Church history is replete with stories of how ‘natural minded’ men seek to control the work of the Holy Spirit with bureaucracy and red tape. Another such story came across my desk per a dear friend. The explosion of church planting and missionary work in the early days of America are filled with stories of sacrifice and uniqueness among the circuit riders who blazed trails across this country to take the gospel to every man in horrid conditions. Both Methodist and Baptist missionaries traveled in difficult conditions and with God’s Spirit to plant thousands of churches among the unreached in our great land.
When we get too ‘big for our britches’ we begin to think more in terms of organization instead of organism. This shift has been the death of many movements of the Holy Spirt within Christianity. Here is another sad story of how organization can kill the Holy Continue reading
If I was Satan, the way I would divide believers in America is to force them to define their fellowship by the political party rather than by the gospel. Come to think of it, that is exactly what he has done. For the most part, Caucasians affiliate with the Republican party and African Americans affiliate with the Democratic party. It has become the Shibboleth of our Culture. Rather than standing for God’s Word and the truth He revealed in it, we sell our soul and divide from brothers over political party affiliation.
Christians give their allegiance to Christ and His Word… not to a political party or social institution of human ideals. It is a shame that most churches in America are known as right wing or left wing branches of Republican or Democratic demarcations. We should be know as Christ followers–period. That is, men and women of the Book. Continue reading
Nothing is more serious than speaking about sin and the Lord’s offer of redemption to those who will believe the gospel. After all, the message of Christ crucified is the only hope of humanity. Equally so, nothing is more joyful than when a person surrenders to Christ and experiences the new birth in Jesus. That joy is above and beyond simple emotion as the heart of the believer is overwhelmed by God goodness and forgiveness.
Here is an observation from my experience of over 30 years of ministry.
Those who are serious about the gospel will also have a robust ability to laugh and experience joy! It is not an either/or reality. The most joyful men I have had the privilege to know where also the ones who were very serious about the truths of Scripture.
Society always seems to attempt to force believers into the false belief that seriousness about God and joy of life are mutually exclusive. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Maybe this opinion is a result of what we see in many evangelical circles. Continue reading
Everyone seems to have an opinion about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Christian publications, television, conferences and denominations are filled with thoughts, discussions and positions about them. There are usually two sides to this issue. On one side we have wild-eyed false prophets claiming to exercise the gifts while they manipulate and control gullible and ignorant believers. Then on the other side we have spiritually dry intellectuals holding conferences to proclaim that the Holy Spirit doesn’t operate like He did in the New Testament and teaching that all who claim to operate in gifts are under the power of Satan and are not genuine Christians. Wow…are those our only options?
It is easy to get into some dramatic and wild arguments about whether some of the gifts have “ceased” or whether all remain. Discussions about neuter nouns and modifiers in the Greek are all fascinating as men perform linguistic backflips in order to deny God’s gifts for today. (No one would read through the New Testament and arrive at the position that gifts have ceased. It only comes about with linguistic gymnastics by those scared of or predisposed against them.) Equally ridiculous are the silly presentations of the so-called ‘Word of Faith’ cronies making the gifts up under their own carnal desires rather than submitting to God’s Word. (No one would read through the Scriptures and conclude that the charlatans we see on religious TV are under the influence of the Holy Spirit. To do so only comes about through lack of discernment.)
LifeWay research did a survey a couple of years back asking Southern Baptist pastors, ”Do you believe that the Holy Spirit gives some people the gift of a special language to pray to God privately?” 50 percent of SBC pastors said “Yes” and 43 percent said “No” while the Continue reading
In our day of political correctness, ‘likability’ has become a golden calf. This has become true in many of our churches and pulpits. We must seek to go out as “lambs among wolves” when sharing the gospel, however, we must be careful that we do not dumb down the message beyond recognition.
There are a couple of issues that we must clearly understand in order to prevent us from watering down the gospel and getting caught up in the swell of cultural softness. We must never take the nails, thorns or splinters away from the scandal of the cross as we share, but we must make sure our presentation of those truths are not muddled by the ugliness of carnality and bitterness. Nothing is a ugly as a preacher sharing the glorious truths of Christ with harsh bitterness, frustration or control. It makes a mockery out of the message and fails to present the God of the Scriptures.
If we stand for the truth and Spirit of the gospel, we will be persons who are:
- Honoring others
Equally so, when we stand for the gospel we will also be: Continue reading
A great post from a Pastor friend of mine! Well worth the read and needed for all of us who proclaim the marvelous gospel of Jesus Christ. In fact, I invite you to subscribe to Marty’s blog and read everything he posts. A great website for believers.
Our Task: Lovingly Opposing Evil in a World Gone Mad « ChosenRebel’s Blog.
John MacArthur seems to have adopted a ‘scorched earth’ policy toward charismatics and pentecostals. While there is much to be corrected within the circles of those who belong to these two groups, both doctrinally and practically, it is important to understand there is a difference between correction and rejection.
Much of the shame upon Christianity by non-believers are at the hands of the charlatans, prosperity crooks and wild-eyeed shameless false prophets from within pentecostalism that fill the TV airwaves with their vile false doctrines of ‘health, wealth and prosperity.’ We must stand against and warn people of these ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing.’ However, in Continue reading
Have you ever heard, “Well, his doctrine is correct.” or “He believes in a sound statement of faith.” These are two examples of statements which are common among evangelicals in regards to community and fellowship. It is imperative that we understand that Christianity is not just about doctrine. A person can be correct on all the major points of theology and yet spiritually dead or heretical in practice. We can be as straight as a gun barrel and just as empty.
In many of our mainline churches, the Christian faith has been reduced to a set of doctrines which one must adhere to. That is good, if we do not stop there! Certainly, the historic faith of Christianity can and should be presented in the fashion of sound theological propositions. However, the ‘faith’ of Christianity is way more than just some accurately stated doctrines or correct mental belief. At its core, it is about an initimate and personal relationship with the risen Savior. And this relationship takes place through repentence and faith in the finished work of Christ at calvary.
There are many ‘professing’ believers who would tow the line on sound doctrine, but whose lives are still destined for hell because they have not entered a living relationship with Jesus Christ. Sound doctrine protects us from cultic/heretical representations and preversions of the Christian faith. Therefore, sound doctrine is essential for accurately presenting and holding to the biblical view of God, Man, Sin and Salvatiion. It is impossible for cults to flourish apart from erroneous doctrine, as false doctrine is the seed bed for strange and heretical views. Continue reading
Here is an excellent written article about the tragic, hard-nosed and equally erroneous position John MacArthur is taking. (found through a dear friend of mine.) Let us stand against error, but we must be careful to not throw the ‘baby out with the bath water.’
Why John MacArthur May Be Losing His Voice | Parchment and Pen.