The Ballestero Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘Compromise

Boycott Trashy Gumbo

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“If There’s Anything I Can’t Stand, It’s Trashy Gumbo!”

I love pretty much everything about the South. I’m neither a Southerner nor a Cajun Chef, but I do have taste buds that seldom lie. Before I married at the age of twenty-one, I’d already lived in twenty-two houses and attended twenty-six schools. So, I’ve gotten to see all of America growing up. It feels like I’ve lived everywhere, but most of my life has been spent in Indiana, so that feels most like home. It certainly is a non-gumbo state.

Since the beginning of my ministry, I have preached mainly in the South. Everyone there considers me a Yankee, even though I am a Westerner by birth. That being said, since I know I how to say, ya’ll and you guys, I somehow must be bi-lingual.

For the benefit of my non-southern friends, the folks down in Cajun Country are very particular about their Gumbo. They don’t freely call someone’s chicken and sausage soup, a Gumbo. Family recipes are treasured and protected. The Seafood Restaurants that serve great Gumbo will always have full parking lots.

I’ve eaten Gumbo with light rue, dark rue, and very dark rue. There are some Gumbos so thin that one could almost read a newspaper at the bottom of the bowl. I even eat my Gumbo with a scoop of hot potato salad and a boiled egg in it. My family really loves good Gumbo. Our cupboard always has some Tony’s, Cajun hot sauce and Creole seasoning in it too.

I have often been treated to what in my mind is the World’s finest Gumbo. But I didn’t start out eating good Gumbo. I preached a revival in rural Louisiana in the early sixties and the poor pastor and his wife made me my first taste of what they said was Gumbo. I ate it, not knowing if it was good or bad.

My teaching at home was to eat what was set before me, so I did. They told me after the dishes were done that it was ‘possum gumbo. My stomach had a board meeting that night to decide whether to keep the possum down or let it go free. It stayed, much to my disappointment.

Catching Southerners in candid moments when they are talking about someone else’s cooking is always memorable. I recently heard a dear southern friend confide to me, “If there’s anything I can’t stand, it’s trashy gumbo.” They really meant it too.

I’ve eaten ‘good Yankee Gumbo’ and good ‘Cajun Gumbo’ and I love it when I can get it. I’ve eaten stuff passed off as Gumbo and felt the need to pray for strength to get it all down. If gumbo tastes trashy, I may not even get through the first bowl.

Trashy Gumbo? Well, yes! You see, all the cooks have at their disposal the right ingredients, but the way bad cooks put it all together leaves a horrible distaste in the mouth of those who know the difference between good gumbo and trashy.

  • No table guest in the South is prepared to suck his or her gumbo up through a straw because it got watered down so much in the kitchen.
  • There’s some cooks make Gumbo so hot that no one can eat it without getting heartburn.
  • Others use meat so sparingly you wonder why they even bothered.
  • Then there’s some Gumbo that make’s me wonder if my old possum had any kin folks that made it over into my Gumbo again.

When It Comes To Doctrine And The Important Things Of God, Apostolic Preachers Have The Right Ingredients.

 

If There’s Anything I Can’t Stand, It’s Trashy Gumbo.

 

Brother Ballestero, Are You Talking Gumbo Or Church?

I’m Talking Mainly About Church.

Some folks may feel like they are actually being fed when they hear a watered down message, or one with no meat, no doctrine or substance. Then there are some that love it so hot that everyone gets burnt.

But, I still love it when the preacher gets up to preach and pulls out the old Apostolic Family Recipe and feeds the flock as though it was the Lord Himself who prepared the meal. It ‘s always nourishing and tastes just right!

My advice for today is:

Boycott Trashy Gumbo!

 

Boycott2

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

July 14, 2015 at 5:16 pm

Whatever Happened To Carefulness?

with 28 comments

Whatever Happened To Carefulness?

Modern Pentecostalism, as a whole, seems to enjoy flaunting its perceived new liberties in the face of all caution. To them who have lived their whole lives in spiritual carefulness before God, this mindset is repulsive, dangerous and scary.

Why Does One Generation Feel Freer And Less Cautious Than Another?

  • Are they more enlightened in the Word?
  • Is this a New Day in the Kingdom of God?
  • Has God waited nearly 2,000 years to remove every Biblical principle and restriction?
  • Why are things considered right today that were wrong yesterday?
  • Are they backslidden in heart?
  • Why is there an absence of Holiness and things HOLY among those who profess the HOLY Ghost?

There is a horrible price to pay if what our forefathers said is right. Old school preachers said things like: “When you lose your revelation of Holiness, it won’t be long before you lose your revelation of the Oneness of the Godhead.” That dear reader is a very fearful thing.

It appears as if the spirit of the age is one that wants to see how much one can do and still feel saved and justified.

Too many church folks have been influenced by the style and fads of this present world.  Sadly, whatever the new style of the world is on display, it soon will be seen in some churches. It quickly appears in:

·      Men’s clothing

·      Men’s hairstyles

·      Men’s facial hair

·      Women’s clothing

·      Women’s hairstyles

·      And even makeup

  1. Can anyone else remember when it was uncommon to see Pentecostal women wearing form-fitting and revealing attire?
  2. Can anyone else remember new converts changing how they dressed and lived soon after they got saved?
  3. Can anyone else remember when makeup was not acceptable?
  4. Can anyone else remember when women considered long hair their glory?
  5. Can anyone else remember when men didn’t dress in a manner that questioned their masculinity?
  6. Can anyone else remember the day when Consecration services were not uncommon?
  7. Can anyone else remember when no one who claimed to be in church wanted to look like or dress like they were in the world?
  8. Can anyone else remember when there was an absence of facial hair on the men that were in the church?
  9. Can anyone else remember when no one heard of young girls kissing other young girls?
  10. Can anyone else remember when the saints lived their lives carefully, lest they displease the Lord?
  11. Can anyone else remember when saints were not addicted to prescription drugs?
  12. Can anyone else remember when TV was a bad word?
  13. Can anyone else remember when saints didn’t go to movies?
  14. Can anyone else remember when jewelry was not seen on church folks?
  15. Can anyone else remember when church services times were not scheduled around a Super Bowl Sunday?
  16. Can anyone else remember saints being careful about what they read, what they listened to, where they went and whom they went with?
  17. Can anyone else remember when folks repented to each other and before God because they wanted to be saved?
  18. Can anyone else remember hearing sermons on Hell and Judgment?

·      What changed?

·      Did God change?

·      If God changed, not everyone got the memo.

Carefulness Is Produced By Repentance.

That’s The First Thing True Repentance Does. It Makes You Careful.

2 Corinthians 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

2 Corinthians 7:11 For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

  1. Too many are not careful about giving God the tithe of their increase.
  2. Too many are not careful to manifest the Fruits of the Spirit.
  3. Too many are not careful about what they say, or whom they say it to.
  4. Too many are not careful about what comes into their homes.
  5. Too many are not careful to honor their parents.
  6. Too many are not careful to honor their pastor.
  7. Too many are not careful about their attendance to the House of God.
  8. Too many are not careful about their attitude.
  9. Too many are not careful to keep their marriage vows.
  10. Too many are not careful about their friend’s negative influences.
  11. Too many are not careful about where they allow themselves to go visit.
  12. Too many are not careful about the necessity of the Acts 2:38 Doctrine.

 

Sadly, We Have Gone From Carefulness To Carelessness.

I will have to answer to God some day. So, when I read verses such as these I feel cautioned to be careful.

Hebrews 2:1 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.

Ephesians 5:15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

1 Timothy 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them:

The Holy Spirit Warns Us All About The World’s Influence Upon The Church.

1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

2 Peter 3:1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:

2 Peter 3:2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:

2 Peter 3:3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,

I am sure most will continue to do as they please and feel very justified. That will be between you and the Lord on Judgment Day.

As For Me, I Choose To Finish My Days Walking Before The Lord As Carefully As I Can.

Oh, by the way, are you doing your best to be careful in your walk with God? If not, please join me.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

January 31, 2014 at 11:40 pm

Throwing Electronic Eggs And Cyber Tomatoes

with 15 comments

Throwing Rotten Electronic Eggs And Cyber Tomatoes

Some of us have lived long enough to remember moments of light persecution to some of our churches in America. I’m not talking about the level of persecution the early church experienced during the days of the apostles. I’m referring to basic hatred and expressions of animosity against the church seen in our lifetime.  Maybe some of it was even done in ignorance, but some of it was not.

I have been in services where rotten eggs and tomatoes were thrown at the church building and cars. Brother Hoy Holcomb in Christ Temple Church in South Bend, Indiana got hit on the head with a big rock thrown through the window by neighborhood teens that hated Pentecost. It was bad and very bloody.

I preached a tent revival in Hemphill, Texas in 1964 and sinners came during the night and sprayed acid all over the canvas so that there was nothing but shreds of canvas hanging from the ropes. They had thrown tomatoes and eggs on the cars during the service as well.

Most all of us have heard stories of what Pentecostal pioneers went through in the last century. An encouraging note is that the work of Jesus Christ has always continued to thrive and grow under such persecution.

There are not too many current reports of attacks on the church anymore. Oh, occasionally some sinner kids spin their tires in the parking lots or do some other acts of stupidity. But by-in-large, Pentecostal worship is becoming more and more accepted by the outside world.

Nevertheless eggs and tomatoes are still being thrown. The ones thrown today are mostly “electronic eggs and cyber tomatoes,” as my friend Pastor Jerry Rowley Jr. says.

The people throwing them are not members of another denomination. The throwers are mainly Pentecostal backsliders and holiness rejecters. They throw them because they are mad. They evidently feel a need to trash truth so they can feel justified for leaving it.

They don’t want the Bible telling them how to live or dress, and they sure don’t want a man of God to preach or write anything that touches any area of their life.

They’ve refused to submit to the Word of God. They’ve refused to submit to the man of God. And many of the women have refused to submit to their own husbands.

These evidently are some of the silly women that got ‘led away captive’ that the Bible talks about in 2 Tim. 3:6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,

The electronic egg and cyber tomato throwers are the same people who once talked in tongues and dressed godly but have now been turned over to a reprobate mind. They no longer believe the Holy Ghost is necessary and they dress like they’ve never been inside of an Apostolic church in their life. They now throw cyber tomatoes at anyone who still lives what the Book requires.

They once were numbered with the holiness crowd, now they make mockery of all those that still walk holy and humbly before God. It’s unbelievable! They feel no shame, and they cannot blush.

These little modern-day Jezebel’s with painted faces get on their Facebook pages and rail on anyone else that calls their hand. They don’t have it in themselves to say anything to your face when they see you in person. They are only brave when the get in front of their computer screens at home.

They wish to appear to others as a spiritual giant of some kind. They are very sure they know more than their former pastor. They seem to think they know more about Bible interpretation than anyone else. Their comments make everyone think that they alone are right and everyone in the church they’ve left is wrong and unenlightened.

That’s when their true spirit surfaces. How dare any one tell them they are wrong! They reject anyone who calls a spade a spade. How dare a preacher say black is black, and white is white. How dare he say something is actually wrong. He is being mean when he calls sin a sin. He is harsh if he enforces a standard.

These cyber tomato throwers write about good movies they went to see. They try to give presents of jewelry to the folks still in church. They show off their bathing suits and slacks. They dye their hair purple and act like everyone else has a problem. They can’t cry and worship like they once did because it would smear their makeup.

They are proud of their new tattoos and want you to see them. They are not ashamed. They are proud of their deliverance from bondage, as they call it. The guys can’t wait to show off their new facial hair.

They make jabs at holiness every chance they get. If a young lady dresses godly, they call her a grandma.

One prayerful and modest dressing young woman I know was referred to as “Virgin Mary” because she didn’t wish to be included in their carnal activities.

I am tired of listening to their justifications. I don’t wish to debate with a deluded mind. The Bible says for me not to even eat with them and I won’t.

I can’t tell you that I have ever seen anyone go charismatic and come back repentant or get restored. I am not saying it can’t happen, I am saying I haven’t seen it. No wonder the Bible says, after the second admonition… reject.

Do you know who comments on these rotten egg thrower’s posts and then helps toss electronic eggs? Other backsliders. They won’t call themselves backsliders because they attend a church.

It’s a compromising church with a backslidden pastor that lets them live like they want and dress just like the world. They have a hireling for a pastor and they love it like that. But in their mind, it’s a church.

Their Facebook pages wouldn’t look any different if they were members of a Methodist or Presbyterian Church. What a sham and reproach! The sad thing is, they still feel saved. God has turned them over to a reprobate mind.

They are not content to just go away. They are not content to avoid holiness preachers in the mall. They are not content to be classified as truth rejecters. They have to turn around and throw their rotten cyber tomatoes at those that are still living a life separated unto Him. It helps them feel justified in doing what they are doing. It really makes them feel good.

What about all the folks that love to connect with these egg throwers? At General Conferences, some get real buddy-buddy with them. They wine and dine them. Some even connect with them on Facebook and send sweet messages back and forth. Their Inbox stays busy. But they are not the same people they were years ago.

You are not going to change them. They just might change you. Go ahead, laugh with them, chit-chat and watch as they continue to throw electronic eggs and cyber tomatoes at the good guys. You are setting your self up to be one of them if you are not careful. That spirit will get off on you if you keep hanging around them. Run, don’t walk. Get away from them. They are tools of Satan. You will be to, if you are not careful.

I’m afraid for some the final chapter of ‘throwing’ has not yet begun. If God’s Word is still true, He is going to do some throwing Himself in ‘that’ day when He throws some into a lake a fire.

2Pet. 2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

2Pet. 2:10 but chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.

2Pet. 2:11 Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.

2Pet. 2:12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;

2Pet. 2:13 And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;

2Pet. 2:14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:

2Pet. 2:15 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;

2Pet. 2:16 But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.

2Pet. 2:17 These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.

Remember this when the electronic rotten eggs and the cyber tomatoes start flying. They haven’t rejected us as saints or as preachers, they have rejected Him. The horrible truth will be declared in the Judgment when they finally realize God has rejected them.

The Message Has Never Changed. It’s Still… Holiness Or Hell.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

May 25, 2011 at 8:50 am

My Grandfather Was An Idiot! My Dad Was Crazy Too!

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My Grandfather Was An Idiot! My Dad Was Crazy Too!

“My grandpa was old school. His ways may have worked back in the 60’s, but this is a new day! They won’t work now. Gramps was sincere and I love him, but bless his heart he didn’t do it right. Since he is gone, and now that I’m the pastor, I’ve had to make changes that will reach my generation. Grandpa’s ways just won’t work today. This is a new day!”

That’s what he said. He laughed and openly made fun of his grandfather as he talked to me about the old-time Pentecostal church services ‘back in the day.’

I knew his grandfather. I’d even preached for him. My father knew his grandfather and preached for him too. Yes, he might have done things different according to the grandson’s ‘enlightened’ thinking, but he still had over 700 in Sunday School having church the old-time way.

(You and I aren’t the finally judges of things, I know. But why can’t some people see what is so obvious and apparent to the rest. It’s seems simple when you do the doctrinal math.)

Grandpa’s “Old Time Pentecostal” Type Leadership Was,

  • Preaching “Holiness” and naming sin.
  • Preaching “Modesty in dress”.
  • Preaching “Separation from the world”
  • Preaching “Standards”.
  • Preaching “The essentially of Acts 2:38 experience.
  • Preaching “You must repent!”
  • Preaching “You must be baptized in Jesus Name!”
  • Preaching “You must be filled with the Holy Ghost speaking with other tongues!”

Because Of What He Preached, Grandpa Had Over 700 In Church Membership.

The Grandson’s “Emergent Church” Type Leadership is,

  • No “Standards” preaching.
  • No “Holiness” preaching or naming of sin.
  • No “Modesty” preaching.
  • No “Requirements for Salvation except Believe” Holy Ghost = optional.

With All His ‘Progressiveness’ He Only Has 40 In Membership.

The bulk of the saints scattered when the grandson tore down what the grandfather had built. Yet in the grandson’s blindness, he still thinks his grandpa was an idiot for preaching the old-time Pentecostal ways. And he still thinks his grandfather did it all wrong. Even though most of the saints have left, he still rejects everything that is, and everything that looks Apostolic.

Nevertheless, Grandpa Was Right!

†††

 

A Son’s “Enlightened” Pastoral Style

His father pastored a revival church. A growing church, but he got old and retired.  The people wanted his son to be their new pastor.

Today, all evidence the father’s holiness preaching has been removed.  What once was a Pentecostal showcase in the area and made true Pentecostals smile, now only makes them shake their head in dismay.

The difference is unbelievable and unacceptable to all of the senior saints. Even ministers that grew up in the church, no longer want to go back even for a visit. They now would never consider taking members from their own congregation over for a visit. The church is so shockingly different; it is even shunned by many liberals.

The choir members look just like the sinners they are singing to. All standards have disappeared.

To top things off, the son dangles a weekly retirement check over his aged father’s head in an effort to keep his dad silent. He cannot afford to ever let his father preach again. It’s a shame to see the old man of God treated with such disrespect.

He believes his dad’s doctrinal preaching of the new birth was unnecessary. He also believes preaching about any kind of dress standard is unnecessary too.

The church is not growing, but the son would rather have the smaller church and be free of standards. So, he is happy because his wife is happy. They are free at last.

Nevertheless, Dad Was Right!

†††


I don’t expect one compromiser or hater of holiness to change because of my post today. But I would like to remind my readers of an old scripture.

It’s A Promise And It’s A Prophecy!

1Cor. 3:13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

There’s coming a day…

Written by Martyn Ballestero

April 26, 2011 at 1:04 am

Pardon Me!

with one comment

Pardon Me

Naaman stood before the Prophet Elisha a healed man. His dignity had been restored. He had a new lease on life. His death sentence had been lifted. He could now proceed in life with unlimited possibilities.

He was not an Israelite. His family had always been idolaters and heathens. Yet this man in front of him had come up with the magic formula for his healing. His leprosy was gone. Not only was the disease gone, but his skin now looked like baby skin. That was an additional miracle. This Prophet was truly a man of God.

Naaman felt a duty to be respectful of the God of Israel. He didn’t know what the response was going to be.

Naaman’s King, King Benhadad was a little feeble and getting up in years. The King had been very kind to him. He also depended on Naaman very much.  Not only was Naaman the King’s friend, he went with the King to worship in the House of Rimmon, because the king had a hard time kneeling and getting back up.

2Kings 5:18 In this thing the LORD pardon thy servant, that when my master goeth into the house of Rimmon to worship there, and he leaneth on my hand, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon: when I bow down myself in the house of Rimmon, the LORD pardon thy servant in this thing.

  • “I know that this is something I’m not supposed to do, but would it be OK ?”
  • “Could you make an exception for me?”
  • “I have some mitigating circumstances.”
  • “I’m grateful for my miracle, but I’m under a lot of pressure from my boss.”
  • “I believe what I have experienced was real, but I still want to go to my old church.”
  • “I’m going to need an indulgence.”

Conviction began to grip the heart of Naaman. He was talking to Jehovah’s Prophet. Naaman wanted to do right, but just had a hard time letting go of his old life style.

He couldn’t easily disconnect. The pressure to convert to Judaism was great. The pressure to not displease his King was great. He was torn. What do I do? How can I get through this? In his mind the only ‘out’ was to ask permission and that’s what he did. It looked like he had half-hearted faith.

Although this first happened thousands of years ago, it’s still happening in many churches around the world today.

Old and young alike that have been filled with the Holy Ghost and delivered from sin, have been known to ask for exceptions.

  • “Pastor, is it OK if I do this?
  • Pastor is it OK if I go over there?
  • I know what you preached, but let me explain my situation.

As a pastor, it often seemed that most people who came to my office and asked, “Is it OK if I do this or that,” were somehow asking how much they could get away with and still be saved.

That may have been an over-reach on my part, but the fact remains there will always be a struggle in the heart of flesh. A choice must be made in serving either God or Mammon. We can’t do both.

Fall in love with Jesus, and let go of the world. The most miserable people in church are those that are half in and half out.

Written by Martyn Ballestero

January 13, 2011 at 11:32 am