Evangelicalism: The Heart of What We Are, Believe and Do


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From Africa came the theology presented by St. Augustine; a theology still relevant today. England gave us John Wycliffe, the morning start of the reformation. Czech Republic gave us John Huss who gave his life for the truth and inspired the Moravian Church. From Germany Martin Luther raised his voice against the heresy of the Catholic Church. Germany gave us the reformation and placed the Bible in the hands of the common people. The cry of the Anabaptist will never be ignored. France gave us John Calvin and the theology of the reformation became clear. England also gave us two giants of the faith, John Wesley and the thunderous voice of George Whitefield. Many other heroes of the faith should be mentioned and perhaps other nations to, but one thing is for sure, the United States of America cannot be ignored in the pages of the history of the church. In the mix of all, the Gospel represented the golden pages of our history.

What is an “Evangelical”?

         Moving away from God’s Word, mixing God’s Word with anything secular and the constant seeking of the next “new thing” has always gotten us in trouble. American Evangelicalism was not a new thing; it was simply a return to the orthodoxy of the original apostles. “American evangelism proved to be one of the most significant and impactful religious movement in the twentieth century.”[1] The United States gave us the Gospel again.

         The word evangelicalism derives from the Greek Word evangelium, meaning, good news.[2] David Bebbington (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is a distinguish professor at the University of Stirling in Scotland and a member of the Royal Historical Society.[3]

         David Bebbington developed a “quadrilateral” for defining the    doctrinal nucleus of evangelism, despite a great many diversities.   In modern theological parlance, an “evangelical” is one who      affirms several core beliefs: the authority and efficiency of      Scripture     (biblicism), the uniqueness of salvation through the        cross of Jesus Christ (cruci-centricism), personal conversion   (conversionism), and the urgency of evangelism (activism).[4]

         Respectfully, this quadrilateral definition is not really Dr. Bebbington’s, every point is indeed backup by Scripture.

Describe what an “Evangelical” looks like and how this description has changed over the past 250 years.

         History has a way of fairly or unfairly judge everyone; in church history there is no difference. We can see the diverse movements, theologies, personalities etc. What they proposed and the direct result of their propositions. Just as the reformation recovered the message of the evangelium[5] the First Great Awakening of the 1730s and 1740 became a solid continuation and commitment to such movement. American Evangelicalism was focus on the Word as the ruler of truth, the preaching of the good news, salvation by grace and not by works, the need for repentance, the spreading of such message and a commitment to living holy lives.

         American Evangelism had a combination of flavors that included: 1) seventeenth-century German Pietism and 2) eighteen-century Methodist revivals in England and 3) revivalist from diverse denominations such as, American and Congressionalist, Jonathan Edwards, Anglican George Whitefield, Presbyterian Gilbert Tennent and Dutch Reformed pastor Theodore Freylinghuysen.[6] We should also add to this list, Methodist John Wesley. Can we question the commitment and the seriousness of these men? They were obviously not perfect, but they changed this nation, not with an new political ideology, but with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

         I strongly believe that things began to go south with Charles G. Finney and the nineteen-century revival known as the Second Great Awakening (1792-1875). I say this because we begin to see a departure from the word of God and a greater emphasis on emotionalism and a heavy rejection of orthodoxy.[7]

What is the future of “Evangelicalism”?

         The Gospel will continue to be preached[8] and the church will prevail.[9] These are biblical promises. To preach that the church somehow is not going to make it is not Biblical. However, we must remain vigilant as the original apostles did. We have our own challenges today; the church has been under attack since the very beginning. There is nothing new under the sun according to Ecclesiastes 1:9. Some of the challenges we are facing today are not new at all: 1) Mysticism, 2) Rationalism, 3) Sectarianism, 4) Moralism, 5) Sacerdotalism and Sacramentalism and 6) Politicalism.[10]

         Through the demon of mysticism the church is attack with the idea of the existence of some secret knowledge, some new revelation, etc. Through the demon of rationalism the church is attracted by knowledge as a way of salvation. We are not called to be ignorant as Christians; however, we are saved only through Christ. Through the demon of sectarianism we see certain denomination placing themselves as exclusively having the truth and, regardless of a person’s testimony of salvation, by not being part of them we are doomed for hell. Through the demon of moralism we return to salvation by works and not by grace. Moralism looks good from the outside, but it is rotten with pride. Through the demon of sacerdotalism and sacramentalism we go back to placing our hope in men who act like popes and on powerless rituals. And, through the demon of looking for hope in politics and ideologies we substitute God for a government.

         So then, these demons must be confronted face on; this is taking place in our local churches, in our pulpits and in our Sunday schools. It is this assault on our faith from within that requires policing and a strong apostolic and apologetic force. The future of Evangelicalism is indeed secure; what is in question is your future and mind as humble ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the people we are called to minister to.

[1] John D. Woodbridge & Frank A. James III, Church History Volume Two: From Reformation to the Present Day, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2013), 789

[2] Ibid., 789

[3] http://www.christianbookpreviews.com/christian-book-author.php?isbn=0830825835

[4] John D. Woodbridge & Frank A. James III, Church History Volume Two: From Reformation to the Present Day, 791

[5] Ibid., 789

[6] Ibid., 789

[7] William P. Farley, Charles Finney: “The Controversial Evangelist”, http://enrichmentjournal.ag.org/200601/200601_118_Finney.cfm, (Accessed June 28, 2016)

[8] Matthew 24:14

[9] Matthew 16:18

[10] Donald D. Bloesh, Evangelicalism, Volume 47, number 1, 2008, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.ezproxy.liberty.edu:2048/doi/10.1111/j.1540-6385.2008.00363.x/epdf, (Accessed June 28, 2016)

 

God is Enough!


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gods-creation

We can’t escape the arrogance of the secular world system. It is all around us. They set their degrees, their certifications, licensing, federal programs, systems, entertainment industry, fashion, etc. In all, no mention, not even a small acknowledgment of God All Mighty. That is so because the devil is the god of this world system according to 2 Corinthians 4:4. You want to know why things are so messed up. That is because we are not under a system dominated by Godly principles, but to the contrary, a system that is designed to promote the destruction of societies, families and lives in general. The devil’s agenda is a destructive agenda (John 10:10).

The sad thing is when we, as God’s people, go after the validation of the world, when we as God’s people, reject God and His ways to follow a failed system. This is nothing new, it was the…

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A Different Kind of Terrorism


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You insult me when you imply that there is no other way for me, as a minority, to make it without Government assistance.

You insult me when you celebrate the fact that more of us are on food stamps, that more of us receive Medicaid and that more of us continue to live in the Ghetto.

You insult me when you fight for an increase of minimum wage in low-level skill jobs as if I can’t do any better. Don’t insult my intelligence! You continue to feed out of the ignorance of my people, but there is an awakening coming!

I thank you for the fish you have given me to survive, but now I know how to catch my own fish. I know that makes you uncomfortable, for as you were inspired to fight for your own independence, you arrogantly closed your eyes to the right of others for there own.

I am not stopping there; I am striving to own the lake. Are you ready to see me face to face? Are you ready for our eyes to meet at the same level?

Yes, we were victims of a different kind of terrorism. You terrorized us through slavery, you bullied us, you took our land in the name of God; you felt entitle to do so, you expanded to the west and disrespected the frontier of a weaker nation. The new shape of the United States of America is the result of a robbery.

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I know, I know… you want to erase those pages out of your history, but the blood of the African, the blood of the Native and the blood of the Mexican are crying day and night, night and day before God!

You have convinced our people that we can’t make it without your government programs; that somewhat we are deficient… that we need your help! Many of our people are curse with that destructive mentality; curse with lack of love for ourselves and curse with the spirit of “I can’t”.

You convinced us that we were less than you; through Hollywood you presented a distorted picture of white supremacy. No African Hero, no Latino Hero and no Native Hero!

Our hearts were bitter, some still are; some are still trapped in poverty, violence, drugs and alcohol abuse. But we know that our freedom is found in forgiving your atrocities and terror. We also know that plenty of your own blood was shed for our cause of freedom.

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We declare our love for you as your brothers; for my Bible tells me in First Corinthians 13 that love never fails. Respectfully, our hope does not come from you, our hope comes from God.[1] He never left us and He will never forsake us. The last shall be first[2] and our day of redemption will indeed come.[3]

            When that day comes, we will not rule over you, we will not repay you with hate, we will rule and reign together in harmony, loving God above all things and loving each other as we also love ourselves. There will be no divisions, no violence, no hate crimes and no terrorism. Jesus Christ himself will be the ruler of all rulers and will show us how he intended this world to truly function in this dimension of life.

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[1] Psalm 62:5

[2] Matthew 20:16

[3] Titus 2:14

Challenging the Authority of the Fathers at Home


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Before they started challenging the authority of the police; before they started mocking the teachers at school; before they started disrespecting the pastor, before they started rebelling against all forms of authority, they disrespected their fathers at home.

         God has not made anybody better than any other, but he has given specific responsibilities and specific levels of authority. Ephesians 5:23 tells us, “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.” (KJV)

         When the authority of a father is challenged, the consequences are devastating. Ephesians 6:2 remind us the fifth commandment, “Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;” (KJV) What is that promise? Exodus 20 establishes the promise of a long life. Shall we say long and prosperous life? Shall we say a peaceful life? Or shall we say a joyful life? We know that God is good;[1] we also know that his plans for us are also good. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (KJV) I am convinced, based on the character of God seen all through Scripture that God is promising a good life for those who honor their parents.

         It is important to point out that when the Bible commands honoring our parents, it start with the father. Prosperity is attached to honoring our parents. Death in all levels is attached to dishonoring our parents.

         The seriousness of this matter can’t be minimized; the death penalty was the consequence of several sins in the Old Testament, rebelling against parents was one of them.[2] The Old Testament ends with a promise centered on fathers. “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he will turn The hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.” Malachi 4:5-6 (NKJV)

         Luke also echoes the words of Malachi in a more dramatic way referring to the heart of the ministry of John the Baptist. “He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Luke 1:17 (NKJV)

         John the Baptist was the last Old Testament prophet and the first Evangelist. Notice how he refers to the children as disobedient. Also notice that the heart of the Gospel is to turn these kids to the wisdom of their fathers. Now, I know that many of you do not have Christian fathers; nevertheless God will provide you with a father figure here on this earth. Also, the key point on this verse is that we will never be ready for the Lord until we learn obedience to our fathers; it is a key component for revival!

[1] Psalm 136:1

[2] Deuteronomy 21:18-21

Nuestra Terqueza y la Gloria de Dios


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“Jehová dijo a Moisés: —Anda, vete de aquí, tú y el pueblo que sacaste de la tierra de Egipto, a la tierra de la cual juré a Abraham, Isaac y Jacob diciendo: “A tu descendencia la daré.” Yo enviaré delante de ti el ángel, y echaré fuera al cananeo, al amorreo, al heteo, al ferezeo, al heveo y al jebuseo. Subirás a la tierra que fluye leche y miel, pero yo no subiré contigo, no sea que te destruya en el camino, pues eres un pueblo muy terco.” Éxodos 33:1-3

                 Sabemos que Dios está en todas partes. No hay ninguna parte del universo que pueda escapar Su mirada. ¿Cómo lo hace? Yo no sé. Es un misterio que nos tomaría una eternidad entender. Mas, Su presencia manifestada es algo completamente diferente. La presencia manifestada de Dios no es prometida ni…

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Islam: A Peaceful Religion?


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For those who believe that Islam is a peaceful religion; please read the following verses taken directly from the Quran:

Here is just a sample of Mohammad’s revelations:

Everything Those Infidels Have Everywhere In the World Already Belongs to the Muslims, Take It:

Qur’an 33.27 And He made you heirs to their land and their dwellings and their property, and (to) a land which you have not yet trodden, and Allah has power over all things.

Qur’an 21:44 Do they see Us advancing, gradually reducing the land (in their control), curtailing its borders on all sides? It is they who will be overcome.

NOTE: Political Correctness and Multiculturalism has proven to be the most powerful weapon for the advancement of Dar al-Islam since 1945.

About Those Annoying Non-Believers (Infidels, Pagans, Jews, Christians, etc.)

Qur’an 9:123 “murder them and treat them harshly”

 Qur’an 3:56 “As for those disbelieving infidels, I will…

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Sick of the Name it and Claim it Generation


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I don’t know what is more upsetting to me, the wing of the church that seems to be totally insensitive to the move of the Spirit or, the name it and claim it crowd?

            I am growing increasingly frustrated with the Charismatic Movement in all levels because they continue to neglect the reality of Scripture. If you listen closely to these charismatic preachers, they are saying that, everybody should enjoy perfect health and everybody should be rich; so if you are not healthy and if you are not rich something is wrong with your faith.

            Beloved, somebody has to tell you the truth! Not everybody you pray for is going to be deliver, not everybody you pray for will get saved and not everybody you pray for will get healed. True be told, many of your prayers will not be answered.

            Some marriages will not get any better, some of our children and love ones will endup in hell, some will never recover from cancer, some will never experience a breakthrough and, in case you don’t know yet, all of us, with the exception of the generation of the rapture, will experience death. Not everything we claim will come to pass and not everybody will be a millionaire.[1]

            David prayed and fasted for God to save the first son he had with Bathsheba, nevertheless his son still died.[2] You may say, that was the result of God’s judgment over David’s sin and you are right. However, how can you explain that out of that awful relationship God gave Salomon to David? Salomon was not the first-born, but was the chosen one to inherit his father’s kingdom. Not only that, but Salomon is part of the genealogy of our Lord Jesus Christ. Who understands the mind of God?[3] David knew the glory of having Salomon as his dear son, but not without the pain of loosing another.

            The Apostle Paul prayed three times for a thorn in his flesh, he called it a messenger from Satan; nevertheless he never received his deliverance. The man who pray for so many people; even brought people back to life, could not pray himself out of his own affliction, but he concluded that God’s grace was sufficient.[4]

            Hebrews 11 is known as the Hall of Fame of Faith; however, none of the folks mentioned there saw the promise they believed God for. Hebrews 11:39 tells us, “And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise,” (NKJV)

            So what is wrong with our charismatic preaching? We are making people stumble because we are preaching a Gospel with no pain and no suffering; a Gospel where everything we want can and will come into fulfillment. But that is not true. That is the reason why many on our side fall apart over every little affliction; that is because is not included in their theology.

            The Bible tells us that many are the afflictions of the righteous.[5] God will indeed deliver us from all of our afflictions; that is the promise; but nobody will escape the afflictions, that is also a promise. The Bible tells us in First Corinthians 13 that love is longsuffering. If you are walking in love, you-will-suffer.

            Could you agree that our ultimate deliverance will not take place on this earth? Revelation 21:1-4 confirms this statement,

Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John,[a] saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” (NKJV)

                  Jesus is our maximum example and He took the time to prepare His disciples for suffering[6] why are we not doing the same? I am afraid that we, in the charismatic movement, are preaching carnality focus on me, my self and I and what I can get here and now. We are totally ignoring the fact that this life is just a vapor.[7] This life is not our ultimate destination. I am not preaching that we should be miserable, but our hope should never be place on what we can get on this life.

I conclude with the words of the Apostle Peter,

But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. 1 Peter 4:13 (KJV)

 

 

[1] Matthew 26:11

[2] 2 Samuel 12

[3] First Corinthians 2:16

[4] 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

[5] Psalm 34:19

[6] John 16:33

[7] James 4:14

Your Talent is not Enough!


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Everybody has the potential to do something in life; that is because everybody has a gift, provided by God, to be able to make a living and to be able to minister.

         Proverbs 18:16 tells us, “A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.” (KJV) The question is, if everybody has a gift, how is it that some are able to take that gift to a higher level and some others, even with a greater gift, never do?

         I want to propose four elements to you, 1) Natural Abilities, 2) Hard Work and Dedication, 3) Attitude and 4) Passion. Each one of these ingredients is key to success.

  1. Natural abilities: This means that you don’t have to do much of anything for those abilities to flow. You run faster, you learn to shoot the ball faster than others, you have better than normal reflex, great coordination, eye sight, you understand math better than the average person, remember dates, etc. Natural abilities are the God-given gifts; nevertheless, they can only take you so far; they do have limits. I have seen some kids that are great track and field athletes back home at the local or regional level, but as soon as they step into the State level competition, they fall apart. There is an explanation for that; they are lacking other elements for success.
  2. Hard work and dedication: If God does it all He will be promoting laziness. Hard work and dedication are so powerful that it can take somebody with less potential and make him better than somebody with all the potential in the world, but consumed with pride, laziness and lack of discipline. One thing that we must understand is that God has nothing good to say about laziness. Proverbs 13:4 tells us, “The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; But the soul of the diligent shall be made rich.” (NKJV). You may say, well that is Old Testament stuff; but the New Testament echoes the same message. Colossians 3:23 tells us, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,” (NKJV)

         You can win locally with your eyes close; it so easy! You can continue doing that same job for 20 more years. But many will never even try to go to the next level, that is because the next level requires hard work and dedication.

         As I said before, natural abilities can only take you, but so far. Soon or later those natural abilities will not be enough to take you to your full potential. That same lazy kid will never be able to shine at the State Level competition because, even as his natural abilities are amazing, his dedication is sloppy.

         So the kid that did not have as much potential, but busted his butt in the gym, who study his sport and who constantly work on improving his technique beyond the time with the coach, will indeed become that State Champion, get that promotion and enjoy a breakthrough to the next level. The higher the level, the harder work and dedication is required.

         Hard work and dedication is what I like to call the level field. Here you can actually see the kid with less talent totally dominate the one with all the talent in the world, but no dedication. It is the soul of the diligent that makes him rich,[1] in other words, makes him prosper; it is not the soul of the talented.

  1. Attitude: This is the magic ingredient that brings everything together nicely. A good attitude is a teachable spirit manifested in humility. The Bible tells us in James 4:6 “…“God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” You can be good and you can be dedicated, but your attitude may close or open doors for you. Nobody likes to work with a jerk! That good attitude will enable you to leave behind a greater legacy.
  2. Passion: If you do not have passion, you need to desperately pray for it. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 29:18, “Where there is no vision, the people perish…” Do you have a dream? Do you have direction in your life? Are you working on something? Passion is the engine God gives you to go after what you want with all of your heart. Passion will cause you to practice that extra hour, to wake up early to train hard and to work on your technique; to work on that degree or that certification, etc. Passion takes no excuses; passion will make the time and will drive you to the top. Without passion you are wasting your time and everybody else’s. Without passion your are a dead man walking; without passion you are actually destroying yourself.

         So, what are your natural abilities? What are the talents God gave you? That is just the beginning; talent is not enough!

Recommended Reading: Matthew 25:14-30

 

 

[1] Proverbs 13:4