Christian Training Center InternationalPosts

Is God Speaking to You through Dreams and Visions? What the Bible Really Says about Dreams

Is God Speaking to You through Dreams and Visions? What the Bible Really Says about Dreams

So what is the deal with dreams? Are they from God? Here is some insight from Hope Bolinger. Hope is a literary agent at C.Y.L.E. and a recent graduate of Taylor University’s professional writing program. Having dealt with chronic anxiety for five years, she understands the struggle of anxious thoughts. More than 350 of her works have been featured in various publications ranging from Writer’s Digest to Keys for Kids.

Dreams can sometimes fascinate believers. From the visions Daniel experienced in the Old Testament (Daniel 7) to Peter’s dream about clean and unclean animals (Acts 10:9-16) it seems as though dreams lace almost all the books of Scripture.

Even in the modern context, it seems as though many believers have come to Christ through seeing Jesus in a dream (see an article about such encounters here).

What are some examples of dreams throughout Scripture? What does the Bible have to say about dreams explicitly and does God still speak to us through dreams? And how much stock should Christians place in dreams today?

Read More Here:

Is God Speaking to You through Dreams and Visions? What the Bible Really Says about Dreams – Topical Studies



Cal’s Creative Corner

We are honored that Cal Huge is selling his photos to exclusively benefit the Christian Training Center International.

Take a visit to his Etsy store. A portion of the proceeds of each sale goes to the Christian Training Center International. The listings are only a small portion of the photos available and more will be added each week. If you have a specific request for scripture on any print or a particular subject that isn’t shown, email Cal through Etsy.

Learn more here.

The Importance (and Early Use) of Creeds

Creeds (formal statements of Christian belief) have fallen on hard times. Many Christians are uncomfortable with such objection proclamations of the exclusive Christian truth claims. J. Warner Wallace makes the case for their importance. J. Warner is a Dateline featured Cold-Case Detective, Senior Fellow at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, Adj. Professor of Christian Apologetics at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, author of Cold-Case ChristianityGod’s Crime Scene, and Forensic Faith, and creator of the Case Makers Academy for kids.

The Christian worldview has always been a “confessional” worldview. It has been grounded in the reliable record of eyewitnesses who confessed what they saw related to the person of Jesus Christ, advanced by believers who repeated the testimony of the apostles, and continues to flourish based on the confession of those who believe. Christian Scripture reiterates the importance of confessing the truth about God and the truth about Jesus:

Romans 10:9-10
That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

Hebrews 13:15-16
Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise-the fruit of lips that confess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

Hebrews 3:1
Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess.

Read more here:

The Importance (and Early Use) of Creeds | Cold Case Christianity

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Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships.  Programs share a sequential vision, building an understanding of relationships and family culture.  The foundation is an encounter with Jesus.  This encounter is the means for both insight and vision.  Encountering Jesus leads a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | — Sept 2 – Nov 9, 2019 | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. ow.ly/Nhag30oRYRK

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program — Oct 20 – Nov 2 | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. http://ow.ly/l5SU30oS5pQ

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Can religious experiences be reduced to brain activity?

Here is a great overview on religious experiences from Erik Manning. Erik was raised Catholic but had a very shallow understanding of the faith. He eventually became an atheist and remained one for several years. He eventually started doubting his doubts, and that led him into a journey for the truth. During that journey, the Holy Spirit got in his “bubble” and revealed himself to him in a real way.

Here’s my unpopular opinion: I actually like the argument from religious experience. As part of a cumulative case for God’s existence, I think it works. Spiritual experience is one of those things that should make people curious, at minimum. However, not everyone is a fan. This includes a lot of Christians, who find it too problematic. There are two common objections that critics raise against this argument that I want to dig into in this post.

To help me state these objections, I’m going to refer to a video made by prolific atheist YouTuber Drew McCoy, AKA Genetically Modified Skeptic. In less than 2 years, Drew’s channel has gained over 173K subscribers and over 13 million views.

Drew is an ex-Christian. He once believed he had several encounters with God, but later became skeptical of his experiences. Now Drew thinks that arguments from personal experience are about as persuasive as testimonies of healings from Essential Oils. Ouch. Is the argument from personal spiritual experiences really that flimsy?

Read More Here:

Can religious experiences be reduced to brain activity? What about religious experiences in other religions? A reply to Genetically Modified Skeptic – Is Jesus Alive?

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Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships.  Programs share a sequential vision, building an understanding of relationships and family culture.  The foundation is an encounter with Jesus.  This encounter is the means for both insight and vision.  Encountering Jesus leads a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | — Sept 2 – Nov 9, 2019 | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. ow.ly/Nhag30oRYRK

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program — Oct 20 – Nov 2 | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. http://ow.ly/l5SU30oS5pQ

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Is Judgement Always Forbidden?

Below is some great insight written by Jeremiah Johnson with Grace to Know ministry.



Love, don’t judge.

For many people in the church, that simple slogan has become the kneejerk defense in the face of criticism and confrontation. At some point, believers decided that careful discernment and agapē love are diametrically opposed; that judgment is always a threat to our unity in Christ. And with no regard for the quality or content of the exhortation, too many Christians speedily deploy Matthew 7:1 as an all-purpose, get-out-of-jail-free card: “Do not judge so that you will not be judged.”

Writing thirty years ago in his commentary on Matthew’s gospel, John MacArthur explained how that verse is routinely misapplied as a shield against confrontation and conflict in the church.

This passage has erroneously been used to suggest that believers should never evaluate or criticize anyone for anything. Our day hates absolutes, especially theological and moral absolutes, and such simplistic interpretation provides a convenient escape from confrontation. Members of modern society, including many professing Christians, tend to resist dogmatism and strong convictions about right and wrong. Many people prefer to speak of all-inclusive love, compromise, ecumenism, and unity. To the modern religious person those are the only “doctrines” worth defending, and they are the doctrines to which every conflicting doctrine must be sacrificed. [1]

In the intervening decades, the church’s appetite for criticism, conflict, and confrontation has only further diminished. And in that same time, the misunderstanding and misapplication of this verse and others like it (cf. Luke 6:37John 3:17) has taken root in the church, skewing its perspective on discipline and judgment, and insulating its people from rebuke and exhortation.

In fact, many in the church today behave as if confrontation and discerning judgment are forbidden. Any confrontation—whether it’s a question of personal holiness or doctrinal disagreement—is seen as prideful overstepping and an attack on the unity of God’s people. As John MacArthur explains,

In many circles, including some evangelical circles, those who hold to strong convictions and who speak up and confront society and the church are branded as violators of this command not to judge, and are seen as troublemakers or, at best, as controversial. [2]

But Matthew 7:1 has nothing to do with avoiding conflict in favor of unity, or ignoring doctrinal or moral error in the name of love. As with many of the abused verses we’ll examine in this series, a simple look at the context makes the original intent of Christ’s words abundantly clear.

Read more here:

Blog Post – Is Judgement Always Forbidden?



If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships.  Programs share a sequential vision, building an understanding of relationships and family culture.  The foundation is an encounter with Jesus.  This encounter is the means for both insight and vision.  Encountering Jesus leads a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | — Sept 2 – Nov 9, 2019 | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. ow.ly/Nhag30oRYRK

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program — Oct 20 – Nov 2 | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. http://ow.ly/l5SU30oS5pQ

Who Were the Women Who Followed Jesus? 

Hope Bolinger is a literary agent at C.Y.L.E. and a recent graduate of Taylor University’s professional writing program. Having dealt with chronic anxiety for five years, she understands the struggle of anxious thoughts. More than 350 of her works have been featured in various publications ranging from Writer’s Digest to Keys for Kids.

It may seem odd to spend an article discussing the women who followed Jesus during his ministry. However, readers must keep in mind ancient texts seldom spent a great deal of time mentioning females. When they did, they often did so in derogatory terms:

    • The Greek poet Hesiod warned against women, claiming a flattering woman just wants a man simply for his possessions (Theogony of Work and Days).
    • Aristotle viewed women as inferior to men when it came to leadership (Politics).
    • Statesman and orator Pericles said, “A woman’s reputation is highest when men say little about her, whether it be good or evil.” (Hipponax).

Readers can find a sampling of other statements said about women in ancient times here.

In a court of law, a women’s testimony would not have held up back then, and so the women first witnessing the resurrection would have made the story far less credible to the contemporary of that time.

Ancient views of women aside, the Gospels appear to spend a great deal of time on women, opposed to their textual counterparts. Who were these women who followed Jesus? What can we know about them individually? And what can we learn from them?

Read more here:

Who Were the Women Who Followed Jesus? – Topical Studies



If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships.  Programs share a sequential vision, building an understanding of relationships and family culture.  The foundation is an encounter with Jesus.  This encounter is the means for both insight and vision.  Encountering Jesus leads a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | — Sept 2 – Nov 9, 2019 | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. ow.ly/Nhag30oRYRK

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program — Oct 20 – Nov 2 | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. http://ow.ly/l5SU30oS5pQ

Is gentleness a mark and part of the character of a follower of Jesus?

Gentleness

Gentleness is a mark and a part of the character of a follower of Jesus. We know from Galatians 5:22 that gentleness is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.

How do others know I am following Jesus? They see my gentleness. Jesus himself, in His Manifesto, said “Happy are those who are gentle (meek) for they will inherit the earth.”

The Greek word is πραΰτης praëtēs, prah-oo´-tace meaning mildness, humility or meekness. Jesus himself said we would be happy if we are gentle.(meek). The benefit is we will inherit the earth.

The Deadly Deception of Sexual Atheism in the Church

Below is an article on The Deadly Deception of Sexual Atheism in the Church by Kenny Luck, founder of Every Man Ministries, men’s pastor at Saddleback Church, and ChristianMingle.com advisory board member, provides biblically oriented teaching and leadership for men and pastors seeking relevant, timely material that battle cultural, worldly concepts threatening men and God’s men. Go to everymanministries.com for more information.

The guy sitting across from me is a professing and practicing Christian. He drops by my office unannounced today to talk to me about his new online-dating life. Specifically, he wants to talk about the over willingness of Christian women he has encountered on several of his dates who want to jump right from a very public conversation and vanilla latte at Starbucks to very private whispers and physical exchanges between the sheets back at his place.

Usually this gender scenario is reversed, but the sex, love and dating landscape continues to move in a progressively liberal direction among Christians without any solid indicators that it will change anytime soon. Both genders today, across all ages and Christian demographics, are prone to compartmentalize their faith away from their sexual life.

While Christian singles report that praying and church attendance are highly desirable qualities in the dating matrix, a troubling and confusing dichotomy arises when the issue of sex before marriage presents itself. Specifically, single Christians enter a sexual fog. That fog clouds and hides the reality that an identity rooted in Christ should manifest itself in intelligent and hope-filled sexual restraint based on God’s promises and instead replaces it with fear and pride-filled choices based on some other promise they believe more.

Read More Here:

Charisma Magazine

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

 

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Why does Jesus want us to reign for our families?

Bill Eubank is a member of the Christian Training Center International Board of Directors. Bill has been involved with training center for 40 years and has a great perspective on our work.

Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God.

Throughout the year, we welcome individuals, couples, and families from around the world who are seeking to strengthen their relationships – with God, within their own families, and with their fellow believers.

Every session, individuals, couples, and families from around the world are transformed, healed, and renewed. Barriers to forgiveness, personal growth, and hope are overcome in a supportive and intimate environment.

Join us in this safe and holy place where painful and complex situations can be worked through – a place of hope and healing.

Learn more and register

Teaching topics include:

  • The Plan of God for Family
  • Duty vs Intimacy
  • Fatherhood
  • Communication
  • Covering
  • Resolving Conflict
  • Defeating Parenting Fears
  • Discipline
  • …and more!

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

 

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.