WHAT INFLUENCED YOU?

Stilleven-met-bijbel

ROMANS 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

I was Browsing through Facebook and came across this blog on Christian Bloggers about the 10 most influential people and books in Christianity. Not really sure how the list was made or tallied and it must have been people and books of this century but I figured the persons on the list at some time or another influenced or impacted somebody’s life and it got me to think who influenced me.

I decided to make my own list of people and books that have impacted or influenced me in not only my spiritual Christianity but in my everyday life in general.

Minus the first set people and the last book and person the list is in no particular order but more in the way of how they flew out of my brain. At the bottom I leave a list of the most absurd people that deserve not to influence anyone and in my opinion should be avoided.

People and books that have influenced or impacted me the most

My parents: I have to consider myself very blessed to have had mother and father that led me in the right direction to seek out God.

My parents gave me the foundation that established who and what I am today and where I go from here. Without my parents I wouldn’t be here today typing this up now, and probably would have had a very different world, one I would not be proud of. God bless all those parents that have given their children the truth.

Billy Graham: No matter what is being said or done in the last 40 years in Christianity whether it is good bad or controversial you can always count on the words and actions of Billy Graham. He is the gold standard when it comes to evangelical speakers, movers and shakers of the modern Christian world.

Graham’s message is simple “Salvation” in my opinion salvation is the most important part of Christianity. It is what binds us together whether you are Catholic, Baptists or Assembly of God salvation is what we all agree on and that has been Graham’s message from the beginning.

If you never got a chance to see and hear Mr. Graham speak live you really missed out on something special.

Gary North: Few will know this economics professor or even know he wrote the book entitled Unholy Spirits in my opinion the definitive guide to the occult and supernatural studies on a Christian perspective in the modern era of the 1970’s through the 2000’s.

Many Christian books of the occult or Biblical supernatural phenomenon have been written but none attack the subject in the way the reader now becomes responsible for knowing. I feel this is a must read for any seminary student and for anyone interested in intellectual conversation of the occult, liberal ideology and how both can combine and effectively change society.

North has written two books on this subject the first written in the 1970’s “None Dare Call it Witchcraft” and it was revised in the early 1980’s and retitled “Unholy Spirits”. Although the book is historically out of date on events that preceded the 1980’s mainly communism the concept and subject are as relevant today as they were in the 1980’s.

The book changed my view on how the occult and liberal ideology is approached and how I attack the subjects in written and in conversation.

Hollywood Vs. America: Written by Michael Medved known as a film critic later a conservative radio talk show host and also an orthodox Jew. The book Hollywood Vs. America showed me how the liberalization of Hollywood is corrupting America.

When I read this book in the 1990’s it had impacted my ideas and approach on how the media and entertainment in general can and is influencing society and why we as Christians and conservatives are responsible in doing something about it.

Maewyn Succat: Later known as Patrick you and I know him as St. Patrick. Most know little of St. Patrick and yes this man was a Saint and deserves the title.

St. Patrick was born around 375 AD and his life as a pastor and later a Bishop was in the 400 century AD. Most people just know that March 17th is a day to dress in green drink green beer and celebrate something they know nothing of.

St. Patrick at age 15 was kidnapped by Irish pirate and sold into slavery to pagans in Ireland. He was a Sheppard for 6 years before he escaped. In those 6 years St. Patrick who was raised in a Catholic Christian home considered himself more of a non believer but converted during his years as a slave. He credits God freeing him from slavery and protecting him as he escaped back to Britain.

St. Patrick then when to seminary school became a pastor and decided to return to Ireland to missionary to the same people that enslaved him. Folklore has St. Patrick driving out all the snakes from Ireland in which people know there are no snakes in Ireland but St. Patrick did not drive out the reptile snake but the pagan and druids whose symbol was of the snakes that St. Patrick converted to Christianity.

The fact a man could be stolen and placed in to slavery, escape, forgive his captives and go back to convert them is beyond what many would do. If you have never studied St. Patrick I highly recommend you do it might changed your idea of what March 17th should be about.

CRI Christian Research Institute: Not without some controversy both Hank Hanegraaff and the folks of CRI have built a great organization for people to find information on all things Christianity, Occult, religion and current events.

CRI has stood the test of time they are in my opinion are one of the best places to go for Biblical backed information on Christian doctrine, churches, men and women of God, cults and religions. If you can’t find what you are looking for then feel free to call or email they do respond well.

What I like about CRI is yes they can seem to be straight shooters and accused of judging at times but they back everything up scriptural. Most everything is backed by the word of God some information may be debate and opinion but those are mainly things that are always in debate and are not salvation issues but more of questions that can never truly be answered in definition.

The Bible answer man and CRI helped me personally understand religions other than Christianity and helped define Christian doctrines of today.

Patrick Madrid: If your Catholic or need Catholic based answers then Patrick Madrid is your man. Patrick use to head the Right Here Right Now radio show now done by Chris Aubert. Patrick is kind of the Catholic Bible Answer Man that fully backs every answer and statement with scripture and Biblical fact.

When I found his radio program one day while driving home I was hooked, a bit skeptical at first being protestant I quickly learned a Christian who is saved by grace in the Name of Jesus is a Christian it matters not if they are Baptist,  Catholic or Assembly of God. Patrick taught me not to fear Catholics or Catholic doctrine but to embrace their knowledge understand the doctrine and adapt it to mine for what I hope can be a better complete person.

J. Budziszewski: Budziszewski is one of the best on the authority of Natural Law and his book “What we can’t not know” is to one of the best guides written on Natural law. If you don’t know what natural law is your shorting yourself in knowledge and Budziszewski is long on knowledge so much so this book alone should be a required read for every seminary student.

I personally had no clue what natural law was until one day listening to Patrick Madrid radio program he mentioned it, being new to the Right Here Right Now show and again suspect of Catholic understanding I asked CRI to recommend a author on the subject of Natural Law and they recommended Budziszewski.

Thinking CRI would recommend a Protestant writer I was later to find out Budziszewski was born and raised as a Baptist and later converted over to Catholic. He told me personally when he was Baptist he looked more at the Catholic concepts of Christianity and now that he moved to Catholic he now looks at Protestants as having many ideas that are ahead of the Catholic concepts I guess a man of both worlds.

Natural law is my newest study and it has changed my life and ideas on how to approach Christianity. If you can read natural law and grasp it and trust me it can be hard to grasp, I’m still hanging on it will change your life and concepts of God. It won’t change God, his grace and salvation but the way you view how society has pulled away from the ideas of morality, and the way God has set up his love, morality, ethics and the way God expects us to live. The subject has made me better.

This is my list of people and books that have impacted my life personally I write these down in hopes you the reader can think and list your own books and or persons that impact or have impacted your life and if you lack any you might try and give these books or sites a read or a listen.

Ultimately God has to be the one that influences and impacts your life but sometimes we need other people or another set of eyes to put things into perspective.

Ones to avoid: The list is long so I’m just putting a few down that at this time are the most popular in our culture.

Rob Bell: Not only has he sold out to the Oprah doctrine he is currently leading people astray with remarks like “I think culture is already there and the church will continue to be even more irrelevant when it quotes letters from 2,000 years ago as their best defense, when you have in front of you flesh-and-blood people who are your brothers and sisters, and aunts and uncles, and co-workers and neighbors, and they love each other and just want to go through life with someone.”

The remark was from when Oprah asked if Bell thought Christians are ready to compromise with homosexuality, the letters from 2000 years ago are the letters of the saints, in the New Testament Bible basically Bell is saying Peter, Paul, Jude, James, John and Luke are irrelevant.

Bell has abandoned the Bible and has made a new doctrine of love yourself as you would want others to love you. Forget the saints of the New Testament is to say the Holy Spirit is irrelevant to today’s world. Don’t even get mixed up with this kind of talk stay away and seek God and a healthy church.

Oprah and OWN: Oprah and her doctrine are nothing short of social and spiritual poison, if you are looking for peace and inspiration try the Bible or a good healthy church.

Joel Osteen: God is not an ATM and you are not being punished for not having a million dollars. I’m not saying Joel is leading people from God but I am saying nothing the Osteen’s say is worth your time unless it’s a choice between Oprah, Rob Bell and Osteen I then would choose Osteen but first I think turning off the TV would be a better choice.

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