The Story Behind the Story of Roberta Langella and Jim Cymbala

“Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” (Ephesians 5:11) My name is Steven Langella.  I am a former member and deacon of the Brooklyn Tabernacle.  I would like to share with you the story behind the story of my sister Roberta Langella. For the past 20 years, Roberta’s story has been told by Jim Cymbala, the pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle through his books Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire, You Were Made For More, VHS Video He’s Been Faithful, and DVD When God’s People Pray .  Roberta also made an appearance on the ABC News Program Person of the Week – Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir on Friday, Apr 14, 1995.  It is not an exaggeration to say that Jim Cymbala made hundreds of thousands of dollars on Roberta’s story.  Roberta did not want to share with the world that she was HIV positive.  But Jim Cymbala coached Roberta and told her that her story would encourage thousands.   So reluctantly, Roberta went along with Jim’s

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Roberta Langella – Memorial Video

Remembering Roberta Langella   June 20, 1960 – October 2, 2016 Roberta was born on June 20, 1960 to Joseph Langella and Roberta Greany in Brooklyn, NY.  She was the fourth of six children, and used humor to separate herself from the rest of the pack!  She had many talents, which ranged from comedy to cooking to interior design, but her greatest talent was making people laugh. She had an uncanny wit, compassion for the downtrodden and a great love for her family and friends.  Even in the midst of serious health issues that plagued her for the past thirty years, she still managed to find humor in her situation and in life, and was a joy to all who loved her dearly. She is survived by her mother, Roberta Gordon, siblings, Billy Langella, Susan Langella Elazm, Joseph Langella, Steven Langella and his wife, Christina, Melody Gordon, Elizabeth Gordon, James Gordon, her nieces and nephews, Jasmine and Joseph Elazm,  Everly

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Book Review: From Your Head To Your Heart

  “Maria Durso’s new book calms all those fears as she explains the steps that will lead us to a peace-, joy-, and purpose-filled life beyond our wildest dreams.” – Jim Cymbala, Pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle   In her new book “From Your Head To Your Heart – The Change You Long For Is Just 18 Inches Away“, Maria Durso shares the story of how in 1975, she was instantaneously changed by the power of the gospel.  Although Maria was a new creation in Christ and experienced the transforming power of the gospel, she continued to doubt the fact that God really loved her. But Maria received a new revelation that changed her life forever, thus the reason for this book. We praise God for His amazing grace that transforms the lives of wicked sinners.  But that is where the praise for the book ends.  I do not doubt the author’s sincere desire to minister the gospel to others, but sincerity is not enough when it comes to sound biblical

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His Truth is Marching On? – The Battle Hymn of the Republic. When Theology Goes South

  Strange title indeed. To “go south” is an idiom that means to deteriorate, decline, or lose value. When Theology goes south, it simply means that it loses its value and becomes worthless. Since theology is the study of God, it is extremely important that our theology is derived from scripture. Theology really does matter! The Battle Hymn of the Republic is a song that every American has heard at least once. It is sung at sporting events, political and military ceremonies, and even in church services. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t get goose-bumps when hearing this patriotic song? But that is exactly what it is, a patriotic song. The song has absolutely nothing to do with God, Jesus, the Bible, or Christianity. I know that might be a shock to many, but this is why as Christians we really need to know our history and be able to discern sound theology. The Battle Hymn of the Republic was

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The Spirit and the Word

  Paul’s command to be filled with the Holy Spirit should not be confused with the unbiblical Charismatic teaching on the baptism of the Holy Spirit subsequent to salvation. That erroneous teaching divides the people of God into two camps: the haves, and have-nots. All Christians are baptized by the Spirit into the body of Christ at salvation according to 1 Corinthians 12:13:  For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. Baptism in the Spirit is a one-time, unrepeatable, historic event for Christians.  Yet, Paul gives an ongoing imperative to all Christians to be filled with the Spirit.  So if it is a command for all believers, then it is something that we must seek continually. Paul commands believers to be filled with the Spirit: “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one

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Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God – Jonathan Edwards

On July 8, 1741, at the height of the First Great Awakening in the New England town of Enfield Connecticut, theologian and pastor Jonathan Edwards preached his famous sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”.  Stephen Williams who was in attendance wrote the following in his diary: “We went over to Enfield where we met dear Mr. Edwards of Northampton who preached a most awakening sermon from these words, Deuteronomy 32:35, and before the sermon was done there was a great moaning and crying that went out through the whole House…. ‘What shall I do to be saved,’ ‘Oh, I am going to Hell,’ ‘Oh, what shall I do for Christ,’ and so forth. So yet the minister was obliged to desist, the shrieks and cry were piercing and amazing.  After some time of waiting the Congregation was still, so yet a prayer was made by Mr. W. and after that we descended from the pulpit and discoursed with the people, some

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Oneness Pentecostalism

Oneness Pentecostalism – An Old Heresy Dressed up in New Clothes  by steve langella What do T.D. Jakes, Tommy Tenney, Philips Craig & Dean, Mickey Mangnun, The Pentecostals of Alexandria, Geron Davis, and Wayne and Elizabeth Goodine all have in common?  They were raised as Oneness Pentecostals who deny the Trinity.  There are many Christians today who consider Oneness Pentecostalism to be just another denomination. While they may have some sense of the differing beliefs espoused by Oneness Pentecostals, most would still regard them as fellow believers. On the surface, Oneness Pentecostals appear to be in line with orthodox Christianity. They believe in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. They believe in the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. But a closer examination of their theology reveals that Oneness Pentecostals are anything but “Christian”. Oneness Pentecostal Theology, also known as Modalism, can be traced as far back as the 2nd Century A.D. Modalism denies the Tri-Unity of God, the

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The Inebriated Preacher – 2 Corinthians 2:12-14 – The Directional Will of God or Evidence of Paul’s Love?

There seems to be an epidemic among American Evangelical pastors and preachers today. It is called P.W.I. (Preaching While Intoxicated).  We have pulpits filled with what Pastor David Helm of Holy Trinity Church of Chicago calls, “the inebriated preacher.”  Such a preacher uses the Bible in much the same way a drunk uses a lamp post for support instead of illumination.  In other words, the preacher uses the Bible to preach his own message rather than let the Bible use him to preach God’s message. Expository preaching, on the other hand, seeks to understand the original meaning of the text and convey that meaning faithfully.  Here is a brief definition: “Expository preaching is a form of preaching that details the meaning of a particular text or passage of Scripture. It explains what the Bible means by what it says. Exegesis is technical and grammatical exposition, a careful drawing out of the exact meaning of a passage in its original context.” Why Expositional

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The Tithing Manipulation!

It’s bad enough when churches replace sound biblical preaching with dramas, comedians, choirs, concerts, special guest singers, and other forms of man-centered entertainment.  Sunday after Sunday grown men and women are subjected to various forms of childish and foolish antics.  But what troubles me even more is when Christians are subjected to false teaching. I am amazed at how many Bible believing Christians actually believe that tithing is a New Testament concept.  And I am even more amazed at pastors who claim to be biblically sound yet teach this false doctrine.  One can only assume that the motivation is greed.  Christians are nowhere commanded to tithe.  Tithing is part of the Old Covenant when Israel was under a Theocracy.  And it required much more than 10%.  In fact, it was closer to 28% of ones total income, which by the way consisted of crops and livestock, not money. In order to come up with a New Testament doctrine for tithing one has to willfully

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