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Scripture Memory: Sin
Proverbs 14:12 
"There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

4 March 2012
8 am & 10.45am Worship Service:

Rev Charles Seet (Are You Building Wisely? Mat 7:24-27, Lk 6:47-49)
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Dn Lee Hock Chin (What Change Looks Like, Col 3:12-17)

11 March 2012
8 am & 10.45am Worship Service:

Rev Colin Wong (It Isn’t Fair, Mat 20:1-16 )
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Dn Lee Hock Chin (Home Relationships of a Born-Again Christian, Col 3:18-25)

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My dear Reader,

SUPERSTITIOUS CHRISTIANS

Over the years, I have had ample opportunities to interact with other Christians of all ages. We shared about our personal experiences with God. As I listened attentively to their sharing, I realized that some of them were extremely superstitious in their Christian faith. I must confess that as a young Christian, I also had the same belief as theirs.

Perhaps, some of us are also like that. Are you a superstitious Christian? Who is a superstitious Christian? A superstitious Christian is one who performs spiritual activities out of fear, guilt, routines or a sense of obligation.

How often have you mumbled the same old prayer before meals without giving any serious thought to what you were saying? A thanksgiving prayer for a bowl of noodle in which you are not even paying attention to the words has no value at all. Such a valueless prayer should not even be uttered to the One who provides your daily needs (Matthew 6:11).

How often have you gone to church on the Lord’s Day out of a sense of Christian obligation rather than a deep desire to worship God? If you have spent an hour sitting in the church pew daydreaming about the final episode of last night’s movie or worrying about what to eat after the service, you have just wasted an hour of your life on a pointless activity.

How often have you brought your tithes and offering to God out of a grateful heart or just because you are expected to? If you give of your time or your money for no other reason than that’s what you are supposed to do or out of a sense of guilt, then that’s just empty superstition.

Do you give your offering to the Lord so He won’t cause your car to break down at the ECP or the KJE? If you ignore a beggar asking you for a dollar, do you fear that your children might get sick with a disease? Do you think something really bad could happen to you if you miss too many Lord’s Days? If you do, then you are a superstitious Christian.

Do you cross your fingers while making a wish? Sadly, countless Christians do this without even realizing it is a superstitious practice. The reason behind this practice is that it was believed that when two lines crossed, the wish was held at the centre until it came to be. By crossing your fingers, you supposedly had a better chance of seeing your wish come true.

Why do Christian parents baptize their infants? We believe in infant baptism. The Old Testament teaches circumcision was a sign of the Covenant. This included not only believing adults, but also male infants born to believing parents when they are eight days old (Genesis 17:10-13). The New Testament teaches that the sign of the same Covenant has been changed to Christian Baptism. After a person becomes a Christian, he/she is required to be baptized in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). When he/she gets married and has children of their own, it is required of them to baptize their male or female infants in the Name of the Triune God (Psalm 22:9, 10; Acts 2:39; 16:15; 16:33; 1 Corinthians 1:16; 7:14).

However, what I would like to say is that some parents brought their children for baptism for the wrong reason. These parents got the idea that if they were to offer their children (sick or healthy) for baptism, they would be blessed and protected from harm and danger. This is mere Christian superstition. We do it in obedience to the commandment of God (Genesis 17:10).

Why do Christian wear a cross or place or hang a cross at home, under or beside the pillow or in the car? Is it for protection and blessing or is it for a Christian testimony?

Some of us are converted from other religions. Sadly, after our conversion, we still bring with us our old beliefs. Have you heard that walking under a ladder is bad? Everybody knows that it might fall and hurt somebody. But do you know that the reason behind the superstition goes way back? In the ancient world, a ladder leaning against a wall formed a triangle with the ground. This was considered a sacred triangle, as it was a symbol of life. Anybody who walked through it would be punished. Another reason for not walking under a ladder had to do with the method of execution of long ago. Years ago, men who were facing execution would be hung from the seventh rung of a ladder leaning against a tree. Back then, death was considered contagious, and walking under a ladder provided the risk that the dead man’s shadow would fall on you and you might die ("Superstition Everywhere" by Ryan J. Haase).

Christians are not immune to superstition. If you believe that your pastor’s prayer for the sick is more powerful than any of your fellow brother and sister in the Lord, then I am afraid that you are in the company of superstitious Christians. There is no scriptural reference to say that Paul’s prayer was more powerful than Peter’s. If there is, then Paul wouldn’t have asked the churches he wrote to in Asia Minor to pray for him (Ephesians 6:18-20; Colossians 4:2-4; 1 Thessalonians 5:25).

Superstitious Christians have certain ritualistic ways to get things from God. A pastor teaches his congregation that faith is the way to get whatever you want from God. Is that not what the Bible says? Jesus said, "And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive" (Matthew 21:22) He insists that as long as you have faith in your heart, you can manipulate God or possess the ability to make things happen. This is Christian superstition.

Does faith make hope real? I do not deny that faith in God does make hope real but not that kind of faith propagated by the pastor who says one can control or manipulate God’s will by possessing enough faith. In the Bible, faith is resting on who God is. He will do what is best for us. Faith requires us to believe that God has done what is best even though we do not see our petitions being answered according to the way that we want them to be.

Here is a classic example. Oftentimes, the church prays very hard for God to heal her members who are ill but some of them did not make it. Some of us may be asking ourselves. Didn’t the church pray for them fervently? We believed God could heal them. We prayed with that belief but why didn’t God answer our prayers? Was it a lack of faith on our part or our ill-members’ part that resulted in their death? Absolutely not! God is still God. We will never be able to control or manipulate Him with our faith, fasting, obedience, sacrifice or anything. He is sovereign. He does what pleases Him (Psalm 115:3). Therefore, He knows what is best for His children (2 Corinthians 12:8).

We need to be careful of pastors who use the Word of God for their own benefits. For instance, the Bible speaks of Peter’s shadow falling on the sick and healing them (Acts 5:15, 16) or of Paul’s handkerchiefs and aprons which he had used and were taken to the sick. As a result, their sicknesses would depart from them and the evil spirits would leave them (Acts 19:11, 12). But today, we have Christians practicing this in an attempt to reproduce the miracle. Sadly, in America today and also other parts of the world, we have the"Anointed Handkerchief Ministry" where a minister would pray over the handkerchief and send it to the sick person so he/she might be healed. In Brazil, there is a ministry called "The Anointed Water Ministry" in which the minister on television would tell people to get a glass of water and put it on the TV set. When the time comes, he would pray over the water so that when they drink it they might be healed. There are many other such happenings among the Christian community. It is most unfortunate that ignorant and deceitful pastors have taken these miracles which were wrought by the apostles of old times as incredible displays of God’s power and made them superstitious practices to mislead naïve Christians.

Superstitious Christians are unstable, doubtful, fearful Christians. If you are a superstitious Christian, you need to be delivered from it. There is no other way to free yourselves from superstition except the Word of God. We are told to walk in Him, be rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith even as you have been taught (Colossians 2:6, 7). Jesus said, "I am the truth" (John 14:6) and whosoever shall know the truth, it shall make him/her free (John 8:32). Come to the truth today and be set free from the bondage of superstition! Be a biblical Christian, not a superstitious one! Amen.

S u p e r s t i t i o n
by Mike Bullock

Good morning Mr Magpie

Be careful of that cat

I’ll try to miss that ladder out

My horoscopes gone flat

If I don’t dress a certain way

Then all my luck runs out

Oh it really is a strain

Consumed by fear and doubt.


Should I really be a sponge

For all this superstition

Isn’t there a normal way

To gain a safe ambition

Jesus is your answer

He died to set you free

So throw your tarot in the bin

And tell old nick to flee.

Lovingly in Christ, Pastor Colin

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Life B-P Church Camp 2012
11-14 Jun 12 (Mon-Thu)

To register, please log in to http://www.lifebpc.com/churchcamp2012.htm for online registration.

Venue: Nirwana Resort Hotel, Bintan, Indonesia

Theme: ‘One in Christ, Unity in Diversity’.’

Speaker: Pastor Tan Soon Yong from Fishermen of Christ.

Registration forms are also available at the front entrance for those who have no internet access.

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1) "Faith’s Checkbook": Daily Devotional by C H Spurgeon, Vol 2 (Apr-Jun 2012). Now available at the front counter. The same devotions are available online at http://www.lifebpc.com/devotions.

Preaching appointment: Rev Seet at Maranatha BPC Men’s/Ladies F’ship, 1.30 pm. Rev Wong in Batam.

Vision & Mission

 

To build a united church family that is committed to making disciples through Salvation, Sanctification and Service, to the glory of God.

Verse for the Week

October 15 & 22 - The Cost of Discipleship

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. Matthew 16:25