Oct 272015
 

links_image1The lament that dementia brings…

Worshipping the false god of fear…

The ten best writings in Christian history…

An open letter from one of those millennials…

Has authenticity trumped holiness?

Latest PP video…

In praise of wakes…

Very interesting…a conservative case for egalitarianism.

Boomerang prayers…

A good word for smaller congregations…

The irreplaceable Father…

How to know you know Him…

Women suing Gothards old ministry…

The WW on Pipers view of sovereignty…

Fundamentalists and Halloween…

Michael Spencer on Reformation Day…

OT sex crimes…

Do science and religion conflict?

When she preaches…

On caring for our souls…

10 misconceptions about evolution…

What if not all are called to be disciple makers?

Carl Trueman nails it again…this time on transgenderism.

Shame no longer has me…

Thanks to EricL for the help today…support him at top right.

He’s made putting the new books together as easy on me as possible and he’s a pleasure to work with.

I’m not…

Oct 262015
 

thinking_man_ape_wood_3d_sculpture_thinker_think-480x3251. In prior years when they had a Super Bowl caliber team, ESPN anchor Chris Berman used to note that “nobody circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills.” He meant by this that in times of loss or conflict the team would close ranks and rally around each other and find a way to victory.

Berman was wrong.

Nobody circles the wagons like the first couple generations of Calvary Chapel pastors.

Gayle Erwin has received some well deserved negative press in relation to his actions while a board member of Gospel For Asia.

Before the weekend was over he had been hailed as “one of the most influential and anointed ministers alive today; a pastor’s pastor” by one CC vet on social media.

It was of course,followed with a chorus of amens to that statement in the comments.

This is the passive aggressive way that this group has of trying to refute bad press and prop each other up to the end.

It also provides another layer of shielding from any accountability for any actions.

By implication, it attempts to destroy the credibility of those who bring criticism of one of their “brothers”.

They will go to great lengths to protect the guilty because the guilty one is never guilty in their eyes… the fault lies solely on the one who brings the accusation.

Facts never get in the way of their steadfast defense.

These men who claim that they were specially “anointed” by God Himself to speak the His truth will deny and suffocate the truth if it would require confession and repentance on the part of one of the chosen ones.

Thus, they will propagate a lie and become accusers of brethren who hunger and thirst after righteousness in the body of Christ.

My only consolation is that they are absolutely correct that they don’t have have to answer to me or other media , but to God.

It may not work out like they think it will.

2. You’ll have to forgive me if I’m a bit emotional…Miss Kitty has taken ill and I fear the loss of my faithful companion. Your prayers are coveted.

3. A “pastor’s pastor” would be someone who will sacrifice all for the flock God entrusts him with, not someone who refuses to speak or act except in their own defense in the light of corruption.

4. By the way, boys…it wasn’t Chuck that brought revival, it wasn’t Lonnie, it wasn’t the music, and it wasn’t Calvary Chapel. It was God. Get your old, grubby, hands off His glory.

5. Sources say that Calvary Chapel accounted for about a third of Gospel For Asia’s income. That means two thirds of it came from other sources that need to be informed that their money may not be going where they think it is, for the the purposes that they are giving it for. The three board members who resigned have a responsibility to those brethren to tell them what they saw and why they resigned or have their loss counted to them in the eyes of God.

6. I shouldn’t have to write any of this.

7. Whenever these scandals happen the institution makes the celebrity pastors out to be the victims. Let me tell you who the real victims are. The real victims are the people who have to be torn between what is reported and the trust they have in those who lead them. The victims are the real pastors who care for their flocks and are tainted by the lack of integrity of the well known. The real victims are the church and the truth and the Lord Himself who sees his Body in unnecessary strife and conflict because some people think that His word doesn’t apply to them. There, I hope you have some clarity on this matter now…

8. If you have to do a study to understand why people leave the church after all these messes, you probably can’t pass a drivers license test.

9. Despite all that I know about the church, Jesus still towers over it all and I cling to Him. I believe, help my unbelief.

10. Despite it all, we are all family and we have to be ready to extend mercy and forgiveness should confession and repentance ever come. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy…

 

 

Oct 242015
 

thumbnail.aspxLord, make me an instrument of thy peace!

That where there is hatred, I may bring love.

That where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness.

That where there is discord, I may bring harmony.

That where there is error, I may bring truth.

That where there is doubt, I may bring faith.

That where there is despair, I may bring hope.

That where there are shadows, I may bring light.

That where there is sadness, I may bring joy.

Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort, than to be comforted.

To understand, than to be understood.

To love, than to be loved.

For it is by self-forgetting that one finds.

It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.

It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life.

—Saint Francis of Assisi—

Oct 242015
 

bible-word-of-god_thumbHebrews 6:4-10

For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit,

  • Verses 4-6 –Together –WARNING!!!
  • Who are these people? Are they seekers who are experimenting with Christianity, or are they true blue baptized believers?
  • Is there a point of no return?
  • What does it mean “Enlightened”? Hearing the preached word of God
  • What does it mean “tasted the heavenly gift”? The Lord’s Supper
  • What does it mean “shared in the Holy Spirit”? Baptism

and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come,

  • There are 2 options – a believer can fall away OR a believer is secure.
  • Within these 2 options are 4 views
  • ) Eternal security – once you have come to Christ, he is stuck with you. This warning is purely hypothetical – there are no people like this.
  • ) The Arminian view – people can lose their salvation – true blue believers – saved – regenerate
  • ) Covenantal Reformed view – in the covenant visible but not united to Christ. This is where we get the visible / invisible church distinction.
  • ) Lutheran view – you are secure in Christ’s promises, you cannot lose your salvation, you cannot sin your way out of God’s love, but … you can give up the free gift, you can ignore your faith, starve it to death, let it shrivel up and die,
  • Hebrews 4 spoke about the wilderness and not allowing people into his rest – who were those people? Those who gave up.
  • And all of these references would have brought to mind 1 Cor 10 / Neh 9
  • READ 1 COR 10 – At least 1st 5 verses.
  • Nehemiah 9

6 and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.

  • Crucifying once again – similar language to those who approach the Lord’s Table in an improper manner.
  • Going back to the old Jewish ways. There is no redemption once you have stepped outside the covering of Jesus Christ – it is impossible for you to come to repentance from within Judaism, from the temple system.
  • What would you say or how would you answer…
  • Does the church lock the doors on these people?
  • Is this putting yourself in a position where you stop yourself from wanting to come back?
  • Here is the important thing to remember – regardless of the position you take, if you are in this situation you are in a place you do not want to be.

For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God.

But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned.

  • Does this sound a bit like the Parable of the Sower?
  • What can we look for in people who profess Christ?
  • Isa 5:1-7 – The vineyard – the good grapes and the wild grapes.

Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation.

  • This shows that the means of grace are still falling on these people, and there is time to repent.
  • Note where he says beloved – the loving language is coming back.

10 For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do.

  • The writer now recalls their good works and their faithfulness.
  • He sees that the rain has fallen on them and they have produced in the past.
  • And here is where some have problems. They have no training in distinguishing between God’s voices. The proper distinction between law & gospel.
  • They do not recognize that in this chapter – well, the entire book, well actually the entire Bible he is speaking to the same people – HIS people.
  • When he gives warning, even warnings of destruction, he is speaking in his law to HIS people.
  • When he gives comfort, speaking of eternal salvation, he is speaking in his gospel to HIS people.

Because of the close connection between the Book of Hebrews and the Old Testament, it is important to note the God is always speaking to his people and he uses those 2 voices. It is not as if God speaks to them (the lost) in his law and speaks to us (the redeemed) in his gospel.

Oct 232015
 

Steve-Jobs-iPhone-225x300“Now Lot went up out of Zoar and lived in the hills with his two daughters, for he was afraid to live in Zoar. So he lived in a cave with his two daughters. And the firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is not a man on earth to come in to us after the manner of all the earth. Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve offspring from our father.””(Genesis 19:30–32 ESV)

There’s a new movie out about Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple.

It’s a vile little piece of work that makes much of his character flaws and paints a picture of a harsh and cruel man.

Some of it is even true.

The movie doesn’t show you how much he loved his wife and children, nor they him.

It doesn’t speak to the loyalty that he inspired from his employees, many who were crushed by his death even though they knew it was inevitable.

It doesn’t begin to show the string of technological triumphs that transformed Apple into one of the biggest companies in the world.

It doesn’t show you much about the man who changed our world in so many positive ways, because positive things about people are no longer worthy of much attention in our current culture.

It is, at best, a partial glimpse at one aspect of the man at a certain time in that mans life.

By itself, it makes the last word on Steve Jobs a nasty one.

This brings us back to brother Lot.

The last mention we have of Lot in the Older Testament is in the passage referenced above.

It paints a picture of a man who had been dwelling in Sodom, who was forced out of Sodom, and who ended up in a cave getting drunk and impregnating his own daughters.

I’m stunned that the movie version of “The Cave” hasn’t been made yet.

If that were to be the last word on Lot, it’s a nasty word indeed.

It’s not the last word, however.

“For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked(for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.” (2 Peter 2:4–10 ESV)

The last word about Lot is that he was counted righteous by God.

My friends, if someone chose to do so they could take a snapshot of one period, one time, of our lives and show what wicked people we really are.

They could make an ongoing series of films about my life with material left over…and last time I checked, I’m not even dead yet.

That means that more material will be available.

You’re not that much different from me.

The good news is that the last word about me and you will not be spoken by earthly judges.

Like it was for Lot, it will be spoken by God.

If you have placed your faith in Christ the last word about you will be that you were righteous.

You have been counted righteous by grace through faith.

The better news is that you don’t have to wait for the last word.

You’re counted as righteous now…no matter how nasty a movie they could make about you.

Our challenge isn’t to overcome what we’ve been and what we’ve done…it’s to live like who we really are.

God will have the last word.

Righteous.

Make your own application…

Oct 212015
 

GayleBookVideo-279x355In the Newer Testament there are two metaphors given when referring to the redeemed people of God.

One is of a “body” where all parts, great and small, work together and must function well for the body to be whole.

The other of course is the family…we are sons and daughters of the Father, we are each others brothers and sisters.

In both of these models there is only one head, the Lord Jesus Christ, and all the members of the family and body are said to be of great value and worth.

We are even told in Pauls first letter to the Corinthians that if the least regarded person in the body is is hurt or broken, the whole body is affected.

Thus, we are instructed to care for, nurture, and protect, all the members of the church.

That is why the metaphor for a Christian leader is a “shepherd”…shepherds care for, nurture, and protect those that they have been entrusted with.

Nowhere in scripture are we commended to adopt a corporate model of governance where the value is found in the top of the hierarchy and the rest of the members are disposable and replaceable parts.

Nowhere in scripture are we told that the end justifies the means if the means requires the lower part of the hierarchy suffer on behalf of the top of it.

Wherever you see such in the church, you are witnessing apostasy.

Apostasy has become the norm and is no longer recognized for what it is.

The only public statement that Gayle Erwin has made in the Gospel For Asia debacle gave his reason for resigning.

“The surprise revelation of foreign deposits and monies returned from the field (and previously described as from an “anonymous donor) pushed some of us over the edge and made our board membership untenable.”

In other words, financial shenanigans and the potential of legal liability caused us to run away.

Corporate malfeasance was unacceptable.

However, when over a hundred members of the GFA Diaspora asked for help, he did not even speak with them.

He did a sham investigation and found no fault with those accused.

He did commend the top of the hierarchy he was supposed to investigate as being of exemplary and godly character.

None of the three board members have issued a statement warning the giving public of what they have seen.

None of the three board members have confirmed all the reports that have been written so that those still working for the charity might have help in understanding the truth about it.

None of the three board members have offered explanations of how all of this was allowed to happen in the first place.

That is how a corporation works.

The corporation and it’s officers are protected no matter the cost to the “employees” or the “consumers”.

The end justifies the means if the end is allegedly “the Gospel”.

It is not how the scriptures say the church should work.

It sure as hell is not the “Jesus Style” that Erwin uses as a theme to collect honorariums around the country.

It is apostate.

Were it not apostate, what we would be hearing is confession, repentance, and a request for forgiveness.

We would see men who claim to be leaders doing their utmost to care for, nurture, and protect, the Body of Christ that built the second biggest mission in America and all those who work for and have been affected by it.

That’s the “Jesus Style”…a style that is no longer in fashion in the apostate corporate church in this country.

 

Oct 212015
 

1426163_10152538970789156_1955504315_aToday, like every Wednesday, we will remember Saeed Abedini.

We do more than just remember, however…we stand with him by using our social media to advocate for his release.

We ask that you change your Facebook profile picture to his and that you “like”  the “Free Saeed” Facebook page and participate in some of the activities that promote his cause.

We ask…that you remember him and his family in prayer…and that you refuse to give up on efforts to secure his release.

You can follow Naghmeh Abedini for the latest news on her Facebook page…

Oct 202015
 

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In other news, K.P. Yohannan is still a liar…

Phil Aguilars son goes to prison…

Evangelicalism Is Dead; Long Live Evangelicalism

Megadeal between megachurches…

Tithing nonsense…

What sins should bring church discipline?

Spanking your adult children…

What is the PCA?

A call to lament…

A Jesus prayer…

Thomas Jefferson and the origins of American religious nationalism…

Doubt is not a sin…

What Is Doctrine? from Crossway on Vimeo.

An evening of eschatology…

NFL fans should care about player concussions…

Living in the in between time…

Republicans woo evangelicals at Texas church…

Creation beyond Genesis…

Why the Russian Orthodox Church chose to bless empire…

Can justification be lost?

Carl Trueman on preaching and P.T. Forsyth…

Boomerang prayers…

Embarrassed by the Bible…

Amazing grace and the death penalty…

Thanks again to EricL for help with the compilation…support him at top right.

Oct 192015
 

GayleBookVideo-279x355Warren Throckmorton with the story.

Erwin, (who threw the GFA Diaspora under the bus), backs up and runs over K.P Yohannan by claiming that the board knew nothing of the transfer of funds to build the facility in Texas.

Bus driving in the “Jesus Style”…run ’em over and run away as fast as you can.

By simply acknowledging that it happened and was wrong, he admits that GFA committed donor fraud.

By claiming it was done without board knowledge, he implicitly indicts Yohannan.

Much more to come, I’m sure…

 

 

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