1. The exposure and discipline of one caught in sin is the easy (though awful) work of the church. The real work is to restore the the fallen one who has repented to full participation and acceptance in the Body. Disqualification from position does not equal exclusion from place. We either affirm or deny the Gospel by our actions and attitudes after the fall.
2. We err grievously when we fail to distinguish between the beliefs and doctrines necessary to be part of our particular tradition or sect and those necessary for participation in the kingdom of God.
3. I grow more and more convinced that the biblical doctrine that we both neglect and need the most is that of being members of one family in Christ.
4. The unbiblical exaltation of those in the church with a particular gift also gives rise to the unbiblical desire to bury them when they fall. Error begets error…
5. “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”” (Hebrews 12:6 ESV) Love and discipline must be administered together in the church…loveless discipline is retributive and has no place in the Body of Christ.
6. The resurrection is the the guarantee to every other promise in Scripture.
7. I find it baffling that there is no real example of how to deal with a fallen elder in the N.T…
8. God usually works in a process…don’t judge the process when you are in it…“And some people brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him. And he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Do you see anything?”And he looked up and said, “I see people, but they look like trees, walking.” Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.”(Mark 8:22–25 ESV)
9. I recently read the biography of one of my heroes, legendary Vikings coach Bud Grant. Toward the end of the book he goes out of his way to say that he is not a believer in God. I almost choked up. I still have all the respect and admiration for him I ever had…just accompanied now by a ton of sadness.
10. The Christian life is one in which we are daily either celebrating or anticipating Easter.
We give thanks for the gift of Easter that runs beyond our explanations, beyond our categories of reason, even more, beyond the sinking sense of our own lives.
We know about the powers of death, powers that persist among us, powers that drive us from you, and from our neighbor, and from our best selves.
We know about the powers of fear and greed and anxiety, and brutality and certitude. powers before which we are helpless.
And then you … you at dawn, unquenched, you in the darkness, you on Saturday, you who breaks the world to joy.
Yours is the kingdom … not the kingdom of death,
Yours is the power … not the power of death,
Yours is the glory … not the glory of death.
Yours … You … and we give thanks for the newness beyond our achieving.
Walter Brueggemann. Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth: The Prayers of Walter Brueggemann (p. 161). Kindle Edition.
” Our pastor…he committed adultery with more than one woman.”
“Our pastor…he committed sexual immorality…habitually…through pornography”.
The pastor speaking reported that Coy was confronted by “Nathans”, and willingly resigned after confession of his sin.
Evidently, my sources were pretty good after all…and the ‘vicious rumormongering” was fact.
I commend CC Ft. Lauderdale for telling the truth and letting the healing begin.
For those unaware, it is a volcano that blew up, collapsed into itself and slowly filled with the clearest water on earth.
Now it’s the deepest lake in North America, seventh deepest in the world.
It is a wonder of the world, breathtaking in it’s unspeakable beauty.
What it really is…is a scar.
A scar of God.
Before the cataclysmic explosion it was “just” another mountain in the Cascade range, a home for myriad animals and Native Americans.
The eruption was powerful, terrible, awesome.
The mountain was destroyed along with all the surrounding area.
There was nothing beautiful left.
If you had lived here and managed to survive the blast, you would have had to move on…the life you had known before was no longer.
It was all over…but it wasn’t.
Slowly, the land healed…and what God created in the devastation was far greater than what had been before.
It took a very long time, a very long time indeed.
Now, people come from all over the world to see the scar of God.
Some of us find healing in it.
The transformation has triumphed over the devastation.
It always will.
Make your own application…
Phil Johnson of Grace To You, the ministry of John MacArthur, annotated this video of Jacob Prasch in classic form.
Worse than the horrific theological and historical distortions, the hatred of the brethren outside of his tradition is really hard to fathom.
We have to learn to talk to each other…
Weary of and embarrassed by the constant speculations that read the apocalypse into every news event and the character assassination of those who won’t do likewise, many of us just stopped paying attention to biblical prophecy at all.
That is both unwise and unbiblical…the Bible devotes much attention to the topic of the end times.
After wrestling with all the divergent views on the Rapture and the Second Coming many years ago, I believe that the pre wrath scenario best harmonizes all the biblical data and presents the most biblically coherent view of the end times.
I also believe that the foundational structure and doctrine is closest to what the early church believed.
The best book that clearly outlines and defends this position is the one I review today, AntiChrist Before The Day of The Lord: What Every Christian Needs To Know About the Return of Christ by Alan Kurshner.
Kurshner is a Greek scholar pursuing his Ph.D in Greek linguistics and heads up Eschatos Ministries.
The book uses careful biblical exegesis and simple but helpful graphics to explain the pre wrath position, which can be basically outlined by this sentence;
“The church will first experience the Antichrist’s great tribulation, which will be cut short by the return of Christ to resurrect and rapture believers, and then the rapture will be followed immediately on the same day by the onset of the day of the Lord’s wrath executed upon the ungodly—hence, prewrath.”
What this book isn’t is a long screed against the pretribulation rapture doctrine.
Kurshner simply exegetes and harmonizes the critical texts involved and in doing that work, refutes pretribulationism without having to attack it directly.
More importantly than simply being a defense of a particular eschatological position, Kurshner carefully lays out why we need to be ready to face the wrath of the AntiChrist.
Jesus and the NT writers were constantly warning us to be on guard against deception and apostasy and to be ready for persecution…and to be overcomers in Christ of it all.
There will be no escape from the Great Tribulation for believers, but we have been warned in advance of it’s coming.
This book, read with an open Bible at hand, will help you to be biblically and spiritually ready for both the end of the age and our blessed hope of His appearing.
I commend it highly.
For an exhaustive but readable treatment of all the major eschatological views I recommend Biblical Eschatology by Jonathan Menn.
It’s a fascinating look inside of the financial life of a mega church.
The thing that stands out to me as a former banker is a short term loan held by Bank of America for $35,000,000.
It calls for balloon payments of over $3,000,000 for this year, 2015 and 2016, a $2,000,000 payment in 2017, and a whopping $23,000,000 balloon in 2018.
The church had about $9,000,000 in cash on hand as of last June.
That will start disappearing immediately.
Now, that loan was undoubtedly given based on the earning power of Bob Coy.
It is also possible, depending on how the loan was written, that it could be called immediately now that he’s gone.
Bank of America could choose to attach some of the $90,000,0000 in equity the church possesses on the property.
Churches of that size are dependent on the power of personality…and without that personality, the giving and attendance drop precipitously.
I think the Bible calls that idolatry…
CCFTL is in need of a savior…will one appear?