Jul 312015
 

headerThanks to you folks who use the Amazon links to make your purchases.

A small percent comes back to me and it helps out a lot.

Support our advertisers…especially when they are part of the online community.

EricL features his books and services up on the top right side of the blog and helps me often with our Linkathon.

You can also make direct donations via PayPal using the “donate” button on the top left side of the site.

We covet your continued prayers and participation for what we do here.

I can always be reached at phoenixpreacher@gmail.com with your questions or concerns.

Jul 312015
 

IMG_0027Last night I woke up to shrieking sound of a cat fight at the end of the driveway.

I didn’t even bother to get up.

The cat across the street had attempted to walk up my driveway and partake of the food we leave out for strays.

 

This cat is not a stray, he is fat and pompous…and Miss Kitty whacked him severely about the whiskers and shoulders until he left.

This happens about once a week.

Miss Kitty is the gatekeeper.

This is her place and she only allows those who she deigns acceptable to enter…but they always must enter knowing who owns the place.

The sweet spirited yellow coon cat comes every day.

Miss Kitty allows him to pass, sometimes offering a perfunctory swat on his backside.

Some days she allows him to eat in peace, other days she stands about a foot away as if to remind him of her authority.

Occasionally, she will walk to his dish with him…and greedily eat his meal in front of him.

She will then come in the house and announce that she’s starving.

Now and then I will go out and pet him and she observes and takes notes…he will pay for this attention later.

The other strays are treated more or less the same, depending on the gatekeepers mood.

The one rule they must always be mindful of…they may eat outside, but they may never enter the inside of the home.

The inside, where the food comes from and where the master dwells…is hers alone.

Attempts to enter in are dealt with swiftly and fiercely.

Miss Kitty the gatekeeper doesn’t remember that once she was a stray herself.

She no longer acknowledges that all she has, she’s been given.

She wasn’t born into the family, she was adopted.

She doesn’t recognize that it’s my house and my food and I share with who I will.

She has forgotten grace.

The gatekeepers always do.

The other night I was awakened by the sound of Miss Kitty crunching away on her middle of the night meal.

The door to the outside was open and she strolled in for a snack before bed.

Then, I noted that Miss Kitty the gatekeeper was sound asleep next to me…and the crunching continued.

The truly hungry will always find a way around the gatekeepers…

Make your own application…

Jul 302015
 

CCDoveLogoTo finish up on yesterdays article about Calvary Chapel and the Calvary Chapel Association a few more points need to be made clear.

Despite what some believe, there is no longer any person or persons with central authority over the movement.

There is no one person that all the affiliates would follow and the “Leadership Council” is as fractured as the movement as a whole.

Thus, there is no monolithic “Calvary Chapel”, no one leader who speaks for anyone but themselves, and no one leader who can be held accountable for anything other than what happens in their particular church.

There will be no policy changes, no doctrinal changes, no changes at all that require movement wide submission to a central authority.

They are (finally) completely independent of each other.

The only “penalty” the CCA can give is removal from the “church finder” database.

The only recourse in situations where there is spiritual abuse or corruption is to leave the fellowship or in cases grievous enough to merit it, hope that a blogger will take up the case to inform the public and shame the perpetrator.

That requires a lot of facts, proper documentation, and puts the blogger at risk.

There should be a better way…but the bloggers did a pretty good job with Mark Driscoll…

In other news…K.P. Yohannon was caught in another lie.

Warren Throckmorton has the goods on this, as usual.

Tullian speaks again…

Tullian Tchividjian showed up on Facebook yesterday with an interesting take on his situation.

Until we hear from his wife and kids, I’m not real interested in what he has to say…

Jul 302015
 

MAIN-Cecil-the-LionThere was a lot of rage flying yesterday, as rage is the currency of the internet.

I am older now and rage takes its toll on me, so I have to acquire and spend my own rage carefully.

Others, evidently, need not be so judicious.

 

There was rage over the story of a Minnesota dentist who killed a beloved African lion for sport.

I was outraged at this story and at the pathetic, flaccid, excuse for a human who pulled the trigger.

There was rage over the third Planned Parenthood video that showed us once again the depths of human depravity and the evil that we embrace as a “right”.

I shared in this outrage as well.

There was one more source of rage as well.

That was from people who were outraged at people who were outraged over the death of the lion, but not sufficiently outraged at the Planned Parenthood video.

Now, I have been practicing outrage for six decades and have the ability to be outraged over more than one thing at a time.

The internet has greatly helped me with skill development in this area.

I don’t need to be told what to get mad about.

What we’re missing here is that the Planned Parenthood videos are creating cultural cognitive dissonance at a level never before seen.

For thirty years the culture has been indoctrinated to believe that abortion was simply a “medical procedure”, that it was morally neutral, and that it was simply a woman exercising her right to control her own body.

Never before has the grisly reality of the practice been so widely shown as through the videos circulating today.

The culture has now been led into a room, the door slammed and nailed shut, and we have been forced to see what we have chosen to affirm in all it’s horror.

Millions of women who have undergone the procedure and millions of men who have affirmed their choice are seeing the real result of that decision.

For these people to express outrage over abortion they first have to deal with the guilt and shame of having participated in what they are now supposed to be outraged about.

For this barbarity to end, we have to do more than be outraged.

Shaming people for loving animals is pure folly…we need to focus on extending that love for living creatures to loving human babies in the womb.

Our message cannot be criticism over having a heart for animals, but must be a Gospel message that enlarges the heart of a country with a seared conscience.

We have to speak repentance and grace to those who are dealing with their own complicity in the carnage.

We need to be the church of Jesus Christ who died for abortionists and lion killers.

Changing laws will help, but only the Gospel can change a heart.

We must speak that Gospel in love…some are now ready to listen.

Jul 292015
 

rdozlerDoveWhat does the CCA do?

I’ve been asked this question a lot lately by people who have an issue with a Calvary Chapel.

They write or call the Calvary Chapel Association with that issue assuming that it is the governing body of the movement.

 

 

This assumption comes from a few places where the website speaks of regional authorities who have “oversight” over a group of churches in a geographical location.

They invariably get no response.

It may be helpful to start at the beginning to understand why and what’s happening now.

When the movement was founded it was founded on the principle of the autonomy of the local church.

Chuck Smith would not be told what to do or how to do it, nor did he want that power over others.

There would be no bishops or other oversight, each body would be wholly responsible for it’s governance through elders and the board with the senior pastor always having the final say.

This became the notorious “Moses Model”.

In reality, the “Moses Model” was nothing new in the church

Independent Baptists and others had used a senior pastor centric model before, though without the ridiculous Mosaic explanation.

The movement would not be a denomination, but a group of pastors who “affiliated” with each other on the basis of shared doctrine and vision.

As the movement grew, it became necessary to deal with the flood of pastors who wanted to become “affiliated” with Calvary Chapel.

Thus was born the Calvary Chapel Outreach Fellowship.

That became the agency that handed out the dove.

In time, it also became the enforcement arm of the movement, dealing with issues of moral turpitude, financial issues, and doctrinal fidelity to the “Distinctives”.

That worked…until it became evident that it also created a legal liability for Costa Mesa when one of the “affiliates” got in trouble.

Eventually, Chuck Smith grew tired of “paying for the boys mistakes” in legal settlements and disbanded the CCOF in an attempt to get back to the original plan.

The buck would stop with Chuck Smith and Chuck Smith wasn’t going to have anymore of his bucks going out the door to cover some guys sin, a guy he possibly had never even met.

The affiliates would be liable for their own actions and Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa would only be responsible for it’s own.

That was the case from 2012 to when Smith died.

Smith spoke of no plan for how to govern the movement after his death, so the CCA was formed while he was still around and great efforts were made to show that he approved it.

Whether he did or not is another story, but the CCA was in place when he died.

It was created solely to approve affiliation… the “Leadership Council” would oversee things such as the annual conference and doctrinal statements, but no one was to have any authority over anyone else.

In truth, they don’t.

What the CCA does is type names of new affiliates into a database and removes names that are no longer affiliated for some reason.

Regional pastors submit names, Michelle Wright types them in and the work of the CCA is done.

The harshest “discipline” that the CCA can administer is deleting a name from the CC database.

The leadership is fractured to the point of not even being able to agree on when or where to hold a national conference.

No one wants to or will take on the responsibility or liability for the errors of another affiliate.

No one wants to be sued.

The reality is that for the first time Calvary Chapels are truly autonomous.

If you have an issue with your local CC that can’t be resolved at the church, you’re out of luck.

Period.

It would be helpful and responsible if the CCA website took away any language that indicated that there was any sort of accountability hierarchy within the movement.

It leads people to believe that there is an place to appeal…and there is not.

Any accountability is at the local level…and if there is none there, there is none to be had.

We can debate all day about whether there should be, but at the end of the day we must deal with what is.

This is quintessential American religion…the market will decide if it works.

Jul 292015
 

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…

Jul 282015
 

61h43xNLRoL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_My friend Tony Brussat has authored a new book examining the faith through the lens of the philosophical construct of “qualia”.

It’s a fascinating and challenging way to think about how God creates and sustains the creation.

If you’re interested in how different thinkers think about the faith, this will be of interest to you.

“Faith is not blind. Our faith has been learned by experience since the dawn of time. Experience has taught us that God has always provided for our needs. Our lives, and the lives of our ancestors, all the way back to the very beginning of life, have been filled with God’s qualia. He has always revealed new secrets, new landmarks and pathways through the landscape, to guide us out of danger. Those who notice survive; those who don’t notice, perish. Our faith, like any trait, is carried on in the survivors and on down through the generations.”

To top it all off it was edited by our own EricL and it’s free till Friday.

Click here for a Kindle copy…

 

 

Jul 282015
 

links_image1The eternal subordination of women…

Accountability for sex offenders in the church…

Boy Scouts drop ban on gay leaders…

Gay rabbi calls Planned Parenthood “God’s work”…

 

Millennials avoid church membership…

Driscoll moves to Phoenix, AZ…

Wenatchee the Hatchet covers the move and some Driscoll purchases…

Franklin Grahams speech could backfire…

Another convert to Orthodoxy…

The future of evangelicalism…

Can God change the past?

Science vs. God in Tennessee…again.

No right to privacy if you butt dial someone…

Third Planned Parenthood video…

The Calvary option…

Adrian Warnock on why he is still an evangelical…

More on the third PP video…

John Walton on Adam and Eve…

Interview with Nadia Bolz-Webber…

Body by God…

The roots of Christianity’s pro life stand…

Huge thanks to EricL for the Linkathon work…support him at the top right.

Jul 272015
 

thinking_man_ape_wood_3d_sculpture_thinker_think-480x3251. Now that the ghastly reality of what an abortion is really like has been thrust in the cultures face, we have an opportunity to speak to the issue from a Christian perspective to people much more willing to listen.

What we say and how we say it will make the difference in how successful we are in persuading people.

The thing that has to be foremost in our intercourse is a message of grace for the millions of women who have already submitted to the procedure and the millions of men who have affirmed a partner doing so.

Only the Gospel can cover the guilt and shame that so many are feeling right now. We must call sin what it is…but we must offer the Savior in greater measure.

2. I might be crazy…but it is my perception that while we have lived through a time of great spiritual deception, God is now opening blinded eyes to those deceptions. We must have the Gospel ready at hand for those who are seeing clearly for the first time. If we do not respond in love and humility, we will be done for at least another generation and the fault will be all our own.

3. My church knows me too well…last night they gave me a sign that read “the more people I meet, the more I like my cat”…

4. In Amos 7 the Lord speaks judgment over His covenant people twice…and twice the prophet intercedes with God on their behalf and the Lord “relents” of the judgment spoken. The true “prophets” of God have a broken heart for those on the verge of judgment, not a spirit of malice. In truth, that may be the mark of a true prophet…and thus the opposite is true as well.

5. I have said this over and over again since we started in 2003. The story of Achan in Joshua 7 should inform us on why we lose battles with the world and the culture. Hidden sin in the camp removes the Lords hand of victory…

6. In that story the covenant people of God took Achan out and stoned him for bringing defeat down on the people. Today we take the ones who reveal hidden sin out to the rock pile and let the sinners stone them…

7. Here’s a fun exercise… whenever you read the name “God” in the Older Testament, substitute the name “Jesus”. Trinitarian theology is the theology of orthodox Christianity.

8. In any discussion of divine sovereignty and the will of man it must be remembered that God works through means…and the main means through which He accomplishes His work is through the prayers of His people. Those prayers result in actions…both by God and his people…

9. I wonder how many churches that support Gospel for Asia have addressed the current issues around GFA with the congregations that actually provide the support. People deserve to know that information. It’s not your money, pastor…

10. I read the letter about GFA written by the Canadian pastor again…and wonder gain why the American pastors are choking silently. It’s a disgrace.

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