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Monthly Archives: May 2009

Amen to Chitwood’s Proposal

Paul Chitwood, IMB Chairman, has issued a call for Southern Baptists to rethink the percentages of where Cooperative Program dollars are being spent.  Southern Baptists would be appalled to realize that only 18 cents of every dollar given to the Cooperative Program goes toward International Missions.  So with International Missionaries now being delayed being sent onto the field because of a lack of funds, Chitwood issues a call for change. 

I second this call.

 
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Posted by on May 26, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

How would you counsel John?

Russell Moore, professor at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has posted on his website his exam final from his Ethics class.  Here is the question:

Joan is a fifty year-old woman who has been visiting your church for a little over a year. She sits on the third row from the back, and usually exits during the closing hymn, often with tears in her eyes. Joan approaches you after the service on Sunday to tell you that she wants to follow Jesus as her Lord.

You ask Joan a series of diagnostic questions about her faith, and it is clear she understands the gospel. She still seems distressed though. When you ask if she’s repented of her sin, she starts to cry and grit her teeth.

“I don’t know,” she says. “I don’t know how…I don’t know where to start…Can I meet with you privately?”

You, Joan, and a godly Titus 2-type women’s ministry leader in your church meet in your office right away, and Joan tells you her story.

She wasn’t born Joan. She was born John. From early on in John’s life, though, he felt as though he was “a woman trapped in a man’s body.” Joan says, “I don’t mean to repeat that old shopworn cliché, but it really is what I felt like.”

Joan tells you that when she was twenty she began the process of “transitioning” from life as a man to life as a woman. She underwent extensive hormone therapy, followed by extensive plastic surgery—including so-called “gender reassignment surgery.” She has lived for the past thirty years—physically and socially—as a woman.

“I want to do whatever it takes to follow Jesus,” Joan tells you. “I want to repent…I just, I don’t know how to do it.”

“I am surgically now a woman. I’ve taken hormones that give me the appearance and physical makeup of a woman,” she says. “Even if I were to put on a suit and tie right now, I’d just look like a woman with a suit and tie. Not to mention the fact that, well, I am physically…a woman.”

“To complicate matters further,” Joan says through tears, “I adopted my daughter, Clarissa, when she was eight months old and she’s ten years old now. She doesn’t know about my past life as…as a man. She just knows me as her Mom.”

“I know the sex change surgery was wrong. I know that my life is twisted. I’m willing to do whatever Jesus would have me to do to make it right,” she says. “But what would Jesus have me to do?”

Joan asks you, “Am I too messed up to repent and be saved? If not, what does it mean for me to repent and live my life as a follower of Jesus? What is right for me to do?”

Show me, step-by-step, what you would say to Joan. Show me what you would tell her to do, short-term and long-term, and show me why in terms of a Christian ethic. Use Scripture, Christian theology, and wisdom to demonstrate not just your final decisions, but how you arrived at them.

Moore, has begun his answer.  You can find his counsel in these three posts: the question, answer 1, answer 2.

Update: Here are the links to Moore’s continued answer to this question: Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5.

 
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Posted by on May 26, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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Mark Galli on the oft misquoted Francis of Assisi

FrancisWeb2You have probably heard this quote: “Preach the gospel at all times; when necessary, use words.”  I have not used it myself because I believe it to be unbiblical.  However Galli writes that Francis of Assisi (who is thought to have said it) neither said it nor lived it.

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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Piper on Driscoll and MacArthur

Piper responds to a question about language from the pulpit and addressing the criticism of MacArthur on Driscoll.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Piper on Driscoll and MacArthur“, posted with vodpod

HT: epangelia.blogspot.com

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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Death is Not Dying by Rachel Barkey

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Go to the following link and watch and listen to this powerful gospel testimony by Rachel Barkey. She is dying of cancer. She is a wife. She is a mother of two. She is thirty-seven years young. My wife and I just listened to this 55 minute testimony and it stirred our souls. Go ahead a make a block in your schedule to listen and be blessed.

HT: Justin Taylor

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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Are we making an idol with new trends?

There are so many new trends and fads in the local church today.  Names are being changed for one. Baptist is being replaced with community.  We are dropping 1st in favor of putting some kind of Pointe on the end. 

I have heard many reasons given for these changes and many of them are good but I cannot help but wonder if churches are just trying to go the easy route of avoiding people’s bias and stigmatisms.

Much of the bias and stigmatisms people have with certain words (read Baptist) are excuses and unfair stereotypical judgments concerning a whole group of different churches because of one bad experience.  Going to a church without Baptist in its name will not ensure that you will not meet once again with those bad past experiences.

One part of me just wants to say, if we will just be committed to following Jesus and earnestly seeking to fulfill his commandments through the life of our local churches, the kind of change we are searching for in a name change will take place in a more significant way.

Are not the name changes really just an accomadation to seekers.  The seeker sees a new trendy name, therefore they can assume this church does things in a new and exciting way.  Maybe the Pastor at this church ditches the pulpit, wears jeans and a shirt with a skull on it, and sings godless songs (I have no problem with the first two things, but wonder what your motive really is).

Are we not making or at least encouraging new idols in the lives of those whom God has commanded us to help turn away from idols?  When talk turns to their church these days, the conversation is on how our church is different from the church of your dad and mom. 

We do house church(?) instead  of Sunday School.  We do home groups instead of Sunday School

The only thing different about these things is location, what is the big deal here? Am I missing something?

We don’t use hymanls; we use powerpoint slides.

Are hymnals Satan’s handiwork?  Try picking one up and being blessed by the content.  Use it as your devotion. 

Our pastor does not wear a suit and tie, he wears jeans and an Affliction shirt.

You complain about tradiional churches making clothes an idol…I believe younger Christians are making the same mistake that their parents made only the clothes have changed.   

Our pastor moves around on stage rather than standing behind a pulpit.

Wow, I would hate to sit on the front row…I might suffer from whiplash. 

We do not put much emphasis on buildings, we just rent and are able to give more money away to Christian causes.

Make sure this is not just an excuse to cover for your church not tithing and giving offerings that are truly sacrificial.

We have gotten rid of the piano and organ and now have a live band.

Are the instruments more important than the words?  Would you be unable to worship and experience the Lord’s joy if no musical instruments were available?

Our church plays popular non-Christian songs in the worship gathering.

So tell me, how does this honor God?  Do you really want to glorify sin and promote it in the gathering of God people, whom Jesus Christ died to make clean?

In all this talk about what goes on in our churches, where is Jesus?  Where is the Gospel?  The most important things we do as a church are never new.  They are always old.  You are not called to promote your methodologies, you are called to promote Jesus and Him only.

 
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Posted by on May 13, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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Carl Trueman: Look, It’s Rubbish!

Trueman on Worship Services that are rubbish.  Here is a sample:

A church service involving clowns or fancy dress or skits or stand-up comedy does not reflect the seriousness of the gospel; and those who take the gospel seriously should know better. Frankly, it is more appropriate to liberal theology which does not take the gospel, or the God of the gospel, seriously. Serious things demand serious idioms.   I heard recently of a church service involving dressing up in costume and music taken from a Tom Cruise movie.  Now, if I go for my annual prostate examination, and the doctor comes into the consulting room dressed as Coco the Clown, with `Take my breath away’ from Top Gun playing in the background, guess what?  I’m going to take the doctor out with a left hook, flee the surgery, and probably file a complaint with the appropriate professional body.   This is serious business; and if he looks like a twit and acts like a twit, then I can only conclude that he is a twit.

To read the rest of the article click here.
HT: Justin Taylor

 
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Posted by on May 12, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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