A Workforce Without Men

From Lori Alexander at The Transformed Wife:

A day, no years, without women in the workforce wouldn’t change a thing. Women think they’re invincible in the workforce but they aren’t. Men can easily and often better replace every single job that a woman has in the workforce. Our military would be stronger without women. Our police force would be stronger. Women make these institutions weaker and now we have these “sexual” problems in the military. Duh! This happens when we mix males and females in close quarters for months on ends and far away from home.

She goes on to show that society cannot survive without men in the workforce, and without women in the homes. Alexander goes on to write:

God has given men clearly defined roles and He has given women clearly defined roles and when they stop doing what they are supposed to be doing cultures die a slow, agonizing death. Go home, women. Tend to your husband, children, and homes. Make them sanctuaries of peace, warmth, and affection for your families. This is the greatest work that you can do because it was given to you by the Creator of everything.

Millennials, You Don’t Get to Determine What God’s Church Looks Like

NOTE: The following doesn’t apply to home-schooled Millennials, some private-schooled Millennials, and Millennials who had parents with the wherewithal to teach their children that life isn’t all about them.

I’ve read the article 10 Things You Won’t Find in a Church That Attracts Millennials several times now and find it wanting in any real substance. Yes, it has a few good points, like the need for older men to mentor younger men. But this isn’t a problem that is exclusive to millennials. This boomer had a real hard time finding a mentor when I first came to Christ, yet that didn’t turn me off of the church.

I think the article’s biggest problem is the underlying premise that if the church doesn’t change to fit the “exclusive needs (wants)” of Millennials then the church is going to dry up and blow away. And it won’t be the Millennials fault. After all, through this article, and others, they make their demands clear as that stamp their feet and remain cocooned in their safe spaces. However, what they think they need is the last thing they need. Millennials don’t need a church that understands their perceived specific and unique needs. They need a church that addresses their real and eternal needs. They need a church that will clearly declare to them that their greatest need is for a Savior to deal with all their “special” and “unique” sins. Changing how things are done, or the environment of the church will not bring that about. Only the declaration of the gospel will bring that about.

Continue reading “Millennials, You Don’t Get to Determine What God’s Church Looks Like”

The ESV Disappoints On An Important Verse

My wife and I finally decided to purchase the English Standard Version Bible several months ago, and for the most part, we have thoroughly enjoyed the translation. We made the jump for two reasons: the ESV is easier for me to read aloud because it is a bit smoother than the New King James Version. This is important given that my calling requires me to read the Scriptures aloud to the congregation during worship. We also made the change because we know that most churches are moving in the direction of putting ESVs in their pews. When I preach and teach, I want my version to be the same as the congregation I’m preaching and teaching to for clarity sake.

However, we recently came across a translation of a verse that bothered me. We have been studying the issue of keeping the LORD’s day and one of the strongest verses showing that we are to shift from the seventh to the first day comes in Hebrews 4. There, the author of Hebrews is laboring to show that the believer has entered his rest from sin, once belief is real. For we who have believed enter that rest as he has said, “As I swore in my wrath, they shall not enter my rest.” This was due to the Israelites unbelief. The point the writer is making is that we enter into a rest from our sin. We are not at our eternal rest, and there is yet a day appointed for us to worship Him. That would be the first day of the week.

Continue reading “The ESV Disappoints On An Important Verse”

Clark Rebukes Shepherd’s Federal Vision

I truly appreciate the work that R. Scott Clark does on the Heidleblog. In a recent article entitle Forty Three Years of Federal Vision Theology, he shows that in all the major reformed confessions, there is a unity in the view that we are justified by faith alone, in Christ alone.

Whatever formal diversity existed within the most significant Reformed voices, during the classical period of Reformed theology, we may be sure of the substantial agreement among the Reformed churches since all the Reformed confessions confess the very same doctrine of justification, i.e., the free declaration by God that sinners are regarded as righteous only for the sake of Christ’s righteousness, his condign merits imputed to believers received only through faith, trusting, resting, and receiving in Christ and in his finished work. This is the doctrine of the Reformed confessions, e.g., the Genevan Confession (1536), the Belgic Confession (1560), the Scots Confession (1560), the Heidelberg Catechism (1563), Second Helvetic Confession (1566), the Canons of Dort (1619), and the Westminster Standards (1648). (Emphasis added)

Notice the very words in the definition of justification: “free declaration.” This precludes any works that we may do, which is what some of those who hold to Federal Vision are saying, at least those FVers who are following Norman Shepherd. They claim that is it not only faith that saves us, but our works as well. Shepherd, when confronted by this reality, tried to back down by saying that it is “faithfulness” or “covenant faithfulness” but that is the same thing.

Shepherd’s Federal Vision stands against all the confessions noted above, and we should stand against it as well. It’s nothing more than “covenantal Arminianism.” In other words, for us to make sure that we are truly of the elect, we must add to the works of Christ, both individually and covenantally. This makes our election, justification, etc., based upon us. If that is so, then no one saved.

The key to justification is always based upon “receiving Christ and in his finished work.” It is not something we add to, or can improve upon, since His sacrifice was perfect for our salvation. To try and change this, makes Christ nothing more than a moral example, according to Mr. Clark. I agree.

Shepherd’s Federal Vision, according to Clark, fails to be confessional in that it denies the reality that we are saved in His “finished work.” If we are having to add to our justification, then what did Christ actually finish?

I realize that this is just a glimpse into the Federal Vision controversy. I’ve followed it for years and noted just how convoluted it has become. At times, confessionalist and FVers have talked past one another. However, if and when we try to add our works to our justification via covenantal faithfulness, or any other lofty goal, we truncate the gospel and end up with works-base salvation. Doing this should be completely rejected.

A Glimpse At How The Trendy Church is Failing in its Calling

From Why The Church Doesn’t Need More Coffee Bars at the Pulpit and The Pen.

The following is written by Gideon Knox, who lost her husband to cancer and her response to the trend that churches seem to be more interested in coffee bars, trendy pastors and lighting than the widow and fatherless children. Read the entire article here.

 

When church leaders sit around and discuss how they can reach people, I don’t think they have the widow in mind. I don’t think they have the cancer patient in mind. I don’t think they have the children who are growing up without a parent in mind. I am not paying attention to the church décor when I walk through the doors. I don’t want to smell fresh brewed coffee in the lobby. I don’t want to see a trendy pastor on the platform. I don’t care about the graphics or the props on the platform. I am hurting in a way that is almost indescribable. My days  are spent working full time. My nights are spent homeschooling and taking care of two young children. I don’t have shared duties with a spouse anymore everything is on my plate. And when I go to church I desperately want to hear the Word of God.
_
Because there are days I am running on empty and a coffee bar in the lobby isn’t filling me up. There are days when the pain is so brutal and a concert like setting is not providing healing. There are days when the tears won’t stop and a trendsetting church is not what I need. I need Jesus. There are days I wonder if the pain is ever going to end and a couch on the platform is not providing answers.

_
 The lighting, coffee bars, relevant messages, graphics and other things are secondary and serve no assistance to me during the darkest hour of my life. This is in no way a criticism of churches that have coffee bars, nice lighting and catchy sermon titles. However, in everything that is done, we need to make sure that Jesus is at the center. It is a also a reminder that there are hurting people sitting in your congregation. There are people whose marriages are crumbling, people whose finances are deteriorating, people whose children are rebelling and people like me, whose husband has passed away after a brutal fight with cancer. And these people are not impressed with the stage lighting. They could care less about the coffee flavor. They don’t need to be pumped or hyped. They need and are desperate for Jesus. And they may actually be turned off by all that they consider gimmicks to get people to go to church.

In Honor of National Women’s Day

In honor of National Women’s Day, I would like to praise all the women who forego the world’s call to false importance and choose to live God-honoring lives by staying home, raising their children, and submitting to their husbands as to the LORD.

These are the true women of importance. Instead of seeking their own glory, they seek to serve their children and husbands in all humility. This is what is pleasing to the LORD. They don’t protest. They don’t grandstand for false causes. They know that their true happiness is doing what God has called them to do in being mothers and wives. They know that the most important calling on a woman’s life is the family. They know that they are raising and shaping the minds of the next generation. They are not led astray by the false promises of the world. They know their Savior and follow His direction for their lives.

To these women: I salute you!

The Impossible Love

Here is the introduction to my most recent sermon. Preached at King’s Parish (ARP) in Dallas, Tx, this past Sunday.

When my wife and I were having our morning Bible study recently, we came to this passage of scripture (Luke 6:27-36) before us and immediately felt the weight of conviction. Please don’t think that we would be alone in this. But for us, our experience is that we had to acknowledge that we do have enemies in our lives. This is a reality that few people will actually profess as Christians.

There are people in our lives who abuse us, who spitefully use us, who say things about us that would tarnish our characters and reputations. Yes, we have enemies.

Continue reading “The Impossible Love”

The Responsibility for False Teachers Falls on the Congregation

wolf_eyes

For years I  have felt that it was part of my ministry to warn the people of God, mainly those who were directly under my care as a shepherd, about the dangers of false teachers. Not everyone wants to hear it. After all, many believers look at the happy smile of Joel Osteen and his success and wrongfully conclude that all his wealth and fame must mean he is on the narrow path that leads to salvation.

Continue reading “The Responsibility for False Teachers Falls on the Congregation”

The Blessed Woes of Christ

Sherewood Shores

“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.

“Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied.

“Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.

“Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.

I hope that when you hear the words of our LORD, you are as comforted by them as I have been over the past several weeks. We often think of these words as being quite profound, given that they are so at odds with the world’s understanding of things. They are not rooted in the worldly system of the Great Harlot. They are words rooted in Christ’s holiness, the Father’s love, and the Spirit’s comforting power.

Continue reading “The Blessed Woes of Christ”