Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tax Deductions & Church Giving

Do you give at church with tax deductions in mind?
By Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA Today

Do you donate more or less to your church knowing that it's tax deductible? If that income tax deduction went away, what then?

That's one of the concerns probed in a new survey of church giving. The third annual "State of the Plate" survey of 1,507 church pastors, staff and leaders tracks the impact of the economy on churches and church practices on financial integrity.

Among the findings:

* Giving is up: 43% of churches saw increased giving in 2010, up from 36% in 2009
* The decline has stabilized: 39% of churches said giving was down in 2010, 38% last year.
* December offered a boost: Christmas-time generosity often puts church budgets over the top and most churches (64.6%) said that giving met or exceeded expectations.
* Small churches -- those with under 250 in weekend attendance -- suffer more and these are where 80% of American churchgoers attend.

Matt Branaugh of Christianity Today International, one of three sponsors of the survey, ties giving to employment. Branaugh says:

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Avoiding Deception--Tozer

Avoiding Deception
A.W. Tozer

These are times of moral and religious confusion and it is sometimes hard to distinguish the false from the true. Our faithful Lord has tried to save us from the consequences of our own blindness by repeated warnings and many careful instructions. It will pay us to give close attention to His words. Toward the end of the age, we are told, there shall be a time of stepped-up religious activity and frenzied expectation, growing out of the turbulent conditions prevailing among nations. The language is familiar to most Christians: Wars and rumors of wars . . . nation shall rise against nation . . famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. . . . Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations . . and then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. Concurrent with this state of affairs will be a great increase in religious excitement and supernatural happenings generally. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. . . . And many false prophets shall rise. . . . Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Steer Clear Of Porn--Always!

Matthew 5:28
But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

The following article discusses opposing Christian views as whether it is acceptable for married couples to watch pornographic material. Are you kidding me? God is the same--He himself said He does not change! From a married couple to a threesome, foursome and more "somes" vicariously through your computer screen? From sexual demons being injected into your lives because you "get off" looking at others shaming themselves in a sexual manner in front of you?

So many people have become so defiled, they cannot see straight. People want to redefine their "god", because they have left their "God". Pornography is NEVER acceptable, married or not married.


Christian couples - ‘Porn again’ and loving it, despite what pastors say
By Donna Hussey-Whyte

STATISTICS from the US-based Kinsey Institute for research in sex, gender and reproduction has shown that 70 per cent of American men ages 18-34 view Internet pornography at least once per month. While no study has been published in Jamaica, it is locally acknowledged that many Jamaican men are guilty of this practice. However, this is not unique to men, as some women have admitted to viewing pornography many times with their partners.

Christian couples are no different — and many see this as an innocent way of spicing up their sex lives. But while many Christians have admitted to indulging under the "marriage bed is undefiled" rule, heads of churches say they can in no way support the practice.

"It is not something that I would encourage," Monsignor Michael Lewis, Roman Catholic priest, said. "Because it is not just the watching of it, it is something that is produced and what is produced is questionable. You are talking about questionable behaviour. You are talking about an industry where people are abused; you are talking about an industry where Christian morals and values are out the window. The church would be very wrong in saying to a couple or saying to a person 'it is OK to simply watch the thing' when the thing itself is problematic."

While he strongly believes that couples should add excitement to their sex lives, this has to be done, he said, with respect and dignity for each other.

"There is nothing wrong with a couple putting excitement and thing into their love life in their marriage; the church would have no problem with that as long as what the couple is doing is respectful of their own dignity as human beings and respectful of the dignity of other people. Once you hold on to those principles then you're fine."

He said because pornography goes against these principles, the Catholic church says no to Christians viewing it.

But Church of God Christian Joan Lewis (name changed), who has been married for 28 years, said this is her way of spicing up her marriage.

"Of course I do it (watch porn)," Lewis told All Woman. "If you're married and you and your husband watch it to spice things up, I don't see anything wrong with that! It's sin if you're not married but from you're married it can't be a sin. It should be between you, your husband and the four corners of the bedroom."

She said in accordance with the Bible (Heb 13:4) that the marriage bed in undefiled, as long as whatever is done in the bedroom stays in the bedroom then nothing should be wrong.

*Sigh. Uh...(Pepto please) ...Click here to continue reading.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Muslims And Christians Clash In Eygpt

Officials: 6 killed in Egypt sectarian clashes
Associated Press Hamza Hendawi

CAIRO – Clashes between Muslims and Christian in the Egyptian capital killed at least six people, security and hospital officials said Wednesday.

They said the clashes took place late Tuesday night and lasted several hours. The fighting involved the use of guns, clubs and knifes, they added. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

The clashes began when several thousand Christians protested against the burning last week of a church in a Cairo suburb by a Muslim mob following a deadly clash between Muslims and Christians over a love affair between a Muslim and a Christian.

The Christian protesters on Tuesday blocked a vital highway, burning tires and pelting cars with rocks.

An angry crowd of Muslims set upon the Christians and the two sides fought pitched battles for about four hours. The six killed were believed to be mostly Christians who died of gunshot wounds.

Tuesday's clashes are the latest evidence of the security vacuum in Egypt that followed the ouster on Feb. 11 of President Hosni Mubarak at the end of 18 days of anti-government protests. The police have pulled out from Cairo and several other cities three days into the uprising and are yet to fully take back the streets, a fact that has unleashed a wave of violent crime and even lawlessness in some parts of the nation.

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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Warren Jeffs Regains Church

Jailed sect leader retakes legal control of church
Associated Press, Jennifer Dobner

SALT LAKE CITY – Jailed polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs has resumed legal control over his Utah-based church even though he is jailed in Texas and court documents recently revealed that two 12-year-old girls had been taken from Canada to marry him in 2005.

Documents filed with the Utah Department of Commerce show Wendell Loy Nielsen, president of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, resigned his post Jan. 28. Jeffs signed the documents retaking control of the church corporation Feb. 10 and filed the papers with the state five days later.

"I, the undersigned, Warren Steed Jeffs, have been called and sustained as the president," Jeffs writes in a cover letter to the Commerce Department.

The 55-year-old resigned the presidency in 2007 after he was convicted in Utah of rape as an accomplice, but he remained the faith's spiritual leader.

The Utah Supreme Court overturned Jeffs' convictions last year. He's now in a Texas jail awaiting trial on aggravated sexual assault and bigamy charges.

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