Sunday, June 26, 2011

Resources for the family

This is my feeble attempt to pass along some (nothing extensive...not all that is available, but some choice picks) great resources that I/we have found quite helpful and thoroughly biblical!


let us begin with sermons:


Joel Beeke




http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=215102014227 (a plea for Christian family worship)
http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=54101711250 (Puritans and the family)
http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=3291087338 (John Calvin on Marriage & family)
http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=217081717154 (Godly training)




Albert Martin
40pt Sunday school series unlike any other on How not to foul up the training of our children HERE
a PHENOMENAL 4pt series on how to handle, approach our spiritually awakened children
HERE
Another rare blessing, a 8pt series concerning 2nd generation Christians (things our church children WILL face & we need to be prepared to respond to) HERE




Voddie Baucham
Sufficiency of Scripture in the Disciple-Making of the Church and the Home
8pt series on Family (6 from Voddie) great stuff
Total Depravity (a necessary foundation for family)
Child Training


Paul Washer

Biblical Family
Catechism series
Gaining the World and Losing Your Children
Ephesians Family Series




Michael Phillips
A short bio of Susanna Wesley




BOOKS (just a few)



Family Driven Faith by Voddie Baucham
What He must be..if he wants to marry my daughter by Voddie Baucham (and NO this is not just for fathers of daughters, but a significant treatise on true love, the gospel, God given roles, etc
Duties of Parents by JC Ryle
To the rising generation by Jonathan Edwards
The priest with dirty clothes by RC Sproul
Mighty acts of God story bible
The Children's Prove it catechism ( many also use 'grace and truth' series)
Family Worship by AW Pink
Family Duty by John Bunyan

Pilgrims Progress (best as a book, but here is a childrens DVD that is actually done very well)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Okay to tell people about how great your prayer life is..

It's ok to be REAL :) .......(i just happened to stumble upon this gem of an article..good stuff and btw the heart of this article remains good regardless of your view of Romans 7-which I still hold as a true believer)


It's okay to tell people about how great your prayer life is...

Many Christians have the idea that the height of godliness is always to be telling people how bad they are doing. Many have the idea that in order to be 'authentic' you need to make sure everyone knows how poorly you pray, how proud you really are, how unloving you really are, how selfish they would find you if they got to know you better.

Basically we need to go through life saying, "I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing" (Rom 7:19 which is misapplied to the believer I might add, but that's another blog post). Many have this idea and so, just as grey has become the new black, sinfulness has become the new holiness. I mean it. Try telling people how well you are doing and neglect to add a few, "but I'm so wicked's" and you will come off proud in this sub-culture of ours.

The problem is that if you tell people how well you are doing spiritually you might actually be more like Paul than the person who is always sounding so Romans 7. Let's listen for a moment to that arrogant apostle who didn't know how to fit into our new 'sinfulness is holiness' sub culture.

- "For God is my witness whom I serve in my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers" (Rom 1:9) No ifs, ands, or buts Paul just tells us he was faithful from the spirit in prayer. If you don't believe him you can ask God his witness. Wow!

- "I am speaking the truth in Christ- I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit- that I have unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish myself cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers" (Rom 9:1-3) Come on Paul couldn't you add something about your mixed motives and how your really doing this all for you, and how you just hope God gets a little glory in your pathetic life. Nope, just "God knows I agonize over the souls of others."

- "I thank my God in all remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy...I hold you in my heart...how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus" (Phil 1:3-8). "How was your prayer time this morning Paul?" "Great I was on my knees (as always) pleading for you with the affection of Christ." Did you read those four words? Read them slowly. THE - AFFECTION - OF - CHRIST. Unbelievable, well almost!

I could go on but I will stop there. What can we learn from all this.

1. Don't try this away from home, until you've tried this at home. By this I mean, we should not read this and just start talking like Paul. That is pharisaism. The religious folks of Jesus found the best corner to pray on so that people would be impressed with their prayers. God hates this. But, having said that, if you will go to your closet (where God sees in secret) and you will plead for men's souls with God as your witness there is nothing wrong (in fact it can be quite encouraging) to say, "God is my witness how I was pleading for your good this morning." Only once God has seen us praying should we even think of telling others about it.

2. By the Holy Spirit, Godliness is possible. Men and women, normal men and women, who are still in the flesh, can attain to great love and faithfulness. We should never speak in such a way that we encourage people to think that failure is the new normal. NO! Men and women of God throughout the centuries have learned how to pray, and plead, and feel like Paul. We do a great disservice to God and the Church when we act like our immaturity is normal and biblically expected. If you still think that failure is to be the norm for believers here is a caveat and a challenge. First the caveat. i am not saying that believers will not stumble (James 3:2), nor am I saying they will be sinless in this life (1 John 1:8). Now the challenge. Name one place outside of Romans 7 where Paul could even possibly be describing the Christian life as constant failure, and doing what you hate. And then think of all the places where Paul speaks of the power, joy, and reality he experiences in his difficult life.

(Hint, 1 Timothy 1:15 is describing Paul's conversion testimony, not his current experience).

3. Rejoice, God he who began a good work in you can actually make you like Christ, and as he does you can encourage others by telling them about it!

4. Remember even your best works are unacceptable to God, but we pray through Jesus Christ. We serve under his righteousness in the gospel (Romans 1:9, 5:1-2). So when you feel love and passion for God, even when it is being opposed through the flesh, remember God receives that passion, that love, those prayers under the cleansing blood. So brothers and sisters, pray on!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Because of His great love towards us

Well I've been slow to blog, but here is a note that i wrote not to long ago on my facebook:


Worship with me today,

Let us ponder a question, which we shall never come to an end of, a puzzle which the greatest minds cannot & never will be able to fully solve, a wonder which fuels a pursuit of the One who has presented us with such a paradox. This question even upon the reception of a new & glorified body (& mind) will only become even MORE mysterious as we gaze with unveiled eyes upon the beauty & majesty of God, that question shall be:

"HOW CAN I BE HERE!?"

Even King David with "only" (relatively speaking) a view of God's handiwork in creation was utterly astounded at the concern of God towards mankind, He was amazed that God would even attempt to relate, to involve Himself with us:

Psalm 8:3-4 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him,and the son of man that you care for him?

In otherwords, David is saying: "When I look, when I consider all that You have made, all that You command, all that You control, all that perfectly submits & performs Your pleasure. What are people, what am I, a sinner by nature & a sinner by birth, one who not only disobeys You but finds pleasure in doing so, what are we & what am I that You would look, would care for us, for me?

This reminds me of a question found in the "Children's Prove it Catechism" that we use:

Q "Why should you glorify God?"

A "Because He made me and takes care of me"

Verse "Revelation 4:11 Worthy are you, our Lord and God,to receive glory and honor and power,for you created all things,and by your will they existed and were created."

Let us look again at David & notice the reaction he has toward God's promises to him (which are promises to us):

2 Samuel 7:18 Then King David went in and sat before the LORD and said,"Who am I, O Lord GOD, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?..

King David was one of those Sovereign grace guys who was convinced that God was the giver, that God was the only One deserving of glory, of all the credit and because he believed such of God, David was humbled and cried out "WHO AM I....?"

I suppose, well I am convinced that there are many who would answer or be tempted to answer this question by looking to the creature (created one) rather than the Creator. Such are those who would like to think, that the fall (Adam"s sin/transgression) was only external & temporal: that it, that sin did not change who or what man was. This line of reasoning will assume that God looks upon us as victims rather then criminals, that God looks past our actions and understands that we are quite helpless but if we could we would obey Him perfectly, since deep deep deep deep deep deep deep deep deep down 'in our hearts' we are really good!

Sounds nice, but the reality is that this is not God's verdict of us, rather this is what He sees "in" man:

Genesis 6:5 The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

In otherwords at the very CORE of our being we are EVIL! Thankfully that's just the OLD testament way of thinking, that was those "evil" PRE-flood people right?

Romans 1:21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

Romans 1:24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves,

Romans 1:29-32 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

Romans 3:10-18 as it is written:"None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.""Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive." "The venom of asps is under their lips." "Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness." "Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery and the way of peace they have not known." "There is no fear of God before their eyes."

Surely it can be seen, if we would only allow the scriptures to teach us, that we are, deep deep deep down "in our hearts" sinners, rebels against God! Now since we quickly touched upon that fact of who & what we are, now we can look at the question at hand with some level of sanity: That question being "who am I" or "why am I here?/ why am I saved?" (and no I do not mean to imply that this speaks to all & every human being, but ONLY those who have turned to Christ, those who have received Him, believe upon Him & as a result pursue & obey Him). Since it is crystal clear that God did not look within man in order to find something good to motivate Him to save us, which would imply that God is merely giving us what we deserve & that He is in fact making a wise choice in saving something which is quite valuable. On the contrary God looks upon His enemies, upon those who constantly oppose Him, and has looked past them in order to find such motivation.

So what then is the motivating factor of God giving grace to His people?

Ephesians 2:4-5 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved

Hallelujah!! It was and is because "of the great love with which He love us...." and yes dear saint it is also because of His own glory, for His mere pleasure but that does not work against the reality that God chose to love us, that God chose IN SPITE of who & what we are, to love us, to give us & welcome us in His love!! We were DEAD in sin, even while we were enemies of His, He chose to love us to rescue us from Himself and unto Himself!

Let us look at it in context, but as you look remember that this is YOUR testimony (if your are a true child of God) and I will put in bold some things to consider about what & who we were B.C. (before Christ):

Ephesians 2:1-5

"And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even whenwe were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ by grace you have been saved"

We were slaves of self, slaves of the world, slaves of the devil and all that because we desired such, it was not only by nature, but by choice! O, But God who in His super abundance of grace not only sought to rescue us, but gave up Christ in order to do this. In otherwords all that we have sought to point out about the sinfulness, the blackness, the depth of the evil of sin within against a glorious & great God, all of that was placed upon the Holy spotless altogether lovely Lamb of God.

2 Corinthians 5:21

"For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."

Considering what we deserved and the fact that God had not already crushed us for all we have done, is reason enough to cause us to forever worship & wonder at Him, but to consider the great cost, the great shame that Christ endured is simply unimaginable. That Jesus Christ was slaughtered by the full fury of God's wrath against the sins of those He was saving is absolutely amazing, the King was hung for the one's who committed treason, Jesus Christ was cursed that we might be blessed!

What am I that You would look upon me, that You would save me? Why then has God done such things, why then has Christ reconciled men to God? BECAUSE OF HIS GREAT LOVE TOWARDS US!! but why? Just because, God decided to love You!

This question is unwrapable we will never come to an end of it, we will forever be amazed, we will forever be overwhelmed with boundless joy, with suffocating pleasure while we are enjoying communion with God in glory and we are pondering & praising "I AM here, why AM I here, I have been saved, WHY have I been saved, Yes He loves me, Why has He loved, O how He loves Me!!!"

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Laments over facebook

Well I have been on facebook for a while & that is primarily due to the ease of posting & reading via my phone, which if it wasn't for that I would have never got on it.
Now I am fully aware that some have decided to forgo the whole experience altogether, for such noble reasons as not adding any more time consuming activities to their lives. Others have at first participated in it then found it completely unfruitful or for the same reason some blogs remove the ability to comment, they were bombarded with people who only desired to argue. I am also aware that for some it has proven fruitful, they have been blessed by it & they have blessed others through, for such we can say praise the Lord (and perhaps i will blog that which I can rejoice concerning facebook)!
With that said my "laments" are not my arguments for or against the use of facebook, but rather some things to be mindful of, to be intentional about, to pray for etc...and another thing these laments apply more to the avid user then the person that only stops by sporadically
(some "laments" could easily include blogs, forums, even "in person" social gatherings)
1. Time restraint & dating:
Because so many are posting thoughts and the like, time can be of the essence & so often given the time of day or day of the week a really useful quote, comment, link or important prayer request or praise report can be totally missed, and it appears that it's a rarity for someone to actually read things that were posted yesterday (for some yester-hour) unless (hidden rule-i suppose) they have just became your "friend" then it is only customary for them to go back & find something they can add a "like" to.
2. Lack of fuller interaction:
This like many ties into time restraints & overload of comments, but it is regrettable the comments, links, & quotes that don't generate ongoing comments, such that it's not just a passing thought that we reply "amen" to or simply "like" but perhaps a little bit of a explanation why we "like" it so that the convo we just participated in may leave some lasting fruit
3. Overload of MUST SEE/READ/LISTEN links that aren't "musts"
Some well-intentioned believers seem to be blown away by just about anything they come across on youtube, or listen to, or read and feel it necessary to bombard their page with such links, perhaps again they should explain why it's a MUST as opposed to listening/watching/reading just about any other person on the subject etc..
4. Lack of Christ-centered speech
It appears that some believers have nothing whatsoever to share of Christ, perhaps they have nothing to praise God for, perhaps they have no affections to express concerning Christ & His gospel, perhaps they consider their testimony as a private matter to be kept silent, perhaps they don't consider it useful to bless another believer with something that has blessed them, or perhaps they don't think it wise to speak anything of the gospel for their "friends" to see (and especially not talk about sin, repentance, hell, & justice etc..)---sound ridiculous right? Of course---now now before you have a hissy fit ask yourself does he have a point?
5. Lack of honest disagreement
(This lament will also resonate with many bloggers as well) but it takes different formats on facebook, some will throw out a disagreement then they will disappear not responding to any replies, some will comment to something that is a misunderstanding then refuse an explanation (and we all love to be called liars), some will continue to argue (even totally off the subject) ignoring every single reply, even the clearest of scriptural rebuttals..and from time to time you might even have one making posts on their page concerning their disagreement with you but leave out names.
6. Lack of concern for holiness in comments, links, etc
I use the term "holiness" to cover just about all that concerns our witness before unbelievers & our desire to glorify God before all believers (especially "baby" Christians). It is appalling to see believers employ crude speech for the sake of a laugh, or to see married couples express their disappointment with their spouse before all to see, to see some using all their posts to whine, complain & moan about every thing under the sun (I do mean the sin of murmuring, not just simple comments on various things), parents to speak often of their children as burdens, to see some believers boasting in something that may indeed be "permissible" but is CLEARLY something they know many baby Christians stumble over (hmm i think the Apostle Paul made some strong arguments about that---hello, you wanna-be reformed rebels...please grow up.).

I think that sums it up.......O if anything applies to you then please consider applying it to yourself, don't just react & ignore, especially if you got that "is he talking about me"-syndrome , no I'm speaking to whomever it may concern...grace & peace
p.s. your comments will be welcomed :)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

a needed resurgence!!

It is unmistakable to ignore the recent rise of interest into Reformed theology, whether that be all that entails reformed theology, or that simply limited to the doctrines of grace. It would be quite difficult to ignore the scriptures emphasis upon truth & it's colossal impact upon our lives, our maturity, our well being, for good theology IS good and necessary for it is simply (or should be) knowing the mind and heart of God (concerning Himself, us, and all things).
Yet the rise of interest & study of such truths does NOT guarantee good fruit UNLESS we seek after such truth for the reasons God desires & with a willingness to apply such truth as God demands.
What is desperately needed in our day above all things is not simply a rise in interest, a rise in talk, a rise in sermons, a rise in blogs, a rise in books, or a rise in churches which affirm & spread reformed beliefs but MOST importantly we should desire and pray for a rise in HUNGER, in THIRSTING after God, a rise in young people who don't simply want to "do" great things for God , but want to greatly "be" with & like God. We need in our day a historical revival of Christians who long to be alone with God, who spend a great deal of time with God. We need not a people who know so-called "prayer warriors" that they can call, but who know well what it is to plead with God, to struggle in intercession. We need a people who can't bear to just listen to men like Piper, like Washer, like Conway, like Beeke, like Tozer, express their hunger, their passion, their pleasures in God, but cry out "O, Lord visit me likewise, I MUST have You too, consume me!" I do fear there are too many that get their passion "fix" from such preachers, yet never resolve to follow in their footsteps, never change their habits.
Far too many young people & especially young ministers (who are SUPPOSED to be examples) seem to consider themselves the strongest of all believers, so strong that they need little time alone with God, so strong that they can without shame expose themselves to filth that none of the preachers (who express much passion for Christ) who they look up to, could ever listen to, watch, or participate in. So strong that they have all the time in the world to keep up with all the current events of the day, all the popular shows, all that takes place in the sports world, even becoming masters in video gaming (which nowadays demands countless hrs), among other hobbies, yet when it comes to time with God, well that's a matter of grace (we mustn't allow ourselves to get discouraged so let's just blow it off--as the reasoning seems to be).
Just recently I was listening to Voddie Baucham tell of a time where (which almost never happens for him) he travelled alone to speak at a church and the pastor who was to meet him at the airport, sent I believe his secretary instead to pick him up. Well Voddie expressed his disappointment with this and refused to drive alone with this lady (as it would violate a principal he stands by) and despite the awkwardness found another means of transportation. Once the pastor of the host church did meet him, he was absolutely confused about what Voddie did, and ask questions along the lines of "Did you do this because you once committed adultery, or perhaps you have great struggles with lust....etc?" to these ridiculous questions Voddie pointed out that it's the fear of his flesh that caused him to do this, that though he DOES NOT currently struggle with any of those things, he doesn't want to BEGIN struggling with them either.----Did u catch that? Now that's a biblical response to life's circumstances, there is a proper understanding of indwelling sin and the need to guard ourselves (while too many today would practically laugh at such restrictions, at such care to maintain a pure life, even a pure testimony. I don't wish to restrict this to one subject, but it is disturbing how many young people make little effort to guard themselves from being alone with the opposite sex--perhaps you don't fall, but what about those who follow your example?).
Wouldn't it be great if there was such a rise that many who came to such truths, began to do radical things for God, became so obsessed and consumed with Christ that they could hardly be moved by anything else, such a rise that many of us more "mature" believers would be greatly convicted & encouraged??? Would you pray for such things, do you desire to see such changes in the church, in your church, in your life, in your children even??
Then OUT of that hunger, OUT of that doctrinal foundation, OUT of that personal pursuit of biblical holiness & enjoyment of God, there would be fruitful, God-glorifying, praiseworthy, teaching, preaching, writing, fellowshipping, reading, living, singing, and spreading of the glorious truths found in the doctrines of grace, the doctrines of scripture!

John Piper and BIOGRAPHIES

Pastor John Piper (*despite any reserves you may have towards him (and i do NOT agree w/all that he has done or said), he is nonetheless a well respected minister of the gospel and one we can learn much from) has made it a practice to do a biography on godly men of the past at his desiring God conference.
It's his motive that is grounded in scripture which makes such historical sketches so important. in his own words (which is often worded differently from time to time):

I have often turned to Hebrews 11 as a biblical warrant for loving and reading biography. But more recently I have been more struck by Philippians 3:17 where Paul says, "Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us." This is very striking. Paul himself is one step removed from Jesus, the great example. And yet he calls us to "join in imitating me." Then he says: Keep your eyes on, or fix your gaze on, those who walk according to the example you have in us. These people are now two steps removed from Jesus. Paul follows Jesus, these people walk according to Paul's example, and then we are told to imitate them. So we are three steps from Jesus. But the wording is even more striking. It says, fix your eyes (Greek skopeite) on them. Watch them closely. Don't lose sight of them. It seems to me that this is one of the most powerful warrants in the Bible for fixing our attention on the saints who have lived lives that are so exemplary—flawed, but still exemplary.

Now this is a solid foundation for motivating ALL believers to put effort into studying the lives of those God has seen fit to bless & bring forth much fruit through. It is regrettable that so few Christians have any knowledge of Christian history, of the most important & useful history available to us. Now there are some "history buffs" that speak of history & their love for it, but usually such 'love" seems more to do with unresearched novelties, more along the lines of history-based entertainment, what is often found on television or even worse movies.
Now I suggest & hope that u will put some effort into learning about church history for it is OUR history, it is indeed HIStory, some may find great delight in discovering the roots of their "family tree", but o what a better "family" tree with firmer eternal roots is found in the lives of God's people. With such knowledge we have the opportunity of learning from the victories and losses of others, we have the opportunity to praise God all the more for His grace and we have the opportunity to increase our faith, our expectation by seeing what God has done!

back to Piper:
Piper also does something which is very important when dealing with biographies, he seeks to point out what the person stood upon: in otherwords Piper desires to bring out the theological foundation which a person moves from, this is CRUCIAL to grasp, especially in light of so many biographers who deceitfully disguise the theological beliefs of a person because they themselves don't share those convictions but still want to present that man/woman in a good light (this happens often with popular preachers & missionaries of the past, like Spurgeon, Mueller, Carey, Newton who are clearly Calvinistic/Sovereign grace-minded men---hence the importance of objective biographers).
John Piper also (as to be expected & praise the Lord for it) attempts to point out the HEART/affections of his biography, he seeks to shed light upon their passion for God (their "desire" for God), their intimacy, their devotion towards Christ!

Lastly I would wish to point out that going to Piper for his biographical sketches is a great way to BEGIN looking at such lives, more akin to an appetizer, his sketches are exactly that, sketches and that done in a typical Piper devotional manner. There are indeed times (just a few) i think his conclusions are wrong and some observations or comments unnecessary, but overall they are of much use & good for all to read or listen to.
Here is a link to his biographies:
http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/biographies/by-title

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Be mindful of false motives for salvation

It would do us all well especially in times of peace & prosperity to be mindful of false motives of so-called professors of Christianity. By 'times of peace & prosperity' i mean anytime there may be some sort of gain that might be commonly associated with being a Christian.

I would beg you to be mindful so that you will get in the habit of inquiring much more then is normally done. Salvation is of such importance that great care should be taken to share & explain it. Given the shallow, shaky, & dilluted presentations of the gospel found so often today, we should desire to explain the gospel in greater detail.
Sometimes it is difficult to exhort someone when it comes to something like this because a checklist simply won't do: what is needed above all is a geuine concern for the soul of the person you are speaking to, a concern that surpasses your desire to be brief, the desire to 'count' this person as another 'convert' of yours or attender of your church and your desire to not offend this person.
I have many times run across different situations where someone was expressing a desire to receive Christ OR they simply professed to be a follower of Christ and the varying reasons are numerous: some profess Christ when they are within a peer group that is 'doing it' too (like childrens church, youth group etc), some young people will make professions in order to please parents, some to 'get' affection/attention from parents, some will go through a time of great struggle (failing marriage, sickness, joblessness..etc) and will show great interest in following Christ not as Savior from their sins or Lord of their life but as a quick fix, as a pain reliever. Some will even speak of sin, not because they hate their sins because of a new found love for God, but because they hate the consequences of their sin: this is quite common when it comes to drugs, alcohol, and/or sexual addictions (and other things), the consequences of these sins come quicker then most sins & it's not uncommon to find unbelievers disgusted with such sins.
Whatever the reasons given by the person, it is good to 'dig deeper' to see why someone is expressing a desire to come to Christ. It is good to re-explain the gospel, it's need & it's effects (the 'fruit' of real saving faith) as well as stressing the cost of following Christ (which includes the reality that many life circumstances/situations may not get better). All in all i am saying we should give everyone an honest explanation (and expectation) of the gospel.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Clarifying gets old

In a recent blog by Voddie Baucham he once AGAIN defends the straw man depicted by so many today when it comes to FIC churches (family-integrated-churches). It was a poor repost of Tim Challies which led Voddie to restate some facts concerning this movement.
In this link, voddie has several links so if you are new to the subject check them out:
http://www.voddiebaucham.org/vbm/Blog/Entries/2011/1/9_Sam_Waldron%E2%80%99s_Open_Letter_on_the_FIC_(Repost_in_Response_to_Challies).html
It is truly sad how often such careless pictures of groups are painted by brethren who take little time to do their research but rather browse a couple websites & collect a few observations from the comments of others. The FIC simply can't be defined simply, it's not fair nor truthful to group such a vast entity into one group and then tell others what they consider "essential". There is way too much history of churches that laid a biblical emphasis upon the family and it's role to the church, to just sweep the FIC movement as some strange and new phenomenon (when some may simply be, simple churches: that is churches without all the "improvements" of contemporary churches) The question is not "are there extremes in the FIC movement?" but rather "What movement, what denomination, what theological system doesn't have some who take things to an unbiblical extremes?" Counterfeit bills don't make real bills any less real!
As far as Challies goes, i find him interesting (which is why i rarely read him and that's primarily because i just don't find it that fruitful to read tons of "interesting" blogs, i want something with an edge but hey that's me), he's a good writer and on many things his discernment is quite sharp, but I do think his writings on family & on parenting are in need of some culture-washing

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