Thursday, August 29, 2013

Dear son, don’t let Robin Thicke be a lesson to you

You know when secular blogs (conservative and liberal alike) say you've gone over the've gone over the line...Robin Thicke.
"Men are loyal. Men are honest. Men respect and honor women. A man goes out and finds one woman, and he vows to protect and love her for the rest of his life. A man would never betray that vow. Even the weakest and most cowardly man — if he is a man at all — would die for the woman he loves."
Full article here.

Sola Sisters: John MacArthur Affirming Dallas Willard & Spiritual Disciplines? All Right, Let's Just Take a Breath....

Thank you Sola Sisters! This is a terrific article. I really respect this discernment blog for their sensible analysis. Too many "discernment" blogs are quick to jump the gun and publically accuse brothers and sisters without proper research. Many parrot other "discernment" blog posts.

Case and point:

"A recent article by Lighthouse Trails blog (John MacArthur Broadcast Favorably Quotes Dallas Willard – Why This is a Bad Move) noted that a sermon by John MacArthur of Grace To You had rather favorably quoted Dallas Willard. For those who don't know who that is, before his recent death Willard became one of the founders of the Spiritual Formation/Spiritual Disciplines/Contemplative Prayer movement which is widely taught today in churches and seminaries, but which includes teachings from Roman Catholic monastic mystics" 

Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” John 7:24

"So let's go over the facts, and see if we can make sense of Dr. MacArthur quoting from Dallas Willard." Full article here.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Death Is Not Dying ~ Rachel Barkey

A very moving final testimony from a young Christian woman, Rachel Barkey, who died of cancer a couple of years ago. This is a must watch video for women of all ages.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

You Have No Authority!

"You have the authority to tell men the gospel, you have authority to tell men how to be saved, and you have authority to teach men biblical principles of assurance, but you have no authority to tell men THEY ARE SAVED! That is the work of the Holy Spirit of God!" Paul Washer

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Warning not to Stray from the Gospel ~ Paul Washer

The Never Ending Lordship Salvation Debate

I just have a few things to say about lordship salvation. I understand why there is opposition. I may offend some of you here but hang in there. The term itself is a misnomer, and its opponents are fighting for the purity of "Faith Alone". For that I tip my hat. There are problems with their thinking that I will explain in a little bit.

Lordship salvation has yet to be clearly defined, and showing both sides of the debate it is like walking on a tightrope. John MacArthur "An Introduction to Lordship" article is the closest, but those opposed would argue that it doesn't articulate the gospel (1 Cor. 15:1-5) which is the power of salvation (Romans 1:16). How could a term with the word "salvation" in it not explain the gospel? To an extent I can see their point. To be honest, I've never been crazy about the term "lordship salvation".

Jesus Christ is Lord whether we surrender to Him or not. We cannot surrender to Him anymore than Lazarus could in death without supernatural intervention. We were dead as Lazarus in our sins. (Ephesians 2:1-10) Surrendering to His Lordship can't be a choice, because He is Lord and He will divinely call His elect to surrender to Him as Lord through the proclamation of the Gospel. If it were our choice to surrender to His lordship in order to get saved, then it would be a work of the flesh and not of the Spirit.

On the other hand, I understand the tough love language of Lordship Salvation proponents. There is a dire need to counteract the heresy of easy-believism.  "Asking Jesus in to your heart", "Make a decision for Christ" or "The sinner's prayer", "Accepting Him as savior", etc., and continue life as though nothing happened has spread throughout the last 50-70 years like a wild deadly cancer. These unbiblical methods have created a flood of false converts and it has reeked havoc in churches, and trampled Christ's finished work on the cross.  

The gospel of easy-believism has been reduced salvation to a mere mental assent.  If we understand God's sovereign grace, then there is nothing in our human ability that can cause our own salvation. "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of worksso that no one may boast." Ephesians 2:8-9.

Here is a thought for those who hold to non-lordship doctrine. If you believe salvation is the work of the spirit, which is what I believe (Titus 1:1), and if you say the call to repent and believe (Mark 1:15) is mixing law and gospel, then you have to ask yourself this question, is faith a work too?  Pause and think about it for a minute. If you believe that someone like me who believes that repentance (The changing of mind about God, sin, the Bible, suddenly loving other Christians, etc., and being compelled to turn away from the old life) is all works of the flesh, then logically you would have to come to the conclusion that faith is a work as well.

"The pivotal doctrine in the lordship debate is justification by grace through faith alone (sola fide). No-lordship doctrine is a corruption of sola fide. The leading proponents of the no-lordship view err because they tend to make justification practically the only work God does in salvation, and they omit or downplay the doctrines of regeneration and sanctification." John MacArthur (emphasis mine); full article here.

Related articles:

Paul Washer Addresses His Critics in Lordship Salvation

Sandemanianism: Something to Avoid?

The Gospel of Satan ~ AW Pink

Sermon: Regeneration v. The Idolatry of Decisional "Evangelism" (Paul Washer @ the Deeper Conference 2008)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Shallow Small Group

Shallow Small Group Part 2

Yes please.

Friday, August 16, 2013

May We Be Real Here?

Lately I've been on the up and up considering the last year being one of the hardest in my life. Today I relapsed into a that self pity mode most of us know too well. My life from the start has been a hard road. It's hard not to feel cheated at times. 

The Lord in His mighty yet gentle way always reminds me of the verse that I've clung to through the years:

But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 (empasis mine)

There are times (they are few and far between) that I can barely get myself ready in the morning on Sunday to go to church. There is such a deep sadness that there is a lump in my throat, and tears welling up ready to spill over down my face. I'm squeezing my fists resisting the urge to cry right there in front of the entire congregation. 

It makes me wonder who else is feeling the same things, but is compelled to restrain them. Perhaps it is too personal and they just need a warm embrace. It's hard to tell since we're all trained early on to contain our problems.

I don't understand why we have to enter church like all is well with our smiling Disney mask all the time. What is the point? We need to be real! Life is not a show and the church is suppose to be our santuary; a place of not only worship, but of fellowship, refreshment, encouragment and confessing to one another...real stuff. 

...not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:25 

But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming but also by the comfort with which he was comforted by you, as he told us of your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced still more. 2 Corinthians 7:6-7

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. James 5:16

This 4 minute sermon clip describes these real emotions and our need to cling to truth.

Tough Questions Christians Face

I woke up today at 4:30 am and found this excellent Q and A series from the 2008 Ligonier Fall Conference with John MacArthur, Ligon Duncan, and R.C. Sproul moderating.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

America and Her Decline

We must repudiate our confused loyalties and concerns for the passing world and put aside our misguided efforts to change culture externally. To allow our thoughts, plans, time, money, and energy to be spent trying to make a superficially Christian America, or to put a veneer of morality over the world, is to distort the gospel, misconstrue our divine calling, and squander our God-given resources. We must not weaken our spiritual mission, obscure our priority of proclaiming the gospel of salvation, or become confused about our spiritual citizenship, loyalties and obligations. We are to change society, but by faithfully proclaiming the gospel, which changes lives on the inside.

John MacArthur

God often blesses nations because of the obedience of the elect. The elect of God is the remnant of faithful believers who occupy and advance the kingdom of God in their land. (Had there been but ten in the days of Abraham, Sodom would have been spared.) Because of this, it is the failure of the remnant, even more than the evil of the heathen majority, which determines the future of a nation. The remnant must be faithful to God’s standards.

Douglas W. Phillips

Despite its foundational Christian heritage, America is rapidly degenerating into a godless society. The church in America, although highly visible and active, appears powerless to redirect the rushing secular currents. Mired in a moral and spiritual crisis, America’s only hope is a national revival, like God has graciously bestowed in the past.

Erwin Lutzer

America today is a save-yourself society if there ever was one. But does it really work? The underdeveloped societies suffer from one set of diseases: tuberculosis, malnutrition, pneumonia, parasites, typhoid, cholera, typhus, etc. Affluent America has virtually invented a whole new set of diseases: obesity, arteriosclerosis, heart disease, strokes, lung cancer, venereal disease, cirrhosis of the liver, drug addiction, alcoholism, divorce, battered children, suicide, murder. Take your choice. Laborsaving machines have turned out to be body-killing devices. Our affluence has allowed both mobility and isolation of the nuclear family, and as a result our divorce courts, our prisons and our mental institutions are flooded. In saving ourselves we have nearly lost ourselves.

Ralph Winter

In America, we have a long history of valuing the concept of the separation of church and state. This idea historically referred to a division of labors between the church and the civil magistrate. However, initially both the church and the state were seen as entities ordained by God and subject to His governance. In that sense, the state was considered to be an entity that was “under God.” What has happened in the past few decades is the obfuscation of this original distinction between church and state, so that today the language we hear of separation of church and state, when carefully exegeted, communicates the idea of the separation of the state from God. In this sense, it’s not merely that the state declares independence from the church, it also declares independence from God and presumes itself to rule with autonomy.

R.C. Sproul

Monday, August 12, 2013

What Holiness Is Not


This is my favorite sermon by Voddie Baucham.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

What is Legalism?

Legalism is:

1.    Distorting the gospel by adding conditions to free grace: Acts 15:1, 7-11; Gal.1:6-7, 2:11-16, 4:8-11, Gal. 5:2-4; Col. 2:16-17.
2.    Substituting man-made regulations for the Word of God: Matthew 15:1-3.
3.    Majoring on the minors and neglecting the more important issues: Luke 11:42.
4.    Over concern with the externals while disregarding matters of the heart: Matthew 23:27.
5.    Regarding with contempt or judging a brother based on matters of personal conviction: Romans 14:1-5.
6.    Trusting in ourselves that we are righteous based on religious performance: Luke 18:9-14.
7.    Hypocrisy, the leaven of the Pharisees: Luke 11:53-12:1.

Legalism is not:

1.    A zeal for the commandments of Christ: Matthew 5:19; 1 Corinthians 7:19.
2.    A ministry that teaches others to follow Christ in obedience: Matthew 28:20; 1 Thes.4:1-2.
3.    Strong personal convictions (as long as they are not required of others): Romans 14:2, 5.
4.    Man-made restrictions for personal protection from sinful habits (as long as we do not begin to view them as binding on others): Romans 13:14; 1 Corinthians 6:12.
5.    A zeal for good works: Eph.2:10; Titus 1:16, 2:7, 14, 3:8, 14.
6.    Limiting our liberty for the benefit of others: Romans 14:15, 21, 15:2; Acts 16:1-3.
7.    Obedience: John 14:15, 23, 15:10; 1 John 2:3-5, 5:2-4.

Bill Busshaus

Full article HERE

Feeding Sheep or Amusing Goats by Charles Spurgeon

An evil is in the professed camp of the Lord, so gross in its impudence, that the most shortsighted can hardly fail to notice it during the past few years. It has developed at an abnormal rate, even for evil. It has worked like leaven until the whole lump ferments. The devil has seldom done a cleverer thing than hinting to the church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them.

From speaking out as the Puritans did, the church has gradually toned down her testimony, then winked at and excused the frivolities of the day. Then she tolerated them in her borders. Now she has adopted them under the plea of reaching the masses.

My first contention is that providing amusement for the people is nowhere spoken of in the Scriptures as a function of the church.  If it is a Christian work, why did not Christ speak of it?  "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15)  That is clear enough  So it would have been if He had added,  "and provide amusement for those who do not relish the gospel." No such words, however, are to be found. It did not seem to occur to him.

Then again, "He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers ... for the work of the ministry" (Eph. 4:11-12). Where do entertainers come in? The Holy Spirit is silent concerning them. Were the prophets persecuted because they amused the people or because they refused? The concert has no martyr roll.

Again, providing amusement is in direct antagonism to the teaching and life of Christ and all his apostles. What was the attitude of the church to the world? Ye are the salt" (Matt. 5:13), not the sugar candy---something the world will spit out not swallow. He was in awful earnestness. 

Had Christ introduced more of the bright and pleasant elements into his mission, he would have been more popular when they went back, because of the searching nature of His teaching. I do not hear him say, "Run after these people, Peter, and tell them we will have a different style of service tomorrow, something short and attractive with little preaching. We will have a pleasant evening for the people. Tell them they will be sure to enjoy it. Be quick Peter, we must get the people somehow."Jesus pitied sinners, sighed and wept over them, but never sought to amuse them.

In vain will the Epistles be searched to find any trace of this gospel of amusement! Their message is, "Come out, keep out...!" Anything approaching fooling is conspicuous by its absence. They had boundless confidence in the gospel and employed no other weapon.

After Peter and John were locked up for preaching, the church had a prayer meeting but they did not pray, "Lord grant unto thy servants that by a wise and discriminating use of innocent recreation we may show these people how happy we are."

If they ceased not from preaching Christ, they had not time for arranging entertainments. Scattered by persecution, they went everywhere preaching the gospel. They turned the world upside down (Acts 17:6). That is the only difference! Lord, clear the church of all the rot and rubbish the devil has imposed on her, and bring us back to the Bible.

Lastly, the mission of amusement fails to effect the end desired. It works havoc among young converts. Let the careless and scoffers, who thank God because the church met them halfway, speak and testify. Let the heavy laden who found peace through the concert not keep silent! Let the drunkard to whom the dramatic entertainment has been God's link in the chain of the conversion, stand up! There are none to answer. The mission of amusement produces no converts. The need of the hour for today's ministry is believing scholarship joined with earnest spirituality, the one springing from the other as fruit from the root. The need is biblical doctrine, so understood and felt, that it sets men on fire.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Church v Churchianity