Why I Boycott Boycotts

I do not like boycotts. In fact, the only thing I boycott is boycotts. Why? Because to me it seems that boycotts violate the very call to take the gospel to all men. I just cannot wrap my head or heart around the image of seeing Jesus, or Paul for that matter, leading a picket line or social demonstration to force morality upon others. I can sum up my problems with boycotts with 10 simple questions.

1) Isn’t the Gospel for all?

2) How can we reach people by boycotting them? 

3) How can we love people when we are standing aloof and boycotting their business?

4) How can we communicate their need for Christ while refusing to enter their work space?

5) Why offend with boycotting the very people I’m called to reach?

6) How can I reach them and demonstrate the gospel if I fail to enter their everyday life?

7) Why make social mores or public laws the dividing line for who gets respect and who does not?  Continue reading “Why I Boycott Boycotts”

The Chiefest of Sinners

When the Apostle Paul called himself the “chiefest of sinners” (1Tim. 1:15), he was not attempting to patronize us or offer a form of self-abased false humility. Instead, he really meant it. He knew the workings of his own heart better than any other person. He understood his failings and struggles. He knew that even though he was forgiven, he still fell short of the glory of God. (Rom. 3:23) After all, before his conversion Paul ravaged the church by arresting men and women, casting them into prison with harsh persecution and even consenting to their death. I believe their faces and his attacks on them were a constant reminder to him of God’s grace.

Because of this, Paul’s writings strike a wonderful example of  speaking “truth in love.” (Eph. 4:15)  As believers who live in the midst of a society which has many culturally charged issues in the public square, we would do well to embrace the same truth about ourselves. We are sinners redeemed by God’s grace. We still fall short of God’s standard and His glory. As long as we live on the shores of time we will fall short of perfection.

The only thing which separates us from the men of this world is that we have been forgiven through faith in Christ and have the Holy Spirit to empower us to live an obedient and righteous life. Because of this, we can never justify what we see in many Continue reading “The Chiefest of Sinners”

Homosexuals, the Closet and the Marketplace

For the first time in American history, we have a president who openly supports homosexual marriage. His brazened humanism, though guised with words borrowed from Christianity, is another step by the privileged and elite to force the convictions of the few upon and against the convictions of the majority; and against the moral foundation of our nation. This is certainly tragic and it reveals the slippery slope of moral decay our country has been on for several decades.

But really, how bad is the thrust of homosexual openness in our country? As more and more come ‘out of the closet,’ does it lead us to another step of social apostasy? Were we really better off when the “Billie Joe MacAllisters” of this nation just ran and jumped off the Tallahatchie bridge! (For the young readers, google ‘Ode to Billie Joe.’)

How would we see it if we stepped back and gave an honest look at the situation from a larger context? What opportunity does it offer to the Church? Continue reading “Homosexuals, the Closet and the Marketplace”

Has the American Church Missed it?

Statistics show a steady decline in the membership of mainline Protestant churches over the past several decades. Also, it is easy to see the hostile and anti-christian bashing which takes place among the social and media elites. What is going on? Is there something simple and systemically amiss with us? Has the American Church missed it?

Several issues could be mentioned in regards to the answers for the questions I raise. However, one area is becoming more and more clear as we watch American politics and fundraising among American Churches. Here is the issue at hand: We have failed to recognize the difference between culture and the Church.

In America, preachers and “christian celebrities” are always discussing social issues to a lost and un-regenerated culture. After all, book and DVD marketing finds more clients among the consumer driven economy by targeting the largest audience. Therefore, our message has lost the clear dividing line between culture and Church. Here are three issues we need to revisit for developing a mission toward the lost to regain the biblical focus of a New Testament Church.

Continue reading “Has the American Church Missed it?”

He Is Not Here, But Has Risen

These famous words flow down through Church history with power, devotion and deep meaning to every believer. (Luke 24:6) The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the bedrock of our faith and the greatest event known to man. It was an  open declaration to all men that this lowly carpenter was who He said He was–the Son of God!

When the Angel spoke these words to the ladies who went to put spices on the body of Jesus, it was a shock to their cultural and religious understanding. As Hebrews, they believed in a resurrection, but it would not take place until the end of the age. They had no reference point to understand a resurrection before that time, and yet, this is what the Angel proclaimed.

With the desire of humanity to have a point of integration which defines the deepest meaning to life, it is easy to understand how the tomb of Jesus would become a shrine; a place of devotion to the miracle worker from Galilee. However, because of the resurrection, His body could not be worshipped and enshrined to satisfy this longing of mankind. We must meet Him by faith; it is the only way of fellowship with our resurrected King.

The tearful devotion of these women was interrupted by the angelic proclamation, “He is not here, but is risen.” God would not provide a natural or physical place of mediation between the natural and the spiritual world. He offered something greater! Continue reading “He Is Not Here, But Has Risen”

God’s Sovereignty and Spiritual Warfare

A casual reading of the Bible reveals the marvelous truth that God is Sovereign. That simply means that nothing takes place in this life which does not go through His Hands and that He is supreme over everything. That can be a controversial statement and one which gives rise to some interesting theological discussions. But how does it affect and apply to spiritual warfare? Let’s briefly look at this.

What does it mean to “go through God’s Hands?” Does that mean He instigates all things and that all things are the work of His Hands? Of course not. However, everything which takes place will either be promoted, permitted or prevented by the Father’s Sovereign will. That which He promotes and prevents can be declared the hand or finger of God with Scriptural certainty. However, that which He permits can have other sources; though none of them are independent of God’s Sovereignty.

Why all of this? Because while upholding God’s Sovereignty we must not press our view of sovereignty beyond the full Scriptural position. If we do, we will find ourselves calling the work of Satan the Hand of God. We have an enemy who fights believers and seeks to steal, kill and destroy. (Jn. 10:10) The OT prophets, Jesus and the early church stood against and engaged the powers of darkness as the cause of evil works. We must also recognize the presence of the enemy and stand in our rightful position in the finished work of Calvary lest we roll over and yield to the enemy’s hand while believing it is God’s Hand. Continue reading “God’s Sovereignty and Spiritual Warfare”

Remembering Francis A. Schaeffer

Down through Church History, the Lord has raised up leaders who seemed perfectly forged for the struggles of his generation. That is certainly true of Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer. (1912-1984) He was a man where incredible simplicity, honest humility and aggressive application of biblical truths came together to give us a gentle giant in regards to apologetics.

Dr. Schaeffer understood where the real battle lines were at, and where we needed to drawn them. This is especially true in the area of the true spirituality of the Christian and the witness of the Church before a watching world. His writings were simple, yet piercing; straightforward, yet gentle; lofty, yet common. He had a unique talent of communication which has rarely been equaled. He authored 22 books before his death in 1984, all of which addressed areas where the Church was sloshing around in, either in unbelief or unconcern. And, while we may not agree to all his conclusions, we can safely say, Dr. Schaeffer never left you wondering where he stood.

Continue reading “Remembering Francis A. Schaeffer”

Why Atheism is Irrational – Street Apologetics

Atheism, the position of pseudo intellectuals who claim that Christianity does not merit or demonstrate a rational worldview. Their claim is actually a red herring (diversion) they use to hide their own irrational and indefensible worldview. Why would I say that? Glad you asked! Atheism fails to offer explanatory power for many actualities we know in life.

Atheism offers no rational and coherent explanation for:

  • The complexity of the universe – The fine tuning of the universe necessarily points to an intelligent designer. The possibility of a cosmos with intelligent life and a place of habitation to sustain it is mathematically impossible. The complexity and fine tuning of the universe demands that a Divine Mind created it and directs it.
  • The uniqueness of man – The distinction man has from other animals points to a personal source. Man’s personality makes him unique and special. You can not get human personality from a non-personal source. Continue reading “Why Atheism is Irrational – Street Apologetics”

Street Apologetics – Testimony

When young believers begin to share their faith, they often feel very inadequate. This is common and many times it results from the lack of understanding concerning the doctrines of Christianity. We’ve all been there. However, even though new believers find themselves on a sharp learning curb, they have one of the most powerful tools for witnessing…the testimony of their conversion! Every genuine Christian has this.

A casual reading through the book of Acts reveals the frequent use of personal testimony by the apostles. It is no different with us, as the power of a changed life is a piercing knife to this present generation. With it comes passion, conviction and a simple clarity about Christ and Him crucified. And the Lord knows we need more of this in the midst of abundance of dead orthodoxy. Continue reading “Street Apologetics – Testimony”

Suffer the Little Children

A casual read through the gospels will reveal our Lord’s special love for children and His desire for us to have their disposition. There is a tender innocence toward faith and teachability which Jesus recognized in the children of his culture, and He pointed this out in several of His teachings to the disciples. When our Lord walked the shores of Galilee, one thing was for sure… children were dear to His heart and were given free access into His presence.

We read about God’s love for them from “their angels always see the face the Father” (Mt. 18:2,10) and “except you be converted and become as little children” (Mt. 18:3), to “suffer the little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt. 19:13-15) We read the passages and discover how the Lord used them as examples of what we should be. Also, James instructs us that pure religion and undefiled before our heavenly Father is to visit the “widows and the orphans in their affliction.” (James 1:27)

With that in mind, several have asked how Susanne and I began the orphanage in India. Here is the brief story behind the PROJECT INDIA Orphanage. Continue reading “Suffer the Little Children”

Christopher Hitchens – Without Excuse

The Apostle Paul wrote in the books of Romans that God has revealed Himself to every man. He teaches us that this knowledge is a result of creation and conscience. Because of this, every man is without excuse. (Rom. 1:18-20) Man’s rejection of God’s existence is not because there isn’t sufficient evidence. Rather, it is because he chooses to suppresses the evidence which exists.

Why would man suppress the witness of God’s existence through the voice of creation and conscience? Because man wants to justify his immorality and sin, and the only way to quiet his innate knowledge and conviction of his sin requires drowning his conscience. This can happen in several ways, however, I want to discuss something different in this post.

Christopher Hitchens died of esophageal cancer this week at the age of 62 in Houston, TX. Hitchens was one of the militant atheists who brazenly spoke against Christianity and those who believe it. He has become the hero and idol of thousands who Continue reading “Christopher Hitchens – Without Excuse”

Church Planters Conference – November 2011

Here is a report concerning the PROJECT INDIA Church Planters Conference held in November in rural India. Many great testimonies are coming in regarding the work the Lord did and is doing from this conference. I’ll be sharing some of them on the Letters From India page in the next few days. As you look at the photos, I would like for you to realize it was not my desire to have my picture on it, but Bro. John insisted that, culturally speaking, they strongly desire to see a picture of any person speaking to them. Therefore, I simply yielded to their request according to Paul’s teaching in 1Corinthians 9:19-23.

We had 65 (60 men, 5 wives) attend the three day conference. I taught on four subjects: The Cross, The Love of God, Evangelism and Church Planting. It was a great time of teaching and joyful fellowship. A personal highlight for me was hearing and seeing (via DVD recording) these men sing praises to the Lord, and hearing the testimonies they sent to me.

Part of the messages was video recorded in order to send into the remote villages which do not have phone service. They are playing the messages for outreach and training of other men who were unable to attend the conference. We gave new Bibles to those Continue reading “Church Planters Conference – November 2011”