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Everything posted by Salyan

  1. When I'm looking for a vacation church, I'll creep the Internet until I can find something - the website, a Yahoo review, Facebook, the pastor's blog.. anything with reviews or pictures. The statement of faith or other written information can hint at Calvinism (blogs are great for this) - once I figured out a reformed connection by the paragraph that stated they had some Reformed books in their church bookstore (actually went to that one anyways - it was in Wales, where all the conservative churches seem to have some reformed in them, and it was the best gospel preaching option in the area). Ministry listings or Facebook events can hint at the kind of music accepted, Facebook photos show standards as well. Guest speakers listed can be googled to see their doctrinal stance. Missionaries supported - do I recognize any? Do we have any in common? External ministries mentioned, or the pastor's alma mater can hint at doctrinal leanings as well. And yes, doctrinal statements can be ridiculously hard to find! Walking into a church, it's the music setup, like DaveW said - what instruments are on the stage - is there a big fancy screen display setup as the main focal point instead of hymnals - do they have theater seating? For me, the dress of the ushers or those who appear to be leaders is also something to look for. Usually by the time I walk in though, I know what to expect. I once attended an Evangelical church on vacation (in the mountains - nearest Conservative church was 2.5 hours away), so I knew going in what it would be like.
  2. You are contradicting yourself, my friend. You say that you don't believe in God, but you are trying to make Him happy. Seems that if you truly did not believe in God, you would not care about making Him happy for you would not believe He existed. There's a lot of questions in this thread, but I'd like to speak to just a few. First, with what you were saying earlier about repentance... a common misunderstanding about repentance, even among English speaking people, is that it has the idea of being sorrowful and sorry. You may find people with different definitions of this word. For my part, I agree with Baptist Bible Believer, who has a very good explanation of repentance. Secondly, I think you are struggling with an inherent misunderstanding of Who God is. Throughout history, whenever men invented their own gods, they made them after their (men's) image. The mythologies of Greece and Rome showed the gods as capricious, cruel beings who 'had fun with their toys', as you said. The Norse and American mythologies had trickster gods who played nasty tricks on men. These views of the gods were reflections of men's own behaviour. The religions that men invented also had one thing in common - man attempting to please the gods on their own merit. It is a fault of humanity that we think we are good enough to reach heaven on our own merit - just look at the builders of the Tower of Babel. We don't want to accept that we are not good enough to do so. We refuse to accept that we are truly the nasty, sinful beings that the mythologies made the gods out to be. Interesting, that, actually - I wonder if the capricious mythological gods were a reflection of men's subconscious effort to make divinity reachable. Their reasoning could have been that if the gods behaved in such a manner, surely man could behave similarly and still be as them. Isn't that, after all, the oldest temptation in the Book? "Thou shalt be as gods." The God of the Bible presents Himself completely differently than any man-made mythology or religion ever did. He does not attempt to convince us of His existence - He is the self existent one. When Moses asked Who it was that spoke to him in the burning bush, God only answered "I Am." In stark contrast to the capricious, immoral behaviour of man's made up gods, He is pure. Holy. Good He does not and can not sin, nor can He abide sin in His presence. He can do no wrong. He created mankind, and set rules for man, which man disregarded and disobeyed. As God is also just, He cannot disregard sin, and thus man suffered the consequences of his sin - for true justice must punish wrongdoing. But God is also merciful. His plan to show mercy on disobedient mankind while also meeting the needs of justice became the great story of salvation through Jesus Christ. The God of the Bible does not 'have fun with His toys'. He is simply following through on what He said He would do. You asked why God would not want man to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil, and the Tree of Life. My thoughts are this: a) Adam and Eve were innocent. They did not know evil. To understand good, you must also understand evil. I wonder if God was simply wanting to give them a happy life, free from any thought of sin and evil, and that is why He did not want them to eat from the first tree? (You should ask the pastors this question; I am not sure whether this is a correct interpretation.) God is good, and wants the best for His children. b) God had only one rule for mankind - not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. When man disobeyed and ate the fruit, he sinned. What was the knowledge he obtained? He knew he was naked. His innocence was gone. Those of us with children want to protect them, and their innocence, for as long as possible. It seems God was protecting man in the same way as a father protects His children. c) Man is more than just a physical being. He is also a spiritual being. There is more than one kind of life. There is the physical life, and there is a spiritual life - an eternal life - of being in close fellowship with God (this is described in the New Testament). So there is also more than one kind of death. At this point in time, man was physically and spiritually alive. As a result of his disobedience & sin, he lost his close fellowship with God. Although he remained physically alive, he died spiritually. This is what God was warning of when he said that man would die when he ate of the tree. Read John 3; in it Jesus is talking with Nicodemus and explaining to him the spiritual life, and how it is separate from physical life. He speaks also in this passage of spiritual death - John 3:16 mentions not perishing but having eternal life. It is not physical death that is referred to by 'perish', but spiritual death and separation from God forever in hell. d) God did not, initially, forbid them from eating from the Tree of Life. At any time during their sojourn in the garden they could have eaten from that tree. It was only after they disobeyed Him, and sinned, that He prevented them from eating it. This was a mercy. To live forever as a miserable, unhappy, sinning human would be torture. Man was designed and created to be in close fellowship with God. To be without that fellowship is to forever feel like something is missing - for it is. That is why we humans are forever searching for the truth - because we know something is missing, and we are desperate to find it. That is why you are searching. You must believe that God is Who He says He is in the Bible. To believe that is to trust Him, because He is Good. He is True. He is God. And trusting, obey. Believe what He says of you - that you are a sinner and deserving of hell. To acknowledge that truth is a kind of repentance. Believe what He says of His Son, Jesus, the Christ - that He is God and has taken the just punishment of your sin upon himself. Repent - change your mind - of your own efforts - acknowledge that you cannot make God happy in your own works - and trust only that Christ has done everything necessary for your salvation. And call upon His name to save you. For whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.
  3. Many in our churches (including me, tbh), don't believe that a second marriage after divorce is permitted. You and your pastor obviously do, but do you know what this woman and her family believe about this? It might be wise to begin by discretely finding out their beliefs in this area.
  4. I'm assuming you read that on here somewhere? There's a lot of people on OB, and a lot of varying views. Not all views will be shared by everyone, or even by the forum owner.
  5. Yes! Really? That would be very cool. There's a lot of empty spaces between churches up here. Any particular area? I don't know whether you have contacts up here already, but I can give you some contacts if you'd like, or steer you toward any western Canadian events that may be useful to attend (if you come for a survey trip). Our church has done some church planting - we've reproduced five Alberta churches over the past twenty years or so - and our pastor emeritus, Dave Harness, serves on the board of the Baptist Church Planting Ministry Canada. About ten years ago, we got to help a US missionary coming to Alberta by being their home base for a year while they got acclimatized to Alberta, and then helped with the new church plant. I still go visit them in Hinton any chance I get.
  6. I don't see where 'proving your lineage', trail of blood-style, is anywhere in the Bible.
  7. I took over the Secretary/Treasurer position in our church a couple years ago. Something I can't figure out is - in this day and age of electronic communication, WHY are our churches still sending cheques? It would be so much faster and more efficient to use eTransfers, credit cards, and other forms of electronic payment. It would be especially nice when sending support funds to US-based missionaries. US banks are woefully behind when it comes to handling out-of-country cheques.
  8. it's not just cutting a cheque, though. Depending on the country of origin, the country they're heading to, and the missionary/church's own 'standing', for lack of a better word, there may be: a. income taxes/deductions to be calculated and sent to the government b. if the missionary is out of the county, the sending church/board may need to handle the personal tax forms on their behalf as well c. handling any issues that arise as a result of said deductions (dealing with the taxman is no joke!). d. maintaining any necessary legal paperwork - what about things like maintaining health coverage for when they're back in country (this even from a Canadian perspective with social medicine - I imagine there would be documentation needed to maintain US health insurance as well)? what legal paperwork might a foreign country want completed from the sending church/board? e. handling/investing retirement funds on their behalf, if applicable (IMO, it's a good thing for a missionary to save for retirement, just like anyone else) f. reporting monies received back to donating churches, creating income tax receipts if applicable, handling the charitable status side of things there (man, am I glad our church is not a charity. That's a whole 'nother mess). These things require time, knowledge and a certain attention to detail. From my experience, even cutting a cheque to pay them can get messed up badly merely from having a poorly-trained church secretary handling them. How many of our churches - especially up here in Canada - have the funds or available persons to pay/find an experienced financial secretary? I'm not making a statement for/against boards, just pointing out that there are a lot of legal, financial, and legislative details that can go into properly handling something like this. I personally think very few of our little western Canadian churches would be in a position to properly handle this.
  9. Oh, John. We've had this conversation before. It saddens me that you haven't seen this yet. "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you." 2 Corinthians 6:14-17 "And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters. With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon The Great, The Mother Of Harlots And Abominations Of The Earth. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth." Revelation 17: 1-9 (Consider in conjunction with 1 John 2:18) "Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time." 1 John 2:18 I don't understand how you can stomach attending mass. To me it is such an abomination. God tells us in the book of Hebrews that Christ died once for all - this directly contradicts the claims of the perpetual offering of the mass. "For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation." Hebrews 9:24-28 Do not forget the doctrinal claims of the Catholic church at the Council of Trent, which was reaffirmed at Vatican II. https://www.wayoflife.org/database/how_rome_denies_salvation_by_grace.html "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:8-9
  10. Welcome! Feel free to start a topic in the lounge to ask your question, and we'll try to be of help!
  11. Hey, Totoosart, We recently had a fellow visit our church. His name is Michael Germi, and he’s from Iran. He records messages in Farsi for broadcast. Would these be useful to you? https://sharecmi.com/channels/farsi/ https://besharat.tv/ (I hope that was the right link… I can’t read that alphabet!)
  12. If you have trusted Christ as your Saviour, then baptism is a good and proper thing to do, and a good thing to be desired. But you need to be certain that you are not desiring it because you think, in any way, that it will help assure your salvation. Baptism is a work - a thing we can do in obedience to God - thus to reliance on it in the least little bit for grace for salvation means that a person is not relying wholly and completely on Christ for salvation. And if we are depending on anything other than Christ alone as the propitiation for our sin (there's a good word to study!), then we are not truly saved.
  13. One can absolutely be sure. Look up 1 John 5:13. Your words remind me of me some years ago when I was doubting my salvation. Did I believe properly? How could I be sure? I found the answer was two-fold. First, I made sure that The Who and what that I was trusting in was right according to the Bible. It does no good to just airy-fairy ‘believe in belief’, or to be trying to do righteous works in addition to belief (that’s not faith, but works), or to not accept that we are sinners that need a Savior, or to not believe in Jesus as God, Messiah, the Only Way, etc. Secondly, I had to stop looking at myself. I had been examining myself - did I believe properly? Had I repented properly? That was the wrong focus. Salvation is absolutely not about us - we can’t do anything ‘right’ to get salvation. And just as we trust the Living Word of God, Jesus, for our salvation, assurance comes as we depend on God’s written Word, the Bible. I had to stop looking at myself and just trust the God would do what He said he would do. Romans 10:13 says that whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved. I knew that I’d trusted and called on Him the best I knew how, according to His Word, so I just trusted and leaned on that verse until the doubts left.
  14. I think on random historical or statistical questions (true life example from today: what percentage of houses in Jasper are lived in vs holiday accommodations?), but I’ve never thought on musical questions.
  15. Cool! I got a rock tumbler for Christmas a little while ago, but have yet to set it up and use it. I’ve been collecting rocks though.
  16. The lineage of Jesus Christ essential to Who he is. As a descendent of Adam, he is our kinsman redeemer, able to take our sin in our place. As a descendant of Abraham, he is the One through whom all people shall be blessed. As a descendent of Isaac, and a Jew, he can be the Messiah. As a descendent of Judah, he has the right to be the king of Israel. The Son of God is also the Son of Man. He cannot be one without also being the other. The prophesied lineage of Jesus was not merely for a sign; it is literally Who He had to be in order to redeem us.
  17. I didn't know those were 'Canadian crutches'. We have regular ones too - in fact the regular ones are probably more common. This spring, I discovered there was such a thing as a 'Canadian canoe', too. (Thank you, England!)
  18. Yeah, Seems to me that many of the most horrific crimes will not usually have multiple witnesses. I’m thinking things like child abuse and rape.
  19. Salyan

    Food storage

    So to continue the story on that can rotation system, the night I went to pick it up, I got out of the car and up walked two young Mormon missionary fellows. "Have you ever talked to someone like us before," the one said. Poor guys did not expect the conversation to go quite that way. We actually had a rather good talk... please pray for them if you think of them.
  20. Yeah, my pastor had to do a whole sermon to basically correct and warn against him. We get a lot of visitors looking for a KJV church because of him!
  21. Salyan

    Food storage

    Same basic idea, but mind is a freestanding shelf with multiple layers. It’s a shelf reliance system.
  22. Salyan

    Food storage

    So I'm excited! I'm moving to a new rental in a couple of weeks (a trailer - so my own walls! No more apartment neighbors, yay!) with a bit more storage space. Yesterday on Kijiji a shelf reliance can rotation storage system came up for sale. I'll be picking it up tomorrow night, Lord willing. I've been wanting to try can rotation for a while - it'll be neat to have the space for a proper system. Anyone else do the whole food storage bit? It's a little bit a.l.a. LDS, I know, but it's the one thing I think they're right on.
  23. i think you’ll find that most here are a little tired of debating the subject. Also, there are few or no Arminians on this board. It is possible to be neither Arminian nor Calvinist - my pastor likes to call us ‘Biblicists.’
  24. CCM = Contemporary Christian Music. Usually used here to refer to praise music with an upbeat or other forms of Christian rock music.
  25. Salyan


    Howdy! HappyChristian is in Washington; maybe she'll be able to help you.

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