Beacon Apologetics Is On Facebook!

Please come and join in on the discussion on Facebook. It is a closed group and the only reason it is, is to weed out the spam and nonsense feeds that come our way. We have some very well known Christian Apologists as well as armchair Apologists such as myself there. We do not discriminate on who joins as a healthy discussion is always welcomed!

Please feel free to come by and visit!

God Bless

Brian Mason

https://www.facebook.com/groups/beaconapologetics/

The Dangers of Zen Buddhism

To continue from my past article “Is Buddhism Satanic?” I would now like to write about and warn Christians of the practice of Zen Buddhism.

In the West, Zen Buddhism wasn’t popular until the mid 1950’s.
The main discipline is called “zazen”, and it literally means “to sit in meditation”. In this state of meditation the practitioner looks to remove the “self” and thus becoming one with the “conscious universe”. Chanting and getting into a trance-like state with breathing techniques and body positions are utilized to “release the mind” from thought and with this attain complete emptiness. The purpose of all this is to reach what they coin “enlightenment”. This so-called enlightenment is the key to removing a zenist’s identity and reaching the doorway to Nirvana. I want to make a strong statement and warning at this point; the practice of centering meditation/prayers, altered states of consciousness etc. can open you up to demonic oppression! Read Ephesians 6: 10-13:

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.

The complete enlightenment happens after a series of “koans” (a riddle) in chant form they achieve an altered reality, that is, the universe becomes an interdependent whole, and each person is that whole. Are you with me so far?

Strangely the zenist wants to remove the self and become one with the conscious universe achieving a state of absolute emptiness. Back again to Ephesians 6: 10-13! Re-read if necessary.

What is a Christian to make of all this? Well to begin with it is not Biblical as the “self” is not the focal point of the Christian Faith; our focus is on the Creator of the universe. We live to Glorify Him and not the self-departing on a wild ride of altered states! Our renewing comes from the filling of The Holy Spirit, which ultimately changes the game drastically and renews the heart, mind and soul through regeneration. We know that the only way to the Father is through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. He died on the cross, taking away the sins of the believers, arose after three days from the tomb, walked among believers and unbelievers for forty days and then ascended to Heaven in Body with the scars of the crucifixion to be at the right hand of his Father.

This practice of Zen Buddhism is not of our Lord and Savior. I implore you to pray for the followers of Zen Buddhism and Buddhism in general as it is idolatrous and opens up the follower to the demonic realm.

Acts 4: 30-31:

30 while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.” 31 And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.

God Bless

Brian Mason

What Are The “Spiritual Gifts” and Do We Still Have Them?

Spiritual Gifts are the gifts given to a member of the Body of Christ and would include the gifts of; teaching, leadership, prophecy, healing and preaching as well as a few more. The Apostle Paul said told us that we must exercise that gift that you have been given. 1 Corinthians 12: 7-11;

7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

You may not know what your “gift” is and it may take a lot of living and life experiences to determine your gift. There are two perspectives with the belief or non-belief of having these said gifts;

The Argument AGAINST Spiritual Gifts:

We don’t need the gifts anymore as the main point of having gifts was that they were instrumental building blocks in the construction of the body of Christ.

The argument SUPPORTING the continuation of the Spiritual Gifts:
We still require the gifts of administration, teaching and leadership to maintain the body of Christ for its perpetuation.

Tongue Speaking:

This seems to be the gift that is most controversial not only with the unbeliever but also the believer. Speaking in tongues is also known as “speaking an unknown language” and is only found in the New Testament. Some of the controversy is sparked as some believe you are required to speak in tongues as a sign of Salvation, this is not true. It is not true as gifts are “spread out” among believers and no one gift is any more important than another. Read 1 Corinthians 12: 27-31

27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 31 Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.

I believe that we still have the gifts. Whatever gift you believe you have, and it is likely the thing you do best, exercise that gift and pray for guidance to exercise that gift to Glorify God! As all we do is from Him and for Him!

God Bless

Brian Mason

Joseph, Husband of Mary; the Quintessential Husband!

When reading Matthew the first book of the Gospels one cannot possibly think of Joseph, Mary’s Husband as nothing but virtuous. As we read in verse 1: 18,

18 The birth of Jesus Christ came about this way: After His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, it was discovered before they came together that she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit.

Notice the word “betrothed”; this was a known as a “binding”, the same as a modern marriage. So in other words it was discovered that Mary was pregnant before they “came together” aka “consummated”.
What a shock this was for them obviously as death by stoning was the punishment for this sort of adultery! We go on to read;

Matthew 1: 19, 19 So her husband Joseph, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her publicly, decided to send her away secretly.

“Righteous” means in this case that he was also merciful and followed the Hebrew Laws to the letter. “Sending her away” meant to divorce her thus sparing her from disgrace. However before this was allowed to happen Joseph was visited in a dream by an Angel of God, as indicated by the next two verses;

Matthew 1: 20-21 20 But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.21 She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

There is no scripture following that ever suggests that Joseph doubted Mary or the Angel of God! Not only was there no doubt, he obeyed the Angel and went ahead with plans of marrying her! He then took her as his wife and did not have sexual relations with her until after Jesus was born (as a result Mary bore more children to Joseph, something the Roman Catholics disagree with). In Rabbinic tradition much later Mary was charged with adultery, however the fact that Joseph married her would indicate he did not believe this to be true.

God Bless

Brian Mason

Are you an “Invisible Christian”?

Whenever I talk to people about Faith and Religion I often have a hard time distinguishing what faith they actually believe? Some will identify with a faith (and I hate to say this), because it is fashionable such as the so-called “New Agers” do. Or it can be a “convenience” factor, so as it does not get in the way of their everyday lives. And the strangest belief that I think I have come across is a form of a “just in case” belief…just in case God exists they want to be safe from a one way ticket to Hell. They live their lives as if God does not exist, but in the back of their mind he just might. Very disingenuous to be sure!

Maybe you have heard of the statement “Christian Walk”? There is a very good website worth checking out called http://www.bible-knowledge.com and on it I found a good article on “The Basis of the Christian Walk” The article published an even number of specific requirements that will help you on your personal walk with God. I will share with you in paraphrase:

1. “The Full Surrender”
– You must completely surrender your life over to God the Father. Jesus must become Lord over your life!

2. Become “Spirit Filled”
– You need to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
– Only through “Faith and Belief” will this be allowed to happen. Not just “Theological knowledge”

3. Establish “Faith and Trust in God”
– After you receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit the next step is to establish Faith and Trust in God. A small amount will do at first. Just look at the Parable of the Mustard Seed.

4. Walk in ALL of God’s Ways
– Read the Bible! If you want to play a sport you have to learn all the basics and rules before playing, correct?
– You must also develop a good and healthy “Fear of the Lord”, a reverent healthy respect for God!
– It is God that wants you to have an intimate relationship with you!

6. Develop a Strong Prayer Life
– Remember not to pray in vain repetition or thoughtless prayer – you are speaking to God! Would you like it if someone kept repeating the same thing over and over? Prayer is a communication with God, not a work based repetition.
– Pray from your heart.

7. Enter into a True Sanctification Process with the Lord
– We have been saved the work done by the Blood of Jesus on the Cross in Calvary! God wants to transform us by a “renewing of our minds”.
– God is the Potter, we are the Clay!

8. Seek after the Knowledge of God
– The main source is the Bible
– The second source is Books. There is many good books to choose from to “feed” you
– TV/Radio/Podcasts. I would highly recommend the sermons of Dr. Michael Youssef @ http://www.leadingtheway.org

9. Establish “Fellowship” with other Christians
– You will find them as God presents them to you. You must be careful on the people that you connect with. Basically you will feed and share best with other Christians of equal yolk.

10. Join a good “Spirit Filled Church”
– Ask God through prayer to lead you to a Church that he would like you to join

So in summary, “Are you an Invisible Christian”? You will not be if you follow these ten steps above I guarantee it! You will have a great “Walk” and “Personal Relationship” with Jesus. You cannot help but become “Visible”, especially with Jesus our Lord!

Amen!

Brian Mason