quinta-feira, 26 de novembro de 2015

Bill Johnson's twitter comments?

What is "Kingdom Now Theology"?

Bill Johnson
Before I give you my opinion about Bill Johnson's "Kingdom Now Theology", I would like to know what you think is behind some of Bill Johnson's twitter comments?

Comment 1: God is in charge but he's not in control. He puts us in control. Bill Johnson 

Comment 2: God never violates His word. But He's quite comfortable violating our understanding of His word. Bill Johnson 

Comment 3: Jesus did not come to show us what God could do. He came to show us what one man could do who was rightly related to God. Bill Johnson

Comment 4: If Jesus did the things he did as God then that is awesome. But if he did them as a man then I am unsatisfied with my life - Bill Johnson

Comment 5: Jesus is returning for a bride whose body is in equal proportion to her head. Bill Johnson

Comment 6: When you've been given the Spirit of God you lose the privilege of claiming, "I'm only human." -Bill Johnson 

Comment 7: If I believe that sickness is to the body what sin is to the soul, then no disease will intimidate me. -Bill Johnson. 

Comment 8: Excellence is kingdom, perfectionism is religious, and poverty is demonic - Bill Johnson

Comment 9: If you're not having fun, you need to back up and find out where you left Jesus. Bill Johnson

Comment 10: Music gives a platform for people to respond to truth outside of the intellect. Bill Johnson

The quotes above were taken directly from Bill Johnson's twitter account: http://twitter.com/?lang=en&logged_out=1#!/billjohnson2011

If you want to know my opinion about Bill Johnson's 'Kingdom Now' Theology, please open the site below  (It is worth reading and you only need 2 minutes). 

Would you like to know if FREEMASONRY is of the devil? Please, click below:

What does the year of jubilee mean for today?

The Sabbath Year and the Year of Jubilee 

The rich become richer and the poor become poorer because of the unequal distribution of wealth in our consumer society. 

In every modern society that economists have investigated, there is huge inequality. Twenty percent of the population owns most of a nation's tangible wealth. This is the basis of men's unequal incomes. Even after almost a century of steeply graduated income taxes and graduated inheritance taxes, steep inequality persists in every developed nation. 

When we look around we can see the acculturation of so many Christians to the value-system and lifestyle of our modern society and their failure to appreciate that true faith in God requires an oppositional stance to all ideologies and forms of social life which depersonalise and dehumanise.

The rich become richer and the poor become poorer. Those who reap the benefits of the profit coming from economic growth tend to lavish the gains on various luxuries without any concern for the deprived classes.

The greed for more and more money propels the elite minority to invest in more and more enterprises without thinking much about the impact on those who are on the margins.

When injustice and greed prevail in a consumer society God roars like a lion. God roars to bring judgement to those that oppose Him and His principles of justice and love.

Luke 16:13 "you cannot be slave both of God and of money".

Luke 12:15 "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions".

Actually, we can say that this problem has always existed in the world and we see that in Leviticus 25 God ordains a Sabbath year, one in every seven, and a jubilee year, one in every fifty, to sanctify Israel’s internal economy as we can see in the article below:


Leviticus 25 ordains a Sabbath year, one in every seven Lev. 25:1-7.

And a jubilee year, one in every fifty Lev. 25:8-17, to sanctify Israel’s internal economy. 

In the Sabbath year, each field was to lie fallow, which appears to be a sound agricultural practice. 

The year of jubilee was much more radical. Every fiftieth year, all leased or mortgaged lands were to be returned to their original owners, and all slaves and bonded labourers were to be freed Lev. 25:10
This naturally posed difficulties in banking and land transactions, and special provisions were designed to ameliorate them Lev. 25:15-16, which we will explore in a moment. 

The underlying intent is the same as seen in the law of gleaning Lev. 19:9-10, to ensure that everyone had access to the means of production, whether the family farm or simply the fruits of their own labour.
It is not fully known whether Israel actually observed the jubilee year or the antislavery provisions associated with it e.g., Lev. 25:25-2839-41 on a wide scale basis. 

Regardless, the sheer detail of Leviticus 25 strongly suggests that we treat the laws as something that Israel either did or should have implemented. Rather than see the jubilee year as a Utopian literary fiction, it seems better to believe that its widespread neglect occurred not because the jubilee was unfeasible, but because the wealthy were unwilling to accept the social and economic implications that would have been costly and disruptive to them.


After Israel conquered Canaan, the land was assigned to Israel’s clans and families as described in Numbers 26 and Joshua 15-22. This land was never to be sold in perpetuity for it belonged to the Lord, not the people Lev. 25:23-24. 

The effect of the jubilee was to prevent any family from becoming permanently landless through sale, mortgage or permanent lease of its assigned land. In essence, any sale of land was really a term lease that could last no longer than the next year of jubilee Lev. 25:15

This provided a means for the destitute to raise money (by leasing the land) without depriving the family’s future generations of the means of production. 

The rules of Leviticus 25 are not easy to figure out, and Milgrom makes good sense of them as he defines three progressive stages of destitution.
1. The first stage is depicted in Leviticus 25:25-28

A person could simply become poor. The presumed scenario is that of a farmer who borrowed money to buy seed but did not harvest enough to repay the loan. 

He therefore must sell some of the land to a buyer in order to cover the debt and buy seed for the next planting. If there was a person who belonged to the farmer’s clan who wished to act as a “redeemer”, he could pay the buyer according to the number of remaining annual crops until the jubilee year when it reverted to the farmer. 

Until that time, the land belonged to the redeemer, who allowed the farmer to work it.
2. The second stage was more serious Lev. 25:35-38

Assuming that the land was not redeemed and the farmer again fell into debt from which he could not recover, he would forfeit all of his land to the creditor. 

In this case, the creditor must lend the farmer the funds necessary to continue working as a tenant farmer on his own land, but must not charge him interest. The farmer would amortise this loan with the profit made from the crops, perhaps eliminating the debt. 

If so, the farmer would regain his land. If the loan was not fully repaid before the jubilee, then at that time the land would revert back to the farmer or his heirs.
3.The third stage was more serious still Lev. 25:39-43

Assuming that the farmer in the previous stage could neither pay on the loan or even support himself and his family, he would become temporarily bound to the household of the creditor. 

As a bound labour he would work for wages, which were entirely for reduction of the debt. At the year of jubilee, he would regain his land and his freedom Lev. 25:41

Throughout these years, the creditor must not work him as a slave, sell him as a slave, or rule over him harshly Lev. 25:42-43

The creditor must “fear God” by accepting the fact that all of God’s people are God’s slaves (NRSV “servants”) whom he graciously brought out from Egypt. No one else can own them because God already does.
The point of these rules is that Israelites were never to become slaves to other Israelites. It was conceivable, though, that impoverished Israelites might sell themselves as slaves to wealthy resident aliens living in the land  Lev. 25:47-55
Even if this happened, the sale must not be permanent. People who sold themselves must retain the right to buy themselves out of slavery if they prospered. 

If not, a near relative could intervene as a “redeemer” who would pay the foreigner according to the number of years left until the jubilee when the impoverished Israelites were to be released. During that time, they were not to be treated harshly but be regarded as hired workers.


The year of jubilee operated within the context of Israel’s kinship system for the protection of the clan’s inalienable right to work their ancestral land, which they understood to be owned by God and to be enjoyed by them as a benefit of their relationship with him. 

These social and economic conditions no longer exist, and from a biblical point of view, God no longer administers redemption through a single political state. We must therefore view the jubilee from our current vantage point.
A wide variety of perspectives exists about the proper application, if any, of the jubilee to today’s societies. To take one example that engages seriously with contemporary realities, Christopher Wright has written extensively on the Christian appropriation of Old Testament laws. 

He identifies principles implicit in these ancient laws in order to grasp their ethical implications for today. His treatment of the jubilee year thus considers three basic angles: the theological, the social, and the economic.
1. Theologically, the jubilee affirms that the Lord is not only the God who owns Israel’s land; he is sovereign over all time and nature. His act of redeeming his people from Egypt committed him to provide for them on every level because they were his own. 

Therefore, Israel’s observance of the Sabbath day and year and the year of jubilee was a function of obedience and trust. In practical terms, the jubilee year embodies the trust all Israelites could have that God would provide for their immediate needs and for the future of their families. 

At the same time, it calls on the rich to trust that treating creditors compassionately will still yield an adequate return.
2. Looking at the social angle, the smallest unit of Israel’s kinship structure was the household that would have included three to four generations. 

The jubilee provided a social/economic solution to keep the family whole even in the face of economic calamity. 

Family debt was a reality in ancient times as it is today, and its effects include a frightening list of social ills. The jubilee sought to check these negative social consequences by limiting their duration so that future generations would not have to bear the burden of their distant ancestors.
3. The economic angle reveals the two principles that we can apply today.

First, God desires just distribution of the earth’s resources. According to God’s plan, the land of Canaan was assigned equitably among the people. The jubilee was not about redistribution but restoration. 

According to Wright, The jubilee thus stands:

First, as a critique not only of massive private accumulation of land and related wealth but also of large-scale forms of collectivism or nationalisation that destroy any meaningful sense of personal or family ownership. 

Second, family units must have the opportunity and resources to provide for themselves.

In most modern societies, people cannot be sold into slavery to pay debts. Bankruptcy laws provide relief to those burdened with unpayable debts, and descendants are not liable for ancestors' debts. The basic property needed for survival may be protected from seizure. 

Nonetheless, Leviticus 25 seems to offer a broader foundation than contemporary bankruptcy laws. It is founded not on merely protecting personal liberty and a bit of property for destitute people, but on ensuring that everyone has access to the means of making a living and escaping multi generational poverty. 
As the gleaning laws in Leviticus show, the solution is neither handouts nor mass appropriation of property, but social values and structures that give every person an opportunity to work productively. 

Have modern societies actually surpassed ancient Israel in this regard? What about the millions of people enslaved or in bonded labour today in situations where anti-slavery laws are not adequately enforced? 
What would it take for Christians to be capable of offering real solutions?

This above article is from this site: 

sábado, 21 de novembro de 2015

Testimony - Tony O'Dell

Tony O'Dell's Testimony is an extract from TCD Winter News:
TCD Winter News
Our mailing address is: 

Teen Challenge East Dorset

31 Alexandra Road, Poole,

BH14 9BL United Kingdom

Tony O'Dell

Hi, my name is Tony and I grew up in South London. My Father died when I was quite young but life was ok, with no real trouble at home. As I entered my teenage years a big God shaped hole grew inside me. I left school early to work on a market stall in Lewisham and soon began to fill that hole with what I thought was the answer. 

Before long I was smoking cannabis and using cocaine. I got involved with South London's criminal world and my life became uncontrollable. I was introduced to heroin in my late teens, not realising how it would rip my world apart. I spent many years in addiction and after losing everything in my life I came to Bournemouth. I was yearning for something more in my life and the drugs didn't fill that hole. I knew there was something else better for me but I couldn't see a way out.

I never thought l would find the answer in Jesus, I was too 'punk rock' to be a Christian, too 'cool'. Eventually I surrendered, God found me and took me on a journey that would change my life. Six months after giving my heart to Jesus I went to Teen Challenge rehab still on prescribed medication. The Lord broke the chains of addiction that I had lived with for most of my life through the ministry of Teen Challenge.

I now work for a Christian organisation called I.C.N (International Care Network) looking after refuges and people seeking asylum in the UK. I have a new Christian family who supported me through Teen Challenge and I am proud to be part of the Dorset out-reach team. God has done a miracle in my life through Teen Challenge that no one else could do.

Tony was recently presented with a certificate by the Mayor in Bournemouth for his work with Hope Housing. 

The charity provides emergency accommodation for street homeless people and Tony was commended for his hard work and commitment to the project. 

Please, click below if you would like to know more about Teen Challenge East Dorset:

sábado, 21 de março de 2015

Calvinism - Right or Wrong?

These few thoughts are not intended to be a Theological exposition about Calvinism, but rather, a way of bringing to 
mind a few things about Calvinism.
My intention is not to discourage anyone from following Calvinism’s doctrines, but only to say, “Don’t go heavy in Calvinism or become a Hyper-Calvinist”.
I would say the same to other evangelicals, “Don’t go heavy in Pentecostalism, Brethrenism etc."
If “you go heavy in your creed” it is easy to become arrogant and look down on other born again Christians that don’t share exactly the same beliefs.
So, if we want to live in harmony with the body of Christ, the best way is to keep unity in the essential, diversity in the non-essential and love in all.
I respect Calvinism and I hope we can preserve many of its strengths within our Christians Churches.
However, I also believe that Calvinism like any another Evangelical/Pentecostal theology has some faulty foundations as part of its base.

But, before I speak about some of what I believe to be Calvinism’s faulty foundations, I would like to point out five of Calvinism’s strengths:

1. Calvinism takes seriously the fact that God is in complete control of everything that happens (Matthew 10:29).
2. Calvinism takes seriously the fact that we cannot earn our salvation by works and we can never have anything to boast about it before God (Romans 3:27).

3. Calvinism recognizes that in all the good we do, it is God working in us. (Philippians 2:13).

4. Calvinism preachers are the best expository preachers.

5. Calvinism Theology is a God-centered Theology and not at all a man-centered Theology. This is the big difference between Calvinism and Armenianism.

We should all agree that these five points undeniably make Calvinism a Theology based on the Bible.

However, I think that any Christian Theology, as perfect as it may appear to be, has within its base some unscriptural foundations because we can all add things to the Gospel and inadvertently embrace a number of heterodox beliefs. So, we must remain humble and not be arrogant towards others who might not share our beliefs in everything.
Below are what I consider to be some faulty or unscriptural foundations that Calvinism is based on, but I want to say this in love.
1. Calvinism and the doctrine of predestination.
2.  Calvinism and God’s love and justice.
3. Calvinism and our insight and experience of God.
1. Calvinism and the doctrine of predestination.
Is the doctrine of predestination a misunderstanding of or confusion with, the concept of God’s foreknowledge? The omnipotent God has foreknowledge of that which will occur. 

Personally, I don’t think predestination means that God foreknew those who would be saved.

God's foreknowledge is that God knows everything before it happens. He knows in advance what is going to happen to everyone, both good and evil, both Christian and non-Christian. The Bible talks about God's foreknowledge in many places (Ps. 139:1-6; Romans 8:29a). But God's foreknowledge and God's predestination are two different things.
Foreknowledge and Predestination? 
Predestination was an act of God from eternity, before time began, by which God not only foreknew but actually chose some to be saved for all eternity (See Romans 8:29-30 Eph. 1:4-6). When God predestined us, He not only knew that we would be saved, He caused it to happen by His choice of us in Christ.
The Bible reveals that nobody can be saved without been supernaturally chosen by God. I believe that the ones, who are chosen by God to believe, have been predestined according to God’s plan made before creation.
But, in saying that the doctrine of predestination is biblical, I am not saying:
First, I am not saying that God wills that thousands of people will live a sinful life, for instance, be unfaithful to their spouses and go to hell.
If we study the Bible very carefully we will see that everywhere in Scripture that man is responsible for their sins and the responsibility lies right in the very heart of the man who goes to hell.
Second, I am not saying that human responsibility is incompatible with God’s sovereignty.
The Bible reveals clear that man is responsible before God for all his ungodly behaviour.  Yes, God is Sovereign over everything that happens in our creation, but man is responsible for his immoral and ungodly behaviour.
So, I believe that Predestination is intended to be a teaching of the greatest comfort for Christians - but only for Christians.

Not predestination, but only "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" is to be preached to the lost. 

It is most foolish to talk to non-Christians about predestination, for this teaching is not intended for them. Rather, unbelievers should be pointed to "Jesus Christ and Him crucified," to the Gospel that says that God offers reconciliation, forgiveness, and eternal life, to everyone who believes, regardless of their social status, race, sex, or past life.   John 3:16; 2 Corinthians 5:19; 1 John 2:1-2; Galatians 3:27.                     

2.  Calvinism and God’s love and justice.

Hyper-Calvinism can diminish God’s love and justice.

“May the Lord curse you and abandon you. May the Lord keep you in darkness and give you only judgement without grace. May the Lord turn his back upon you and remove his peace from you forever.
This saying, constructed by some Calvinists is called the Supreme Malediction. But, these words reveal the Calvinist’s concept of justice, which is what I wish to explore in this second point.
Most Calvinists will agree that “Reprobation exists in order that election may be realized. Reprobation is necessary to bring the chosen to the glory which God in His infinite love has appointed for them…”
So, in this case God must have two classes of people:

One group with which to demonstrate His love and mercy, and another group with which to demonstrate His wrath and hatred of sin, a group of people with whom He can be angry for all of eternity.

The problem with this conjecture is not Election or Predestination.

The problem with this conjecture is that it essentially assert that God requires a group of people with whom He can be angry for all of eternity in order for Him to be good, or at least for His goodness to be fully actualized and manifested. 

In a certain way Calvinism suggests that pain, evil, and misery of some are a necessary pre-condition for the ever-increasing enjoyment of the saints. This seems to leave us with a kind of dualism since it makes goodness eternally dependent on evil.
Evil certainly exists, so there must be some explanation for it that does not compromise the attributes of God, seeing as terms like goodness, justice, and love can have no meaning apart from God.
We know from the Bible that God permits evil in order to work good out of it, but that’s about all we know. If we try to fill in the gaps of our understanding with some of the Augustinian/Calvinist explanation, we are forced to believe that God’s love, grace, goodness, etc. are only intelligible in a world marred by evil.
We cannot provide an alternative explanation for why a God who is all-powerful and all-knowing and all-good would allow evil to exist. While we know from scripture that the Lord allows evil in order to work good out of it, we don’t ultimately know why He chooses to tarry as His people suffer persecution or why He allows the wicked to prosper.
We just don’t know how God can be all-good, all-knowing, and all-powerful, and yet evil still exists. This is not just a profound philosophical question but is also a very real existential question—especially for those Christians who have been victims of both cruelty and injustice.
In view of all this, I realized that it is better to simply say “it’s a mystery as to why God would permit evil”, instead of trying to give a problematic philosophical explanation to the point we diminish with these affirmations God’s character – His Love and His Justice.
YES, God Is in Everything. The reason why, believers should:
First, acknowledge that God is in Everything.
Second, go a step further and praise Him in all circumstances.
Third, go another step further and praise Him for all the circumstances in life.
So, with this article I am not trying to bring doubts about "Election and Predestination” or about the biblical concept “that God permits evil in order to work good out of it” and also about the biblical concept that “God Is in Everything”.
3. Calvinism and our insight and experience of God.
Calvinism can affect our insight about God and our experience of Him.
Calvinism essentially asserts that God has two sides of His character, a side that delights to show mercy and a side that delights to punish sin. 

By redeeming the elect, God’s love and mercy are demonstrated. But for the Father’s wrath to be completely pacified, He needs to have another group on which His hatred of sin can be expressed.
About all our beloved...
But some problems can emerge from these ideas and affect our insight about God and our experience of Him.
So, believers are very thankful that they are not a target of the side of God that needs to express His hatred of sin.
But, the existential problem that can confront us although we were saved by God’s goodness and love towards us, is that we can feel anything other than horror when contemplating Him, we think about all our beloved that have been created and chosen by Him to be sent to hell.

The distinction between “God’s prescriptive will” and “God’s decreed will” is central to any discussion of such matters. “God’s prescriptive will” is what God commands to be the case, while “God’s decreed will” is what He makes to be the case.
So with respect to God’s prescriptive will, He wills that no one commits adultery, but with regard to His decreed will, every day He wills that thousands of people will be unfaithful to their spouses.
Some Calvinists go further to assert that God’s prescriptive will includes those things which God wants to happen while His decreed will includes many things that God doesn't want to happen, even though He still wills them.
Other Calvinists will say that God doesn't even want His prescriptive will to happen even though He uses language in scripture which suggests otherwise.
This fundamental dichotomy between God’s two modes of willing forced Calvin to set in opposition the theology that is normative for an object with the theology which God ultimately wills for it.
This means that for everyone that isn't saved, God’s revealed will is salvation, but God’s hidden will or His desire for such people is damnation and not salvation.
This discontinuity creates a host of practical difficulties when it comes to trying to have a relationship with God, since it means that our experience of God is fundamentally * inconsonant from whom He really is.
* the meaning of inconsonant:
1. Lacking in harmony or compatibility; discordant
2. Not consonant or in accord
The problem is to try to fill in the gaps of our understanding with some confuse and inconsonant explanations that forced us to create such confuse conjecture about God’s character and God’s will.
The Bible speaks clear about two sides, respectively God’s Sovereignty in everything and human’s responsibility, but it is impossible to understand the two things together, because it creates a dichotomy in our minds .
What is a dichotomy?
A dichotomy is a partition of a whole into two parts that are:
Understandable when we look the two parts separate from each other.
Not understandable when we look the two parts together.
On one side the Bible reveals that regeneration (salvation) belongs only to God and God is the part that chooses the vessel He wants to save.
On the other side the Bible reveals a continuously appeal from God to human responsibility, pleading with men to repent from their sins and turn to Him.
How can our human minds fit the two parts together?
I believe, the secret for this dichotomy is in “God’s decreed will” sometimes referred to as “God’s ‘hidden will”.
Why we call it “God’s ‘hidden will”?
Because it involves mysteries we cannot understand with our humans minds.
So, we must be humble and not claim to know a lot about “God’s ‘hidden will". Actually, we know nothing about it.

Romans 11:33  “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!”

Deuteronomy 29:29 “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”

Isaiah 55:9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

prayers would be a ‘work’...

About Hyper-Calvinism and Prayer, some Calvinist people say that if prayer made a real difference then God wouldn’t be truly sovereign and our prayers would therefore be a ‘work’.

About Hyper-Calvinism and Pastoral Ministry and Follow up, some people say we can be sure that God will built up the new believer, so he doesn't need to be followed up and for those who fall away from the faith they don’t need pastoral help because God will bring them back, but if they are not elect, then there is nothing we can do anyway.


When I object some of the excesses of Calvinism, I am not objecting to the whole Calvinism package, as I said already that I respect Calvinism, and I hope we can preserve many of its strengths within our Christians Churches.
I have used some sites on Internet only to help me to construct this post in English, like the post below belonging to Robin Philips.
But I don’t agree totally with Robin Phillips content as I think he comes too hard on Calvinism, perhaps because he has been himself a Calvinist in the past.




If you want to know more about the differences between soft and hard Calvinism, please see the articles below and search on Internet more material about it:


What is Infralapsarianism, Sublapsarianism and Supralapsarianism