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Posted 10/20/13 at 12:12 PM | Steven Dodd
As an Assembly of God ordained minister, I feel heartbroken regarding statements that John MacArthur made during his recent Strange Fire conference. Not heartbroken for myself, but heartbroken for the entire Body of Christ. Despite stating that “This is about honoring the Holy Spirit, rather than blaspheming him,” (MacArthur). The California preacher and iconic author has seemed to singlehandedly brought a decisive blow that is now dividing the Christian church. While anyone that knows me understands just how strongly I disagree with the various false-teachers and frauds in the Charismatic arena. They also know that I find it even more alarming for someone of faith to spend their time, especially in ministry, on a mission running down others they don’t agree with.
I agree that it is shameful how preachers today are taking advantage of their flock by doing what they do in the name of the Lord. However to blanket coat all Pentecostal/Charismatic Christians in the world, seems to be very wreckless, and somewhat borderlines disparaging the Holy Spirit. The following is an article my Senior Pastor, Dr. Todd Hudnall, gave me permission to repost regarding the statements John MacArthur made at his recent Strange Fire Conference. I find it very fitting and truthful for I believe that there is a very “Strange Fire” going on today in the American church. ~ Pastor Steve FULL POST
Posted 10/3/13 at 9:47 PM | Steven Dodd
There is an epidemic among us, a global pandemic of sorts. It has infiltrated our workplaces, our homes, and even more alarming; it has now permeated itself into the very fiber of our churches. It is a disorder that I believe is singlehandedly responsible for the falling away of the church in the twenty-first century. And while not classified as a real disease like cancer, I believe that if not caught early on, is far worse resulting in the spiritual death of the individual. I call it “Spiritual Anorexia.” And as I look around these days, America we’re looking pretty thin.
Many of us have come to learn that the medical condition Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by an individual obtaining a distorted body image of themselves. Patients diagnosed with this disorder believe they are overweight, yet in reality the image they see in the mirror is not a true reflection of who they really are. Unfortunately, this is what I believe is occurring in the modern church today. Pardon the expression, but there sure seems to be a lot of self-perceived “Fat Cats” found on the pulpit or sitting in the pews these days. I’m not talking about bold preachers of the Gospel or Christians for that matter. I’m talking about those who have changed “His Truth” into a new revelation focused upon “My Truth.” A revelation that embraces political correctness before biblical correctness; and tries to sell you on the greatest lie ever told, “Did God really Say?” (Genesis 3:1). FULL POST
Posted 7/15/13 at 3:28 AM | Steven Dodd
So the verdict is in; a jury of his peers finds George Zimmerman “Not Guilty.” Yet despite the months of public trial both in and out of the courtroom, it appears this trial is far from over. As I sit down to write this, it has been less than 24-hours from the reading of the verdict. And what I have witnessed in just this short time period has made me absolutely sick to call myself an American. Let me point out that I’m not here to debate the circumstances of the case or where I stand. What I am here to do is to convey a warning to those who believe they are right in their persecution of a man that was exonerated for his actions.
Where George Zimmerman sits spiritually I do not know. And for his part in the death of Trayvon Martin, unless he repents he most certainly will face judgment than only God can provide. Yet despite his part in committing murder whether in self-defense or intentional, his fate may be far less than those I have seen in the media the last few hours. As I sat and watched people decrying the verdict I was shocked at what I was witnessing. I watched looters smashing windows, men trampling on our nations flag, and an angry mob smashing police cars all in an effort to lash out at a verdict that many in this country wanted; yet now did not like the outcome. Nonetheless after seeing all of this I still could not get over the sight I would see next. As I continued to flip through news channels I came to a group of woman being interviewed. In their hands they held signs that read, “Thou Shalt Not Kill.” One of the women began to speak of Jesus and the justice that she felt George Zimmerman still needed to face. I’d go on to listen to her share her hatred and distain for this man. Speaking about God and justice, yet accompanied by desires to see him tortured for his actions. As I turned off the channel I sat there in disbelief. These women stood there as the epitome of what Paul had warned of, “Having a form of godliness but denying its power.” They stood there feeling justified for their actions to see this man executed and tortured all the while proclaiming that they were vindicated by God to do so. FULL POST
Posted 6/20/13 at 5:32 PM | Steven Dodd
When I was 18-years old, I like many other testosterone driven young men enlisted in the Armed Forces. I was proud. Proud of living in a country where I had the freedom to say what I believe. A country that while others’ viewpoints may have differed from mine, they still enjoyed the same freedoms that come from being an American citizen. Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the right to bear arms; just some of our constitutional freedoms guaranteed to us by the Bill of Rights. For over 21-years, I got up each morning and insured that America could rise and sleep under the very blanket of freedom that our U.S. soldiers provide. We lived by a code, Integrity first... Service before Self... and Excellence in all we do. While mere words to some, these words represent a backbone of heritage spent defending more than a piece of cloth with fifty stars and thirteen stripes. And though I may not have always agreed with the political or moral climate in America, I was appreciative of the fact that I could stand up and say what I believed without the fear of being persecuted.
Posted 5/25/13 at 2:12 PM | Steven Dodd
As the proverbial saying goes, “One bad apple can spoil the bunch.” Most of us have heard this saying a time or two. However if you are not aware of its meaning, this quip refers to what happens when a bruised apple comes in contact with a good apple; thus, causing the bruise to spread to the other apples, and eventually rotting the bunch. As it’s used today, this “one bad apple” metaphor relates to how one bad influence could lead to the fall of those around them.
In recent years, I have witnessed an onslaught of people attacking Christians for what they believe to be “hypocritical living.” There are many avenues that can be taken when talking about the subject of hypocrisy in the lives of Christians. However, I want to turn the attention of this article not to what others are doing, but to the one that we can actually do something about... Ourselves.
Unfortunately, Christians today seem to be more identified for what we hate, than for what we love. I’ll go a step further; there are many nonbelievers today that have never accepted Christ based on the actions of His self-proclaimed followers. To be truthful, can you blame them? Let me give you an example. Recently I was privileged to be part of a large theatre ministry. It’s a great ministry with some fantastic people giving of their time. Yet to my dismay, I overheard a few of the women at the end of rehearsal talking about how they were going to go out drinking afterward. Word got back to me the following day that these women, dressed in clothing that promoted the ministry, were out until 2 am. Several eyewitness accounts informed me they had become belligerent and flirtatious with married men, which culminated with them having to be escorted home due to public intoxication. These women were the same women I had seen hours prior praying over and speaking to young girls about purity and living holy lives. And yet, we wonder why Christians feel persecuted and attacked today for being hypocrites. FULL POST
Posted 11/8/12 at 10:47 AM | Steven Dodd
As Election Day 2012 has come and gone, many Christians have been left in disbelief after having learned that President Obama has been re-elected for another four-years. Feelings ranging from sadness and anger, to sheer hopelessness has seemed to be the general mood reeling throughout the Christian church. As many are struggling to comprehend how to move forward, I would like to pass on an article that was written by my Senior Pastor, Todd Hudnall, to our congregation this morning. I believe it may help those who are wondering, “The Election is Over, Now What?” Pastor Steve
The Election Is Over, Now What?
America has decided and Barack Obama has been entrusted with four more years as President of the United States. Now that it’s over, let’s analyze the implications of the election.
First I want to express my gratitude and appreciation for the people of Radiant Church who engaged in our 21-days of prayer and fasting. I also want to thank those of you who participated in our Gap prayer services. I had a sense from the beginning, that more important than the outcome, was our willingness to call out to God for His will and for His intervention in this election. My strong sense on Tuesday evening was that the outcome was indeed ordered by the Lord. FULL POST
Posted 10/26/12 at 11:07 AM | Steven Dodd
“Has God indeed said?” These are the very first words spoken by Satan as recorded in Genesis 3:1. They were words not intended to question what God had said, but to manipulate and twist what God had intended in an effort to cast doubt on His love. To clarify, God's original statement to Adam was, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die" (Genesis 2:16). Yet when Satan approached Eve in the Garden of Eden, he didn’t go to Eve and try and deny that God spoke those words, he just mischaracterized them. He used the very scriptures God had spoken, but he completely twisted what He had said. Cunningly, he questioned whether God had really meant what He had said to Adam. “Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?” (Genesis 3:1).
When Eve was tempted by Satan in the Garden, Satan used God’s own words intended for love and protection and distorted them into a negative prohibition designed to cast doubt on God's graciousness. He effectively misrepresented God’s words, which led Adam and Eve to question God’s love for them. Thus, he was able to substitute the truth with his own lie and got Adam and Eve to believe God was holding something back from them. Through his deceptive ways, Satan took God’s positive invitation to eat from every tree, misquoted the Bible, and then turned those elements of truth into a justification for sin; “What a snake!” you might say. No pun intended. FULL POST
Posted 10/19/12 at 1:00 PM | Steven Dodd
As I slowly darkened the selection bubble on my 2012 Presidential Mail-in Ballot, I felt a sense of peace. Peace, knowing that the choice I was making was being done in the best interest of the United States of America, and my Christian faith. It wasn’t a decision based upon political party lines, ethnicity, or who seemed to have the best plan to benefit my pocketbook later on. It was a choice that strictly was decided upon by the candidate that best aligned themselves with my beliefs as a follower of Jesus Christ. And that choice was sharply clear to me; that choice was Mitt Romney.
I suspect now that you know whom I voted for, there will be one of two thoughts running through your head. First, you may agree with me and be voting for Mitt Romney yourself. Or, you may be feeling sucker-punched and decrying, “How can a Christian vote for a Mormon?” My answer to you is, “I didn’t.” I didn’t cast my vote for a Mormon, or any other religious label you want to place upon a person or their identity. If I where directing my vote to a religious affiliation, then I would have to be honest and say that this election is not between a Mormon and a Christian; but a Mormon and a person I believe who is not a Christian. FULL POST
Posted 9/28/12 at 2:07 PM | Steven Dodd
One of the biggest challenges that we as believers in Christ will face today is trying to answer what would seem to be an easy question. This question is, “Who is Jesus?” Unfortunately today, “There are many misconceptions concerning the Lord Jesus Christ. False religions have portrayed Jesus Christ as everything from a space alien to merely a myth. Many people believe that Jesus was only a prophet” (Stewart). So how does one combat these misconceptions? As grandiose as many people would like to believe, not everyone that enters ministry will be the senior pastor of a mega-church. Therefore, we as Christ followers should be more realistic and error on the side of personal interaction. This begins by having full knowledge of how we would answer the question of Christ’s identify to the unbeliever on the street. Therefore, for one to truly know who Jesus is, they must come to identify Him through the offices He held. As this article will show, to know Christ is to recognize what it means for Jesus to have held the offices of the prophet, the priest, and the king. FULL POST
Posted 9/17/12 at 3:53 PM | Steven Dodd
‘Trinity,’ it’s a word never found in scripture, but represents a very important biblical doctrine to the Christian faith. The term is derived from ‘Tri’ meaning three, and ‘Unity’ meaning one, Tri+Unity = Trinity. It is a way of recognizing what the Bible reveals to us about God: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. God known as three “Persons” who have the same essence of deity; yet the emphasis is that there is only ONE God. Thus, the study of the Trinity seeks to bring a clearer understanding of the relationship between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit as set forth in the scripture; and yet the absence of the term used to describe the doctrine does not necessarily mean the term is not biblical. Unfortunately with this definition, much debate continues to swirl surrounding the identity of the Holy Spirit. As the twenty-first century has shown, contemporary views regarding the Holy Spirit has been challenged by the emergent church movement and an ever-growing environment of political correctness. This has led some to interpret the Holy Spirit as a fairy-tale like power. Others recognize the Holy Spirit as being more of an impartial influence that God provides to those who follow Christ. Yet, to find the truth, one need only ask themselves, how is the identity of the Holy Spirit described in the Bible? In its simplest form the Bible proclaims that the Holy Spirit is God. However, to better understand this concept, this article will look to identify three areas of the Holy Sprit. These are God as Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, and the identity of the Spirit. FULL POST