Tuesday, March 31, 2015

How Should Christians Respond to the Changes in Culture?

by John Hendryx

When you behold the direction the culture is taking, do not ever let anger get the best of you. Recognize that not only does God have a specific purpose in it but that part of that purpose is to make a clear distinction between truth and falsehood. It may even have the positive effect of clearing out the false believers in our ranks. When the world sees more of the genuine article, by God's grace, they will probably be more interested in what we are all about. So the political and social situation should never have us change the core message of the gospel. The Apostle Paul said, when in prison, "the gospel is not chained". We can observe this phenomenon in more recent history when we see nations such as China who had the greatest revival in the history of mankind under the severe persecution of Chairman Mao. We should learn from this that no government or culture will EVER stop the advance of the kingdom of God. So while God would have us always to promote righteousness in every sphere, including the way we vote, our hope does not find its root there, not even by a long shot. Our hope is in Jesus Christ who is coming to judge the living and the dead.

Yet because of our hostile culture, many evangelicals may feel intimidated, and have decided to turn to the safety of "deeds not creeds," in order to avoid being called judgmental. Do not let such philosophy persuade you. Words are the most critical part of the message of the gospel and faith comes through hearing. The proclamation of the gospel must include a robust declaration of the fall, a recognition of human depravity, a repenting of all self-righteousness and trusting in Jesus Christ alone. In these jars of clay God has deposited the message which is the only solution to the world's problem. This is all by the grace of God ... We are by no means better than others just sinners like them, pointing to the water of life.

Monday, March 30, 2015

How should a Christian mother pray with her unbelieving children?

by Brian Croft

So much of the daily grind of a mother goes unnoticed. Children, especially when they are younger are very ungrateful and overlook so much of what mothers do and this can be a great discouragement for mothers. This discouragement grows as mothers find themselves burdened for the souls of their children and see very little spiritual fruit from their efforts.

Here is a word of encouragement to all Christian mothers to press on in your daily tasks to serve your families; to remain steadfast in those spiritual disciplines with your children that appear to have little effect. This word of encouragement comes from the great Charles Spurgeon as he reflects on the impact his praying mother had on him as an unconverted boy. Read more ...

Friday, March 27, 2015

The Bible and Homosexuality: Wrong and Right Lessons

by Rick Phillips

The news broke this week that City Church San Francisco has reversed its prohibition against practicing homosexuals being admitted into church membership. Previously, only celibate homosexuals were accepted as biblically faithful Christians. Senior Pastor Fred Harrell explained the shift on the basis of recent "social science research" that convinced him and his elders that inhibiting homosexual practice "has not led to human flourishing". It strikes me from the reports of this shift, both at City Church and elsewhere, that the wrong lessons of history are being advanced while the right lessons are being ignored. Read more ...

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Summit on Inerrancy: Recap

It’s hard to believe the 2015 Summit on Biblical Inerrancy is over. With 16 guest speakers and 18 general sessions, it was a power-packed week celebrating our common commitment to the absolute truth of God’s Word.

In case you missed any of general sessions, you can find summaries of each session below. Videos for the sessions can be found here and also here. Read more …

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Wickedness of Man's Heart - Joining ISIS

In the American Civil War of the late 1800's, many immigrants came from countries in Europe to join the Union Army (northern states) to fight against the Confederate states. Why? These volunteer soldiers, many who could not even speak English, wanted to fight against slavery!

However, today volunteers are traveling to Iraq and Syria, to join the wicked, moral-less, violent ISIS, not to free an oppressed people but to kill, slaughter and put many into slavery! Not to set others free, but to kill and enslave! 

ISIS = Evil. 

As Christians, lets pray that God will, by His mercy, help the needy and helpless under ISIS control, and deal with these wicked in grace and mercy (and to pray for leaders of nations to fulfill their responsibility of protecting their people and punish the evil that surrounds them.)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

"Nothing is Politically Correct Which is Morally Wrong!"

Hannah More in England said this in the 1700's and is still true today. National and local leaders are making political decisions which are morally wrong, which damage the moral fabric of the nation. They call good evil and evil good. The bible says, "the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes" (Psalm 19:8b). 

Our prayer in these such morally corrupt times, "Oh Lord, may leaders today seek your wisdom through Your Word. Please open their eyes."

Monday, March 23, 2015

Praying for Muslims

Most religions have a positive influence on society. However, Islam does not because of two major problems: 1) the terrible violence of radical Islam to its own as well as other people, and 2) the lack of social justice and kindness in Muslim countries to women, other religions, freedom of thought, etc. With this in mind, pray for the influence of Christians with the Gospel to Muslims worldwide. Let's be kind to them and especially to share the Good News of Christ!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

60 Ways the Inerrant Word Blesses Us

by Paul Tautges

Psalm 119 has been a personal favorite of mine since the early days of my Christian life, studying it was instrumental to my growth. Then, while helping to plant a church in Kansas in the late 1980’s, the Psalm became my choice for the first adult Sunday School class we offered. Working through the Psalm eight verses at a time with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ blessed my soul.

Therefore, when Mark Dever publicly read Psalm 119 and preached from it last week at the Inerrancy Summit it was a special blessing to me. In his sermon, Mark challenged his listeners to work through the Psalm and note the ways the Word blesses us. Read more ...

One Bible, Many Interpretations: Making Sense of the Clarity of Scripture

by Andrew Wilson

Jesus knew, all too well, that lots of people who read the Scriptures did not really understand them. It’s true today, and it was true in the first century. Modern Christians disagree over all sorts of issues—baptism, spiritual gifts, the end times, church government, and so on—and if you read church history, you’ll soon discover that we’re not the first generation like that. So Christians often ask: “Is the Bible clear? Surely, if it were, we’d all agree on what it meant, right?”

There are two answers we could give to that question. Read more ...

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Sufficiency of the Inerrant Word

by Dr. John Street

As those who have been charged to faithfully “shepherd the flock of God that is among you”(1 Peter5:2), pastors frequently find themselves shepherding people who are facing severe problems; some brought on by sinful choices they have made in life, or perhaps by difficult people or circumstances. The seriousness and complexity of these problems is often overwhelming, and the shepherd may give way to the temptation to refer these counseling issues to so-called experts-Christian psychologists whose training is largely based in ungodly theories of anthropology and behavior. However, if we truly believe that our sovereign and good God has equipped us with an inerrant Word, then such a course of action amounts to nothing less than a denial of the sufficiency of that inerrant Word.

For the man of God engaged in pastoral ministry, the Word of God is the operative domain from which the pastor-counselor derives his functional and final authority, being accepted as the determinative authority in anthropology. Because it contains no errors whatsoever, Scripture consequently serves as the only reliable resource for the Christian counselor's diagnostic terminology and remedy. The Word of God possesses the exclusive theological framework from which soul-problems can be properly interpreted and resolved. It truly is "a lamp to [our] feet and a light to [our] path' (Psalm 1 19:105).Moreover, it claims exclusive authority in defining the significance of and purpose for the life of man. When placed in juxtaposition with the counsel of man, the comprehensive superiority of the Word over and above the various psychologies of modern man is unmistakable.

We must recognize that the whole of the inner man (i.e., soul/spirit) comes under the dominion of the spiritual, where the Bible reigns not only as the sufficient source for addressing soul-problems, but also as the supreme source. However, when psychology encroaches upon biblical territory by claiming jurisdictional authority in the counseling arena of what man "ought" to do, it is usurping God's domain. Only the divinely inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God has authority to do that.

The doctrine of Scripture's inerrancy is integral to the exercise of true biblical counseling, for if a pastor doubts Scripture's inerrancy, then his confidence in this God-given resource will begin to erode as he seeks to minister to the hurting, struggling, and wayward sheep in his flock. By what authority could such a doubting man "reprove, rebuke, and exhort" (2 Timothy 4:2)? Surely not in his own wisdom, since "whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool" (Proverbs 28:26), nor can he hope to trust in the faulty wisdom of his fellow man, particularly that of ungodly psychologies.

The pastoral counseling office, just as much as the pulpit, is the battlefield in which we “destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). Either we trust the inerrant Word of God to be sufficient to minister to those who come to us for counsel or we do not. There is no viable middle ground.

Dr. John Street is an Elder at Grace Community Church, Chairman of the Biblical Counseling Department at The Master’s College, President of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Protecting the Inerrant Word

from the Shepherd’s Conference, March 2015

Throughout history God has used anchors to hold His people steadfastly to the authority of His Word. These individuals held Scripture in high regard because they held the Author of Scripture in high regard.

In the fifth century BC, the people of God had finally returned to Jerusalem after seventy years of captivity in Babylon. For seven decades they were away from their land and the opportunity for corporate worship. Now the city wall had been rebuilt and the temple had been restored. Ezra, the scribe, heard the plea of the people, climbed onto the wooden platform, opened the Law of the Lord, and began to read. The result—“And all the people answered, Amen, Amen!” while lifting up their hands; then they bowed low and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground" (Nehemiah 8:6). In a time of need, a scribe became an anchor who grounded God's people steadfastly to the authority of the Law.

During the era of sacramentalism, the Roman Church became a surrogate Christ and an enemy of grace and faith. Yet men arose who were committed to the recovery of expository preaching. It was these men who sparked the Protestant Reformation; men who understood the inspiration, inerrancy, and importance of God's Word; men who were grounded and grounded others in the Word.

The eighteenth century is often referred to as the "Age of Reason" an epoch that left the western world rejecting the Bible and lifting the human mind to the position of god. This so-called "reason" paved the way for theological liberalism, which denounced and rejected inerrancy, seeing the Bible as merely another document intended to be critically challenged. Yet men stood for the infallibility of the Word; men like B.B. Warfield, John Gresham Machen, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, and the group that gathered in Chicago in 1978 to pen 29 articles that would become the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy.

Throughout history, God has used anchors to hold His people steadfastly to the authority of His Word. God has always established workmen who rightly handled the Word of Truth.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Why Can't the Church Just Agree to Disagree on Homosexuality?

by Kevin deYoung

It is difficult to exaggerate how seriously the Bible treats the sin of sexual immorality. Sexual sin is never considered adiaphora, a matter of indifference, an agree-to-disagree issue like food laws or holy days (Rom. 14:1-15:7). To the contrary, sexual immorality is precisely the sort of sin that characterizes those who will not enter the kingdom of heaven. There are at least eight vice lists in the New Testament (Mark 7:21-22;Rom. 1:24-31; 13:13; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; Gal. 5:19-21; Col. 3:5-9; 1 Tim. 1:9-10; Rev. 21:8), and sexual immorality is included in every one of these. In fact, in seven of the eight lists there are multiple references to sexual immorality (e.g., impurity, sen­suality, orgies, men who practice homosexuality), and in most of the passages some kind of sexual immorality heads the lists. You would be hard-pressed to find a sin more frequently, more uniformly, and more seriously condemned in the New Testa­ment than sexual sin.  Read more ...

Friday, March 13, 2015

From Lesbianism to Complementarianism

by Jackie Hill-Perry

He wanted to watch wrestling; I wanted to watch the Food Network.

As we both raced to grab the remote, in hopes of having first dibs on our entertainment for the evening, I lost the battle. So I grabbed his arm, pulling and tugging as hard as I could, trying to pry the remote out of his hand—a hand much larger and an arm much stronger than my own. I continued to fight for the remote until I realized that, no matter how hard I tried, I was not stronger than him.

He was a man, and I was a woman. We were both human, yet very different in how we were built—and I HATED IT.

The “War of the Remote” is a trivial story, but it was for me a very new experience that sparked my journey to complementarianism. Read more ...

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Shepherds' Conference 2015

Created by Grace Community Church 

Session videos from the 2015 Shepherds' Conference - The Inerrancy Summit March 3–8, 2015 at the Master's Seminary.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Does It Hinder or Help?

As Christians, we are aliens, strangers, and sojourners in this world. We are, therefore, to war against fleshly lusts, anything which hinders instead of helping us on our journey to heaven (see 1 Peter 2:11).

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Are We a Nation of Piglets?

The U.S. is becoming a nation of debt, giving its people everything they want whether they work for it or not. It will now be impossible for future leaders to get a balanced budget (spending only what is available to spend). The country is, therefore, becoming socialist with the government controlling everything; a big sow with its people sucking for all they can get. But one day the milk will run dry.

The Bible, God's Word, says that if someone does not work they should not eat. Proverbs 13:4 teaches that the sluggard craves but never comes to maturity or is responsible, but the diligent is made mature and healthy.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Who’s Responsible?

The biblical responsibility of government is to protect and preserve life and liberty, not to take it.

When the present president of the US took office over six years ago, the first thing he did was do away with the partial birth law. Today there are 4-5 thousand abortions daily, not monthly or yearly, but daily! Before God who will answer for this gross sin? The president alone or the people of the nation who allow their leaders to act such? Pray for the president, for his salvation, and for the nation! (see Romans 14:12).

Friday, March 6, 2015

Honoring the Police

Recently, Grace Community Church in Panorama City, California had a Police Appreciation Sunday with over 200 police officers attending with their families. A message was given to honor them, as well as to present the glorious gospel. Afterwards the officers and families were treated to special meal with the leaders of the church. Perhaps your church could do the same. It would give your people an opportunity to honor and thank the police, as well as presenting the love and gospel of Christ!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Fast Facts on The War on Science

  • The March 2015 issue of National Geographic has a cover story titled, “The War On Science”. In the story Creationists and advocates of Intelligent Design are cited as examples of groups that are supposedly at war with science.
  • Describing Creationists and I.D. proponents as being at war with science, however, is a gross caricature. Both of these groups have a profound appreciation for science.
  • The problem with this article is that National Geographic is defining “science” in such a way that they equate it with Naturalistic-Darwinian evolution. Thus, if you disagree with Naturalistic-Darwinian evolution, you are anti-science.
  • The truth, however, is one doesn’t need to embrace Naturalistic-Darwinian evolution to have a genuine respect for science or to be an accomplished scientist. This is evidenced by the reality of numerous prominent scientists throughout history who believed in Divine creation (ex. Pasteur, Mendel, Linnaeus). 
  • True science examines evidence through observation and experimentation; and Creationists and I.D. advocates have the same scientific evidence as Naturalistic-Darwinian evolutionists.
  • The real issue is not the evidence, but how you interpret the evidence. Evidence itself is neutral, but we must recognize that our interpretations of the evidence are not.
  • Everyone interprets evidence through a particular worldview. National Geographic is philosophically committed to a Naturalistic-Darwinian worldview that cannot allow for the possibility of a Divine Designer.
  • In claiming their philosophical worldview as “science”, National Geographic confuses the public into thinking that Creationists and I.D. proponents are at war with science. This is simply untrue and does a disservice to legitimate scientific inquiry and debate.
  • The question that National Geographic should be asking if they are genuinely concerned with the pursuit of true knowledge is this, “Which philosophical worldview makes the most sense in light of the observable scientific evidence?”

Monday, March 2, 2015

We Are All Suffering from Abortion

A friend in Canada recently wrote me the following:

I think that countries are already paying for their abortion culture. Babies are good for the economy. The US and Canada would have more balanced economies if there were more babies.

Trochu, a small town in Alberta, is expanding the public school because their population of children is increasing. Why? There is a packing plant in the town; it needs workers. And where are most of workers coming from? Not from born Canadians. Who wants to come to small town Canada? The local population doesn't have enough young people to take the jobs.

Young Filipinos and their families are coming to the jobs and staying. Hence, the school has more students and school is expanding.

More babies are good for Canada Pension or for Social Security in USA.