Hodgepodge I: Terrorism, Osteen, GTA
July 26 05

There were so many things that I wanted to talk about this week that I couldn't decide on just one:

We've had two London attacks two weeks apart and now we've had an attack in Egypt. Last week, I had said that we must expect more terrorism. The Bible foretells such violence for the last days and it will only get worse. Many have said that we are in "revival" and the Church will usher in global peace, but such thinking is not Biblical. Yes, we should hope for more salvations and we should never stop preaching the Gospel with optimism, but the Bible is clear that the "Church" will be corrupt and apostate just before the end. Terrorism will continue, as will wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, and typhoons. Governments will continue in corruption; murders and all such crime will become more commonplace. If you want to pretend that all is well and that all you have to do is "think positive," read on:

Joel Osteen
Two Saturdays ago, Joel Osteen preached his first sermon in the old Compaq Center in Houston. The arena seats 16,000 people and it was packed that night. Lakewood Church is the largest church in the country with 30,000 people in attendance on any given weekend. Why is Osteen's church so popular? Is this the revival so many are talking about? Absolutely not, unless you count false doctrine as a catalyst of true revival. Consider what Osteen had to say last month on Larry King Live. When asked if people of religions other than Christianity could go to heaven, Osteen replied, "I don't know." When asked if Jesus is the only way to heaven, Osteen said that Jesus is his savior, but he doesn't want to judge other people. When asked about his "fluffy" sermons, Osteen said that he doesn't want to offend people, so he doesn't use the word "sin." He wants people to come away with a good feeling. He related a story about overhearing a man's prayer, in which the man confessed to God that he was a sinner and that he was thankful God would love such an unworthy wretch as he. Osteen said that that's a wrong prayer! Osteen said we should never feel bad about ourselves, nor feel unworthy. All of these things that Osteen said were completely unbiblical. Sure, Osteen is hugely popular, but that doesn't make him right. In fact, based on his beliefs and statements, he's not even a Christian. Revival? What revival?

Grand Theft Auto
Last week, it was "discovered" that the computer game, "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas," contains a "hole" through which an informed player can enter code and see pornography. Many parents and a couple of U.S. Senators, most notably Hillary Clinton and Joe Lieberman, are now outraged. Sure, this sort of thing is wrong and should be addressed. However, we must understand that this is just the latest version of Grand Theft Auto (GTA). Earlier versions contain disgusting scenes even without some special code. The game is based on a player stealing cars by hurting innocent drivers. Why is this okay for children to have? Not only does a player maim and kill people, he also has the opportunity to rape women, and all of this is available on the earlier versions of GTA, no special code required. So, killing people, stealing cars, and raping women is okay, but watching two computer characters having sex is not okay? That is quite the crooked line we have drawn.

If you insist on letting your children have computer games, you might want to check out the Christian offerings at sites such as N'Lightning and Virtue Games. These game makers are putting out Christian themed fare that rewards good behavior. As I understand it, these and other game makers are getting ready to release games for PlayStation and XBox, as well. Do your research. Be informed. Be pleasing to God in all that you do.

The full list of articles: 5 Minutes With Carol

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