Most American Christians Do Not Believe that Satan or the Holy Spirit Exist ?!

Posted: October 5th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Spirituality | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

This is a recent story from the Barna Group, which does extensive studies on Christianity.  My reaction is , “What are we doing wrong that professing Christians do not believe Satan or the Holy Spirit are REAL?”

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” (Hosea 4:6)

Click on the heading to go to the article…

Most American Christians Do Not Believe that Satan or the Holy Spirit Exist

altApril 10, 2009

A new nationwide survey of adults’ spiritual beliefs, conducted by The Barna Group, suggests that Americans who consider themselves to be Christian have a diverse set of beliefs – but many of those beliefs are contradictory or, at least, inconsistent.

The survey explored beliefs about spiritual beings, the influence of faith on their life, views of the Bible, and reactions to faiths other than their own.

Views on Spiritual Beings

The Barna survey asked questions about God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, Satan, and demons.

All 1,871 self-described Christians were asked about their perception of God. In total, three-quarters (78%) said he is the “all-powerful, all-knowing Creator of the universe who rules the world today.” The remaining one-quarter chose other descriptions of God – depictions that are not consistent with biblical teaching (e.g., everyone is god, god refers to the realization of human potential, etc.).

For the other survey items a four-point opinion scale was used to measure people’s reactions to statements about each spiritual entity.

Four out of ten Christians (40%) strongly agreed that Satan “is not a living being but is a symbol of evil.” An additional two out of ten Christians (19%) said they “agree somewhat” with that perspective. A minority of Christians indicated that they believe Satan is real by disagreeing with the statement: one-quarter (26%) disagreed strongly and about one-tenth (9%) disagreed somewhat. The remaining 8% were not sure what they believe about the existence of Satan.

Don't let it be said by God, "I never knew you."

Posted: August 13th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: My Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Saw this recently.  Wow.  About 10 minutes long, but it will really make you think about.  There is a way to pursue righteousness that leads to hell!

Faith as a Mustard Seed

Posted: September 24th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: My Thoughts, Spirituality | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

I read something interesting about the whole “faith of a mustard seed” thing. I have heard many different arguments on faith, the power of faith, moving literal and/or spiritual mountains, etc and this is not to start an argument, just maybe a different perspective not seen before.   So here we go…

Mustard Seed

Mustard Seed

Most people take Matthew 17:20, “And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” And again in Luke 17:6, And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.” and interpret this way. If I have even just a tiny bit of faith, as small as a mustard seed, then these things are available to me; but maybe that is not what it is saying.  See, the only other time that mustard seeds are mentioned in the Bible is in parallel passages referring to the Kingdom of God:

Matthew 13:31-32Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.”

Mark 4:30-32 And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth: But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it.

Luke 13:18-19 Then said he, Unto what is the kingdom of God like? and whereunto shall I resemble it? 19 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it.

Mustard Tree

Mustard Tree

Obviously these are the same story as accounted in the different gospels, but they reveal something. They are not talking about the size of the mustard seed, but the uniqueness of such a tiny herbal seed and how it grows. I did a little studying on mustard and here are what I believe Jesus was talking about.

The mustard plant has is one of the smallest seeds that are planted by farmers (obviously not the smallest seed of any plant) at 1/8 inch in diameter. The mustard seed, once planted, begins (noticeably) to grow the very next day. In fact it is one of the quickest maturing plants around reaching full maturity in about 40 days.

I believe that God used this plant as an example of our faith in that once we receive Christ, our faith begins to grow immediately. The number forty in the Bible points to tribulation or trials (Israel in the wilderness for 40 years) which would speak of a definite maturing process for our faith (part of growth and maturity come from overcoming trials in our life).  When mature, the mustard plant is much larger than any of  the other herbs which could speak to our faith having the potential to grow beyond that of others.

So “faith as a mustard seed” to move mountains I believe refers not to just a little faith can move a mountain, but rather that a faith that is growing and maturing, though it started with a small beginning, will give you the ability to move mountains (overcome trials).

Please leave your thoughts.

- mooney

White is to black as God is to (blank)?

Posted: August 27th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: My Thoughts, Spirituality | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

I remember taking aptitude tests in school where they had all kinds of relational questions. You probably have remember these as well. While reading through Lord Foulgrin’s Letters, I ran into a part where Lord Foulgrin talks about the human tendency to put opposites on the extreme ends of an equal plane.

White and black are both colors like hot and cold are both temperatures. The the further left you go, the whiter or hotter something gets; the further left, the blacker or colder something is.

Quite often, we do the same thing with God and Satan. Most place God on the ultimate side of good, and Satan on the ultimate extreme of bad. The Bible clearly states that in God there is no darkness (1 John 1:5), and Satan is a liar (John 8:44), thief (John 10:10), and murderer from the beginning (John 8:44).

While being opposites in the matter of good/evil, they are not on equal planes. This is something that I was doing that I was not aware of. Does it make a difference? Yes, a huge one.

While we often see Satan as the opposite of God, He is in no way equal. Satan’s equivalent would be the archangel Michael. See, while the devil is the opposing entity to God, was still created by God. Notice that he could not overthrow heaven, but was cast out. he did not take dominion of the earth, but was given earth as a domain. He is not omnipotent, omnipresent, or omni anything else.

He was a disobedient little twit that got kicked out of the big house and sent to the guest quarters.

Remember that the next time you are facing any type of adversity, our God (Jehovah to be clear) is the true God, and all are subject to His commands.  The devil loses because he has no chance of winning.  He never did.


- C.R. Mooney

Coup D’Church

Posted: August 12th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: My Thoughts, Spirituality | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Sorry for the lack of original content the last few weeks. You have to read this though. You can comment here or just go to the original post at American Pentecost by JC Smith.

EDIT: Well, people weren’t clicking through for the rest of the post, So here it is in it’s entirety:

coup d’church n : a sudden and decisive change of church structure outside normal means or by force if necessary.

I have gone over the edge, friends.

I was in Minnesota recently holding tent meetings. I was watching folks getting saved every night while the church focused on their own agenda and while church people were generally too busy to show up to support the work.

But that’s not what sent me over the edge.

I saw people come just in case we had a Bentley-like healing service and not come back because we actually preached a straight word out of the Bible (gasp!) or because we actually viewed the gift as a means to salvation and not an end all by itself.

But that didn’t send me over the edge either.

I saw “Prophetic” people get irate because we actually expect them to do something more than soak and wave banners. Recently in Minnesota the prophetic folks have been saying that a “Leviathan” spirit had swam down the Mississippi river and that its tail knocked down the I-94 bridge in Minneapolis. They are saying this, really, and what’s worse, they seem to actually believe it.

I keep expecting that the next prophetic fad will be with them wearing tin foil helmets so that the CIA can’t read their minds.

These same folks are excited because Bill Yount gave a prophecy that claimed that angels were embedded in the walls of the churches waiting to be activated. Yes, the same Bill Yount who gave the infamous “candy bar names” prophecy is actually allowed to minister somewhere. Shocking.

The same folks are dispensing “Godka” and are “Toking the Ghost” at meetings. And pardon me if I seem religious but I think that maybe God would be better served by you witnessing your faith or cleaning the church or teaching kids out of the Word or…

That had me close to the edge but not quite over it.

What put me over the edge was the understanding that the church simply will not correct itself, it is in a free spinning descent and no one seems to know that eventually you must hit the ground.

I was given a gift for visiting a church on a Sunday morning recently. The church was an Assembly of God and they gave us June’s copy of “Today’s Pentecostal Evangel”. Inside was an article on “The Changing Face of Evangelism” and there was a picture of Billy Sunday and some hipster that I didn’t know.

Anyway, as I read, I became livid.

First was “Gone are the days when a camp meeting was a big event in town”. I thought, “Okay, that’s just opinion. It lacks foresight but I can agree to disagree with that.” Then I read further “An Evangelist supplements by providing a particular specialty that may not be the local Pastor’s strength, such as teaching on Spirit baptism.” Um…what?

“The Evangelist complements by teaching the people from a second voice that confirms what the Pastor has been sharing with them.”

Are you kidding me? That is the job of the Evangelist in the church, to complement the local Pastor? And this was coming from the AG! I’m sorry but I don’t know what books they are handing out in Springfield for leaders to read but apparently it isn’t the Bible anymore.

Here’s the problem: you are besieged. You are trapped behind the four walls of your church by the enemy outside and the only ministry that you know is to other besieged people. You are devouring one another and defining ministry gifts by what you can do while you are besieged, not by what God had intended for us as His church!

The job of an Evangelist is not to supplement a local Pastor, sorry. The job of an Evangelist is to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world, in the world. But our Evangelists are not Evangelists anymore, they are travelling preachers with an career agenda and money on the brain.

And it is time and high time for a coup d’church.

The prophetic movement is starting to teach that the Bible is not the Word, Jesus is. Therefore, since the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy, prophetic declaration is higher than the written word. When you do that, you cross the line from heterodoxy to heresy and I will do all that is in my power to expose you as false prophets prophesying lies.

When a false movement deserts the Word of God to follow fables, it is time for a coup d’church.

What of the Moravian Church, who at one time held a 24/7 prayer ministry for 100 years while sending out over 300 missionaries to areas unreached by the Gospel message. Today they have homosexuals ordained as preachers and many of them doubt the infallibility of the Word.

When those who should lead us have fallen into secularism and liberalism, it is time for a coup d’church.

Methodist women used to have “pray-in’s” where they all sat as a group in front of the doors of local taverns and prayed, refusing to move and refusing to allow anyone inside. Methodists used to hold camp meetings where God moved, people repented and were saved. They used to send circuit riders all over the country, covering rural areas with the good news. Today they are mainstream and neither God nor the people move.

When the new wineskin becomes the old wineskin, unable to contain any new wine, its time for a coup d’church.

We could mention the Salvation Army or the Presbyterian church and how far removed they are from the radical manifestations of revival in their past. We could mention Pentecostals who now too dignified to have the gifts of the Spirit operate in public or the Word of Faith folks who took revelation from God and started commanding stones to become bread for their own use.The list is too long and too painful for me because I love the church. But I can not abide what a church does to people when it is based on lies, compromise and the world system.

The disease of the church is systemic and what change can come to it, must come from outside, period.

We must take what we can from the past and never lose them while being sure to lose everything that came later as a result of the compromises of weak men.

To be clear, I am calling for an outright revolt where it is deserved. I am calling for a coup in the church because they are simply not competent to lead us into the future.

And if no one calls out and says “What should we do?” I don’t mind, I will simply be the change on my own and that would be enough for me.

-JC Smith

Most “Christians” are idiots – 39,000 Denominations can’t be wrong

Posted: January 30th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: My Thoughts, Spirituality | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Most Christians I meet are idiots, and I would probably put myself in that group a large percentage of the time. Why? Because we think we have all the answers and that no one else does. I have the privilege of working for a small company of mostly Christians, and we love to argue, I mean discuss, the Bible and assorted theology.

First let me say, none of us are in possession of any theological degree or other paper that qualifies us as an “authority” on the Bible, but a few of us have a small grasp of its contents. I amazes me at how passionately we can defend our views, whether on the apocalypse, six days of creation, judgment, law versus grace, tithe, or an endless list of other topics that have come up over the years. At the end of the day, no one ever really changes their mind. We just walk away thinking, “Why doesn’t Billy Bob get it? It’s so obvious!”

According to the Gordon-Conwell Theological Society, there are currently over 39,000 Christian denominations worldwide. They predict that by the year 2025 there will be 55,000 different denominations.

Those number are crazy. That means that there are almost 40,000 groups of people who cannot come to an agreement on some portion of the Bible, yet all claim to have the correct doctrine. Why do we even try sometimes? Where do we get off telling everyone to love each other, when a percentage of denominations won’t even recognize the opinions of the other denominations?

This isn’t a Christian bashing, post, as I fall in the Christian category, but maybe a wake up call for us to get over ourselves; to start think higher of others than we do ourselves. Maybe for one moment admit to the world that we don’t have all of the answers; and that heck, some of our answers may even be wrong. We need to get back to loving others more than ourselves, and not argue whether a rapture will occur before or after a “great tribulation”. Last time I checked, arguing over it won’t change it. However taking a minute out of your day to help your elderly neighbor rake his leaves, or carrying someone’s groceries, or buying some shingles and fixing their roof that has been leaking will say more to a person than empty words ever will.

We need to stop being idiots. We need open our eyes and see just how ridiculous we look to the rest of the world. Only Jesus has perfect theology, so get over it already. We need to get off our high horse and instead of telling the world we love them, show them.

- chris mooney