Thursday, December 29, 2011

Jesus: Love Embodied!


In meditating on 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, I thought of how perfectly Christ demonstrates love embodied for us: 1.) He is patient with us: How often has he and does he put up with our sin and pour out love grace and mercy to us? 2.) He is kind: think about His kindness in taking in human flesh, in humbling himself as the servant of all, in going to the cross for us, in sending the Spirit, in restoring us to the Father, in filling us with innumerable gifts and joy and grace upon grace, in giving us His word and...3.) He is not jealous concerning us in the sense of not wanting us to have all goodness. He wants to shower goodness upon us, He wants us to be satisfied, He wants us to be filled with joy, he gives us richly all things to enjoy, even the trials he brings are for our good! 4.) He did not come to the earth bragging with arrogance, He came in the lowliest way, he made himself the servant of all, He poured himself out and completely submitted Himself to the Father's will! 5.) He does not act unbecomingly: He always acts in a way that accords with righteousness and truth, He always does the will of the Father, He is always good, and just and gracious! 6.) He did not come seek his own, but the Father's will and redemption and blessing for others. He laid His life down! 7.) He was not provoked: think of the Jewish leaders railing against Him, falsely accusing him, abusing him; think of Herod's mockery of him, think of the Romans cruelty to him. As they spat in his face, whipped Him, beat Him and crucified Him, He was never once provoked to anger or hate, or bitterness, instead He said "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do!", He entrusted Himself to His faithful Father and finished the work of offering Himself for our sin as our Savior! 8.) He did not keep an account of wrong's suffered. Remember how all of his discipled abandoned Him at his moment of greatest need. He did not hold that against them, but instead he restored them in Galilee. What grace and mercy to give Peter the opportunity to profess love 3x to Him to erase his 3 fold denial of Christ. What grace to send these men out to represent Him fully restored after they had forsaken them. What grace that He does not hold our sin against us if we are trusting in Him and embracing His forgiveness! 9.) He never rejoices in unrighteousness, but always rejoices in the truth. He loves us to much to allow us to remain in our sin--He wants to redeem us from every lawless deed. He has given his Word and His Spirit turn us from sin and turn us to truth and righteousness. 10.) He always bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things with us. Again think of his dealing with the disciples. He could have focused a lot on their weakness and sin, but instead He encouraged them and gently brought them along! He bears with us and our weakness and warts, and sin as well. He sees the good that he is working in us through His Spirit and forgives and forgets the bad, He knows that he will fully conform us to His image of perfection, He endures all that we do and remains faithful to us to the end! What a challenge to love in this way with a love that never fails! Lord, give us this love!

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Thursday, December 01, 2011

Ashamed of the Gospel Chapter 5 "The Foolishness of God"

Over a century ago, John MacArthur reminds us, there was a movement that came about in Christianity called fundamentalism.  This movement was a reaction against the downgrade toward liberalism that was taking place in Europe and America.  Christian leaders from a number of different denominations were intent on reestablishing what were the fundamental truths of the Christian faith and recommitting themselves to defending these at all costs.  Fuller seminary was original established under this greater movement.  George Marsden wrote a book called Reforming Fundamentalsim:  Fuller Seminary and the New Evangelicalism.  The book shows how gradually Fuller Seminary abandoned it's fundamentalist evangelical roots and entered into an evangelicalism that questioned the full inerrancy of the scripture.  MacArthur reminds us that this happened because a desire rose up from that seminary to be academically credible and acceptable to the world.  

We Christians sometimes chafe at the idea that the world thinks that we are idiots.  We are tempted to want to show them that we are not stupid and that our ideas are academically viable.  What we forget is the principle that comes from 1 Corinthians 1:18 (NASB95) "18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."

MacArthur unpacks this and the verses that follow and challenges us to remember that the wisdom that should captivate our thinking is not the wisdom of the world, but the wisdom of Christ.  Only those who have trusted Christ as Savior and Lord can understand that "In Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Col. 2:6).  We look at the world entirely through the lens of Christ.  How can we expect the world to understand or appreciate our wisdom unless they turn from their sins to Him.  How can we expect to incorporate a philosophy from the world back into our institutions or churches that is not subject to the wisdom of Christ?  


One of the greatest things that stood out to me was the fact that human wisdom has never solved the ultimate issues of life, but the wisdom of Christ gets to the heart of man's problems and provides a solution to everything.  In Him we have salvation from our sin, the understanding from His word of how we got here, what our problem is, how God redeems us, what we are supposed to be doing, where we are going, and all of the other moral and practical issues of life!  If we have all of the at from Christ, why do we we go back to the world for wisdom of acceptance?  

The allurement of seeking to become more acceptable to the world always causes Christians to abandon Christian wisdom and replaces it with the worlds wisdom.  This actually causes the world to evangelize the church instead of the church evangelizing the world!  

MaCarthur closes with some quotes from Spurgeon.  I share a brief one here:  

Jesus Christ is made of God unto us wisdom. We look no more for wisdom from the thoughts that spring of human mind, but to Christ himself; we do not expect wisdom to come to us through the culture that is of man, but we expect to be made wise through sitting at our Master’s feet and accepting him as wisdom from God himself.

Let us always embrace the wisdom of Christ no matter what the world thinks of us, for it is the power of God unto salvation!

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Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Ashamed of the Gospel Chapter 4: "All things to all men"


Over the course of my ministry I have heard many people justify many programs and methods in the name of being "All things to all men." There is usually something worldly that is going on in the church to attract people, or something worldly in that persons life that they are saying is just a tool to reach more people for Christ. MacArthur takes this idea on and completely dismantles it.

He walks through the context of 1Corinthians 9:22-23

“I have become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some. And I do all things for the sake of the gospel, that I may become a fellow partaker of it” (1 Cor. 9:22, 23).
He also highlights features of Paul's ministry and his methodology. What he shows is that Paul never adopted or adapted methods of the world to attract people or please people. Instead what he did was deny himself certain rights and work within various religious expectations in order not to be an offense so that he could have the opportunity to clearly present the gospel in word and deed to the lost. If you have every debated what it means to be "all things to all men" or every used that phrase to justify worldliness in your life or in the church, you should read this chapter. It is spot on!

We should never sacrifice godliness or the clear teaching of scripture to try to reach more people. Instead, we should sacrifice our own preferences, without sacrificing truth, to humble ourselves to reach everyone we can reach with the gospel without compromise.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ashamed of the Gospel Chapter 3 "Give Me That Showtime Religion"

Every once in a while we wake from a slumber to see things the way that they actually are.  This chapter certainly helped to reawaken me as to how much the entertainment industry has affected the culture, my life, and the church.  

MacArthur quotes Neil Postman who speaks of the end of the "exposition era".  People used to spend much more time in intellectual and philosophical debates.  There was a genuine interest in truth, content and meaning.  Postman says that we are now in the "entertainment era."  This is so true!  What do people want to do with their free time in our day: be entertained:  watch TV; watch a movie; go to a show; listen to music; play games; go online; read light, entertaining books, magazines, etc; play sports; go outdoors; go out to a bar; socialize in many ways; gamble; and on and on it goes.   Many of these things can have their place in measure, but our culture worships these things and lives for these things.  It is never enough.  

In C. H. Spurgeon's day back at the end of the 19th century he say that the church was no longer taking a stand against the god of entertainment. Instead, they invited her in to the church to see if they could increase their numbers.  He was very concerned about were this was leading.  In the middle of the 20th century A.W. Tozer sounded the same alarm as the churches at that time were using films, up tempo music, and humorous speakers as a main way of attracting people in.  Churches in our time have thrown out all the stops when it comes to the use of entertainment to draw people in and keep them in.  MacArthur mentions a church that staged it own full scale wrestling match WWF style.  Many churches look for a pastor who can be a master of organizing entertainment.  Churches research all of the methods of the entertainment industry and employ them even as far as having pyrotechnic shows in the service and hiring 100 clowns to give away gifts!  

MacArthur points out that all of this comes from a Philosophy called pragmatism that says that the end justifies the means.  In other words if we have thousands of people gathered who will hear the gospel then what does it matter how we got them there.  He shows the link between pragmatism and the church growth movement.  Churches and movements are studied and the most effective means are deduced and employed with out any thought of how biblical and Christ honoring they are and who is using them and why.  

MacArthur questions the whole approach of focusing on numerical growth.  he speaks of Jeremiah the prophet who ministered for his whole career without seeing a convert and was a faithful servant of the God.  He quotes 1 Corinthians 3:6-7 which indicates that growth is the work of God and not ours.  

“I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth” (1 Cor. 3:6, 7, emphasis added).

MacArthur says that it is the pastors job to be concerned with the depth of the ministry and we should let God take care of the breadth.  In other words pastors and church leaders need to seek to help people have a deep understanding of God from a deep understanding of His word and focus on discipleship and spiritual growth and not numbers.  He points out that numbers are not wrong and shares that his own church has 10,000 regular attenders. However, he has always said that all they ever tried to do was to remain faithful to God's word and God has chosen to bring numerical growth.  I have also heard him say recently that a pastor may be faithfully preaching the word and ministering well and yet the church may not grow.  It is entirely up to the Lord.  When God grows a church through His word He grows in deep and wide.  It has been said that the modern church is an inch deep and a mile wide.  

Evangelical churches today pride themselves on being clever and slick in their presentation to the world.  MacArthur explains that this is the opposite of what the apostle Paul did:

On the contrary, the apostle Paul shunned clever methods and gimmicks that might proselyte people to false conversions through fleshly persuasion. Paul himself wrote,

When I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. And my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God (1 Cor. 2:1–5).

He reminded the church at Thessalonica,

For our exhortation does not come from error or impurity or by way of deceit; but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men but God, who examines our hearts. For we never came with flattering speech, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness—nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, even though as apostles of Christ we might have asserted our authority (1 Thess. 2:3–6).

Biblical correctness is the only framework by which we must evaluate all ministry methods.

One of the most important things that MacArthur points out is that pragmatism is a bankrupt philosophy.  The church has jettisoned the preaching of God's word because it is not "relevant" and has replaced it with entertainment.  But as MacArthur says "What could be more relevant than God's word!"

He draw an interesting parallel between modern churches and a pub mentality.  Many pastors want people to feel just as comfortable sitting in a pew (or chair) at church as they do bellying up to the bar!  The problem is that God's message is not a comfortable message to a sinful heart, and why should it be?  Should people who are on their way to hell feel comfortable about it?  No!  People need to feel uncomfortable about their sin, so that they will realize their need for a Savior and turn to Him!

Acts 17:30–31 (NASB95)
30 “Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, 
31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”

MacArthur also asserts that the problem with the modern church is not that they have bad Theology it is that they have no Theology.  Many churches have fine looking doctrinal statements, but you will never hear these expressed or explained in a service.  Instead you will be entertained to your hearts delight while theology is completely avoided.  

In the down grade controversy in Spurgeon's time Spurgeon equated the entertainment inroads into the church as leprosy.  That leprosy has surely spread and whole pieces of the evangelical landscape have no completely fallen off.  It begs the question:  what's next?  

Will we wake up?  

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Thursday, October 06, 2011

Ashamed of the Gospel Chapter 2: "The User Friendly Church"--The Steve Jobs Method Doesn't transfer

Let's face it, what Steve Jobs did with computers in nothing short of amazing.  He didn't invent the technology, but he made it user friendly.  Why did I buy a Macbook Pro?  Because I wanted a laptop that would be user friendly and work the way I wanted it to.  Guess what, it has not disappointed!  Music player:  Ipod touch.  Next phone: hopefully Iphone (I currently have an android phone, but it just isn't, well, all that user friendly).  He made it work and he made it cool.  I am saddened by his death and I am praying for his family and friends.  

The Steve Jobs method fits very well in the corporate world, but not so much in the church.  

The church "gurus" of our day are trying to make the church work for the world and make the church cool to the world.  I have no doubt that there are some sincere desires in this:  to reach more to do more.  The problem is that Christ's idea of the church does not fit with the world and will never be cool to the world.  

MacArthur describes this attempt by church leaders to make the church more appealing to unbelievers:

The experts are now telling us that pastors and church leaders who want to be successful must concentrate their energies in this new direction. Provide non-Christians with an agreeable, inoffensive environment. Give them freedom, tolerance, and anonymity. Always be positive and benevolent. If you must have a sermon, keep it brief and amusing. Don’t be preachy or authoritative. Above all, keep everyone entertained. Churches following this pattern will see numerical growth, we’re assured; those that ignore it are doomed to decline.

Almost nothing is out of bounds for those who are absolutely committed to wooing the world:  from cage fighting to sex education.  One thing that is out of bounds for the "Steve Jobs" church is preaching on hell or sin.  These things are to be avoided if you want to draw a crowd.  

MacArthur talks about how many mega churches were born through surveying the community to find out what they want and then giving it to them.  The result, MacArthur says, is the at the customer becomes sovereign over the church rather than God. This is "turning the church growth theory upside down."  

Scripture says the early Christians “turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6, kjv). In our generation the world is turning the church upside down. Biblically, God is sovereign, not “unchurched Harry.” The Bible, not a marketing 
plan, is supposed to be the sole blueprint and final authority for all church ministry. Ministry should meet people’s real needs, not salve their selfishness. And the Lord of the church is Christ, not some couch potato with the remote control in his hand.

MacArthur goes on to show that in the explosion of the early church in the book of Acts they were not preaching a user friendly message and God did not use user friendly means.  Acts 2:42 tells us that they were "devoting themselves to the apostles teaching, to fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer."  

What was the apostles teaching?  Well the center of it was that "Christ died for our sins according to the scripture, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the scriptures" (1 Cor. 15).  Peter told the Jews that they had killed their Messiah and that they needed to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins.  

Once they responded to the gospel the people were wholly committed not to serving themselves but to serving their Savior and serving others.  They commemorated His death on their behalf regularly and spend great amounts of time in prayer.  They did not try to imitate the world around them, but instead they wanted to imitate Christ.  People even sold their land to meet the needs of others.  

MacArthur points out that some prideful hypocrisy arose in the church.  Ananias and Sapphira sold their land but kept back part of the proceeds, and they acted like they were giving all of the money (Acts 5).  They were not interested in the glory of Christ in this, but their own glory.  The Lord struck them down and they died as an example of how serious Christ is about sincere worship.  MacArthur points out that this is not "user friendly" to the world.  Great fear came over not only the church, but the community around them and yet their were people being added to the church daily.  How can we explain that:  God's word accomplishes His work!  

MacArthur points out that God wants us to deal with sin seriously:  

Matthew 18:15–20 (NASB95)
15  “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. 
16 “But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. 
17 “If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 
18 “Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven. 
19 “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. 
20 “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”

He also points out the Christ had more to say about eternal hell for sinners than any other person in scripture (Mt. 25:46; Luke 16:23.24).  

In fact the certain reality of hell should motivate us to see sinners saved:  

“Therefore knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men” (2 Cor. 5:11).

We are not so much concerned with what the world wants, but what the world needs!  What they need is to be forgiven of their sins through Christ so that they can be restored to their creator and their purpose to bring Him glory and rejoice in Him and His gifts.  

MacArthur concludes the chapter with these words:  

Too many who have embraced the user-friendly trend have not carefully pondered how user-friendliness is incompatible with true biblical theology. It is, at its heart, a pragmatic, not a biblical, outlook. It is based on precisely the kind of thinking that is eating away at the heart of orthodox doctrine. It is leading evangelicalism into neo-modernism and putting churches in the fast lane on the down-grade.
The answer, of course, is not an unfriendly church, but a vibrant, loving, honest, committed, worshiping fellowship of believers who minister to one another like the church in Acts chapter 4—but who eschew sin, keep one another accountable, and boldly proclaim the full truth of Scripture. People who have no love for the things of God may not find such a place very user-friendly. But God’s blessing will be on the fellowship of true believers,
  because that is what He ordained the church to be like. And He will add to the church, as He promised.

Steve Jobs was a technological and marketing genius, but let's not try to go "Steve Jobs" on the church.  Let us trust Christ do what he promised to do: build His church (Mt.16:18).  he does this as we stay faithful to his message (Romans 10:16).  

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Ashamed of the Gospel Chapter One: "Christianity on the Down-Grade"

In this chapter MacArthur compares the market driven approach to ministry in our time to the modernist approach to ministry during the down grade controversy of Charles H. Spurgeon's time.  Spurgeon withdrew from the baptist union because they were adopting a worldly methodology that he felt would soon be followed by false teaching.  He compared introducing worldly philosophy in to the church to some step of the peak of a mountain (the peak representing faithfulness to God's word).  Once you step off it is a slippery slope and you are on the downgrade heading towards apostasy.  100 years later, MacArthur points out, his concerns are validated.  The mainline denominations have rejected the authority of scripture.  

In our day the worldly philosophy that has bled into many churches is the idea that we package and market Christianity to the unchurched in such a way that we will reach more for Christ.  We can simply down play the not so palatable parts of scripture and focus on the things people want.  MacArthur shows us that this is the opposite of what Paul the apostle instructed Timothy  in his letter (1 Tim.) to do when the people of his church were crying out to have their ears tickled with what they wanted.  He gives an extensive summary of Paul's challenge to Timothy and then boils it dow to this:

To sum it all up in five categories, Paul commanded Timothy: 1) to be faithful in his preaching of biblical truth; 2) to be bold in exposing and refuting error; 3) to be an example of godliness to the flock; 4) to be diligent and work
hard in the ministry; and 5) to be willing to suffer hardship and persecution in his service for the Lord.

This is the same calling that any pastor has today or in any day no matter what people want from the church.  

MacArthur points out that most books on philosophy of ministry today having nothing to do with these things.  When he wrote this book preaching was out of vogue and it is even more so now.  Some postmodernist think that preaching is an act of violence against people because you are forcing your opinion on another.  

As he summarizes the message that Paul gave to Timothy at the end of his second letter to Timothy ( 2 Timothy), MacArthur reminds us that we really have one job to do:  "Preach the Word" (2 Tim. 4:2).  We are to do this because God has called us to do this and we report to Him.  We must rebuke, reprove and exhort with great patience.  We are to do this when it is in style and when it is out of style.  We are to be willing to suffer for this and not be ashamed because we represent Christ.  It will take self control and steadiness of mind because we will be tempted to please men and not God.  We are not only to proclaim Christ's word to the church, but also to the world: we are to "do the work of an evangelist."  

MacArthur points out that though Timothy had been wavering, due to heeding Paul's challenged, he did stand unashamed of the gospel and preached the word.  It landed him in prison (Heb. 13:23).  

He ends the chapter with an excerpt from a sermon that Surgeon preached in the middle of the controversy entiled "Holding Fast the Faith."  Spurgeon reminds his people that all of God's faithful messengers have had to suffer and encourages them not to expect anything different.  Her are some of my favorite quotes:

Brethren, we must be willing to bear ridicule for Christ’s sake, even that peculiarly envenomed ridicule which “the cultured” are so apt to pour upon us. We must be willing to be thought great fools for Jesus’ sake.… For my part, I am willing to be ten thousand fools in one for my dear Lord and Master, and count it to be the highest honour that can be put upon me to be stripped of every honour, and loaded with every censure for the sake of the grand old truth which is written on my very heart.… 

Before I could quit my faith … I should have to be ground to powder, and every separate atom transformed.

It is to-day as it was in the Reformers’ days. Decision is needed. Here is the day for the man, where is the man for the day? We who have had the gospel passed to us by martyr hands dare not trifle with it, nor sit by and hear it denied by traitors, who pretend to love it, but inwardly abhor every line of it. The faith I hold bears upon it marks of the blood of my ancestors. Shall I deny their faith, for which they left their native land to sojourn here? Shall we cast away the treasure which was handed to us through the bars of prisons, or came to us charred with the flames of Smithfield?

Stand fast, my beloved, in the name of God! I, your brother in Christ, entreat You to abide in the truth. Quit yourselves like men, be strong. The Lord sustain you for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

MacArhur challenges us:  Spurgeon handed down the baton--what will we do with it?  

I am duly challenged.  Are you?  

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Reading "Ashamed of the Gospel" 3rd ed. by John MacArthur

A while ago I had intended to read and critique Love Wins by Rob Bell, but a very basic understanding of the premise of the book refutes itself when compared to scripture.  Also, reading it made me nauseous.  Thus, as I prepare for ministry as pastor of Bethany Baptist Church in Martinez, CA, I want to read and blog about John MacArthur's classic book "Ashamed of the Gospel."  I read the prefaces to the book the other day and I am excited to read it and be challenged again to remain faithful to the preaching of the word!  MacArthur reread the book recently and was struck by how relevant the message remains after nearly 20 years.  100 years ago Charles H. Spurgeon and those who were preaching the word fell on hard times with "the down grade controversy." The people then were clamoring for a message and a methodology that was more in step with the culture of modernism.  The church today is being tempted by this same clamoring for relevance, only now the prevailing philosophy is postmodernism.  MacArthur challenges us to remain true to our mission:  Make disciples by preaching the Word (Matt. 28:18-20; 2 Tim. 4:2)!  True Christianity in this century and beyond, should the Lord tarry, will not be marked by innovation and riding the waves of the culture, but by dedication to the clear preaching of God's word!  

Looking forward to it!  

Sola Dei Gloria!  


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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Rob Bell--Love Wins ch. 1- initial impression

Just finished reading chapter 1. For now I will just say this, Bell asks several questions about heaven hell and assurance of salvation and makes it look as if Scripture is fuzzy concerning these things. Just because some who have said they are Christians don't act like Christians and often are not Christians does not mean that the Gospel needs to be altered.

The truth is if each of the examples given from scripture are looked at in the light of the context of the passages as well as the context of the Bible as a whole, the answers are very straightforward.

Since that doesn't seem compelling to a world that doesn't want absolute truth, Bell offers murky options.

That is not what Christ offers:

John 14:6. "I am the way the truth and life, no man comes to the Father but by me"

I will refute Bells murky picture with the clarity of Biblical truth next post.

Bell makes a few good points in the chapter, but most of it is utter nonsense.

Sent from my U.S. CellularĂ‚® Android phone

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Notes on "Love Wins" by Rob Bell


Well, I am not sure I want to, but I need to read and respond to Rob Bell's book Love Wins.  

Here are my thoughts from just reading the preface so far:

Bell believe's that he is rescuing Christianity from a narrow message that is turning off millions of people from considering it.  

He says that one of the "hijacked stories" from what is the real story is that "A staggering number of people have been taught that a select few Christians will spend forever in a peaceful, joyous place called heaven, while the rest of humanity spends forever in torment and punishment in hell with no chance for anything better."

I would say, Rob, if that is a "hijacked" version of Christianity, then why does it come from Christ Himself?

Matthew 7:13 (NASB95)

13 “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.

Also. once again Rob Bell takes a "Pirates of the Caribbean" approach to the scripture and acts like they "are more guidelines" than anything.  

He acts as if the biblical heroes of the faith felt justified in questioning God's word.  He says that people who have a narrow view are subverting the faith.  Well, speaking of subverting--think about what He has done to Christ's actual statement above.

I'm not looking forward to this...

Jn. 17:17; Rom. 10:17

Christ wins and those who trust Him in truth!

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Preaching from the Soul!

I was challenged as I read this from Erwin Lutzer's Book Pastor to Pastor this week.  

May my preaching be from the soul!  

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Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Trouble in Rome--What Happens When "the church" ignores the Bible

USA Today reports "Fla. ex-Catholic priest writes of his romance".  

This priest wrongly went against his vows, but he rightly points out that the Catholic priesthood is plagued by sexual sin as a direct result of forbidding marriage!

If the Catholic church paid attention to the Bible (the Word of God), then they wouldn't have this problem.  

1 Timothy 3:2 (NASB95)
2 An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 

1 Timothy 4:1–5 (NASB95)
1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, 
2 by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, 
3 men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. 
4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; 
5 for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer. 

Marriage is to be honored and exemplified by church leaders, not forbidden.  The results are of doing so are devastating as we are seeing in the Catholic church.  

May the Lord help us to uphold Holy Matrimony!

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