Monday, September 28, 2015

UPDATED: Lists of false (Christian) authors, churches, groups, leaders, practices, movement, teachers, etc.

by Al Sabado

Few days ago someone from a Baptist church wrote to me expressing his "concern" about my blog posts on non-church attendance. He said he wouldn’t contact me again because it seemed I’ve made up my mind not to attend church (and probably because I didn’t signify my interest attending his church here in the Philippines). He said he once left the Baptist Church, but returned to it when he was convicted. He admitted, however, that the Baptist Church has its flaws in that it claims to be the Bride of Christ, meaning the rest (other denominations) are doomed. But is that something new, when every denomination out there has similar (false) claims?

Nothing can separate a believer from the love of God. I no longer find the man’s message surprising because that isn’t the first time someone became "that" concerned, to the point of telling me I’m not worshipping God’s way. I responded briefly to his message saying I regret he has judged my way of worship as not God’s way. But I clarified that I’m a firm believer and that nothing can separate me from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39). I'm saved by God's grace alone through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Then he wrote me back. Now that surprised me, because he said he wouldn’t contact me again. He clarified he wasn’t judging me and that he wrote to me because of the verse I’ve quoted, which says,
But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. (1 John 2:27)
He ended his message by saying, “you tell your readers there is no need to belong to a church, that is not what the Word of God teaches.”

But God is not any graven image and He doesn’t dwell in churches made with hands. I didn’t respond anymore to the man’s message because I can tell we’re not on the same page. The verse I quoted came from God’s Word in the Holy Bible, not from me. If anyone thinks the verse is irrelevant to one’s church attendance, then please read the entire Bible and see if God tells us to seek membership in any man-made church so that we can "possibly" abide in Him. God’s Word says,
God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;
And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:
For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. (Acts 17:24-29)
Please don't cite Hebrews 10:25 to say otherwise. Read that verse again if it means we ought not to abandon false and corruptible churches:
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25)
Believers can meet together. But we don’t attend church for the sake of belonging to a community. Because if that community is in error, we too become part of that error. Abiding in Christ is God’s enabling, not the enabling of any man-made churches. God's Word says,
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, (2 Corinthians 6:17)
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. (Matthew 7:15)
Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee. (Jeremiah 7:16
The believer’s anointing comes from God, NOT from church appointment, membership, or fellowship. Another reason I’ve stressed in my blogs is that we—believers in Christ Jesus—are the church of God. Our being believers is not dependent on any church building or structure but on God’s grace at work in our lives. God’s Word says,
For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. 
For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. (Romans 9:15-18)
Also, among other verses,
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
But yes, I will now say there’s no need to belong to your church if it does deceive you—without you knowing it! Why would we go to such churches (or listen to such pastors, read such books, hear such music, submit a journal article to so-called Biblical yet fearlessly compromising institution such as Liberty University, etc.) when we know they're exploiting and serving contaminated spiritual food to the flock? Why lack the plain understanding that we ought to have nothing to do with them? For what harmony is there between the Lord Jesus Christ and Belial (2 Corinthians 6:15)?

Doesn't God command us in His Word to come out from among them (2 Corinthians 6:17) and avoid them (Romans 16:17-18)? God's Word tells us we "should earnestly contend for the faith" (Jude 1:3-4). For this reason, I’m reposting the following list I initially posted on my freelance editorial website. The list has links to related readings via Google search.

UPDATED: Lists of false (Christian) authors, churches, groups, leaders, practices, movement, teachers, etc.

Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. (Romans 16:17-18)
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matthew 7:22-23)



(Refer also to above list, e.g., Cultural redemptionEmergent churchGreat Commission MovementChurch Growth MovementPurpose-driven churchSeeker-sensitive church,
etc., as most Philippine churches are patterned after such churches.)

Updated: October 2018

Friday, September 18, 2015

Online trading is NOT gambling, but a legitimate investment and source of income

As some of you may know, I’ve been maintaining on my website a soon to be 6-year-old section called “The Filipino freelancers’ guide to paying taxes and securing social benefits.” I’ve included in that section a few articles such as “Spend less, save more,” where I’ve enumerated viable means to save up while working as a full-time, self-employed income earner (a.k.a. freelancer). I’d evaded many years ago the idea of engaging in stocks, but my perspective about it changed when I began to understand how it works—and that it works!

Every purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war. (Proverbs 20:18)

Legitimate, not gambling. With that understanding alone, I’ve been convinced informed trading is one of the legitimate means to invest and grow our hard-earned money. I must admit that part of that understanding came from my personal experience of losing from trading; allow me to stress that mine was uninformed. But just because I lost doesn’t mean I’ve ultimately given up as well my motivation to trade. I've realized though that trading doesn’t—and it shouldn’t—come from the lack of significant understanding. Many people consider trading as some sort of gambling; but I dare say that, for any endeavor, if we do things sloppily and without significant knowledge, we’re already gambling.

Trading brief. Most novices like me only heard much about trading stocks (e.g., Amazon, Coca Cola, etc.). But trading may also involve other assets, such as currency pairs (e.g., EUR/USD, GBP/JPY, etc.), commodities (e.g., coffee, gold, oil, wheat, etc.), and indices (e.g., NASDAQ, S&P 500, etc.), which can be traded online—without actually owning them—via trading websites (a.k.a. brokers), from around the world.

Inspired by a translation project. You’re probably wondering why of all activities I’ve thought about trading. Have I not been receiving editorial projects lately? You know, God has always been good. I was recently hired to complete an editorial project that I quite enjoyed doing: translating written content from English to Filipino. The subject matter? Binary options, a type of trading that novice and professional traders can achieve online. And so translating the material in about a month got me absorbed and interested in trading.

Looking back, I created a style sheet so that I maintain consistency throughout the translated manuscript. And when translating, I see to it that I achieve two things as well: clarity and retention of not only the original meaning of the text, but also the beauty of our language. I say clarity because certain words may be better left as they are (e.g., credit card instead of kard na pang-kredito). I say retention of beauty because Filipino is not meant to be unintelligent or casual Taglish (e.g., "Sobrang thank you" for "Maraming salamat").

So if I were to translate “Are you ready to trade?” instead of haphazardly and thoughtlessly writing, “Handa ka na bang mag-trade?” I write, “Handa na po ba kayong makipagkalakalan?” Note that I didn’t use “mag-trade,” which is a poor and lazy translation.  I also used the oftentimes forgotten word “po,” a Filipino expression of respect toward the elderly, the people in authority, and the general public.

Lessons learned while trading and incurring mistakes along the way. Reading and learning from the experiences of professional traders allowed me to identify the mistakes I encountered as a novice trader. I’m sharing these lessons with you so that you don’t go through them—unnecessarily—should you consider trading. My focus on this article is on binary options trading.

1. Don’t rush into trading without gaining significant knowledge about it. The worse part was I assumed I understood trading already, so I opened account in three trading websites. I should have paused there and studied the platforms, but I deposited funds to one of them and yep, started hitting, on each trade, one of two buttons (Call or Put).

Also, that the soul be without knowledge, it is not good; and he that hasteth with his feet sinneth. (Proverbs 19:2)

2. Don’t over-trade. I had several winning trades and I should have, again, paused there awhile, but I continued trading, hoping to at least recover my losses, until I got tired. And as you know, when you’re tired, you ought to rest to regain the energy required to function and perform properly. I didn’t. So there I lost all my funds, along with my winnings. My bad.

It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep. (Psalms 127:2)

3. Take your time to hear professional traders. This item is an expansion of item 1. Not rushing into something is taking your time to study and learn the right precepts to go by while administering specific tasks such as trading. Now here’s my DISCLAIMER: I’ll be sharing here a few links for information ONLY; I do not necessarily endorse them or the institutions they represent or are affiliated with. Please read them and anything else with maximum caution. Yes, underscore there “maximum.”

Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end. There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand. (Proverbs 19:20-21)

So far I’ve found useful general trading insights from (a) Joe Ross of Trading Educators and (b) Chaikin YouTube videos featuring Sandy Chaikin of Chaikin Analytics, along with (c) NASDAQ.

The NASDAQ home page.

My favorite trading topic is, of course, binary options and so far, I’ve heard practical tips about it from other binary traders online. (I've previously mentioned here Julian Wong of The Binary Lab, but it puzzles me now why he seems to be endorsing and using questionable brokers, such as CToption, GOption, and TitanTrade. So I'm thinking perhaps issues with these traders are isolated cases, and that I'm yet to find out.)

4. Read what other users say about trading websites. Three of the many trading websites I visited include TopOption, GOption (which has been a confirmed scam site by the Forex Peace Army or the FPA, as of July 2015), and BossCapital. Since I found BossCapital to be easy on the eye, I chose to try it first, which was also among my first mistakes, as I failed to read the reviews of people who’ve already used it. Although it was only yesterday when I read what Mr Terry Sneller, a 71-year-old, long-time trader, had to say about BossCapital, the link to the information he shared remains to be worth including here.

If you’re interested about what he has to say regarding BossCapital, you may look up his review with his name, Terry Sneller. From Mr Sneller's experience, I can tell that accepting bonuses from a broker's platform is definitely unwise; so it's best not to take broker bonuses at all, unless you fully understand and accept the terms involved.

Search also on Google the existing broker reviews, offering tips on what to do and what not to do when dealing with brokers (either individuals from, or account platforms of, trading websites).

He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he. The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning. (Proverbs 16:20-21)

TopOption, which may be among the few brokers requiring low, minimum deposit ($100 USD), is still one trading website I haven’t tried using. But reviews I read seem to imply that starting with such a minimal amount is close to losing. Others are also saying that the site’s trading platform is slow, freezing, or lagging.

The TopOtion trading platform.

5. Discover which brokers are confirmed scam or getting there. I recently discovered that neither GOption (a confirmed scam trading site by the FPA) nor CTOption is a regulated broker, compared with TopOption, which is regulated (by the Cyprus Securities Exchange Commission and the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom). Moreover, GOption reviews seem to be unfavorable, compared again with TopOption's favorable reviews.

Despite not being a regulated broker, CTOption, on the other hand, is said to be a trusted trading website by some. However, as of "June 2015: There is an FPA Traders Court guilty verdict against this company" according to the FPA.

So take your time to review broker trading sites. These brokers are mentioned here for info ONLY. Don't rely on who's using what. Find out yourself which broker YOU can trust.

6. Visit broker review sites. Most traders leave their comments published on broker review sites as follows:

7. Be sure your trading account has been fully validated/verified before you start trading. Another mistake I committed was that I started trading already just before I learned my trading account was not yet fully verified and validated by the trading site. Without that important knowledge I deposited funds and started trading. Call that excited.

I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions. (Proverbs 8:12)

8. Again, identify and stay away from scammers. I came across a scam website yesterday, and it’s called Millionaire’s Blueprint. I need not put a link to that. Just know that scammers abound the Internet. If you’re offered maximum profits—watch out! I suppose we have to eliminate beforehand the greed factor, should we discern it in our system, so we won’t be clouded with the illusion of earning maximum profits in a short time, just like what the get-rich-quick schemes endlessly offer unsuspecting victims.

Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience... Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. (Ephesians 5:6, 17)

9. Fear not. Yes, you read that right. Amidst uncertainty I say fear nothing and no one but God. I’ve been striving to practice that principle even the first time I embarked into freelancing seven years ago and I pass it on to you. Eliminate unnecessary fear. But know that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10). With that wisdom, significant knowledge, faith in God, and obedience to His Word, we will succeed.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalms 119:105)
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18)
The fear of the LORD tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil. (Proverbs 19:23)

10. On taxation: Be honest. I would like to add that honesty remains to be the best policy, which applies to paying income tax, particularly that which pertains to trade winnings. Traders usually ask if they should declare in their inland revenue reports their earnings from trading. The answer to that is YES. Unless you live in, and are a permanent resident of, an oil-rich country, which normally doesn't impose income tax on its constituents, then you can skip paying income tax. But if you are a citizen of a country whose laws mandate that income earners must pay income tax, then you have to include your trade winnings when you file and pay income tax.

Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool. (Proverbs 19:1)

In the Philippines, we can classify trade winnings under "other income." And yes, we fill out BIR-registered official receipts (ORs) for the purpose of proper documentation, as reflected in our cash receipts books. On the OR, we simply write "via [name of the trading website]" on the blank next to "Received from," and write "trade winnings on [date of trade] next to "...full payment of." We, of course, write the gross amount of our trade winnings on the blank following "the sum of [currency]."

Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;
But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. (2 Corinthians 4:1-2)

My learning on the subject matter (i.e., binary options trading) is in progress, so I conclude here with the following passage from the Holy Bible, my encouragement for trading:

For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money.
After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.
His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:
And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. (Words of Jesus, Matthew 25:14-29

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

God didn't create a third gender or the gender-neutral concept of all sorts

by Al Sabado

[I have originally posted this message via Google+, and reposting it here.]

Al Sabado

Shared publicly  -  10:40 AM
Upon reading Deuteronomy 22 this morning I pondered about verse 5, which has probably been the center of futile and endless arguments to date. I personally do not think women aren’t permitted by God to wear pants or men to wear skirts. Because if that were so, then men wearing skirt during Abraham and Moses’s time were abominable people, as the verse points out. But what I do understand is the distorted intent beneath wearing such wardrobe.

You probably wondered why a seemingly masculine fellow passenger, who rode a public vehicle with you, looked somewhat peculiar, donned in polo shirt tucked in pants. I did. In fact, without staring at the person, I could determine right away that the person wasn’t at all a man, but a woman assuming to be a man. Now that isn’t normal, based on the Biblical perspective of what a man or a woman looks like.

Through the passing of time we’ve seen how fashion trends have changed and yet we can—without a doubt—easily distinguish the feminine fashion from the masculine.

The intention is clear. A man’s intention dressing up to assume the appearance of a woman, or a woman’s intention dressing down to assume the appearance of a man—contrary to God's design of natural gender—is what I believe as the abominable, as mentioned in Deuteronomy 22:5.

So if you truly fear God, who created man and woman, you’ll understand that He didn’t create a third gender or the gender-neutral concept of all sorts. But if you continue defying the God-designed concept of God’s TRUE creation, then that’s your choice. You probably gained the courage to “come out in the open” because of the deceiving and perverse  approval of the majority and the popular.

I need not threaten you because God in His Word—the Holy Bible—is sovereign. Know, therefore, that the ill choices we make on the subject matter do have detrimental consequences. If you don’t believe—in fear—God’s Word, as it is written in the Holy Bible, then I cannot undo your unbelief for you. But I pray you’d wake up—before it’s too late! Repent!

For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. (Romans 1:26-32)
The book of Deuteronomy chapter 22 from the King James Bible Online

Refuse to marry just any believer

by Al Sabado

[I have originally posted this message via Google+, and reposting it here.]

Al Sabado
Shared publicly  -  Sep 14, 2015
At a time I was still attending church I was tasked to handle a Bible study group for adult women. (Oh dear, of all people, why me…) My preparation for the study was crucial, because the occasion was also an evening bridal shower for the group’s lady member—a believer who’s about to marry an unbeliever.

I don’t sugarcoat or mince words when I speak, especially to people I so deeply care about. So you may have guessed the Bible verse that’s vividly etched in my head. That verse was among my first lessons in my walk with God as a young believer in 1991, and I pass it on to every believer crossing similar path of considering to marry an unbeliever. With that burden in my heart, I prayed for the evening. My hands were cold. My heart thumped as I finally read aloud in the room the verse we all could have avoided and ignored, but one the bride-to-be had to hear, probably the last time:

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)

Hearing that verse, however, didn’t change the woman’s decision; she proceeded with her wedding. I regret that’s her choice...

As for you, my dear fellow believer, take your time. I pray you won’t settle for anything less, but God’s best, which can mean not marrying at all. Ready for that? By God’s grace, yes. But if you consider marrying someone, refuse to marry just any believer. Choose the one who, like King David, is after God’s own heart. A strong believer who stands by God’s Word no matter what, someone who’s able to discern that which is Biblical from that which is not. And listen also to what your parents and people closest to you will have to say. Oftentimes, they see issues you may be unaware of.

Disclaimer: I link to the article below as I share the author’s views (except for churchgoing, as many churches of this day lead the flock astray) on the subject matter, but I do not necessarily endorse the author or his church. Magandang araw (Good day)! :)

Let your 'Yes' be 'Yes' and your 'No,' 'No'...