Are you a Cultural Christian?

What is a “Cultural Christian”?

A Cultural Christian is someone who may be born again, believes Jesus Christ is their Lord and Savior, may have been baptized by immersion, yet still accepts, lives in sin and/or condones what the current culture accepts as proper, OK, passable, not a sin — knowing that it’s against God’s will and law and does nothing about it.

It’s like you have one foot in God’s Kingdom and one foot in the world.

The problem with that is that once you become a born-again believer, you are a Citizen of Heaven and you cannot continue being a citizen of world.

I was a cultural Christian for many years. Of course, I knew my ticket to heaven was secure, but I thought I could continue to do some of the things that I did before and it was OK. It’s wasn’t. I was in a relationship with an unbeliever and after each “encounter” I had this guilty feeling. That was the Holy Spirit inside of me convicting me – telling me that what I was doing was disappointing God. It was against his rules for living a righteous, Christ-like life.

I was a liberal Democrat. I had the attitude of “to each his own” – but condoning and accepting bad behavior is also against God’s will. Now, I’m a Christian Conservative and what’s happening in our country and the world makes me angry. Actually, I’m incensed and disgusted! I don’t recognize America any more – I know our Founding Fathers wouldn’t either. 

A Cultural Christian thinks same-sex marriage is OK. In God’s eyes it is NOT so it shouldn’t be so in your eyes.

A Cultural Christian thinks abortion is OK. It is not in God’s eyes – it’s the murder of innocent lives. It doesn’t make sense that when a pregnant woman is murdered it’s two counts of murder, yet society condones the murder of innocent babies like they were trash.

Get the point?

As a Christian, you MUST read the Bible DAILY! 

With so many Bible apps & websites, there really isn’t any valid excuse not to. Check these out:

You must attend and get involved in a bible-based church.

“Bible-based” is the relevant keyword here. Make sure the church leaders and pastors don’t pick and choose what Bible verses to teach and ignore the ones that God needs believers to hear. Strive to seek the truth.

Live a WWJD? life.

Stop and think before reacting. Say to yourself, “What would Jesus do in this situation?” “How would Jesus handle this issue?” What would Jesus say in response?” “Would Jesus watch this show?” “Is God smiling or is He disappointed in me and my behavior?”

Connect with Christians on the social media sites.

Follow them on Twitter, subscribe to their blogs, like them on Facebook. You become like those you hang out with. Striving to be Christ-like is not easy. But it helps when you get together with other committed Christians and talk about the latest news, how you feel and how your friends feel about the issues.

This world is not all there is – Thanks to Jesus!

When I look around at this sin-sick world that I live in, I thank the Lord Jesus that this is not all there is. That I have a HOPE like no other in Christ of an eternal life in a Paradise called Heaven. I like reading Revelation 21.

Here are a few of my favorite passages from that chapter:

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared…I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

Jesus meeting believer at the gates of heavenAnd the one sitting on the throne [Jesus] said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.

“But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars—their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” Rev. 21:1, 3-8

You can take the wide gate just to be popular and accepted into today’s society and culture or you can truly live the Christian life and enter Heaven through the narrow gate:

“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it…”~Matthew 7:13-14

 It’s Your Choice.

Here’s a hint: Jesus wins in the end! Don’t you want to be on HIS Side? Click here to get to know Christ personally – it is about a personal relationship, not about religion.

Great Blessings!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Christian, Award-Winning Author

What it Means to Be “God Fearing”

Watching the 700 Club last week someone asked Gordon Robertson, “…fearing God. Why does God want me to be afraid of Him? No one would willingly give their life to someone they fear. Why would God want one to fear Him when that defeats the purpose of coming to Him willingly? It doesn’t make any sense.”

Having grown up Catholic, “God Fearing” was not in my religious up-bringing. I heard it in movies and on TV, but never really understood what it meant. I heard it meant to respect God and His power.

But Gordon Robertson clarified it. He said that the Hebrew translation of the word fear is really “awe.” We call God, Awesome, Almighty, All-Powerful, Creator, Ever-Present and Eternal.

It’s towards the end of the show:
http://dl2.cbn.com/cbnplayer/cbnPlayer.swf?s=/archive/club/700club060412_ws
So respecting God and His Word is part of it.

We respect His Word by obeying it. 

“God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.” ~James 4:6 NKJV

Excerpt from 365 Daily Answers to What Would Jesus Do?

The reader of the Scriptures should be a humble person, who shows reverence and fear [awe] toward the Word of God, who constantly says, “Teach me, teach me, teach me.” The Spirit resist the proud, even though they are zealous and preach Christ for a time without fault…Therefore it is humility that we need in the study of God’s Word. ~Martin Luther

Reflection: Some “scholars” have studied God’s Word and have decided that this or that event or Scripture is erroneous. Interestingly, quite often the parts of the Bible they want to eliminate are the ones that strike closest to home. If they can deem the passage not inspired, then they no longer are accountable to is truth. Those who, in humility, hear God speak through all of Scripture will profit–both now and in eternity–by their willingness to be held to its standard. If we ask, “What Would Jesus Do?” we need look no further than the Gospels to discover what our attitude should be regarding the Scriptures. Jesus often quoted the Old Testament as fact. He believed their accuracy.

So should we. (End of excerpt.)

Besides the scholars deciding that some Scripture is erroneous, we have readers of the Bible who pick and choose what to believe and what to obey. That, my friends, is not an option.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. ~2 Timothy 3:16-17

When President Obama quoted the Bible when he declared that he accepted Gay Marriage, he said that Jesus told us to “love one another.” But yet, he ignores all other scripture that says that sexual immorality is a sin.

Love the sinner, Hate the sin

Judgement DayEven if a sin is culturally acceptable like sex outside of marriage or with partners of the same gender, it doesn’t make it right in the eyes of God.

Just as we respect God, we must respect other people who are sinners just like we are. It’s all a matter of allowing Satan and our sinful nature to rule our lives or let Jesus and the Holy Spirit guide us. (Romans 8:8-11)

And check out what Jesus said to the Jews. He called them “Children of the Devil” (John 8:42-47) that’s who we are outside of Jesus Christ.

We are in a war with Satan in this world. That’s why we MUST ask “What Would Jesus Do?” on a regular basis and strive to be like Christ.

Had President Obama asked, “What Would Jesus Do?” before he made his statement, I believe he would have not done it.

Remember what Jesus said to the adulteress in the Gospel of John after all her accusers walked away — “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:1-11)

Though we may not like or condone someone’s lifestyle choice, it’s not up to us to judge them. That’s up to God. We can only keep speaking the truth and God willing, if they truly fear God – revere Him, respect His Word  – they will respect God’s Word and “leave their life of sin.”

 

Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century by Giselle AguiarIf you enjoyed this, you’ll love Giselle’s award-winning Christian novel: Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century a historical novel about the early church check it out! $1 from the sale of each book – no matter what format, benefits StreetLight Phoenix to help eradicate child sex slavery. www.giselleaguiar.com/novel1

Great Blessings!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Christian, Award-Winning Author

Christians should be shocked by sin

Love the Sinner – Hate the Sin

I have a message from God in my heart
concerning the sinfulness of the wicked:
There is no fear of God before their eyes.
In their own eyes they flatter themselves
too much to detect or hate their sin. ~Psalm 36:1-2

The greatest security against sin is to be shocked at its presence.~Thomas Carlyle

shocked

We are as a society, less and less shockable. We are the proverbial frog in a pan of heating water, unaware of our danger. What would Jesus do about the lack of concern over sin? Wouldn’t He want to restore sight to those who are blinded by the deceitfulness of sin? A healthy fear of God is a good way to restore our sens of right and wrong, sin and righteousness.

God, who is enthroned from of old,
who does not change—
he will hear them and humble them,
because they have no fear of God. ~Psalm 55:19

Excerpt from: 365 WWJD: Daily Answers to What Would Jesus Do?

Why do we condone what goes on in society? As Christians, we cannot keep the blinders on. We must speak out when we are bombarded by immoral and offensive advertising, TV shows, radio shows, movies and other forms of so-called “entertainment.”

We Christians can change the world.

365 Days of WWJD?

 

Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century by Giselle AguiarIf you enjoyed this, you’ll love Giselle’s award-winning Christian novel: Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century a historical novel about the early church check it out! $1 from the sale of each book – no matter what format, benefits StreetLight Phoenix to help eradicate child sex slavery. www.giselleaguiar.com/novel1

Great Blessings!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Christian, Award-Winning Author

 

Kirk Cameron: An Outspoken Man of Christ

Bravo, Kirk!

Marriage is between a man and woman as defined by God in the Garden of Eden – till death do you part.

He doesn’t support gay marriage.

Homosexuality is “unnatural.”

Just because 7 states in the U.S. have legalized gay marriage doesn’t mean that it’s right in the eyes of God.

Kirk Cameron is an example of someone living the WWJD? life.

We as Christians should not condemn homosexuals that’s up to God in the final judgement. We are not perfect, and we cannot tell someone to stop doing something without showing why it’s wrong. We are to love one another – everyone – no exceptions.

Kirk spoke correctly when he said that we are all sinners and the best thing to do is teach the Word of God, God’s love for us and how God wants us to behave.

Kirk Cameron’s ministry, The Way of the Master, is dedicated to bringing people to Jesus Christ by showing them that we are all sinners.

WWJD? The Revival on Facebook
Twitter: @wwjdrevival

Check out these other great blogs:
Enlightenment, Encouragement & Enrichment by Giselle Aguiar, Award-Winning Christian Author

Deo Volente (God Willing) – covering writing, Christian church history and Christianity
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=singresoguid-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1449718280&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr
If you enjoyed this, you’ll love Giselle’s award-winning Christian novel: Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century a historical novel about the early church check it out! $1 from the sale of each book – no matter what format, benefits StreetLight Phoenix to help eradicate child sex slavery. www.giselleaguiar.com/novel1

Great Blessings!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Award-Winning Christian Author
Follow Giselle on Twitter
https://twitter.com/giselleaguiar

Resisting Temptation

In two subplots in the movie Courageous, we see examples of integrity – one man who had it and one who didn’t.

Courageous, the movie

How's Your Integrity?

Sheriff’s Officer, Shane Fuller, played by Kevin Downes, is a Christian, divorced dad struggling to pay his child support and alimony.

Javier Martinez, played by Robert Amaya, is Christian, married, father of two struggling to feed his family and pay the rent and bills. He hears about construction jobs, but when he gets there, they have enough men and he’s sent home.

Javier later gets a job at a factory and after a month, is presented with an offer. The company’s president tells him he can be promoted to a managerial position with increased pay if he would just fudge the inventory a bit.

Shane, is also tested daily. As the Sheriff’s Office arrests drug dealers in the city, Shane is in charge of getting the recovered drugs to the evidence locker. He is tempted to take one or two packets thinking that they wouldn’t be missed.

Which one do you think passed the test? Which one do you think stuck to the integrity and moral values of his Christian faith? Which one do you think fell to desperation and greed?

The answer is surprising. Sheriff Officer, Adam Mitchell, played by Alex Kendrick (who also co-wrote and directed the movie), notices that the amount of drugs collected doesn’t match the amount in the evidence locker. He suspects his partner, Shane, who is later caught in a sting and sent to jail.

Javier, after thinking it over and talking to his wife, tells his boss, that no, what he was asking him to do, lying on the inventory sheet, is dishonest and it goes against God’s Word. As it turns out, it was a test and Javier passed. They were looking for the honest, man of integrity to promote. They had tested many other people and Javier was the only truly, trustworthy person.

Continue reading

One Righteous Man

Continuation from Chuck Foreman’s sermon 1/15/12 given at First Christian Church of Phoenix

God prophesies the ultimate victory of mankind over Satan, the Serpent in Genesis 3:15:

“And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel.”

Crushing the snake (satan)Paul refers to this same OT verse in his letter to the Church in Rome in Romans 16:20:

The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.

Here’s what I want you to understand—from the moment of man’s first sin, God intervened to rescue mankind from the destruction our enemy has in mind for us. This rescue includes Nature too. Romans 8:19-24:

For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved.
Ultimately, Jesus Christ is the Hero of God’s Story—the Hero who came to save us all from the eternal consequences of our sin.

But all thru history, up to this very moment in time, God has been looking for ordinary people, devoted to Him, whom He can use in His rescue plan. II Chronicles 16:9a:

“For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.”

Act 1, Scene 3: The Different Man

Within just a few generations, mankind had plummeted into the depths of moral decay & corruption. The bottom had fallen out of South, things had gotten so bad. Genesis 6:5-7 is the first account in the scripture of God experiencing regret and grief. Divine Grief—Genesis 6:5-7

So the Lord God had decided He’d had all He could take. The demise of humanity was imminent. But then, right in the middle of this hopeless scene, when all seemed lost, God stops dead in his tracks. Someone had gotten His attention—one man, a different man. His name was Noah. Genesis 6:8

Noah's ArkWhat was it about this guy, Noah anyway? Well, here’s the account of Noah…
Tell: (slide) The Account of Noah—The Different Man, Genesis 6:9-22

So back to our original question: What was it about Noah?
Genesis 6:8 “Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.”

  • Righteous (vs.9)
  • Blameless (vs.9)
  • Walked with God (vs.9)
  • Entered into a Covenant Relationship with God (vs.18)
  • Obeyed God (vs.22)

Could you be another Noah for your generation, for your family, for your work place, your neighborhood?

Seriously, could you be one who would catch God’s eye as He surveys the earth for someone different, someone who stands apart from the rest of the pack?

Which of these 5 characteristics of Noah could you do or be? How many out of 5? Let’s start at the bottom, in the Deep South, where things tend to go, and work our way up.

  1. Righteous? Here’s where we always rule ourselves out. Listen, R & B aren’t about being perfect, they’re about faith & the simple willingness to repent like David, & to earnestly seek God like Noah. (Rom. 3:21-22; Heb. 11:6-7)
  2. Blameless? (Psalm 51 David was able to pray this prayer because of who he was—he was willing to repent. — I Samuel 13:14)
  3. Walk with God? (Psalm 119:11; James 4:8a; Galatians 5:22-25)
  4. Covenant with God? (Luke 22:20) God has established a covenant of forgiveness in exchange for faith with every Xian. Do you really believe? Do you trust that Christ’s death paid for your sin—that God will forgive you?
  5. Obey? (I Samuel 15:22) Story of Saul… (In Noah’s day, no one obeyed!)

Here’s what I want you to get about Act 1 of God’s Story—The Creation & the Fall of Man: When everything was heading south, Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord! So can you! The eyes of God Almighty are searching for you, to see if your heart is fully devoted to Him—because He wants to strengthen you—to rescue you not destroy you! That’s what God’s Story is all about!

I’m gonna ask you the most important question you’ll ever be asked, right now:
When all is said and done, how will Your Story read?

You can start re-writing your story today…

  1. Have faith in God and let Him declare you righteous—like Noah.
  2. Turn from your sin and let Him call you blameless—just like Noah & David.
  3. Start walking with God each day, like Noah did.
  4. Remember the Covenant God made with you to forgive you and save you.
  5. Determine that regardless of what the rest of the pack of corrupted humanity is doing—You are going to Obey your God!

And I promise—You will find favor in the eyes of the Lord! Right On!

Great Blessings!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Award-Winning Christian Author

Check out Giselle’s award-winning Christian novel: Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century a historical novel about the early church check it out! $1 from the sale of each book – no matter what format, benefits StreetLight Phoenix to help eradicate child sex slavery.

God’s Story: Act 1

Excerpt from Chuck Foreman’s sermon 1/15/12 given at First Christian Church of Phoenix

God’s Story begins at the beginning, which is always a good place to begin.

Act 1, Scene 1: Creation

Garden of EdenThis is when Genesis tells us God got it all going—the heavens, the earth, all living things-plants & animals, & then the crown of His creation, man & woman—the Image Bearers of God Himself. God described all he had made as—“Good.” Think about that—if God said it was good, it must have been really good! The final statement about creation at the end of Genesis 2 is that the man & woman got to play- in the Garden of Eden- every day—Naked! They had become one & the felt no shame! Everything was better than good, it was great!

Act 1, Scene 2: The Fall of Man

Enter—The Villain. Satan had disguised himself as one of the animals common in the garden, a snake. Let’s set the stage for Scene 2: There were two important fruit bearing trees in Eden—The Tree of Life and The Tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil were growing in the center of the Garden.

The fruit on The Tree of Life was fair game. Eat all you want! God said. But the fruit on The Tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil was off limits. Like any good Dad, God wanted to nourish the life of Adam & Eve, his children, but protect their innocence. He doesn’t want them to know everything he knows.

The consequence of losing your innocence is a downward spiral toward death. God knew it. That was not His intention for Adam & Eve. It’s not his intention for any of us either. God told Adam & Eve—“Don’t touch the fruit on that tree or you’ll die.” Thousands of years later God’s still saying the same thing to us.

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.~Galatians 6:7-8

Satan, the Villain in God’s Story, the Enemy in Our Story, comes along and mocks God. He distorts God’s instruction to Adam & Eve and then outright lies to them. The Serpent’s Deception—Genesis 3:1-5

You know what happened in the rest of Scene 2. Adam & Eve believed the lie, rebelled against God and everything went South fast! A once perfect creation had been literally infected by a spiritual disease which corrupted and began the breakdown/decay of all of Nature. Scientists describe this breakdown in the 2nd Law of Thermal Dynamics or Entropy, for all you science nuts…the transfer of the heat/energy of an object to the oxygen around it. (Think of iron oxidizing or rusting—that’s why they tell us to take anti-oxidants—so we won’t rust!) The Bible calls the spiritual infectious disease, which introduced Entropy into creation & began the breaking down of Nature, SIN.

Next: Important Movement in Scene 2 of The Fall of Man…

Check out these other great blogs:
Enlightenment, Encouragement & Enrichment by Giselle Aguiar, Award-Winning Christian Author

Deo Volente (God Willing) – covering writing, Christian church history and Christianity
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=singresoguid-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1449718280&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr
If you enjoyed this, you’ll love Giselle’s award-winning Christian novel: Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century a historical novel about the early church check it out! $1 from the sale of each book – no matter what format, benefits StreetLight Phoenix to help eradicate child sex slavery. www.giselleaguiar.com/novel1

Great Blessings!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Award-Winning Christian Author
Follow Giselle on Twitter
https://twitter.com/giselleaguiar