July 22, 2008

Book Review

The Power of Kingdom Living by Bill Gothard

I am not sure where I got this book from. It odes not have an ISBN ID but can be ordered from the Institute in Basic Life Principles.

This is a short book, only 78 pages. Each chapter focuses on one aspect of the Kingdom of God. The final chapter pulls all of the material together.

I cannot recommend this book to the new or young Christian. They will find it confusing and leading them down a potentially damaging path. To me, the author appears to twist words of scripture to conform to what his view of the Kingdom of God is like.

Here are some of the statements the author makes, with my brief commentary.

“Key Points”

  1. “All power has been given to the Lord Jesus Christ.” – True
  2. “ Satan was given power to deceive nations.” – A better wording would be, Satan was given power and he uses it to deceive nations.
  3. “Every believer is under Satan’s attack.” – True
  4. “God has provided His Kingdom as our refuge.” – True
  5. “God’s present Kingdom is within us.” – True (in our hearts).
  6. “There is great power available in God’s Kingdom.” – True (God’s power is greater than Satan’s)
  7. “Satan fights desperately to steal this message.” – Absolutely
  8. “With Kingdom authority we can disable Satan.” – This is where the book starts to go wrong.

The author discusses the power of binding and loosing and quote Matthew 18:15-18 to prove his point. However, he is taking the concept of binding and loosing out of context which is regarding church discipline in this case.

The author then says people of the Kingdom of God need to “develop the skill of using the Sword of the Spirit.” The sword of the spirit is the word of God.

This is were the author goes totally bonkers (to use an academic term). According to the author the word “word” is a translation of the Greek word “rehema.” This apparently defines 49 commands of Christ, which are the laws of the Kingdom. We are to use these rhemas to bind Satan and loose his captives.

According to the author, we cannot use just any rhemas, we must us the precise rhema for the situation. We also need to pray in the name of Jesus to use His commands for the basis of our prayers. This is how we bind Satan and loose his captives.

Of course, according to the author, “the most effective place to carry on Kingdom combat is before the throne of grace. Then with the precise rhema, we are able to say to Satan ‘In the might name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and through His victorious blood, we say to you, flee from this person, because it is written…’”

After we disable Satan, we can then deal with the person by praying “Would You send your Holy Spirit to convict this person and five him grace and faith to be delivered from this bondage.”

As you can see it gets a little bizarre. Here are four of the 49 names of Jesus, their corresponding commands and qualities.

Name – Command – Quality
I am Jesus, Emmanuel – Repent – Humility
I am thy Creator and Redeemer – Go the second mile – deference
I am the Great High Priest – Love your enemies – creativity
I am the Vine – Practice secret disciplines – faith

There are 45 more, some just as strange.

Again, I cannot recommend this book to really anyone. From reading this book, I also would be cautious of any material from Bill Gothard or the Institute in Basic Life Principles. Maybe I am wrong and completely missed the point. If so, let me know by leaving a comment.

Next book:
Back to the well known John MacArthur, “God’s High Calling For Women.” A study of 1 Timothy 2:9-15.

July 07, 2008

08-09 PA State Budget

The Pennsylvania State Budget for July 1st, 2008 through June 30th, 2009 was passed on July 4th, 2008. A few days late as usual. However, all of the other State funded organizations needed to have their budgets adopted before July 1st. This includes school districts. The Rendell Administration is putting a nice spin on it as usual.

One of the quotes is “No increase in taxes”.

No increase in taxes? Sounds great, but wait. I just read in the paper last week that my school taxes will indeed increase by 3.1 mills or about 4%. So I guess there are tax increases. What’s the problem? I’ll tell you.

The Penns Manor Area School District (like all school districts) needed to have their budget adopted before July 1st. School districts around the area were led to believe they were getting an increase of only 1.5%, instead of around the 3% they normally get. Therefore, to cover the shortfall many school districts raised their tax rate.

Now, since the state budget was passed, the school districts find out they are getting 3% instead of the projected 1.5%. So the schools raised their taxes AND are getting more money from the state. Here is how the numbers work out for Penns Manor.

One mill of taxes at Penns Manor generates about $24,411, so an increase of 3.1 mills should generate about $75,674. Penns Manor was expecting about a $103,000 increase in their state basic education funding. Instead they will get an increase of about $206,000 from the state, plus another $75,674 they raised in taxes! That is a difference of about $27,300. Therefore, based upon this data, it is technically possibly that Penns Manor could have actually LOWERED school taxes this year by 1 mill instead of raising it 3.1 mills!

But that won’t happen. We need another way to finance things in PA. Property taxes are not the answer. Ed Rendell does not have the answer. We cannot increase spending each year without increasing taxes and/or borrowing money. Increasing taxes hurt the current economy while increasing borrowing hurts the future economy. Neither is a viable option.

The state (along with the federal and local governments) needs to decrease spending and focus on growing the economy. Heavily taxed economies cannot grow.

Get with the program Ed! But what does he care, he will be out of office soon enough, leaving Pennsylvania a big giant mess. Somehow, though, he will walk away with a nice spin on his administration.