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Is It Too Soon To Tell?

Oct 18th, 2017

Paul Mooney

 

 

by Paul Mooney

 

“It is too soon to tell.” Though no one is quite sure if it is fact or fiction, this historic quip is attributed to the first Premier of the People’s Republic of China, Zhou Enlai, in answer to President Nixon’s question, “What is the impact of the French Revolution?”

In my experiences during intimate personal conversations with politicians over the years, I’ve observed that most are deeply interested in whatever or whoever is influencing politics, votes, culture, religion, education, and so forth. They assess both the good and the bad, usually from the point of view of how it affects their own agendas or beliefs. This interest comes about because they fully understand that nothing just happens. Influences and influencers are everywhere and eventually they will either matter or they won’t matter, and only time will determine their ultimate contribution to the future.

Legend or not, the Premier’s quote challenges one to consider not only the action that is taking place around us, but the implication of an action or series of actions in relationship to the historic record. This is true not only in politics but is applicable to changes that are taking place within Christianity and our Apostolic movement. Time will tell the significance or insignificance of present influences. It might be too soon to tell, but the law of consequences will eventually reveal the outcome of our actions and our inactions.

Hourglass

This challenges us to ask certain questions: “To what degree do we embrace the secular world? How important is the doctrine of separation? What and whose guidance should we seek? Whose values and ideas and what authority will guide our lives and our churches?”

Seeking so-called personal “truths” is extremely different than seeking God’s Truth. In the same sense, the Church’s imperative is the work of conversion and this is much different from mere social work. The decline in church attendance and the growing secularism of our day demand an unwavering clarity of the Apostolic mission which will only come from the Holy Spirit.

As the Apostle Paul reminded us, “… we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:13-14).

“Who is in charge?” It is the old, new question. I pray it is not our flesh. No generation in the history of human civilization has ever faced what now comes our way. One might ask, “If God is in charge, what is His plan concerning these times?” That is a fair question; however, the answer may not be so obvious within the context of our human understanding.

God’s thoughts are not our thoughts. This is the central “faith factor” of the Bible. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).

I suspect we all hear a good number of subtly argued positions regarding how we Pentecostals must change this or that, especially in the area of holiness, separation from the world, and more surreptitiously, issues concerning the essentiality of the baptism of the Holy Ghost. We patiently listen to arrogant admonitions of how vital it is to be “cool” and follow formulaic, scripted programs to the point that church is reduced to a theatrical production. This is dangerous territory, not only to our unity and our loyalty to the Scripture, but ultimately these distractions have the potential of replacing the Godly anointing that comes from seeking a genuine move of the Holy Spirit.

There is a distinct difference between the direction and guidance that the flesh provides compared to the leading of the Spirit. What is of the flesh pleases the flesh, but what God has for us in the Spirit is not carnal in nature and, therefore, cannot be received by the natural man. “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Romans 8:7).

False prophets under the guidance of their own spirit or the spirit of the age can disrupt and change the will and purpose of God in lives, in churches, and in organizations – if they fail to crucify the flesh. Influence can be set in motion and the course of history altered by a spoken word, a compromise, or a wrong motive. We must seek discernment, clarity, and divine focus lest we wrongly promote, endorse, or positively identify ourselves with things that are not of God.

Surely our hearts tell us that we are facing a crossroads, that a revolution is underway. And . . . just what is the impact of it all? Is it really too soon to tell? Or are we seeing a loosening from the ties that have bound us together in holiness and held us to the Apostles’ doctrine? The battle lines are being drawn in front of our very eyes. We grieve any falling away, but nevertheless, the true Church must be led of His Spirit and cling to the cross.

Kids’ & Family Guide to Indy

Jul 25th, 2017

by Jaye Mooney Rodenbush

Looking for kid friendly things to do in Indianapolis while here for NAYC?

Welcome to all my UPCI friends coming in town for NAYC. We really hope you’ll enjoy our great city of Indianapolis. While you’re here, we thought you might look for family-friendly places to go, things to do and food to eat. Here are some recommendations taken from some of Micki (13) & Robbie’s (9) favorites. These are mostly limited to DOWNTOWN locations. If you have any questions or need suggestions for other areas of town feel free to ask. Indy friends…add your additional recommendations in the comments.

My Dad, Paul D. Mooney, and sister, Adena Pedigo, both have made restaurant guides. Just ask.
AND…don’t forget IBC Concert on the Circle Wednesday after church.

Activities

Indianapolis Zoo

A really great zoo! You won’t be disappointed. Has a full dolphin show with a beautiful aquarium. Rides, carousel, train, and more. Lots of interactive exhibits. It’s a bit expensive, but well worth the admission (However, prepare to have a little extra if you plan to ride rides, feed animals, etc). Plan to eat BEFORE or AFTER the zoo. Zoo food is mediocre at best, and pricey.

Children’s Museum

This amazing place, founded in 1925, is the LARGEST children’s museum in the world. Don’t miss the 30-foot water clock and planetarium. You can’t see everything in one day. Get a map and plan ahead. The museum is a bit pricey, but once you’re in most things are included and the memories will be worth your money.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

A bit of a drive from downtown, but you can’t leave the Speedway off an Indy tour list. This is probably more fun for older kids. Has a museum and you can take a bus ride around the track.

Downtown Canal Walk & Surrounding Areas

This is a great area for memorable outdoor activities right in downtown Indy. Rent a pedal boat, Segway, bikes, surreys, ride in a beautiful gondola or just walk along the path and enjoy the scenery. I think the season ends this month, so you might make a reservation and/or check times and availability.

Soldiers’ & Sailors’ Monument at the Circle

Of course IBC will host our FREE concert Wednesday night at approx 9:30 pm after the service — But…during the day you can go to the TOP of Monument Circle for an amazing view of the entire Indy downtown. Museum inside is free and the observatory at the TOP is FREE too IF you take the stairs. For $1 you can take the elevator. If you want you can ride up and walk down. FYI – 330 steps!

HYATT Elevators

Okay…this can be a really fun experience and it costs $0! Our family has decided that the downtown Indy Hyatt has the best elevators in the city. They are fast and if you get to the top…the ride down is super fun— if you don’t have to stop on every floor. You might have to try a few times to get a non-stop ride. Don’t go at lunch time or end of business day. The hotel is home to many businesses so if they are crowded it’s not really the same. Revolving restaurant at the top, sometimes you can take a quick tour during day time. Beautiful views, food is average at best and very overpriced.

The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art

This is really a special museum, unforgettable really. It doesn’t take a long time to browse through. Probably best suited for older kids or adults, unless they have a real interest in Native Americans. They have a beautiful boutique-like gift shop. Admission is comparatively low.

Indiana State Museum & The NCAA Hall of Champions

Both of these museums are reasonably priced and unique. They are nearby each other and are in the Canal / White River Park area. NCAA is nice for sports fans.

Hoosier Trail Rides at Fort Harrison State Park

In just about 20 minutes you can escape the city and relax in the beautiful scenery of Fort Harrison State Park. They have a great novice horseback riding trail and the rates are very reasonable. Lots of history at this former Army training camp established in 1902. (If you’re looking trails for more experienced riders, PM me.)

Family Friendly Food Stops

Greek Island

This is an experience… If your kids have never had Greek food, here is the place to introduce it to them. Make sure you get Saganaki, my kids called it “OPA CHEESE.” The flaming cheese dish is a kid favorite. The owner, Big George and his Sister Angela Stergiopoulos will likely be there and they will treat you like family. Tell them the Mooney’s sent you.

Giorgio’s

Giorgio’s Pizza is right off the circle. You can eat outside or in. Great Italian food. The salad and lasagna lunch special is really good. Don’t miss the house-made creamy Italian dressing.

Quick service, at lunch it’s really fast paced, don’t hold up the line…lol.

Shapiro’s

Famous Kosher deli near downtown. Huge portions. Plan to split the gigantic entrees, you can’t eat it all anyway…and it can be a bit expensive. We love the Rueben on a Kaiser roll, with extra Swiss, a potato pancake and carrot or cheesecake. There are lots of kids meal choices and they are very reasonably priced. After the kids eat, send them to the cookie counter and they are allowed to pick a FREE cookie for dessert. It’s not advertised, but trust me…they will get a cookie.

Old Spaghetti Factory

As a foodie, this one is tough to put on the list. It’s not bad really, but definitely average, although I do like homemade salad dressings (1000 Island & Blue Cheese). However, as a mom…this is a great place to take kids. Food is inexpensive and if you go at the right time or call ahead you can eat IN a train-car. Kids love it.

Sub Zero Ice Cream & Yogurt

This is a fun place! Watch while you’re ice cream is frozen on-the-spot with liquid nitrogen. Dessert and a science lesson!

LONGS Bakery

So this one isn’t really right downtown, but if you’re in Indy you REALLY owe it to yourself to stop at Longs Bakery for donuts. Several polls rank them in the TOP 10 DONUTS in the USA. There are two locations 16th St. and Southport Rd. so just put it in your GPS and see which one is closer to you. These donuts are simply THE best. Order the glazed yeast donut, chocolate dipped yeast or the chocolate dipped cake (if you prefer a cake donut over yeast). They do have other bakery items: the alligators, pecan rings and cream horns are all great. For large orders call ahead and they will have them ready for you and you can jump the line (there’s almost always a line). PLEASE NOTE…They are very inexpensive, but completely CASH ONLY- no matter what! Plan ahead. It’s no fun to wait in line to get you’re donuts and get them taken away because you forgot to go to the ATM.

Rocket Fizz

This fun stop on Monument Circle is a soda and candy paradise. Super fun.

Chocolate Café

A memorable Monument Circle café for ice cream, desserts and our favorite, the hot chocolate.

Cakebake

The place to go for the perfect Instagram photo & baked goods. So pretty.

TRANSPORTATION

Uber

Consider Indianapolis UBER drivers. Easy to use, very reasonable rates.

BLUE Indy

Self-serve pick up and drop off right down town and around the city.

What is Redaction Criticism?

Jul 20th, 2017

Bobby Killmon

by Bobby Killmon

 

What is “redaction criticism” and why should we know about it as Apostolics?

Redaction criticism is a liberal method that attempts to “investigate” Scriptures to make judgments about their authorship, historical trustworthiness, and date of writing. This method is mostly used to destroy the credibility of Scripture. The reason we need to be aware of it is because of the growing influence of liberal critical scholarship in the books we read (even in typically more conservative evangelical scholarship), the teaching of all major universities and institutions, and the growing prevalence of these views dominating digital media and publications. I own books from many of these sources, but knowing the difference between “eating the meat” and “spitting out the bones” is critical to healthy theological digestion. 

 

whatamireading
Redaction criticism questions the genuineness of Scripture by asking: When was it actually written? Who really wrote the text? The point to catch is redaction critics do not believe in the inspiration or inerrancy of Scripture, as Apostolics define these, and typically avoid using the terms.

For instance, liberal critics believe the OT was compiled from oral traditions or sources, and not even written down in the form we have them, until after Israel was carried into captivity in Babylon (586 B.C.). However, Scripture says itself Moses is the author of “the Law” or the Pentateuch and quotes him as such (Exo. 17:14, 24:4, 34:27; Num. 33:1-2; Deut. 31:9-11; Jos. 1:7-8, 8:31-32, 23:6; 1 Kings 2:3; 2 Kings 14:6, 21:8; 1 Chron. 22:13; Ezra 6:18; Neh. 13:1; Dan. 9:11-13; Mal. 4:4; Mk. 12:26; Matt. 8:4, 19:8; Jn. 5:45-47, 7:19; Lk. 16:29, 24:27, 24:44; Jn. 5:46, 7:22; Acts 3:22, 15:1, 28:23; Rom. 10:5, 10:19; 1 Cor. 9:9; 2 Cor. 3:15). If Moses did not really do this, liberal critics could point out that these claims are errors in Scripture and justly dismiss Scripture’s authority. 

So, redaction criticism is an attempt to deny the possibility of a preserved, accurate written record of God’s Word. Paul shows us how the Word was recorded (2 Tim. 3:16). God moved the writers of Scripture to record the very words He wanted written. Peter affirms the same in 2 Pet. 1:21. It was God who was behind the authorship and preservation of the Scriptures.

Though biblical writers arranged or commented on events, this is not the writer “breaking” or “reframing” the text. It is God inspiring the writer to say exactly what He intended. One can believe Joshua could have written the ending of Deuteronomy recording Moses’ death. That does not destroy Mosaic authorship. Arranging the collection of the Psalms by putting them into categories doesn’t affect their inspiration, integrity or inerrancy at all. Quoting outside historical references for factual data in no way reduces inspiration of Chronicles, or any part of the Bible. The inspired writer simply quotes other sources, though while not inspired were accurate. The point is if the original writings were inspired, no one would need to alter the text.

Harold Lindsell said this about using these methods, “This may be done, and often is, under the illusion that by this method the opponents of biblical inerrancy can be won over … But practical experience suggests that rarely does this happen and the cost of such an approach is too expensive, for it gives credence and lends respectability to a method which is the deadly enemy of theological orthodoxy.” In short, we must “spit out the bones” of these approaches lest redaction criticism destroy inerrancy and inspiration. 

Gender Deconstruction: Satan’s Great Deception

Jul 13th, 2017

Robert L. Rodenbush

by R. L. Rodenbush

 

The deconstruction of gender is one of the greatest acts of deception Satan has ever perpetrated on humanity. For the Christian it is difficult to believe that so many young people have so quickly embraced so great a fallacy. Yet, it is everywhere the subject of newspaper headlines, the feature of magazine cover stories, the plotline of reality television and the highlight of trendy movies, fiction, music and even video games. Once a seldom-noticed fringe element of the homosexual culture comprised mostly of closeted individuals with proclivities for cross-dressing and other downplayed hedonistic behaviors, it has now burst through the door of pop culture as a powerful ideological movement changing the core beliefs of society.

identitycrisisGender, defined by Oxford as “either of the two sexes (male and female),” is now a socio-political debate that is confounding politicians, teachers, parents and even some preachers, while at the same time ushering our kids into conformity through great confusion. The definitions are quickly being changed.

In January of this year, California introduced a bill that would allow for a third, “non-binary” gender option on official state documents and driver’s licenses. Everyone, it seems, is scrambling to keep up with the latest terms that are replacing what was once a simple two-choice answer — male or female. Neologisms include gender fluid, gender non-conforming, non-binary, gender queer, gender questioning, agender, asexual, multisexual, pansexual, bi-curious, two-spirit, and the list goes on.

Satan has created chaos where none previously existed. And, lest we think this is just a passing fad, or an over-reported topic that won’t really gain a foothold, the same article states that young people are moving toward the middle when it comes to sexual attraction, “with one survey finding that nearly a third of young Americans see themselves somewhere between 100% heterosexual and 100% homosexual.”

America has entered into an irreversible social experiment. She has signed a contract of compromise binding the souls of her children to the hedonistic operators of Hollywood and the godless liberal elitists who view Judeo-Christian morality as nothing more than a millstone of rules and regulations designed to oppress those in its grasp. In the quest for ultimate freedom, this generation has become enslaved to the oppressive consequences of sin and without a miraculous, God-ordained intervention, it will be destroyed by the gross darkness of this ideology.A gate padlocked shut

The Right to be a Pilgrim

Jul 6th, 2017

Paul Mooneyby Paul Mooney

 

Modified from John Bunyan’s great allegory “The Pilgrim’s Progress,” came a single hymn with these powerful lyrics.

 

No foes shall stay his might,

Though he with giants fight:

He will make good his right

To be a pilgrim

Since, Lord, thou dost defend

Us with thy Spirit

We know we at the end

Shall life inherit.

Then fancies flee away!

I’ll fear not what men say,

I’ll labour night and day

To be a pilgrim.

 

The refrain “To be a pilgrim” echoes in the heart as Bunyan declares his right to be a pilgrim despite the hardship, battles, fear and pain that may come against the dedicated servant. His intention was to be a pilgrim.

As a teen, I spent a couple of summers with my older brother. He lived on Paw Paw Lake, near Coloma, Michigan. Almost everyone had a boat of some sort, and our summers on the lake and around the piers will never be forgotten. One old boat we commandeered for a few days had a cracked rudder and could not be steered. We could float, but we just couldn’t control the small, broken-down boat’s destination.

Yellow rowboat in the middle of the water
Sometimes, I feel that way about our country – like somehow the rudder is cracked making steering impossible, and navigating toward a fixed destination out of the question.

Many Americans are fighting to restore our liberties, at least to some degree. The growing tension in our nation is mostly about the core principles. The wise among us know that if our nation forsakes its founding principles and shreds the truths upon which it was founded, then America will indeed lose all that it was intended to be. Without a commitment to the principles as penned in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness,” there can be no “land of the free”; the two concepts work only if defended in concert with one another.

My summer friends did not waste much time in ditching our old busted boat. It was unsteerable. At the end of the day, we all wanted to be where we needed to be: back home at the pier, where the hamburgers were simmering on the grill.

Woman reading her BibleLikewise, the church must be steerable, teachable and ready for the hand of the Almighty to direct its course. The rudder cannot be our mere human opinions and attitudes. The Word of God is our guide. Paul’s great challenge of faithfulness was stated with an admonition: “If ye continue.” Success is not guaranteed without the commitment to “continue.”

If we are faithful, if we are steerable, if we abide, if we fight the good fight of faith — then He can entrust us with the great endtime Pentecostal revival. Then we will be able to hear the clear voice of guidance against a growing demonic stranglehold on our culture… Then we will live in overcoming faith… Then we will have the blessing of holiness that will stabilize the weak and provide a standard for living in this present world.

“If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister” (Colossians 1:23).

Just as Paul was made a minister, so we may be also. The pilgrim has a right to be a pilgrim. We have a right to follow His leading and His direction – we must be fixed, intent to be His pilgrims, and He will delight in us as we in Him.

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