; 1 Tim. 3:1f; 2 Tim. 2:2; Tit. 1:6f).
In his classic on leadership, Oswald Sanders writes,
The Holy Spirit does not take control of any man or body of men against their will. When He sees elected to positions of leadership men who lack spiritual fitness to cooperate with Him, He quietly withdraws and leaves them to implement their own policy according to their own standards, but without His aid. The inevitable issue is an unspiritual administration.4
Choosing men according to biblical standards means we must seek to select only those who have modeled commitment and obedience as an emergent leadership. This creates standards and establishes training examples who model the message (1 Tim. 4:12; 1 Pet. 5:3).

The Principle of Purity of Philosophy
(1) Definition: Philosophical purity simply refers to an agreement, especially among the leaders, but extending to a broad base in the congregation, concerning (1) the purposes, goals, and product of the church, (2) the priority of certain ministries over others (exposition, training, evangelism, etc., versus some of the typical expectations that people have regarding the church), and (3) the methods used to reach those objectives.
(2) Description: Philosophical purity means unity or oneness of mind, harmonious agreement, but not necessarily unanimity, the complete agreement on all issues (cf. Phil. 1:27; 1 Cor. 1:10). Unity means coming to a working agreement based on a common objective.
(3) Necessity: Philosophical purity is vital to the kind of ministry that is able to multiply itself in growing, mature people who become engaged in the work of ministry in evangelism and edification.
(4) Key Scriptures: John 17:11-23; Eph. 4:3-16; Phil. 1:27; 2:2.

The Principle of Servant-Like Ministry
The church must be led by those who have the heart and life of a servant whose motives are pure (John 13:1f; Luke 22:26; 1 Thess. 2:3-8).

The Principle of Autonomy
Each local church is a separate entity in and of itself with its own God-given leaders and is answerable directly and only to Christ (Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 5:3).
Principles of Administration and Organization for the Church

Salvation: What Does it Mean to Be a Christian?

Theologically speaking, a Christian is someone who has received the Lord Jesus as Savior (John 1:12), trusts Him alone for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 4:12), has put not trust in His own efforts (Isaiah 64:6) to please God, and repented from his/her sins (Mark 1:15).
Experientially speaking, the life of a Christian does not consist only of theological knowledge. It is theology that defines who Jesus is and what He has done, but it is not the end of all things. We are Christians who believe the above points, yes, but we have a living and open relationship with the Lord Jesus. We experience Him through His indwelling Spirit. As Christians, we seek to do the will of the Lord, to follow in His footsteps, and to honor and glorify God in all he does.
It is not necessary as a Christian to perform good works IN ORDER to please God because, first of all, our good deeds are but filthy rags to God (Isaiah 64:6) and, most important, we are made righteous in the eyes of God by the finished work of Jesus on the cross (Rom. 5). This is one of the areas where the cults error. They confuse good works with the forgiveness of sins. They combine the two and teach that God will not accept us if we are not trying to be good. Because they have a wrong view of who Jesus is, they have a wrong view of salvation.
A common objection to this doctrine of justification by faith is that if a Christian believes in God the way I say, then he does not need to do anything good, that he could then go out and sin all he wanted. First of all, this objection is answered in Romans 6. We are not saved for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification (1 Thess. 4:7). We do not use the grace of God to sin. Second, a Christian is called to be Holy (1 Pet. 1:16). Third, a Christian is called to do good works (Eph. 2:10). It is just that these works are not combined with our faith to merit the forgiveness of our sins, they are, instead, a natural result of our saved condition. We do good works because we are Christians, not to become Christians.
Additionally, being a Christian means that you are serving the true Jesus, not a false one. In order for a person to follow Jesus, he must first accurately understand who He is. If someone called their pet iguana Jesus, even though he had great faith in Jesus the iguana, his faith is useless. Faith is only as good as the object in which it is placed.
The Mormon Jesus is the brother of the devil begotten through sexual intercourse from a god and goddess who used to be people on another planet (Mormon Doctrine, by Bruce McConkie, p. 321). The Jehovah's Witness Jesus is Michael the archangel who became a man, died on a torture stake, did not rise from the dead in the same body he died in, and then went back to being an angel (Aid to Bible Understanding, p. 1152; New Heavens and a New Earth, p. 30). The New Age Jesus is a man in tune with the divine consciousness. In opposition to this, the Jesus of Christianity is both God and Man. See the two natures of Jesus for more information on this.
Being a Christian Means Fellowship with Jesus
Why did God create? Was their some lack in God that moved Him to create the universe and man in it? Was God lonely? We can't fully answer these questions, but we can look into the Bible for clues to their answer.
1 John 4:8 says that God is love. John 3:16 says that "...God so loved the world He gave..." The nature of love is to give. It is "other" centered. It focuses on another. Read 1 Cor. 13 for confirmation of this. That is why God gave His Son. That is why, I believe, that God created us: to love us, to give to us Himself which is the very best thing in the universe. But sin entered the picture and God, in His loving mercy, sent His Son into the world to save the world.
Love is not a doctrine, it is an experience, an action. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve walked with God. They actually walked with the creator of the universe. They had fellowship with Him. Fellowship is an intimate communion between two or more persons. Adam and Eve had this intimate communion with the Lord. But when they sinned that fellowship was broken. God then shed blood, by killing an animal to get the skins, and covered Adam and Eve. Incidentally, Jesus said in John 6:46 that no one has ever seen the Father. If Adam and Eve were walking with God in the Garden of Eden, but it wasn't the Father, then who was it. It must have been Jesus.
So God sought Adam and Eve, remember they hid themselves from Him. In Exodus 25:8, God told the Israelites to build a sanctuary so that He might dwell among His people. In John 1:14, Jesus, God in flesh, dwelt again among His people. In 1 Cor. 1:9 we are called by God to be in fellowship with Jesus. In these statements are profound clues. We are called to have a personal relationship, the way it was in the Garden of Eden, with Jesus. This can only be done through Jesus.
Additionally, the word for ‘fellowship' in the Greek is the same word used for ‘communion.' When we partake of communion, we are partaking in fellowship with the Lord. Communion is a covenantal sign of the promise of God to give us eternal life and it is representative in that sense of God's promises to be with His people. But the real communion, the real fellowship with the Lord, is through the indwelling Holy Spirit who always bears witness of Jesus (John 15:26). Therefore, the Christian, the true Christian, will have an intimate and real personal relationship with the Lord Jesus.
The cultist cannot have this intimate and personal relationship with Jesus. First, because their Jesus is false (Matt. 24:24). Second, because their Jesus is not prayed to the way the Jesus of the Bible is (Zech. 13:9 with 1 Cor. 1:1-2; Acts 7:55-60); third, because their Jesus is not worshiped equally with the Father (John 5:22-23; Matt. 2:2,11; 14:33; 28:9; John 9:35-38; Heb. 1:6); and fourth, because their Jesus is not their Lord and God (John 20:28; Heb. 1:8).
The Jesus of the cultist is not God (he might be one god among many, or he might be a lesser god). Therefore, he is not to be sought in a personal and intimate way.
The Christian, on the other hand, has a real relationship with the real Lord Jesus. This is accomplished only through the real Jesus. The Jesus of the Bible.
To be a Christian is to experience the Lord, to have a sweet and real fellowship with Jesus, to be able to pray to Him, and seek Him.

"God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord" (1 Cor. 1:9).

Why Do We Need Apologetics?

There are several reasons why we need apologetics.
The first and most obvious is because we are commanded to defend the faith: 1 Peter 3:15 says, "but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence."
Second, we need apologetics because it helps Christians know their faith. This is something that is sadly lacking among believers. Most don't know much about their faith, let alone be able to describe the Trinity, the two natures of Christ, His physical resurrection, or even to tell the difference between justification and sanctification. Apologetics helps to define and defend what the truth of the gospel is.
Third, apologetics is an attempt to keep people out of hell. God takes sin very seriously, and He will punish those who have rebelled against Him and are not covered in the blood of Christ. As Christians, we should be motivated to present the truth of salvation in Jesus. We should not sit idly by and ignore the dilemma of the unbeliever. We need to tell them that sin is real because God is real, and that breaking God's law has a consequence. Since we have all sinned, we cannot keep God's law perfectly. Also, we cannot undo the offense to an infinitely holy God because we are not infinite or holy; the only thing left for us is to fall under the judgment of God. But God has provided a way for us to escape that judgment. That is why God became man in Jesus. He claimed to be God, (John 8:24,58; compare with Exodus 3:14). Jesus bore our sins in His body on the cross, (1 Pet. 2:24). By trusting in Christ for the forgiveness of our sins, we will be spared from the rightful judgment of God upon the sinner. Salvation is not found in Buddhism, Islam, relativism, or in one's self: It is only found in Jesus. We need to not only defend God's word and truth, but also present the gospel to all people so they can escape the judgment to come.
Fourth, we need apologetics to counter the bad image that Christianity has received in the media and in culture. Televangelists and their scandals--both sexually and monetarily--are a disgrace to Christianity. The Catholic church hasn't helped with its scandals involving priests. On top of that, the media is very biased against Christianity, and you will see negative opinions of Christianity promoted everywhere.
Fifth, we need apologetics because there is a constant threat of apostasy in the visible Christian church. Such is the case with the Metropolitan Community Church denomination, which openly advocates the support of homosexuality in violation of scripture (Rom. 1:18-32). Also, as of 2002, the Evangelical Lutheran Church is in risk of apostasy by entertaining the idea of accepting homosexual relationships into church. "The United Church of Christ set up a $500,000 scholarship fund for gay and lesbian seminarians Friday and urged wider acceptance of homosexuals by other denominations." (United Church Makes Gay Scholarship, CLEVELAND, June 16, 2000, AP Online via COMTEX). Or "The supreme court of the United Methodist Church was asked Thursday to reconsider the denomination's ban on gay clergy." (Church court of United Methodists asked to decide on gay clergy ban, NASHVILLE, Tennessee, Oct. 25, 2001, AP WorldStream via COMTEX). Such examples are demonstrations of the incredible need for defending biblical truth within those churches that claim to be Christian.
Sixth, another reason we need apologetics is because of the many false teachings out there. Mormonism teaches that God used to be a man on another world, that he brought one of his goddess wives with him to this world, that they produce spirit offspring that are born into human babies, and that you have the potential of becoming a god of your own world. The Jehovah's Witnesses teach that there is no Trinity, that Jesus is Michael the Archangel, that there is no hell, and that only 144,000 people will go to heaven. Atheism denies God's existence, openly attacks Christianity and is gaining ground in public life and schools. Islam teaches that Jesus was not God in flesh, that Jesus did not rise from the dead, and that He did not atone for our sins. It teaches that salvation is partly based on one's works and partly based on Allah's grace. It teaches that the Holy Spirit is the angel Gabriel (Surah 2:97; 16:102); that Jinn are unseen beings created (51:56) from fire (15:27; 55:15); and that Muhammed was greater than Jesus. Even within the Christian church there are false teachings. We can see that from both within the Christian church and outside of it, false teachings are bombarding believers (and nonbelievers) all over the world.
Seventh, the rise of immorality in America is a threat not only to society but also to Christianity. This is a serious issue because an immoral society cannot last long. The Barna Research group statistics show that 64% of adults and 83% of teenagers said moral truth depends on the situation that you are in. 19% of the adult population believes that "the whole idea of sin is outdated." 51% believe that "if a person is generally good, or does enough good, he will earn a place in Heaven."
When a society's morals fail, the society fails. Just look at history and think of Ancient Rome, Ancient Greece or present day Enron, Watergate, and White House interns. Immorality seeps down into all areas of our culture. Consider this: In the New York Times, online, of May 12, 2002, in the article "With Games of Havoc, Men Will Be Boys," the author, Warren St. John, interviews some players of what he says is a very popular video game. One young man says, "What I like to do is get in the car and drive around and do drive-by shootings. You can haul someone out of their car and beat on them and steal their money and their car. It's kind of amusing that you have that ability." .... A publicist from Long Island says the game's allure comes down to "just going on killing sprees." Not all video games are violent, but the fact that it is so popular and that the youth are being trained up by them is very disturbing.
I am not advocating a theocratic socio-political rule administered by stern Christians wearing black-and-white outfits and tall hats. But these kinds of social trends are disturbing, and they reflect a moral decline in America, where what is good is called evil and what is evil is called good. God tells us in Phil. 4:8, Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. We cannot ignore God's word without a consequence.