April 29, 2005
Al Mohler, president of Southern Seminary in Louisville Ky, writes:
Should pharmacists be required to dispense so-called "emergency contraceptives" even if it violates their deepest convictions?... The Culture of Death advances by transforming definitions and pushing for the supremacy of a woman's "right to choose" over the rights of all others. Watch closely. It's the pharmacists whose rights are on the line today. Who's next?”
See the entire article at:
Click here to read the article.
April 27, 2005
NEW YORK (April 26) - Pamela Anderson has a beef with Colonel Sanders. The former "Baywatch" star is calling for a boycott of KFC, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) announced Tuesday. Anderson narrates a new 5-minute video produced by the animal rights group that documents the mistreatment of chickens.
"I'm asking people to boycott KFC until the company demands that its suppliers stop crippling chickens and scalding them alive," Anderson said in a statement. "No animals should have to suffer this way, whether they're cats or dogs or chickens."
Claudia and Deborah Brown hold Eliana Linder, the new born daughter of newlyweds, Penn and Janet Linder There are many reasons that swim in modern heads about waiting to have children. We live in a child delaying world. With complete social acceptability, and with a total absence of rebuttal, we effortlessly say, “we can’t afford it”; “I need to get settled in career first”; “We should get a house first”; I’m just not the motherly type.”
Where did we get the idea that couples should wait to have children? Here are some ideas. First, it feels right to us. Second, it is logical. Third, it can be defended through practical thinking. Fourth, it makes perfect financial sense. A book could be written about the darker forces that led to our thinking this way. Proverbs 14:12 clarifies the issue, 'There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death."
Unfortunately, it is not from the Bible that we get the idea that we should wait for some strategic moment to have children. This has become abundantly clear to us at Trinity Baptist Church since, over the last year we have been studying Genesis. This study has informed and even transformed much of our thinking regarding children.
The first command to Adam and Eve was, “Be fruitful and multiply.” And, the same idea is repeated throughout the Bible. Biblical thinking on the subject is in direct contradiction to our modern thinking. (Genesis 1:22, 28; 9:1,7; 28:3; 35:11; 48:4)
As it is with all thinking, we must understand that we are in a battle for which thoughts will rule. The question for Christians will always be “will we take every thought captive to Christ, or will we be held captive by the worldly thoughts that surround us?”
There are a couple of things that we need to acknowledge. First, many millions of Christians bought in to the worldly thinking because it sounded good. Second, the tragedy is that they did not know their Bibles well enough to debunk the worldliness of it. Third, one of the reasons this happened is that many of our leaders were more interested in numerical growth than spiritual growth. Our leaders will have much to answer for in this regard.
I am thankful for a shift in thinking. The result is that we are finding that our young couples have rejected worldly thinking and replaced it with biblical thinking.
Yesterday, our family had the joy of visiting one such family. We went to the hospital to welcome Eliana Linder into the church family. Her parents, Penn and Janet were married July 17, 2004 and now, ten months later, a child is born - the direct result of taking thoughts captive to Christ instead of worldly thoughts taking them captive.
April 21, 2005
Over the years, I have had a growing satisfaction in the Biblical vision for womanhood. There have been times when I did not understand it. Then when I began to understand it, there were times when I was uncomfortable with it. I was uncomfortable with it because it sounded so limiting and prehistoric. Plus, people hate to hear it described using the Biblical words. The plain truth is that hackles will be raised upon the backs of those baptized in worldly thinking when they hear the words of scripture. It is clear that the biblical vision is totally out of step with the feminist vision that rules the airwaves and brainwaves of the populace both in the church and the unbelieving world.
Here is a summary of the biblical vision: I call it the sixfold vision for Biblical womanhood:
First, A woman is to be a “helpmeet’ (Gen 2:18).
Second, A “keeper at home” (Titus 2;4 ).
Third, a “fruitful” bearer of children (Genesis 1:28).
Fourth, a domestic entrepreneur (Proverbs 31).
Fifth, a demonstration of unfading beauty (I Peter 3:4).
Sixth, a trainer of the next generation (2 Tim. 1:5, Titus 2:4, Eph 6:4b).
Everyone blushes when you communicate the biblical vision, because it runs so cross grain to the mentalities that guide the people and institutions of the global village.
The Bible instructs us to bring women into this kind of life.
Let’s be honest. Where do we get the idea that women should be workers outside their homes serving other men? Not in the bible. The Bible presents a completely different track for women.
I only have so much time left on this earth. For this reason, I want to be strategic and make sure I am advocating biblical values. Only these shall stand. I have resolved to spend my energy encouraging men to trust the Bible regarding the roles they plan or facilitate for their daughters.
I am encouraging them to say a resounding “NO” to the worldly vision which would make them corporate executives, or attorneys or administrative assistants – outside the home.
Resolved: I will eagerly appeal to my brothers to act as agents to fulfill the biblical vision for womanhood with their wives and daughters. No training to be attorneys. No training to make them great executives. Train them for what God wants them to do.
Do their desires matter? It depends upon what kind of desires they have. When their desires run contrary to God’s stated desires, they need to be redirected. His ways matter above our preferred ways. Your daughter may be most capable among all other men to argue cases in court or command the ranks in industry. So what! God has called them to invest their incredible wisdom and strength in presenting to God the thing He seeks, “godly offspring” (Malachi 2:15)
April 20, 2005
First that the vision of biblical womanhood is the superior occupation for women. For this reason I will encourage them to know it and love it and practice how to communicate it. The sixfold vision of Biblical womanhood will always outperform any brand of feminism.
Second that biblical womanhood is a 100% slam dunk for our daughter’s. It is a "no lose" proposition. If a woman gives her whole focus to becoming an obedient daughter of the Lord in the biblical definition for womanhood, she will lose nothing.
The flip side is also true. If we encourage women toward anything but the biblical vision, there are risks - huge risks. They stand to lose as so many have lost. If you give yourself to the Biblical vision you can’t lose.
Third, Resolved: I will spend the rest of my days encouraging women to have a laser beam focus on it and to resist the pull of worldly philosophy which says that if you stay home your brain will turn to mush.
Biblical womanhood is a blessing to all women in all cultures.
Four Hundred People Attend Sold Out Uniting Church and Family Conference in Raleigh North Carolina
It seemed obvious that many of the conferees were in the early stages of thinking through the issues. But one theme was clear. Sometime in the last couple of years, a switch turned in their hearts and they realized that the church had wandered way off the mark, and that their age segregated churches were imploding spiritually with the vast majority of their young people abandoning the faith after college. This switch is strangely turning on in thousands of hearts almost simultaneously all over the country. It is obviously the movement of a sovereign God.
The Sufficiency of Scripture
The theme running through the conference was the sufficiency of scripture. Everything we have to say hinges on this doctrine.
Churches are Ready to be Planted
Only a handful of the people were currently in family integrated churches, but there were around ten men present who planned to plant one in the next year.
Factiod: around ten percent of the crowd were seminary students.
God is Turning A Switch in Men’s Hearts. We allocated lots of time for questions
Jay Hughes (R)from California and Don Albright of Wake Forest (L) - I was their youth pastor - 25 years ago.
Arnold Pent signing books. He is the author of "Ten Peas in a Pod", a book he wrote in the back seat of a car when he was sixteen, about his bible saturated, gospel preaching, entrepreneurial father. During a conference session, Arnold gave a riveting seven point description of his father who is a great role model for all fathers.
Theologues Young and Old Discussing the Issues
Voddie Baucham Reminding us of The Seriousness of the Hour
I will never forget the chill that went down my spine when Voddie Baucham, speaking about the teaching in Deuteronomy 6, asked:
“How serious is God in the way we conduct ourselves in this business of multigenerational faithfulness? So serious that he would say, if you disregard it, “I will wipe you off the face of the earth” (Deut 6:15).In the church, we have begun to stand in direct opposition to these principles.”
An Army of Young People
We had an army of young people from Trinity Baptist Church who showed up because they just could not stay away. Truth is, they made the conference happen. After the conference, it occurred to me what was happening. These kids are a small army. They know how to take the bull by the horns and do what needs to be done. They set up book tables for four different organizations and manned the registration table. All of this happened with nearly zero instruction. They figured it out and made it happen because they are self governed and they love to serve the church of Jesus Christ.
I love “Children’s Ministry”
When the children are included in the ministry of the church, the resources of that church to meet needs and crush problems and pull off acts of service increases exponentially. After the conference, I marveled at what the children accomplished for the conferees. They were the human resource powerhouse behind the Raleigh conference. Our young people know how to feed hundreds of people (they do it all the time). They know how to do the logistics for large gatherings. As a church, we are able to leap tall buildings with a single bound without breaking a sweat. Childrens ministry at Trinity means just that. Children are IN the ministry.
During one of his powerful messages, Voddie Baucham was commenting on the Biblical command to fathers to teach their children which stands in sharp contrast to the age segregated pattern that dominates nearly every church. He spoke of "People in the Age Segregated Movement…" He said, “It is not the responsibility of the church to usurp the role of teaching children.”
“People in the age segregated movements, say to me, “we are not trying to usurp the parents role.” Then I ask them a simple question, “what is the mission statement of your youth ministry.” I ask that question because you can go to any orthodox church in the country, and the mission statement always says something like this, “Our mission is to win and disciple young people.” In other words, the mission of the youth group is to do what God has called parents to do. Whenever your mission is to do something that God has called someone else to do you have a problem. We are working against God in many of our structures.”
Fellowship Meal at Trinity Baptist
Happy Conversations after our regular fellowship meal - one of my favorite parts of the whole week.
Around 150 people from the conference came to church with us at Trinity Baptist where we studied the life of Joseph from Genesis 39.
Trinity Baptist Members, Matthew Page, Penn and Janet Linder and Nathan Pease in the Brown's House/ Barn for the Afternoon
We also invited out of towners to come to the Brown’s Barn after church for the afternoon and evening to spend some more time with church members and to continue the dialog. Deborah Brown made enough chili for an army so everyone was welcome. Around 100 folks from the conference came. We had great times of discussion into the night.
Conference speaker Joe Dooley and elder at Grace Chapel in Georgia with his son Jonathan Edward
Ted Seago Discusses Church Planting after his session on the subject
The Reason for It All - that the generation to come might Praise the Lord
April 12, 2005
I love road trips. We pile in the car… and it’s showtime, better than Hollywood – Real Weather, Actual Roads, Unretouched Scenery, Historical Sites… Not only this, we read books and recite Scripture and Sing. Road trips present the best things in life: Books, Songs, Scripture, One another and God’s Green Earth… What a Life!
Here I am reading Arnold Pent's "Ten Peas in a Pod" to my children while Blair is driving
At this Father Daughter Retreat, I will have the opportunity to “sing the praises of the Lord” by speaking heartily about His marvelous wisdom for daughters. His ways totally outperform the ways of the world.
I am brimming with zeal to explain the details of biblical womanhood.
I Love Road Trips with My Children - Particularly when they are old enough to drive for you. Thank you Kelly and Blair
This trip we are reciting Psalm 27
“The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear. The Lord is the strength of my life, in whom shall I be afraid. When the wicked came against me to eat up my flesh, my enemies and foes, they stumbled and fell. Though war may rise up against me, my heart shall not fear. Though an army may encamp against me, in this I will be confident. One thing I have desired of the Lord. This will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in His temple. For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion. In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me. He shall put me high up on a rock.”
The Scott Brown and Doug Phillips Girls in all their glory
I said, “Claudia, Whom do the Brown’s fear?. She said, “The Brown;s fear no man.” (a line we stole from RC Sproul Jr). I shot back, “Claudia, why do you have no fear?” She said, “Oh Papa, “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear. The Lord is the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid…?”
April 03, 2005
“Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.”
April 01, 2005
“Till I come, give attention to the public
reading of scripture.”
I Tim 4:13
“So they read distinctly from the book”
These verses form the Biblical background for the important place of public reading of scripture in the church. They also explain the prominent place we give to the public reading of scripture at Trinity Baptist Church.
The apostle Paul made it clear that the churches should give attention to the public reading of scripture. This practice has gone somewhat out of style these days as people prefer more entertaining methods. Media raised people are not used to long readings. They prefer short sound bites and rapid image changes in their communication fare. So, a general observation of the churches I am familiar with, is that we have lost patience with reading scripture.
This is a terrible mistake and church leaders should either make sure they continue it regardless of the pressure for more hip methods, or if it has been lost, to recover it. We dare not let it go out of use, no matter what contemporary media addicted people think about it. God has spoken!
Movie clips and drama’s have replaced the reading of scripture in many churches. This is a tragedy. No, movie clips and plays should not replace the reading of scripture no matter how much more entertaining and relevant they might be to the modern crowd.
I heard a local pastor say that the reason he does not read big sections of scripture during the Sunday morning services, is that “we notice that the people zone out.” But, he said, “they come to life when we show movie clips.”
The reading of scripture should be one of the most honored and sacred parts of our gatherings. It is here that the church gets a pure testimony from God - a perfect Word from the Holy Spirit. In fact, the reading of scripture will be the only perfectly pure teaching the church will receive during her meetings. So, church leaders should take pains to place an emphasis that makes the readings sacred and honored times.
My belief is that we need to do whatever is necessary to build churches full of people who relish long readings of the Word. We can cultivate a taste for it by careful and lengthy readings of the text. Our taste for it will increase as we find joy in doing it. And our joy in the reading will increase with use.For the person reading scripture, a time like this requires great preparation both of the heart and the body.
First, let’s take the preparation of the heart. The heart is moved only by what is in the mind. So, your mind must be properly instructed so that it can properly instruct your heart, so that it is in sync with all that God is communicating. To get there will take many readings - slowly. I like to recommend that scripture readers read the passage no less than 20 times, prayerfully. I recommend that they read it silently and out loud.
Our technique will improve with passion that is only built through familiarity. When Ezra read the law to the people the narrative says, “So they read distinctly from the book” (Nehemiah 8:8). This is a description of careful reading that should form a pattern for us as we read scripture publicly.
Then there is the preparation of the body. By this I mean that youunderstand the meter and tone and have a sense for how it should beread. This means practicing out loud, to get the right inflections and timing so that it is read with great passion and clarity.
Deut 31:10-13 makes it clear that long readings of scripture were common in Israel. When Moses is aging (120years old) and getting ready to pass the baton to Joshua he issued a command to gather everyone together every seven years and read the entire law. This means that they would read the entire Pentateuch: Gen, Ex, Lev, Num, Deut 32:47. There was a fourfold Purpose: First, to hear the law. Second, to learn to fear the Lord. Third, help the people carefully observe all the words of the law. And fourth, for children to hear it. It is strange to modern ears that Moses wanted the little children to sit and listen to 6 hours of reading.
Nehemiah 8:1-12 Records an event in obedience to Moses command, of the actual reading of the entire law to all of the people, from the youngest to the oldest.
Here is an actual account of how this was done in the days of Nehemiah after the Babylonian captivity. During the captivity, the people did not carry on the practice of reading the law every seven years at the Feast of Tabernacles. I would like to bring out five observations of this event.
The time spent: Six hours from daybreak to noon.
Their respect for the Word: they stood up - 8:5
Who was there: All ages
Their disposition: honor given to the Word
The result: the joy of the Lord: v10-12
The reading of scripture is not a time filler, inferior to the preaching and worship. It should be given great emphasis. It should be engaged in with great passion. It should be done with careful preparation. It should be conducted with the care of one who is handling treasure – “fine gold”. As we do so, we will beautify the Bride of Christ. The church is beautified to the extent that we bathe her in the precious promises and principles through the reading the Word of God.
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light, who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy now have obtained mercy. I Peter 2:9-10
One of the breathtaking facts of modern church life is that the people who claim to be born again, conduct lifestyles almost indistinguishable from the people who are not.
But why is this so?
An evangelical research organization is suggesting a reason based on a recent statistical study of child raising practices among those who claim to be born again. In short, the study revealed that the child raising practices of people claiming to be born again display behavior patterns and philosophies that are no different than the people who claim Not to be born again. This makes for a church populace which is indistinguishable from those who reject Christ.
Based on their research, the Barna Group proposes an answer to the Question, “why has the church become indistinguishable from the world?”
Here are some quotations from this Barna study:
“For years we have reported research findings showing that born again adults think and behave very much like everyone else. It often seems that their faith makes very little difference in their life. This new study helps explain why that is: believers do not train their children to think or act any differently. When our kids are exposed to the same influences, without much supervision, and are generally not guided to interpret their circumstances and opportunities in light of biblical principles, it’s no wonder that they grow up to be just as involved in gambling, adultery, divorce, cohabitation, excessive drinking and other unbiblical behaviors as everyone else.
Parents were evenly divided on this matter: 43% said they teach there are some moral absolutes and 45% said they teach that there are no such absolutes.
“You might expect that parents who are born again Christians would take a different approach to raising their children than did parents who have not committed their life to Christ – but that was rarely the case,” Barna explained. “For instance, we found that the qualities born again parents say an effective parent must possess, the outcomes they hope to facilitate in the lives of their children, and the media monitoring process in the household was indistinguishable from the approach taken by parents who are not born again.”
“One of the most startling observations, according to Barna, was how few born again parents indicated that one of the most important outcomes parents needed to help their children grasp was salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. “Only three out of ten born again parents included the salvation of their child in the list of critical parental emphases,” he noted. “Parents cannot force or ensure that their kids become followers of Christ. But for that emphasis to not be on the radar screen of most Christian parents is a significant reason why most Americans never embrace Jesus Christ as their savior. We know that parents still have a huge influence on the choices their children make, and we also know that most people either accept Christ when they are young or not at all. The fact that most Christian parents overlook this critical responsibility is one of the biggest challenges to the Christian Church.”
“Born again parents were twice as likely as others to teach their children that there are certain moral absolutes they should obey. However, even on that matter, less than six out of ten born again parents took such a position.”
One of the stark realizations from the study is that the church is worldly because it raised worldly children. It raised worldly children because of syncretism.
The media exposures were similar
The expectations were similar
Their perspectives on moral absolutes were similar
Their ignoring Biblical principles to interpret all of life and culture were similar
Syncretism (and it baby brother, ‘similarity”) has always been a big problem with the people of God. Because we want so desperately to fit in and pursue the practices that are common (which today are often nothing more than popular media idolatries), we compromise by doing as the gentiles do. Syncretism is mixing a little bit of Christianity with a lot of worldly philosophy and practice. Mix them together and you get a church that has the name of Christian but is indistinguishable from the world – a church like Sardis to which Jesus said, “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.” Revelation 3:1
Idolatry often expresses itself in the desire to fit in. In this sense, the Media age has swept the church away from her distinctiveness so that we all look the same and do the same things. We do not like to be thought of as weird or out of touch or fringe.
The Barna study makes it painfully clear that this idolatry in the Christian church is devastating to the transfer of faith from one generation to the next. We like our worldly child raising practices just enough so that we don’t look too “strange.” We like our Hollywood just enough so that we get the entertainment we like, but the fallout is that it becomes a major un-restrainable discipleship influence. If we get just a little of it, our daughters want to look like Brittany Spears and our sons want to talk and move their hands like rap stars. It does not take very much.
If our church is no different; If our lives are no different, it should take our breath away.
This syncretism, this participation is destroying our families and our churches.
In our church, we have been studying the book of Genesis. How does this relate to our studies in Genesis?
First of all, we see how syncretism affected the people in the days of Noah, Lot and his family during their stay in Sodom, Abraham in various ways in his family life, and perhaps even Jacob’s family living in Shechem.
Second, we need to see the idea of syncretism within the wider context of Genesis. Genesis is the first book of Moses among the five books (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy). Genesis should always be read in light of the other books. Syncretism relates to two of the prominent themes of the Penteteuch. First, that God is faithful in preserving godly “seed” by making a people for His own possession and second, that those people would be holy. The theme that God is preserving the godly seed, by making a people for His own possession runs throughout each of the first five books of Moses. Holiness also runs through the Penteteuch, but the theme is highly concentrated as the main subject of Leviticus.
One aspect of becoming a holy people is to understand that God is preserving for Himself a people for His own possession. He intends to own a people who are ‘a holy people”, strangers and aliens in a strange land.
“For I am the Lord who brings you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.” Leviticus 11:45