Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The 10 Commandments in light of Facebook...

I thought this was good so I wanted to share a portion with each of you. It's was posted by the Ligonier Ministries Blog - thanks Jason D. for pointing this out to me:

First, has it become a god to us? When God commands that we have no other god’s before Him He doesn’t mean ranked higher than Him, but rather He means in His presence. If Facebook is too needful for you, you may need to stop. Second, has it become a graven image? Have you confused its reality with real reality? Do you really think you have 200 friends? Third, have you taken the Lord’s name in vain? That is, have you, in weaker moments, put a bad face publicly on your Christian witness? Are you laughing at your old sins with that old buddy from college or high school?

Fourth, is Facebook giving me the peace of the Lord, or agitating me? (And please note the very real difference between that peace that passes understanding and that “peace” we receive when we feed a habit, when we get a fix.) Am I jumpy when I don’t get to log on? Am I more keyed up after I’ve logged off? Fifth, am I honoring those in authority over me? Wives, are you failing to honor your husbands because you’re too busy reading about your friends? Children, are you failing to honor your parents because you’re too busy sending flair?

Sixth, is this technology honoring to life? The cyberworld can be a barren wasteland, not because it is filled with pornography and gambling, but because it isn’t real, because it is Gnostic. Seventh, are you loving your spouse on Facebook? Is the rush of nostalgia from finding long lost friends encouraging you to be dissatisfied? Are you secretly looking for that old girlfriend? Are you already caught up in adultery simply by wishing you could be sixteen again? Or do you not know that Facebook can all too easily devolve into relational pornography? The allure of porn is that you think you can have the joys of the sexual union without having to have a real relationship with a real person. The allure of Facebook is much the same. Eighth, are you stealing from your employer by not giving a full days work because you are moonlighting at Farmville, or as a Mafia Don? Or, simply because you are spending your hours at work at play?

Ninth, are you lying? That is, is the you you present on Facebook the real you? This technology has an insidious capacity to both hide reality and fool us into thinking we are both showing and seeing it. Why are our updates all about our victories- I just made cookies for the family; My son just hit the game winning home run; rather than our failures- I just shouted at my little girl; I left my computer on the airplane and it’s gone? Keep a particularly close eye on this one. And tenth, is Facebook encouraging contentment or resentment? Are you coveting your neighbor’s friend count? Are you jealous of how many “likes” there are for his posts compared to yours? And are you content with the real life you are shutting out while hunched over your keyboard?

Please don’t misunderstand this little thought experiment. I suspect we could walk through the Ten Commandments in light of our church, and find many of the same temptations. That doesn’t mean you should stay away from church. It does mean we ought to be deliberate enough to know what we are doing, and why we are doing it. And deliberate begins by affirming that our own hearts are not just desperately wicked, but deceitful as well. We don’t need to protect our privacy. We need instead to expose our sins to the light, the light of Scripture that we might repent and believe, that His face might shine upon us.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Enter to WIN "Before God: The Biblical Doctrine of Prayer"

Before God: The Biblical Doctrine of Prayer is 284 page softcover book by my good friend Mike Sarkissian.

If your prayer life is dry, there are two incredible means that God will use to plunge you into deeper communion with Himself:

1) This book
2) Evangelism - sharing the Gospel can be difficult. It's hard to approach a complete stranger and ask them their thoughts about God and the afterlife...but a nervous believer is a PRAYING believer!

When Mike sent me this book I was thrilled to read it. It's exactly what I needed.

Mike's book will encourage you to take care of your soul through prayer - which should produce a desire to WIN souls.

Before God with the heading "Prayer the Means for Effective Preaching" and reflects on the incredible life of Robert Murray McCheyne: "His time with God in prayer and meditation manifested itself in a passion for souls and effective preaching."

Let's model McCheyne's example!

Here's a couple of great endorsements about Mike's book:

“Mike Sarkissian’s work in Before God: The Biblical Doctrine of Prayer shows obvious signs of study and godly devotion, and I am thankful for those things.” -Rev. Cornelius Plantinga, Jr., Ph.D., President and Charles W. Colson Professor of Theology Calvin Theological Seminary

“Before God is a clear and helpful Prayer 101 manual for beginning Christians and a refresher for more advanced believers. All the basics are here–what prayer is, the Lord’s Prayer, how to pray, and why prayer is essential. The concluding chapter on Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s prayer life is alone worth the price of the book. I pray that Before God will stir you up to a fuller life of prayer and supplication.” -Dr. Joel R. Beeke President, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary

“There have been many aids to prayer, but can there be too many? Not if Christians continue to struggle in prayer. Before God is a helpful guide for beginners and old-hands alike to encourage godly, disciplined prayer. Bishop Ryle wrote, ‘the habit of prayer is one of the surest marks of a true Christian,’ and in this brief manual you will find a treasure-trove of good things to foster just such a habit.” -Dr. Derek W. H. Thomas John E. Richards Professor of Theology Reformed Theological Seminary (Jackson)

“Mike Sarkissian has given the body of Christ a rare gift. Rarely do we see books that emerge on the subject of prayer that make much impact on people today. If we listen and take heed to the insights of Before God we will find a feast for the soul. The subject is thoroughly explored, offering a wide base and background on prayer, Before God takes us on a tour de force that exposes one to prayer in the best of Puritan and Reformed thought. Best of all are the exegetical insights the author leaves us with regarding the doctrine of prayer. For the believer who is serious about communion with God, this title comes highly recommended.” -Emilio Ramos Pastor, Sovereign Joy Community Church, Keller TX.

Click here for a full list of endorsements.

Here's what to do to win:

There will be 1 winner!

There are 2 Ways to enter your name in the drawing...

1. For 2 entries, post this give away on your website, blog, or social networking site.

2. For 1 entry, simply enter your name below (in the comment section) and a way for me to contact you if you win.

Contest ends Monday, July 12 2010. Open to US residents only.

I will randomly pick 1 name and the winner will be announced on Tuesday, July 13, 2010!

If you don't win and would like a copy there are a few places you can purchase "Before God"

1) Mike's Website
2) Monergism
3) Amazon

Monday, June 21, 2010

Friday, June 4, 2010

Disagreeing with God

"There is a difficulty about disagreeing with God. He is the source from which all your reasoning power comes" - C.S.Lewis