March 6th, 2010 by Daniel Kolenda

Ministry today is often viewed as a profession, a career and an occupation.  We have been reminded quite often that “the laborer is worthy of his hire” (Luke 10:7) and that we should not muzzle the ox when he is working (Deut 25:4).  When I preach about the call of God into the ministry, the first thing that most people think of is a paid position and the first question that they have is about financial support.  It seems that most people automatically connect ministry with a paying full-time job and I wonder sometimes how much interest there would be if there were no possibility of financial reward.

When Malachi was sent by God to Jerusalem shortly after the temple had been rebuilt, he was appalled by the apathy of the people and especially of the “clergy”.  He made the observation that the priest seemed to be motivated by what they could get out of their service rather than by sincere love for God and a desire to build His Kingdom.  “Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nothing?” he asks.  “Neither do you kindle fire on my altar for nothing.  I have no pleasure in you, saith the Lord of hosts; neither will I accept an offering at your hand.” (Mal 1:10)

I have no problem with ministers who make a living from their work in the ministry…I am one of them in fact.  But if financial remuneration is the incentive and motivation for ministry, there is a real problem.

I started preaching when I was 14-years-old and ever since then, in many different capacities I have always worked in “the ministry”.  Most of the time I have been in ministry it has been totally volunteer and has even cost me dearly.  I have had to work secular jobs to support my family.  Even as a senior pastor I took no salary and never felt entitled to anything.  If there were no money in ministry I would still be doing it today and for the rest of my life.  Why?  Because I love Jesus and because it is what He has called me to do.  I cannot imagine not ministering.  Ministry is not my job…it is my life.  I AM a minister…it’s not just what I do.  I am amazed sometimes to think that today I am able to make a living doing something that I love so much.

Jesus told his disciples, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me” (John 4:34).  He was saying, this is my reward…this is my remuneration; to do the will of God”  And then he gave this exhortation, “Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life.” (John 6:27)  As ministers we work not for money or for food, but we work for Jesus.  Money will follow ministry and as you seek first the Kingdom of God all these things will be added to you.

Posted in The Kingdom of God Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

September 22nd, 2009 by M. French

A group of Christians praying for random people to experience the supernatural presence of the living God on network television? That seems to be the goal of a group affiliated with Randy Clark’s Global Awakening Ministry. They explain their idea for the potential show entitled “The God Squad Show” below:

Imagine this…

…through relationship with God being able to see future events in peoples lives… being able to paint and show future events or unlock mysteries and draw the viewer into a greater understanding of life…with the laying on of hands restoring life to the recently deceased…

Sounds like a great conference! It’s not. It’s descriptions from some of the 6 Primetime dramas on the 3 Major Networks! We can’t get enough of the supernatural… because innately we know, there has to be more…

It’s time for us to give the viewing public more. It’s time for a reality show that doesn’t highlight our greed, fickle hearts or ability to withstand pain and hardship, but a reality show that shows His ability to provide, restore and heal our pains and hardships.

God Squad is a half hour reality show that takes us to city streets all over America and allows us a front row seat to individuals experiencing encounters with the supernatural in a way that has never been seen on secular television. We follow our cast members as they encounter random individuals in daily life and bring them into a supernatural experience.

In our travels we will see sight restored, aches and pain relieved, people healed by art drawn for them, about them before we even met them… broken lives restored to peace and love… watch people feel the supernatural Presence on their bodies in a physical and undeniable way.

In each episode we will visit several cities and go from story to story of supernatural encounters taking place in peoples daily lives right in front of us… in real time.

Reality is often just a lie agreed upon, its time to bring the truth to reality and to confirm what we know in our hearts… that just like we imagine in our weekly fictional dramas on TV, the truth is… there is more.

Below is a clip of someone from the group praying for a woman with no cartilage in her knee. While we cannot verify the long term results of the prayer on the woman’s knee, she does say to the crew that though she is not a “religious person,” she found that as she was being prayed for, her knee felt progressively better, and she felt a strange feeling rush through her body (I found one of the comments on the youtube page for the video amusing: “r there more video’s like this?? and how the **** is it so possible…. i dont ****** get it “): [Link to Video]

People were made to experience the supernatural. Let’s hope that this and similar projects succeed in displaying the power of God to the world.

Posted in Culture, News Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

August 11th, 2009 by Frank Turek

Editor’s Note: Originally published on TownHall.com, used with permission. Frank Turek is a speaker and author, and a leading Christian apologist. Learn more at his website www.CrossExamined.org

As our great country accelerates its slide into economic and moral Hell, be careful whom you blame. The present boldness of liberals and timidity of conservatives are only the secondary causes. Much of the blame can be placed at the foot of the church.

When I say the church, I don’t mean an institution like the Roman Catholic church, but the entire body of believers—those from all denominations who believe that the Bible is true, that people are sinners, that God sent the perfect God-man, Jesus Christ, to redeem us from our sins, and that we are charged with spreading that message and reforming society.

Believers are God’s ambassadors here on earth, called to be salt and light in the world and to the world. When we follow our calling, individuals are transformed and societies with them. Our country is failing because too many believers have abandoned this calling.

They began abandoning it in earnest in the 1920’s. That’s when an anti-intellectual movement called fundamentalism led believers to separate from society rather than reform it, and to bifurcate life into two separate spheres—the sacred and secular. Reason was given up for emotionalism, and only activities that directly saved souls were deemed sacred. Everything else was considered secular. Careers in clergy and missions were glorified at the expense of everything else. That led too many believers to leave public education, the media, law, and politics in the hands of the unbelievers. Is it any wonder why those areas of our culture now seem so Godless? Take the influence of God out, and that’s what you get.

Secularizing public education has been the key to our nation’s moral demise. Once public education went secular, the rest of society eventually did, especially when the products of that system became our leaders. As Abraham Lincoln once observed, “The philosophy of the schoolroom in one generation will be the philosophy of the government in the next.”

The philosophy of the schoolroom is atheistic. The question of God’s existence—the most important question regarding how we should live—is not studied or debated in our public schools. Atheism is just assumed to be true and with it moral relativism. That’s a major reason why immorality dominates our schools and why our kids know more about political correctness than truth. It’s also why we have a new generation of voters more enamored with “hope and change” than defending our changeless rights from an overreaching government. G. K. Chesterton’s observation about Russia has come true here, “Once abolish the God, and the government becomes the God.”

How did this happen? In the early 1960’s, the Supreme Court, consisting of newly trained secularists, banned devotional Bible reading in our schools (apparently, for the 180 years before that, people just didn’t understand the Constitution!). That decision, and several others, has stifled virtually any mention of God or the Bible in our public schools. In effect, the most influential book in the history of the world is ignored in our educational system. What kind of a quality education is that? It’s certainly not what the folks who settled this land had in mind for public education. In fact, the first public school in the new world began as a result of the “Old Deluder Satan Law.” That 1647 Massachusetts law established the school to teach kids how to read the Bible so that old deluder Satan could not deceive them.

Likewise, most of our first universities were established to teach and propagate a complete Christian worldview. Harvard’s charter read, “Let every Student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life (John 17:3) and therefore to lay Christ in the bottom, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and Learning.”

The founders of Harvard knew that all truth is God’s truth. There is no bifurcation between the sacred and the secular. According to the Bible, every vocation, every discipline, and every person is sacred. Nothing is secular. In sharp contrast, those running our country now say that everything is secular. That’s a long way from our founding.

“So what?” you say. “Who cares about morality and God?”

That’s exactly the problem: Who does care? When the church separates from society, it takes its moral influence with it. But respect for the moral principles upon which out nation was founded—life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness—is essential to its survival. Our founders knew this.

Following the Constitutional convention, a woman asked Benjamin Franklin what kind of government he and his fellow founding fathers created for the nation. Franklin replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

Franklin knew that freedom must always be defended; that the unalienable rights for which our founding fathers pledged “their lives, fortunes and sacred honor,” were never secure unless an informed electorate held their representatives accountable to uphold those moral rights.

Recognizing that only a religious and moral people will maintain a good government, George Washington declared in his farewell address, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports.” His successor, John Adams, wrote, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” In other words, even the best Constitution cannot prevent immoral people or politicians from destroying a nation. That’s why the church cannot abandon its calling. But it has.

So if you’re a believer who is upset that life is not being protected; that marriage is being subverted; that judges routinely usurp your will; that our immigration laws are being ignored; that radical laws are passed but never read; that mentioning God in school (unless he’s Allah) results in lawsuits; that school curriculums promote political correctness and sexual deviance as students fail at basic academics; that unimaginable debt is being piled on your children while leftist organizations like Planned Parenthood and ACORN receive your tax dollars; and that your religion and free speech rights are about to be eroded by “hate” crimes legislation that can punish you for quoting the Bible; then go look in the mirror and take your share of the blame because we have not obeyed our calling.

Then start over. Reengage at every level of society. Treat every job and every person as sacred. Be a beacon for Christ and truth in whatever you do and wherever you are. There is hope if you act. After all, we believe in redemption.

Posted in Culture Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,