Category Archives: prayer

Biblically Based Confession

Русский: Исповедь. Бернардинский собор во Льво...

Русский: Исповедь. Бернардинский собор во Львове (Церковь Святого Андрея УГКЦ) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Paul Tripp explains the difference between admission and confession,and in doing so, presses christians to “dig deeper” and “confess bigger” so that grace can effect true heart-based repentance. His principles are most appropriate in their application to our relational  sins as well.

While reading this, I was reminded of  situations I have encountered where these  principles were seriously ignored and compromised, in an attempt to cover a corrupt heart. In one case, a brother was caught secretly recording a  confidential meeting in order to try to entrap me. When confronted by multiple ministers, he responded with  a shallow admission that he merely had a lapse in judgement. 

Tripp on the other hand, points us to emulate the depth and bigness of David’s heartfelt confession that brings forth redemptive turnaround in our lives. Scripture calls that the fruit of repentance.

Here is an excerpt:


“Last week I wrote you about the subtle, yet significant, difference between the admission of wrongand true confession. Admission of wrong has two potential flaws. First, we might admit only because we were caught. And second, we might admit to only our behavior – not the heart motives behind it.

Now please, don’t mistake me. Admitting wrong and confessing behavioral action is good and necessary. Bu we need to go deeper. Our confession needs to be bigger.

Take the example of David in Psalm 51. When he prays for a pure heart and a steadfast spirit (v. 10, 11), he’s acknowledging that his struggle runs deeper than just behavior. He’s not only confessing to the physical acts of adultery and murder, but also to the reality of a heart that’s corrupt.

He’s confessing that his heart loves personal pleasure more than it loves the Lord. When he talks of God’s desire for a truthful and wise heart (v. 6), he’s confessing to a heart that has craved what was impure and that has loved what was foolish.

It’s only when you confess that your heart is corrupt that bigger things begin to happen. You turn…really turn. You don’t just turn from that specific sin pattern, but your heart turns to God in new and deeper ways.” 


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“Where Two Or Three Are Gathered” And Other Bad Interpretations

“Skillful Scripture Study” was  the one class I enjoyed teaching the most during my tenure as a Prof at Christ for The Nations Bible College in Dallas,Texas. I endured the angst of many irate students by challenging  charismatic myths fostered by those ignoring hermeneutical norms so that they could play  fast and loose with a biblical text.

Binding and loosing, Satan comes to  kill,steal and destroy,  and Pulling down strongholds are but a few of the texts  I showed to be selectively abstracted from the contextual flow of a favorite verse.

Selective abstraction is a type of cognitive bias in which terms are taken out of context  while everything else in the context is completely ignored. Credo House Ministries posted this great example of  how Matthew 18 is often  de-contextualized by making it a proof text for having others simply agree together in general  prayer.

I selectively abstracted a section to entice you to read the entire artlicle. Now thats funny!


“… I sat there praying with this group of people, saying my “umms” and shaking my head at the appropriate times (I hope). Then something made me hara. I tried to brush it off, but it was too difficult. She said the unthinkable . . . I cannot believe she used this verse. It was manipulative, irresponsible, and downright misleading. What was her crime? She used the “where two or three are gathered in my name . . .” trick. She misused Matthew 18:20. Of course, this is tongue-in-cheek. She did not really have any ill-intentions. She was just following the folklore about this verse, which she had probably heard herself countless times in the past. We have all done it so don’t get smug. Let’s look at the verse.

Matt. 18:20
“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

It happens all the time: Prayers which invoke the presence of Jesus during the gathering . . . well, so long as there are “two or three.” What does this mean? Does it mean that Christ is more likely to answer your prayer? Does it mean that Christ’s actual presence is in the middle of your prayer circle . . . a ghost, phantom, or floating entity? Maybe he is there holding our hands. And which is it, for goodness’ sake? Two, or three? The idea is this: we have to have more than one person to get this mystical real presence of Christ invoked and some people have made a sacrament out of this.

However, this is not what this verse means. And I do get somewhat red-nosed about this because it can mislead us about the power of God and our prayer life.

Matthew 18:20, like every other passage of Scripture, has a context. When we look at the context we find that the pericope (single unit of thought) in which this verse occurs starts in verse 15…..”


Posted by on August 13, 2012 in Accountability, charismatic, doctrine, hermeneutics, prayer


7 Quetions To Ask New Converts In An Asian Country

virus world, featuring, various extended defin...

virus world, featuring, various extended definitions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wow! We should implement these questions in the church of the  good ole U.S.A.

I hear the charge of “legalism” or worse, by those who continue advocating an un-biblical “non-lordship easy believism” in the form of telling respondents to “pray this simple prayer and ask Jesus to come into your heart”.

David Fitch recently made this  statement in Christianity Today,” statistics continue to show that only a small percentage of  our recorded “decisions” are made by people who will still be following Jesus a year later…and yet, we keep doing this.” 

Maybe it’s time we transition to the Gospel Jesus preached that is now  being implemented by the Asian church. Just a thought.


Asian Access (or A2), a Christian missions agency in South Asia, listed a series of questions that church planters must ask new believers who are considering baptism. (Due to safety concerns, Asian Access does not mention the country’s name.) The country is predominantly Hindu, but over the past few decades Christianity has grown in popularity—especially among poor and tribal peoples. These are the seven questions asked to help determine a new convert’s readiness to follow Christ:

  1. Are you willing to leave home and lose the blessing of your father?
  2. Are you willing to lose your job?
  3. Are you willing to go to the village and those who persecute you, forgive them, and share the love of Christ with them?
  4. Are you willing to give an offering to the Lord?
  5. Are you willing to be beaten rather than deny your faith?
  6. Are you willing to go to prison?
  7. Are you willing to die for Jesus?

If the new convert answers yes to all of these questions, then A2 leaders invite that person to sign on the bottom of the paper that of their own free will they have decided to follow Jesus. But here is the risk. If a new convert signs the paper and is caught by the government,he or she will spend three years behind bars. The one who did the evangelizing faces six years in prison.

Christianity Today Magazine spring 2012 pg 60

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Posted by on July 18, 2012 in discipleship, doctrine, gospel, Hard Sayings, prayer


Speaking In Tongues Debate At Southern Baptist Convention

The "confusion of tongues" by Gustav...

Image via Wikipedia

To listen to a recording of the session, click the links below:

  1. Criswell Debates on Tongues – Part One
  2. Criswell Debates on Tongues – Part Two
  3. Criswell Debates on Tongues – Part Three
  4. Criswell Debates on Tongues – Part Four
  5. Criswell Debates on Tongues – Part Five
  6. Criswell Debates on Tongues – Part Six
  7. Criswell Debates on Tongues – Part Seven
  8. Criswell Debates on Tongues – Part Eight
  9. Criswell Debates on Tongues – Part Nine


Posted by on October 2, 2011 in charismatic, doctrine, prayer, Tongues Speech


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Juanita Bynum “Types In Tongues?”

 “Whacked Out” seems to be exponentially leavening leadership in the charismatic community.  Seems the Corinthian church has now become the paradigm for emulating  goofiness.
Juanita Bynum is a self-professed prophetess who recently  sparked social media attention when she appeared to invent a new means of praying for her followers when she began ” typing in tongues.” 
Like Pat Robertson, she is simply whacked out!

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Posted by on September 17, 2011 in charismatic, counterfeit, GOOOFY, prayer, Tongues Speech


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The Fall Of America?

Is it possible that a plan to undermine American culture was cogently spelled out in clearly established goals? If the foundational pillars of spiritual life,morality and patriotism are eroded, could this nation collapse as a free republic?

This short video clip shows what happens when a public official attempts to bring attention to the answer to these questions. Most interesting.


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Posted by on August 22, 2011 in homosexuality, Patriotism, prayer, Video



Nascar Prayer: Pastor Thanks God For Smokin Hot Wife

This is making national news and is absolutely priceless! Prior to Saturday night’s Nascar Nationwide Series race in Nashville,  Pastor Joe Nelms  delivered the funniest invocation ever.  Watch as the drivers crack up when the Baptist Pastor” keeps it real”.


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Posted by on July 25, 2011 in prayer, Video

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