Saturday, January 31, 2015

A Message To Berean

We are having a wonderful time with our dear  friends from Brasil. Their preaching and teaching has been so Spirit filled and convicting. What a blessing to be a part of the family of God. I want to thank all of our friends in Brasil who have allowed their loved ones and their elders to be in our midst to minister the Word of God to us in these days.

It's been nearly 11 years ago that I first met these dear brothers at a Fiel Conference and the blessing has been so precious. 

I will see all of our Berean family in the Lord's house tomorrow. God bless you all.

Love in Christ,

Pastor Dickie

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Uninformed on Islam?

Sports legend and basketball star, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, appeared on CNN recently and made a number of statements defending Islam. It is apparent that Abdul-Jabbar thinks that those who are killing and slaughtering in the name of Islam do not represent what this religion really is. But is this truly the case? Every time there is a terror attack perpetrated by Muslims against non-Muslims, there are multitudes of defenders of Islam who repeat the same old mantra—that these people who are killing infidels do not represent what this religion stands for—and along with these attempts at cleaning up the image of this religion is the cry that we need dialogue with Islam to avoid any misunderstanding of the “Religion of Peace.” In the light of so many tens of thousands of terror attacks against non-Muslims by Muslims all over the world, it begs the question—If these attacks don’t really represent true Islam, why are there so many Muslims who think otherwise? Even a quick and superficial reading of the Quran reveals that this book calls upon its followers to wage war against the infidel and to bring all the world into submission to this religion. Those who believe otherwise, like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, must explain why these terrorists are more consistent with the teachings of the Quran than they are. 
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar also tries to divert attention from the violence of the followers of Islam by using the propaganda devise called “Ad Hominem” to attack non-Muslims. To use an ad hominem argument means you attack your opponent while dodging the real issue. Abdul-Jabbar stated that we don’t conclude that just because there is the Ku Klux Klan or so-called Christians who bomb abortion clinics that the majority of Christians are like that. Several points must be observed about this fallacious reasoning. First, there are no verses in the Bible that encourage believers in Christ to bomb, kill, attack, or act in prejudice towards non-Christians. The Quran, on the other hand, is filled with commands to do just that. Second, how many KKK attacks have there been world-wide? And how many abortion clinics have been bombed recently or at any time? Those who use these propaganda techniques to defend this religion must strain at a gnat and swallow the proverbial camel. There is simply no comparison between the Judeo-Christian religion and the “Religion of Peace.” The world is under assault everywhere by the followers of this “peaceful” religion. 

Here are some of the statements that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar made:

"Most Muslims do not become Muslims to indulge in murder and mayhem.”

"It's not what Islam is about.”

"We try to live lives of peace and harmony within ourselves and with our neighbors."

"They (terrorists) embrace violence. They try to use religion as something to justify that. But nothing justifies that."

"I'd just like to see a better understanding by the media as to what Islam is all about as opposed to what the terrorists say it's about.”

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was formally known as Lew Alcindor. He converted to Islam in 1968 while in college at UCLA playing under the coaching of John Wooden. He claims he wanted to change his name because it was associated with the slave trade, and he was ashamed of it. The question now, in the light of his recent statements about Islam, is this, “ Did he ever really know what Islam was in the first place or did he join a protest movement that is anti-white and anti-Christian?” If these statements by Abdul-Jabbar are an accurate assessment of his convictions, then it is painfully clear that when he joined this religion, he did not do any serious research into the sordid history of the prophet Mohammad, the teachings of the Quran, or the terrible and bloody history of Islam through the centuries.

No one believes that every Muslim is a terrorist. But it is an undeniable fact that millions of Muslims around the world have a very different view of Islam than that of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Any student of Islam knows that the history of the prophet Mohammad is filled with violence, warfare, raids, executions, slavery, and vicious persecution of Jews and Christians. From the very inception of this religion and perpetrated by the prophet were all manner of things that we stand aghast at today. 
Does Kareem Abdul-Jabbar understand that the truth claims of Islam cannot be defended? Does he know that Islam is the most oppressive religion in the world? Does he understand these basic facts about the religion that he converted to many years ago and that he is now defending? Consider these facts:

  1. While it may be easy to convert to Islam, it is not so easy to leave that religion. To leave the Islamic faith is to incur the death penalty. 
  2. Islam has given to the West a number of unwanted gift—suicide bombers, honor killings, sharia law that enforces female genital mutilation, discrimination against Jews and Christians, death to homosexuals, death to apostates, death for adultery, and death for blasphemy.
  3. Islam allows a man to beat his wife and the practice of throwing acid on a woman who has dishonered her family.
  4. Slavery was practiced in Muslim countries until very late in the twentieth century and is still being practiced today in some countries in Africa.
  5. Since 9/11, over 150,000 people worldwide have been killed by Muslims who claim they are waging Jihad in the name of Allah and Mohammad.
  6. Islam broke out of the Arabian desert in the 7th century and waged a continual war of slaughter, torture, and enslavement against the rest of the world. Not one country that embraced Islam did so on its own. The sword and persecution were the instruments in spreading this religion.
  7. The Quran is filled with verses that teach and encourage Jihad against infidels. Those who do not practice violent Jihad are the ones who are not consistent with the teachings of the Quran.
  8. In Saudi Arabia, the birth place of Islam and Mohammad, women cannot vote, drive a car, or walk in public without a covering. And only a Muslim can be a citizen. Bibles are not allowed in Saudi Arabia, and it is forbidden to build any Christian churches or symbols. 
  9. In most Muslim countries there is no freedom of speech, and in even the so-called moderate Muslim countries, Christians are routinely persecuted, discriminated against, and often beaten and killed. 
  10. Islam in the most intolerant religion in the world. While other religious faiths allow discussion of their truth claims, to even suggest that Islam is a false religion, or that the prophet Mohammad is not a true prophet can get one  beaten or killed.
If this is not enough, then listen to these words of famous Muslim leaders telling us what Islam is all about. Does Kareem Abdul-Jabbar disagree with these Islamic scholars and leaders? Are the acts of terror being done in the name of Islam only perpetrated by thugs? Perhaps Abdul-Jabbar needs to study more thoroughly the “religion of peace”. Here is what these Islamic leaders said:

1 "Those who know nothing about Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those people are witless. Islam says: 'Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all!' Does this mean that Muslims should sit back until they are devoured by the infidel? Islam says: 'Kill them, put them to the sword and scatter them.' Islam says: 'Whatever good there is exists thanks to the sword.' The sword is the key to Paradise, which can be opened only for the Holy Warriors! Does all this mean that Islam is a religion that prevents men from waging war? I spit upon those foolish souls who make such a claim." (Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini)
2 "In the Muslim community, the holy war is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the Muslim mission and the obligation to convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or force. The other religious groups (Christianity and Judaism) did not have a universal mission, and the holy war was not a religious duty to them, save only for purposes of defense. (Ibn Khaldun, The Muqadimmah: Ail Introduction to History, Islamic historian, 1377 AD)
3 "Islam makes it incumbent on all adult males to prepare themselves for the conquest of countries so that the writ of Islam is obeyed in every country in the world." Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Iranian Shiite mullah)
4 "The religion of Islam could be above all, so that all areas of life could be guided by Islam, and so that the earth could be cleansed from unbelief.” (The Islamic Council in Chechnya)
5 "The foremost duty of Islam is to depose the government and society of unbelievers (jahiliyyah) from the leadership of man." (Sayyid Qutb, Egyptian) Sayyid Qutb (1906-1966) is widely accepted, not only as one of "the spiritual leaders of radical Islamism" but as "the architect of worldwide jihad". Qutb´s influence has been profound. His thinking has provided the motivation and legitimizing ideology behind 9/11 and other recent terrorist attacks on the West. 
6 “Oh, you Muslims everywhere, sever the ties of their nations, tear them apart, ruin their economy, instigate against their corporations, destroy their embassies, attack their interests, sink their ships, and shoot down their airplanes. Kill them in land, at sea, and in the air; kill them wherever you find them.” Sheikh Abdel Rahman, who planned the first terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has some explaining to do. He and those who are making uninformed statements about the nature of Islam must explain to the rest of the world why we should consider Islam a religion of peace.  Those who are killing and murdering in the name of Islam are not corrupting or perverting anything. They are simply taking the Quran literally. That’s the scary part. History is very clear about the nature of Islam worldwide since its inception for those who read and study it. Unfortunately, people like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar have done little of both.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Planting The Seeds Of The Gospel

I Cor. 3:6, "I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase." A few days ago I met with a friend from high school that I had not seen in over 45 years. His testimony was such a blessing to my heart. I will let you listen to this message. I pray that you will be encouraged to scatter the seeds of the gospel and water them with your prayers. Perhaps now or in the years to come you will see the Lord of the harvest bring home some of those who heard you share the gospel of Christ.

May we all plant and water the seed of the gospel for the glory of God.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Dickie

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Fill Your Life With Good Works

Jesus went about doing good. May we emulate our Lord and fill our lives with good works that enable us to shine as lights in this darkened world. 

May God bless our Berean family,

Have a great New Year!

In Christ,

Pastor Dickie

Faith Sees The Invisible God In Our Times of Need

Faith Sees The Invisible God In Our Time of Need

Jacob came to a desert place and in his sorrow, loneliness, and despair he slept on the sand with a  rock for a pillow. While he slept the Lord appeared to him in a dream and gave him some wonderful promises. These promises were received by faith. 

What does the Scripture say to us about faith?  “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  “Without faith it is impossible to please God.  For he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”  “For we walk by faith and not by sight.”  Hebrews 11:1,6; II Corinthians 5:7

Jacob had to receive God’s promises by faith.

Faith sees God’s hand of blessing in spite of the moments of pain and seasons of sorrow.

Faith sees God’s promises in spite of the present darkness.

Faith sees God’s presence in spite of His apparent absence.

Faith sees the purposes of God in spite of the clouds of confusion.

Faith sees Heaven in spite of the present Hell.

Faith sees that God’s way is best in spite of unanswered questions.

Faith perseveres in spite of the temptation to quit and turn back.

Faith encourages us to walk with God in spite of every obstacle that hinders us or deters us.

A number of years ago I was meditating on this biblical story and wrote these words in poetic verse.

         Jacob’s Ladder

It was a dark and lonely place
Where I had walked with God.
I fell asleep beneath the stars,
And dreamed upon the sod.

I saw a ladder reach the skies
With angels coming down.
And heard the most angelic cries,
And glory shone around.

I dreamed the ladder was the Lord,
The only way to grace.
And if I trust His holy Word,
I may behold His face.

The place became a holy shrine
And filled my heart with fears.
I lost all sense of space and time,
And wept with joyful tears.

The night was black and filled with stars
The ladder flamed with light,
Its steps were glowing golden bars,
That led up out of sight.

I longed to climb upon those stairs
That lead to heaven’s King.
To come before Him unawares,
To hear His angels sing.

But soon I woke up from my dreams 
And marveled at this place.
How awesome is this God who seems,
To leave without a trace.

I looked around in loneliness
And felt a bitter pain.
I saw His kingly comeliness,
The beauty of His reign.

But now beneath the stars of night,
I stood there all alone.
And dreamed of that great holy sight, 
Whose ladder leads to home.

For surely God is in this place,
But I had known it not.
Except the ladder of His grace,
Reached down and touched this spot.

And now I walk on sacred ground,
With pillows made of stone.
For now Bethel I have found,
The ladder leads to home.

Robert L. Dickie, Jr.

Jacob's encounter with God at Bethel was the turning point in his life. Have you had such an encounter with God? It is only when we are willing to meet God in the desert places of our lives will we have a Bethel type experience.

God bless you all,

Pastor Dickie

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Religion of Peace Speaks Again

The Religion Of Peace Speaks Again!

Our hearts are grieved today at the terror attack that took the lives of at least 11 people in Paris, France. The "Religion of Peace"  has spoken again. The supposed reason for the attack was the publication of cartoons that some Muslims found offensive. We must not allow fear of these terror attacks to stifle our right to freedom of speech and expression. If we surrender our freedom of speech because of fear we are a defeated culture. Pray today for those grieving over the loss of their loved ones. And pray that our leaders will have the courage to resist and stop these religious fanatics who kill in the name of their religion.

PARIS (AP) -- Masked gunmen stormed the offices of a French satirical newspaper Wednesday, killing 11 people before escaping, police and a witness said. The weekly has previously drawn condemnation from Muslims.
French President Francois Hollande called the slayings a terrorist attack and said that several other terror attacks have been thwarted "in recent weeks."
Xavier Castaing, head of communications for the Paris police prefecture, confirmed the deaths in the shooting at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical weekly that been repeatedly threatened for publishing caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, among other controversial sketches.
Hollande rushed to the scene and top government officials planned an emergency meeting.
Luc Poignant, an official of the SBP police union, said the attackers escaped in two vehicles.
A witness to the attack, Benoit Bringer, told the iTele network he saw multiple masked men armed with automatic weapons at the newspaper's office in central Paris.
Charlie Hebdo's offices were firebombed in 2011 after a spoof issue featuring a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad on its cover. Nearly a year later, the publication again published crude Muhammad caricatures, drawing denunciations around the Muslim world.
What is wrong with these people? A Muslim author writes a book denouncing Jesus as a fraud and attacks the Christian religion. Were there any massive movements or riots and threats to kill this man? Thinking people should note the difference between the "Religion of Peace" and the community of Christians worldwide.
People everywhere in the West should speak up and denounce these kinds of barbaric attacks and demand that Muslims everywhere also denounce them. I am convinced that this threat will be with us for years to come and will be the greatest danger to our freedom. The Church of Jesus Christ should storm the  throne of grace and beseech the Lord of the universe to move among the nations and turn multitudes to the gospel of peace.
In Christ, 

Pastor Dickie

Friday, January 2, 2015

The Importance of Good Works in a Believer's Life

This coming year I want to challenge all of our Berean Family to be  faithful in filling up your life with good works done on behalf of others for the glory of God. May we be true servants of the living God. Those who know the Lord will have plenty of evidence to verify that they have met Christ on the Calvary road. The evidence? It will be a life that is full and overflowing with good works and obedience to the teachings of God's Word. Do you have evidence in your life that marks you as a child of God?

Here are a few thoughts by Spurgeon on "Good Works".

"Those who have believed in Christ, and have been the subjects of the Spirit's work, are now "created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that they should walk in them." God desires that his people should abound in good works. It is his great object to produce a people fit to commune with himself: a holy people, with whom he can have fellowship in time and in eternity. He wishes us not only to produce good works, but to abound in them; and to abound in the highest order of them. He would have us become imitators of himself as dear children, possessing the same moral attributes as the Father in heaven possesses. Is it not written, "Be ye perfect, even as your rather which is in heaven is perfect"? Oh, that we came within measurable distance of this blissful consummation!

Have a wonderful New Year!

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Dickie