Matt Chandler — Jesus Wants the Rose!

(Hattip: Bryan at Chief of the Least)

I heard of Matt Chandler through some of the members of the congregation, but this is the first time I have actually heard him. Now I see why they were telling me about him. He is spot on when it comes to the gospel. Instead of preaching moralism, like the man he refers to, he gets right to the gospel. He who knew no sin, died for those of us who are sinners. While we were yet sinners, He died for us. Watch the video, it’s very powerful.

Meeting Dr. James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries

I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries last week when I was in Arizona for the Southwest Presbytery meeting. Dr. White is an apologists that does a lot of work with atheists, Muslims, Mormons, and whoever else he needs to in order to defend the faith again falsehood.

He gave about an hour lecture on dealing with Islam for us and it was quite enlightening. There were several points that really were helpful in understanding Islam.

  1. First, we must realize that Muslims recite daily that their god is one god in a direct attack against the fact that Jesus is the Son of God, and God in the flesh. This shows us the huge hurdle we have in reaching those of Islam.
  2. Secondly, in their understanding of Christianity, Muslim’s believe that we actually have three gods, the Father, the Son and Mary, not a trinitarian God of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Dr. White said he believes this view came about because the author of the Koran only had the faintest glimpse of true Christianity and did not truly understand what we believe.
  3. Third, that we need to be truthful and straightforward with them about the person of Christ and the implications of Him being the Son of God. He said far too many (read liberal) Christians want to placate Islam by never truly confronting them with the truth.

This last point was really helpful because it helps us see that those in Islam do not respect those of us who are willing to concede our beliefs simply to be liked by them. I think far too many believers fall into this trap. We want to be liked, so we never continue forward with the truth of the gospel and the implications.

Dr. White said that at the end of his debates, he will often challenge those who are Islamic with the reality that they must come to grips with the fact that Christ is the Son of God, and the very One who created the heavens and the earth, and they must either believe in Him and be saved, or perish.

They actually respect this approach more than they respect those who are seeking to “win” over Muslims by being “nice.” For more, visit his site, (link above), or watch the following video on the 40 words that they recite every day:

From the “Did I Just Say That?” Department

Trying to get my 7 year old out of the land of make believe and get dressed, I said, “Andy, get dressed, there is no need for a naked superhero in the world!” 

By the way, the picture was taken last week as Andy began to realize the benefit of having grass in the backyard. I had just cut it for the first time since planting seed back in late March. Before then, there was nothing there but weeds.

Roundup That Matters

I know this one is put out by Free Market America, but it makes the point. If we continue with the liberal policies of the Left, then America will fail as a country and we need do nothing to stop it. But I don’t want America to fail. I don’t want Liberals to win, or to pay for $10 a gallon gasoline. It shows the true nature of those behind the global warming movement. They are not people who are “for” the environment, but against the American way of life. They use guilt, lies and manipulation followed by regulation, regulation and more regulation in order to stop America from drilling more oil, being innovative, etc.

Watch the Video.

BTW, I had this posted in my Roundup before Rush Limbaugh featured it on his show. I always like to point that out.

Child Labor Laws are now being imposed on farmers and their children — if the above video didn’t make the point, you need to read this article as well. The American work ethic is under attack, as well as working-class farmers and their families. I didn’t grow up on a farm, but I know those who did and they always have excellent work ethics. This is more government meddling that needs to stop.

Joel Osteen Declars Obama, Romney are Both Christians — Let’s face it, this guy thinks anyone who seems “nice” to him must be a Christian. What about the Dali Lama? I imagine he thinks he is a Christian too, along with David Koresh, etc.

What we are really need to realize is that Osteen has no authority to declare Obama or Romney as Christians. Given Romney’s beliefs, he is not. He is a mormon. Osteen cannot see the hearts of men and as Christ said, “narrow is the way…” Remember, the Jesus of Mormonism is not the Jesus of the Bible.

Redeemer Christian Fellowship (PCA)!!!

Just a note of encouragement for the members of Redeemer Christian Fellowship. The Southwest Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in America accepted our petition today to become a mission church. This means we are in the beginning stages of becoming a particularized church. However the main point is that our fellowship is now a part of the Presbyterian Church in America!

The members of presbytery were truly excited to hear about how God has been moving in our fellowship and they want to do everything they can to help us along in becoming full-fledged church. It was truly a joy sharing the story with them on the floor of presbytery. After I told them the story of how the sign being destroyed in front of the building, one asked since this really set the ball in motion, are we becoming a signs and wonders church. He was joking of course. But that is a good sign! (Sorry, couldn’t resist).

Let us rejoice at what the LORD is doing in our midst!

Not in the Mood!

Sorry, but I haven’t been in the mood to write much of late. Been busy with the church, family, family and the church! Which, given my priorities, not bad at all. Hope all my readers are doing well, especially those living in tornado alley.

Roundup That Matters

“I Was Born in a Doomsday Cult” — Andie Redwine has written an excellent account of how she was raised in the Worldwide Church of God, which is a doomsday cult. She recounts of how she had to seek counseling in order to remove herself from the effects of spiritual abuse that came about from being in the cult. She has also help put together a movie called Paradise Recovered, which is about those who are in spiritual abuse. This movie has been very helpful to those who have seen it, since there seems to be so many who are in spiritual abuse by their church leaders. Here is a bit of what she wrote after her eyes were opened by the Spirit and she began reading the Bible:

I kept reading the Bible, but with different eyes and with a different voice in my head.
I started really liking the stories that Jesus told.  We didn’t spend so much time on these in the Worldwide Church of God.  When I read them, Jesus emerged for me as a character with a quick wit, who was cunning but not deceitful, and who was overwhelmingly compassionate.
In short, I found him miles more compelling that Herbert Armstrong.

Shai Linne Expository Preaching. “We need more expositors, not more comedians!” — I’m not much into rap, but this song is dead on for what the church needs today. It is about the need for more expository preachers, those who preach what the word of God says, not their opinions. You may not like rap, but please listen to the message. Make sure your church has a pastor that actually preaches the word of God, and not his own opinions.

What the World Truly Needs — From the department of the obvious, comes the following which I was unable to post this past Sunday:

In view of that, you can go here to listen to Sunday’s sermon, which I preached here at Redeemer Christian Fellowship of Roswell, NM. This was the first Sunday that we moved back into the sanctuary since my arrival. It was a truly wonderful service.

Big Government is Removing Our Rights, Slowly.

Another excellent presentation by Bill Whittle on how our government is removing our rights every so slowly, so we don’t notice. He points out that the Constitution DOES NOT GIVE us the rights found in the Constitution. We are born with those rights. What the Constitution does is limit the government from removing those rights we are born with and given by God. It seems the godless of our nation are OK with removing those rights.

Good Friday is Truly Good

This is Good Friday, and while the most heinous crime in history took place on this day, the most gracious act in history also occurred.

First, the crime: a group of Jews and Romans, both Jews and Gentiles, put the most innocent man in history to death for crimes he did not commit, in the most heinous way. The reason I stress that both Jews and Gentiles put Christ to death is because there are some today who hold animosity toward the Jews for putting Him to death. The problem with this is that those who hold such views would have done the same thing had they been there on that day. Our hearts are evil enough that had Perfect Righteousness stood before us and we had the option to put it to death, we would have joined in the chorus of: “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” If you believe otherwise about yourself, you are merely fooling yourself about the level of sinfulness in your heart.

We must also realize that the Jews and Gentiles where our representatives at the trial of God. They were our representatives for us, showing us how we would have responded had we been able to put God on trial. Even when we found God innocent of any crime, real or imagined, we would have taking the same path that Pontius Pilate did.

Second, His innocence: So Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowd, “I find no fault in this Man.” The one in charge of the trial found Jesus innocent. He declared Christ  as He truly was, an innocent man. He had committed no crime, no sin, no peccadillo. This is vital to all Christians, both today and forever. Jesus needed to be declared innocent of the charges, so that we know He is our acceptable sacrifice on the cross since He is our Passover.

For those who know, the Passover was celebrated at the time of Christ’s death. The blood of the lamb would be shed as a reminder that during the Exodus, the angel of death passed over the homes that had the sign of the Passover, namely, the blood of a lamb on the doorposts of their homes. Their salvation from the angel of death came because of the shed blood of the lamb. However, the blood of bulls and goats is not sufficient to take away their sin, they needed a man to die in their place, one without sin, so that He could be the perfect sacrifice for them, and us.

This is why Pilate’s declaration of Christ innocence is so important. He declared to those on that day, and all the world, that Christ was innocent and there was no fault in Him. But, being the man afraid of the Jews and his authorities in Rome, he turned his back on Christ and let the crime of putting an innocent man to death go forward.

Since Christ was innocent of the charges leveled against Him, and any other sin, this made His death the most heinous crime in all of mankind’s history.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

The beauty of this is that God was able to take the most heinous crime in history and use it for the good of His people. By allowing Christ to die, He opened the door for our sins to be pardoned. No matter who we are, we have sinned against the most Holy and True God. This means that we owe a debt to Him and the debt of our sin must be paid for. Since we have sinned against an eternal being, then the debt that must be paid must be eternal in nature as well.

In steps the God-Man. Most would readily admit that Jesus was a man, with flesh and blood just like us. But He also had to be fully God as well. This is why the incarnation is so vital to the gospel. The Second Person of the Trinity became flesh and dwelt among us. Not only was the man crucified that day, but also His divine nature. This is how His death completely satisfied the wrath of God. He not only paid for our sins, with His sinless death, but He also satisfied that eternal nature of our debt by being an eternal being as well. Now, I’m not saying that the eternal nature of Christ died. The Scripture doesn’t say one way or another. What I am saying is that He satisfied God’s wrath against us in every possible way.

Therefore when we trust in Christ for our salvation, the righteousness of Christ is imputed to us, and our sin is imputed to His work on the cross. Complete forgiveness is achieved by His work for us. This means that the alienation we all had with God is removed when we believe in Him. No longer are we aliens and strangers with God, but we are brought into fellowship with Him through the sacrificial death of His Son. This is why this day is called good Friday. While man’s action lead to death, His actions lead to eternal life and reconciliation with the Father. Only God can bring about true goodness out of something so wicked. While Jesus died, and we should lament this reality, we can rejoice because God meant it for good.

Two Kingdom Theology

I have heard and read about the Two Kingdom theology for some time now, but recently came across this interview with David VanDrunen who has written a book, Living in God’s Two Kingdoms,  about this aspect of Reformed Theology. I thought the interview was quite helpful and I do plan on reading the book as soon as it arrives.

Here is Chris Cooper’s question and VanDrunen’s answer and definition of the Two Kingdom theology:

Could you briefly define Two-Kingdoms Theology and explain how it differs from a transformationist approach to Christ and culture?

I like to describe the two kingdoms doctrine briefly as the conviction that God through his Son rules the whole world, but rules it in two distinct ways. As creator and sustainer, God rules the natural order and the ordinary institutions and structures of human society, and does so through his common grace, for purposes of preserving the ongoing life of this world. As redeemer, God also rules an eschatological kingdom that is already manifest in the life and ministry of the church, and he rules this kingdom through saving grace as he calls a special people to himself through the proclamation of the Scriptures.

As Christians, we participate in both kingdoms but should not confuse the purposes of one with those of the other. As a Reformed theologian devoted to a rich covenant theology, I think it helpful to see these two kingdoms in the light of the biblical covenants. In the covenant with Noah after the flood, God promised to preserve the natural order and human society (not to redeem them!), and this included all human beings and all living creatures.

But God also established special, redemptive covenant relationships with Abraham, with Israel through Moses, and now with the church under the new covenant. We Christians participate in both the Noahic and new covenants (remember that the covenant with Noah was put in place for as long as the earth endures), and through them in this twofold rule of God—or, God’s two kingdoms.

The “transformationist” approach to Christ and culture is embraced by so many people and used in so many different ways that I often wonder how useful a category it is. If by “transformation” we simply mean that we, as Christians, should strive for excellence in all areas of life and try to make a healthy impact on our workplace, neighborhood, etc., I am a transformationist.

But what people often mean by “transformationist” is that the structures and institutions of human society are being redeemed here and now, that is, that we should work to transform them according to the pattern of the redemptive kingdom of Christ. I believe the two kingdoms doctrine offers an approach that is clearly different from this.

Following the two kingdoms doctrine, a Christian politician, for example, would reject working for the redemption of the state (whatever that means) but recognize that God preserves the state for good purposes and strive to help the state operate the best it can for those temporary and provisional purposes.

If I’m understanding him correctly, then we do not vote for those who will turn the government back into the a theocracy. That should not be our goal. But that doesn’t mean that we do not work in politics as Christians. We are to be there living as Christians, seeking to serve as God calls us too, knowing that our service there may or may not lead to a more godly state. Go here to read the rest of the interview. I’m really looking forward to diving into this when the book arrives.

This Week at Redeemer Christian Fellowship

You are cordially invited to join us for services this week at Redeemer Christian Fellowship.

Wednesday — Prayer meeting at 6 p.m. in the chapel.

Good Friday Service — We are joining together with St. Stephen’s Anglican Church for our Good Friday service at 6 p.m. in the sanctuary. Come join both congregations as we worship our Savior who laid down His life for His people. Pastor Bob Talley will be preaching from John 19 on the death of Christ, whereas, I will be preaching on Christ’s prayer in Gethsemene.

Resurrection Sunday — join us to celebrate the risen Savior at 10:30 a.m. in the sanctuary. I will be preaching about the two disciples on the road to Emmaus and their encounter with the risen Savior.

Last Sunday’s Sermon — you can also listen to last Sunday’s sermon by going here.

The Emergent Church of Galatia Responds to Paul’s Letter

I love what Jerry Johnson, of Against the World, does in this video. He responds to the Apostle Paul as if he were an elder of the Emergent Church of Galatia. In other words, he is responding to Paul for his letter to the Galatians as if it were written today. Of course, the Emergents completely reject Paul’s letter because of his harsh tone and rhetoric against the Judaizers. Paul is just too divisive when it comes to doctrine!

Listen to the video, it’s quite eye-opening to the gentle nod many will give to heresy in these days instead of standing for the gospel.