Thursday, August 18, 2011
I'm sure, the mayor of Philadelphia, Michael Nutter means well by giving good information, a nice speech, and helpful advice to the "rebels without a cause"-but this message is not for the church on Sunday morning. The worship service is for the preaching of the gospel, the administration of the sacraments and offering praise and worship to Christ -not parenting tidbits for bad kids in the neighborhood. We already have enough modern-day church preachers giving life advise instead of the gospel of Christ; so the last thing we need is a politician on Sunday mornings doing the same thing. Worship service is for the weekly gathering of the saints exalting Christ and sharing His word, not for public officials spewing out scoldings to a culture that is depraved and infested with un-ruly children. Instead of using the church, this lecture should be done on the steps in front of city hall and not in the pulpit in front of the communion table.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Pornography is a cancer that is moving through the church at alarming rates and the church is just beginning to address the issue but it has been with us for some time. 29% of born again adults in the U.S. feel it is morally acceptable to view movies with explicit sexual behavior (The Barna Group). 57% of pastors say that addiction to pornography is the most sexually damaging issue to their congregation (Christians and Sex Leadership Journal Survey, March 2005). The lure of pornography however is more than just an addiction that is doing harm to Christians- instead it should be seen as something much more dangerous, it should be seen as sin. Churches are building ministries to deal with people addicted to porn. They are also trying to develop therapeutic programs for members struggling with this addiction. Then how do churches deal with pornography effectively? I believe that the church must first address this as an issue of sin and not just a concept of addictions or bad behavior. I realize that viewing pornography becomes addicting and damaging to the lives of those trapped into the behavior of viewing it ( and I too have seen videos as well as the internet...I haven't always been a pastor.) And although I don't watch porn and I'm not addicted to it ( by the grace of God), I think that there is a better way of approaching the issue. By dealing with root of the problem and by first addressing it's core which is the sin problem, we can get a clearer grasp of the struggle. The great puritan writer and theologian John Owens, a few hundred years ago, wrote a fascinating book that I have read from time to time called "The Mortification of Sin". It is a book that all Christians should read again and again. In this book Owens addresses the struggle of sin in human beings systematically. He does this like a scientist in a laboratory using as his tool of choice: scripture. For Owen, while the body is important, it is but the instrument for the real problem which lie in man's internal nature. Using classic faculty-psychology categories of the mind, the will, and the affections, Owen consistently attempts to present a holistic perspective of the human person, and this informs his view of sin and sanctification in the believer. When churches and ministries aim at healing the symptom of watching pornography, they miss the real issue which lies at the root of the symptom: sin. When sin is dealt with, which is at the heart of the problem, the fruit of watching pornography is killed. Therefore if a tree is known by its fruit let's kill the root of the tree, sin. This works a lot better than picking off the fruit of the tree which is watching pornography.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
---------- Not quite sure about this prayer to be honest, but he is bringing attention to the fact that we should be thankful to God -and Jesus Christ is mentioned- which is a good thing. Is the way he prayed alright? Well I do believe we should be reverent when speaking to God and serious when we pray because we are talking to the most important individual in existence. But I must admit, some of my private prayers have been pretty shabby and unfocused. So before I get the speck out of my brothers eye I need to get the log out of mine.
Sunday, July 24, 2011
This is WHY Missionaries need sound theological training and a Calling before they head out to evangelize
Before you become an evangelist to go out to do missionary work, and evangelize the lost, you must know what evangelism is and isn't. In a recent CNN article a missionary reports that Christians should stop trying to convert Muslims to Christianity. He goes on to state how harsh some Christians are in their tactics. He mentions that they cause trouble in the nations they become apart of because they come into foreign countries and cultures, trying to evangelize Muslims and to make them Christians.
The problem that this man has and many other Christians, is that they have a distorted understanding and confused view of evangelism. In this CNN Article this "missionary" to Beirut, Lebanon says instead of converting Muslims- we should tell them about the teachings of Jesus and not try to convert them.
First and foremost Christians don't convert people to anything. We are never called to "convert" people to Christianity. We don't make converts or make people believe. We are to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and God the Holy Spirit saves and regenerates dead men by giving them life to believe. Christians are then called to make these individuals that have been Born Again, disciples or learners of the person and work of Christ. God himself converts and saves by the gospel and not the evangelist or some missionary. The evangelist is not responsible for the results he is merely the messenger delivering the good news of Jesus Christ. If people get converted or if they don't get converted, it is up to God not humans. Much of American evangelism is pragmatism, which is trying to find practical methods that work to get people "saved". We use pragmatism so we can see results of people coming to a church or making a "decision" for Christ. However when people are converted this is a supernatural work by the sovereign God and the results, conflicts, and trials are a result of His work. We are not to worry about the cost of conflict, loss of friends, desertion of family members, etc. because we are messengers not the converters. If conflict arises in the nation,city, culture, religion, family, etc. as a result of one becoming a Christian, that's normal because all false doctrines are opposed to the truth- just read about the Apostle Paul as he gets stoned by an angry crowd at Lystra (Acts 14:19). Instead,we are to fight the good fight, run the race, wrestle against powers. The road for any believer is never said to be easy- only narrow.
Monday, July 18, 2011
Michelle Bachmann leaves her church. However according to church membership records in this CNN NEWS ARTICLE, it seems like she never WENT TO CHURCH! Well even if she never goes at least she does know how to leave a church unlike so many members that just rudely stop showing up. However one must always tread with caution when following politicians who make claims of Christianity! Often leaders will do and say anything to get elected and build a following among specific segments of voters. We as followers of Jesus Christ, will be targeted to and marketed to by many a politician who will attempt to pander to the faithful and rally our support for their careers. As good stewards of the gospel of Christ we must hold any government official accountable to their claims of Christianity and make sure that if they say they are believers that they back this up with their adherence to word of God. And not just spout verbal religious claims of belief. The bible says “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1:22)
I am not doubting Mrs. Bachmans’s faith as a Christian, and she seems like a great lady, but she appears as a politician who merely has her name as a member on a sheet of paper but never has her body in a pew. I know this might be news to American Evangelicals in our country but: Christians are suppose to GO TO CHURCH!! Not just talk a good game of “Christianeese”. “Why do you call Me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not DO what I say?” (Luke 6:46) Unfortunately she like many politicians don’t go to church because often they believe that their rise in prominence excuses them from being under pastoral authority and church accountability. So they make excuses like being “busy working for the people” or taking care of "important issues" . Therefore they put other things in front of their time for God and neglect their spiritual development. All Christians need to be fed the Gospel of Jesus Christ on a regular basis just like regular food. Of all people, politicians, need to be washed with the word (eph. 5:26), especially after being in the dirty and corrupt world of government politics. To not hear the word of God preached, and have the sacraments administered on a regular basis, is a bad sign. Because if they will make excuses and compromise for not attending worship services, they will compromise and make excuses for pertinent issues concerning the voting public. Political Christians separated from God's word will begin living and governing in their own power as opposed to the Holy Spirit, and therefore compromise and disregard biblical truth as well as the constituents that put them in office.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
It's amazing how that the mainstream media tells you about religious restrictions in other countries, yet this same media, is so blind to what goes on in the United States. Here in this video CNN reveals government crackdowns on Christianity in China- but what they don't report is, what's happening in their own backyard! Could church crackdowns and persecution happen in the good ol USA? Yes it can and it already is! In fact,local state, county, and city governments in the United States, have already begun by using a different tactic to persecute and stop the mission of Jesus Christ and His church by implementing a much more subtle technique called : "city zoning ordinances". In this article where City Tells Church to Stop Worship Services you see this happening daily in our own country. Make no mistake about it, attempts to stop the gospel are alive and well in the west as much as they are in Asia. Satan is just as busy here as he is there. And the gates of hell are making greater and greater attempts to advance and dismantle the kingdom of God- but they won't prevail. So let us continue to pray and never faint.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
WORRIED ABOUT A CHURCH BUILDING RATHER THAN THE CHURCH
A lot of people in our country actually believe that a facility is a church. However that is neither biblical or in many cases practical. Here is a story reported about churches losing buildings as congregations lose money. This news story should be that churches not buildings are in trouble. This is the real truth: that the gospel is watered down and the message of the cross of Christ and His redemptive plan, is absent from the sermons of the modern church. The idea of congregations building extravagant worship facilities, is a man-centered approach to ministry. Yet in this video you'll see church foreclosures happening at a record pace as many churches are unable to meet the mortgage requirements of lenders. A great example of this, that is not in the video, is what is happening to the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California. A glass church building that was used as a tourist attraction rather than a place of worship to Jesus Christ and His mission. Instead the Crystal Cathedral became a so called " Hour of Power Ministry" based on a personality known as Robert Schuller. Schuller who preached motivational self-help techniques each Sunday that were disguised as "sermons" to people interested in self improvement pep-talks. The church is now going through financial corruption, bankruptcy, internal family strife over money and church order as the ministry shrinks and spirals down the drain. In a recent article about the Crystal Cathedral, revelation of the drama and conflict that the organization is now having, is brought to light; showing the fruit of a misguided approach to Christianity. Sad to say it's just another true sign that American Evangelical Christianity is in more trouble that we thought.
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Many churches forget that we are to be the light of the world- and that means showing our love to a world that isn't always easy to love but needs a whole lot of love. This begins by presenting hospitality to everyone that comes to our churches. We start this with a warm welcome. We then show our visitor the love that you would want if you were visiting a church. Here is a cool list to keep in mind when we think about visitors who come to a church.
#1 You will have more guests in one year than you think.
Research shows that five to eight percent of your worshipping community will self-identify as guests. Therefore the number of guests in one year is: [(Ave. weekly worship attendance) x (.05) x (52)]
#2 Many of your guests are going through situations that make them more responsive to God. These are the folks that are most likely to be moving, changing jobs, getting divorced, having kids, etc.
#3 Your guests are assessing very quickly whether or not they are coming back. This happens much faster than we think. For example, read The 11-Minute Difference.
#4 Your guests represent step one of accomplishing the Great Commission- these are the people coming to you! How much does your church spend on foreign missions? Compare that to how much we invest into the fish that swim to the boat before we cast a net.
#5 A guest who is attending may represent years of prayer, service, and invitation by a church member. My mom and I attended church without my father for 12 years. The first time my Dad came to church with us, imagine how I felt about the church and the hospitality of the people. All I could think was “Don’t screw up!”
#6 Studies show that guests will talk about their initial experiences 8-15 times with other people. Serve guests well and multiply your message.
#7 A welcoming ministry is a great “shallow end of the pool” to get people involved in service for the first time.Yes, you have plenty of intimidating places to serve like worship, small groups, and children’s ministry. So why not leverage an easy place to start?
#8 Building a great ministry to guests nourishes a culture of hospitality because of the concrete reminders to the entire congregation that guests matter.
#9 Investment in a welcoming ministry is an investment into every other ministry your church offers. I ask churches to dream about what ministry they might start. I then tell them to get it done by first having great guest services. Do you want an amazing prison ministry? Maybe the next Chuck Colson is visiting next week.
#10 We are commanded in Scripture to be hospitable. The Greek word philoxenia literally means to “love strangers
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Here is an example of the godless media making attempts to remove religious expression from every part of society. Broadcasting a major sporting event, NBC, a so called TV station, moves to omit God from the pledge of allegiance by censuring words that mention God. The modern media is on a mission to make America a secular humanist cesspool that is governed by rationalism as opposed to God's standard that is found in His word. Why would NBC do something like this? Basically they are under judgment from God known as His "wrath". Listen as Paul describes the condition of human society in the book of Romans. And at the same time he perfectly describes a morally bankrupt organization of corruption and censorship like NBC. "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.Professing to be wise, they became fools" -Romans 1:18-22
Thursday, June 2, 2011
In a church culture where a lot of preaching is all about people and their issues, finally someone points out what and who scripture is all about. Here is a great video and lecture by Dr. Tim Keller of why Jesus is supposed to be at the center of all sermons.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Here is a video that shows the problem of a lot of churches. Jesus is missing and has been replaced with the life and issues of human beings. Christ is so absent from so many of the churches today- in both the worship and the sermons- that you can get the same information from the Sunday morning sermon, at a Islamic mosque or a Jewish synagogue by just taking out the name Jesus Christ. Whatever works to get people in, is the new method of building and bringing men and women to God. I guess the method that Christ gave: "If I be lifted up I'll draw all men unto me", is too old fashioned.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
If we fail saints, keep on going and NEVER GIVE UP! Because we are called to holiness. So then let us forsake sin and pursue holiness at all cost and be encouraged in the fight. And by the grace of God and the strength of the Holy Spirit we'll make it! We are to flee sin and press on in this path diligently, daily and keep striving. Even if we do sin and fall down, don't despair- let us get up, confess, repent, and keep on moving because God will help us in the battle and pursuit of holy living. In this video John Piper gives some great information in helping us see the root of sin at a very deep level in order to strengthen us in our daily walk on this journey to a Godly life in Christ. Enjoy
Saturday, May 14, 2011
As more and more churches leave biblical Christianity for the secular world, and start following a culture that has abandoned God's scripture and its teaching, this becomes the fruit and the end result.
Friday, May 13, 2011
Harold Camping is a false prophet (one who has made a prophetic prediction and it did not come to pass) charlatan, and con-man, that has been very successful at "false prophesying" on a few occasions. If I'm not mistaken, he has conned people about the end of the world before, by making other "end of the world" predictions and they've turned out be wrong of course. But there are always eager participants willing to be led astray and follow foolishness. The truth is that we should be warning people everyday that Christ could return on any day and that the day you hear the gospel you should not "harden your heart" but instead believe the gospel and be saved. It is amazing how people will believe everything but the truth. "I am the way the TRUTH and the life..." these are the words of Christ. Let us follow Him rather than Mr. Camping who is "neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet"-He that has ears to hear let him hear.
Friday, April 29, 2011
One of the masters of preaching has died: the great David Wilkerson. Such power and fervency was in his preaching; and this is a trade that few have -but he was blessed with it. He was among the men that were able to deliver God' word with such strength that it made you tremble as you listened . He will definitely be missed. So in his memory I wanted to post a clip and let you hear a man who spoke with authority and without fear. Absent from the body present with the Lord! Well done Brother Wilkerson enjoy your rewards.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
The old heresy of universalism is alive and well. Rob Bell is just another leader who has jumped on the bandwagon of the historical heretical teaching called universalism. Claiming to have "investigated scripture" and located something about God that no one else has, Bell has come to the conclusion-or should I say error- that no one will go to hell in the end when it's all said and done. This belief comes about because of a skewed worldview when reading and learning scripture. Whenever individuals have a anthro-centered (man-centered) worldview instead of a Theo-centered (God centered) worldview you always end up thinking God is building His existence and programs around human beings. Therefore the next natural step is the false doctrine of universalism.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
I met and talked with professor Michael Horton a while back at a conference and he was really an interesting speaker- and now I see why. He has a way of making things rather clear in his presentations. In this video he gives a great definition of the gospel that I think a lot of people in the modern church need to hear. The preaching of the gospel is at an all time low in our day and age and unfortunately the church today seems content with having it that way. Unless we wake up to a clear and basic way of presenting this message, our evangelism of this society will suffer greatly and the glorification of Christ and His office will be minimized.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
This is what happens to a church when it completely abandons all scriptural authority and "leans to it's own understanding". When a church wants to be academic and politically correct rather than biblical and Christ-centered, it turns to rationalizing sin. And when it begins rationalizing sin it has nowhere else to go but down.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Seems like the President of the United States has forgotten about Christians in Egypt that are being persecuted at a level unheard of. In the midst of the chaos and nonsense that is going on in Egypt, believers in Jesus Christ are being left out of the mix and our government seems to be working to appease a mob that will attempt to wipe out the current government and along with that, all of the body of Christ that is represented in that part of the world. Let us pray for our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ as they war against the enemy that is seeking to destroy them and their presence. Let us also pray that our leaders wake up to see the plight of the Church of Christ that holds the only message that will rescue human beings: The Gospel.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
The church in America has a great duty to do; and that is to begin praying for the movement of the gospel around the world. As the enemy is moving to stop it, we must employ the supernatural weaponry to advance the kingdom of God. The greatest weapon we have is prayer.
Saturday, January 15, 2011
When you share your faith you want to share it right. Right? Well if you want to know what is needed to be known about The Gospel, I think John Piper does a fine job of explaining it (the gospel that is) in the video above. So now that we have the tools- give it a shot and start spreading the news!!!(the Good News that is) Enjoy.