Disturbing News for Community of Faith

Dr. Katherine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, discussed heresy in her address to the General Convention recently. She clearly denounced the individual faith experience. http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fbit.ly%2Fkk0zI&h=e13104c7ba58c2920a18771232786170

Homosexuals are being allowed in pulpits as leaders of the flock. Just google the words homosexual ministry and you will see that denomination is not a barrier to this.

We hear of ministers abusing children. Wives murder pastor/husbands citing abusive behavior as the reason.

Where is the leadership? Nothing is more disturbing than the movement of churches moving farther away from the clear teachings of scripture and trying to disguise thier actions as Christian conduct. Christian conduct is nothing short of what scripture teaches and what we see in the news today is far from it.

Hang In There

Hang in there. Do you often think of the circumstances that perplex you allowing those thoughts to consume you? Or are you someone with the wisdom to look back and see things you would do different if you could. Do you then find yourself looking forward at the endless possibilities God has set before you? Many look back at the past by turning toward it only to never turn back around and look ahead. Keep looking back in the mirror while you move forward and don’t allow the past to rob you of the future blessings that are waiting on you to come by and pick them up.
In the words of a country preacher “hang in there like a hair in a biscuit” (Dean Haun).
Disgusting thought i know but it will stay in your mind when times get tough.
Thanks be to God for hope

He Has Risen

Resurrection of Christ

Easter has become a celebration of many things. Some celebrate the birth of spring. Others believe we are paying homage to the fertility “gods”. Many are simply glad to get a little time off work and eat chocolate or little tasty sugar chickens. Sadly a growing number of people have no idea what Easter is really all about.

Jesus Christ who was born of a virgin lived without sin (the only person to do this) and is the son of God. He was crucified on a cross. On one hand He was killed for His claims to the Kingdom of Heaven. On the other hand He was killed because He took on the sins of His people. His people are those who trust in His redemptive work accomplished on the cross and that which followed. You see man thought killing Jesus was to stop a blasphemer, but the truth is He was born to die. Man really couldn’t stop the murder of Christ if he wanted to. Jesus died as the only righteous one in the place of sinners. He paid the penalty for sin. He accepted the wrath of a Holy God. God’s wrath is poured out on sin and Christ took that sin (mine and others) on himself on Calvary’s Hill hanging on the cross. What happened next is the miracle we celebrate during the Easter season.

Jesus Christ gave up the ghost (died). He was taken down from the cross and laid in a borrowed tomb (grave). A great stone was rolled in front of the entry way of the tomb. At the end of three days and nights some of His followers came to anoint His body, but…. His body was not there. Angels asked the ones who were present “why seek ye the living among the dead?” Jesus was alive! Yes, He was raised from the dead! This man had given up the ghost and now had taken His life back up. He has power not only over life but also over death. He is Lord!

Easter is a celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ!

The Greatest Man, overlooked by many

Using Matthew 9

Who do you look up to? Most people have someone in their life to look up to for inspiration, guidance and help in the time of need. With that said history reveals some great people in the eyes of man through human perception. No matter who you look up to history will have recorded some unfavorable things in their life. At mans best he still does not measure up to the greatest man to walk this earth!

A look into history will reveal a man who no other can match. Others may have more money, some will have more fame, but still they cannot compare to this man. Bigger houses have certainly been had by others, for this man owned no house. Popularity among the highly esteemed is a goal and comfort for some; however our subject today was despised and rejected by the elite. He still is unmatched by any other.

Who is this man who was despised, rejected, poor and murdered? Who is the one with all the suffering and yet He is unmatched? It is the Lord Jesus Christ! He is the King of Kings, Lord of Lords and God incarnate. No other can match Him in any way.

Though He had no place to lay His head He owns all of Heaven. He was despised and rejected by the elite, but He is accepted by The Father in Heaven and will be worshipped throughout eternity. He suffered at the hand of man, but He brings comfort to the burdened and heavy laden. He is the all time, undisputed Lord. As a man He was likely slim in build and He was not great to look at. In the end all the world will feel the weight of His judgment and His people will admire His beauty and splendor for all eternity. Again, He is the Lord Jesus Christ!

Empty Pulpits and Troubled Churches. Who Shall Go, Isaiah 6:8

After talking with a dear friend about the lack of called men of God to fill the pulpits of churches I feel compelled to cover the subject. My friend serves as Director of Missions in the Baptist Convention and has a true servants heart.  

 

Will we be able to worship the way we do now in ten years? On the surface the question directs the mind to political issues concerning separation of church and state. That is not the most dangerous quandary facing believers. The problem at hand comes from within the church, not the outside. The dilemma is a lack of men surrendering to the call of God to pastoral ministry.

When we speak of the call to pastoral ministry the need to clarify what that consists of is obvious in the current state of affairs concerning the church. Preachers are easily found. Preaching is a necessity! Pastors preach, but that is not the end of the burden for a pastor. Pastors have a heart for the people they preach to. A man called by God to the pastorate will want to see the people he sounds the trumpet before being transformed by the message. He will also be around to patiently wait for the transformation to take place.

Pastors called by God are not professional preachers. That is not meant to be critical of preachers who handle the pastorate in a professional manner. Carrying out pastoral duties in a professional fashion is admirable and good for the church. The point of the statement deals with the matter of choosing the pastorate as a career. Doing this always leads to catastrophe. If a person is serving as a pastor without the call of God the people are not more than numbers to add or subtract in the ledger. If the balance sheet doesn’t match expectations the pastor becomes discouraged. Then comes the noticeable despondency. Despondency is followed by tensions that lead to harsh words and abrupt actions.

Their are clear guidelines to protect the church against dangers associated with calling a preacher who is not called by God. The answers are found in scripture. Scripture is Gods word. God tells the church exactly what to look for in a man before calling him to serve as the under shepherd of the local flock. The church and the pastor share a burden. The burden is to seek Gods direction in calling and accepting the call to the pastorate in the local church.

We will look at the scriptural guidelines for measuring a preacher later. We will also lay out the responsibilities of the pastor in another post.

For today I ask all readers to join me in praying for God to send called men to the pastorate. This will accomplish great things. Churches will see an overwhelming decline in pastor turnover. Pulpits will no longer sit vacant for long periods of time. Church members will begin to heal from the effects of the civil war that takes place in too many churches and Real Discipleship will take place in the church.

Discipleship is a Necessity

Necessity? Yes, discipleship is a must for true believers. I heard a great Bible teacher give this definition of discipleship; wanting to know God as He is. That is a profound statement. Many people have preconcieved ideas of who God is and what He cares about. The one place we can go to find out who God is and what He cares about is His own word in which He reveals Himself to us. The Holy Bible tells us everything God wants to tell us about Himself. A true believer is one who wants to know the God he/she is surrendered to. If God is my dearest Father I want to know what that means. The more I learn about my dearest Father the more I want to resemble Him. Only in His kingdom will I see Him in all His splendor, but while I wait I will practice the disciplines in scripture and become the disciple He can use. Is discipleship a necessity for you?

Christian Liberty, What is it?

Liberty! Today many suggest Christian Liberty is social, political, economical and self promoting liberty. That is not what Jesus Christ taught about liberty. Jesus said the believer would be free.  Jesus also taught us to be a slave. The Apostle’s taught about a Christian freedom pushing the believer into slavery. The slavery I speak of today is that of being slaves to righteousness. What is Christian Liberty? Salvation! Salvation from sin, the law and superstition is the basic definition of Christian Liberty.

When a person is a regenerate believer they are set free from unrighteousness. It is not always fully recognized by the regenerate believer upon regeneration, but it is still a blessing from God imparted to the regenerate believer. Due to this new freedom we are inclined to a different lifestyle than before. The Holy Spirit working in us effectually calls us to righteousness. This is again not because we are good people. It is only by the grace of God.

To preach Christian Freedom as a means of living our own desires, doing what is contrary to the word of God and promoting our self above all other is a heresy. Jesus Christ never, “never”, taught His disciples to be first, go for your dreams or you should have all the world has to offer. That is not popular, but it is the truth. This is not my words. Jesus Himself said in the kingdom the first shall be last and the last shall be first. Too many people in the church today are falling into the trap the devil has set. He wants us to remain slaves to self and sin rather than slaves to Christ and His righteousness.

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