Reasons for Creeds — Of Marriage and Divorce

Creeds are simple statements of belief. The word “creed” comes from the Latin word “creedo,” which means “I believe.” Since the church is confessional, we have always had creeds in that we had to be able to express what we believed in order to be a part of the church. In other words, confessing to one another what it is we actually believe about the Bible, what is most essential there for eternal life and happiness. It just so happens, that the creed I subscribe to is the Westminster Confession of Faith. This is helpful because it is the statement that I have promised before God to believe, uphold, and teach. If you want to know what I believe, read the WCF.

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The Gay Wedding and The Faithful Preacher

The following is fictitious. 

The two men climbed out of their Jaguar XJ, one of the finest machines on the road. When it came to doing anything, Ted was committed to the best. This is why he wasn’t the most impressed with the church building they were approaching. It was cute and quaint, but he had been looking for a church that was much more lavish.  This one seemed like it would actually fit better in a small town, not a thriving metropolis where they lived.

Fred reached the door first. He was truly looking forward to finding the right place for their wedding and this building looked like it was the one. He knocked on the door, loud enough so it could be heard inside the building. A few moments passed, and he knocked again, this time louder. They heard the sound of feet approaching, then heard the door being unlocked. It opened.

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Heidi’s Morning Prayer

Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God[a] and our Lord Jesus Christ (Jude 3-4).

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Governor Greg Abbott of Texas Defends the First Amendment

From the office of the governor:

Governor Greg Abbott today released the following statement regarding the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling:

“The Supreme Court has abandoned its role as an impartial judicial arbiter and has become an unelected nine-member legislature. Five Justices on the Supreme Court have imposed on the entire country their personal views on an issue that the Constitution and the Court’s previous decisions reserve to the people of the States.

“Despite the Supreme Court’s rulings, Texans’ fundamental right to religious liberty remains protected. No Texan is required by the Supreme Court’s decision to act contrary to his or her religious beliefs regarding marriage.

“The Texas Constitution guarantees that ‘[n]o human authority ought, in any case whatsoever, to control or interfere with the rights of conscience in matters of religion.’ The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion; and the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act, combined with the newly enacted Pastor Protection Act, provide robust legal protections to Texans whose faith commands them to adhere to the traditional understanding of marriage.

“As I have done in the past, I will continue to defend the religious liberties of all Texans—including those whose conscience dictates that marriage is only the union of one man and one woman. Later today, I will be issuing a directive to state agencies instructing them to prioritize the protection of Texans’ religious liberties.”

Dear Lord, expedite our move to Texas, please…

We Now Live in Sodom…

I must write. I can’t help it. I see the travesty that has just come down from the U.S. Supreme Court and I’m grieved. SCOTUS has taken something that God has given to us, marriage, and turned it into something profane before the LORD. Just as Lot was grieved over the actions of his fellow citizens of Sodom, so too, should we be grieved at what SCOTUS has done today.

As Isaiah said:

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter.

It is tragic that our country has completely turned its back on God and His word. Tragic in the sense that now an authoritative body has declared to those men and women in our country that struggle with the sin of homosexuality, “do what is right in your own eyes.”

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The Confederate Flag and the Cross (A Plea to Christians)

With the recent dust-up over the Confederate Flag and its use in South Carolina, I can only wonder how long it will be before the same elite liberals get their knickers in a knot over all the crosses across the country. It should not be too long, given that everyone and their dog was so quick to jump on the bandwagon for getting rid of the Confederate Flag in South Carolina. Never mind what the people of South Carolina believed about the flag, the flag must come down for the following reasons:

  1. The flag represented the Confederacy during the War of Northern Aggression. The Confederacy lost. The Confederacy had slaves before the war. Slavery is evil, therefore the flag that represented the Confederacy is evil… all who fly the flag are evil. (This is extremely bad logic, but hey, it works for liberals).
  2. Black people are offended by the flag. Therefore it must come down.

Never mind that we just went through an entire media blitz about Bruce Jenner, who thinks he is a woman and therefore we must call him a woman, even though scientific fact disputes such a claim. With the Jenner logic, it seems to me that all we have to do is ask the good people of South Carolina what they think about the flag? If they like the flag, then they should be able to fly the flag. It does not matter how many people are offended by the flag.

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5 Things I Wish Every Congregation Knew

I know a fellow pastor who is going through some real trials with his church. Apparently, preaching the full-counsel of God does not sit well with many in his congregation. Now, before you go and say that I’m just saying this, realize that I have downloaded quite a few of his sermons and listened to them. Others in his presbytery have done the same, and had the same sentiments. He is preaching the full counsel of God, faithfully.

Basically, what my friend is going through is the beginning of the end of that particular church. The more carnal people in the congregation have realized how much power they yield by going to the elders and demanding that my friend be forced to resign. The elders, being the staunch spiritual leaders that they are, caved so quickly that I have to question their leadership ability. The church is becoming subject to mob rule. And when mobs rule in the church, the church dies. I’ve seen it firsthand and understand how sad it is.

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The Church is Called to Worship God, Not Change the World

ChangeTheWorld
“We will never change the world by going to church. We will only change the world by being the church.”
This is one of those memes that floats around Facebook and sounds good on the surface. A lot of people make the mistake of thinking the purpose of the church is to change the world. But I beg to differ. The purpose of the church is not to change the world. The purpose of the church is to worship God. Until the church realizes this, and returns to it’s major purpose, we will never affect this world at all. But even so, that is not our goal. Our goal is to be obedient to Him. Yes, we are called to make disciples, but only the Spirit can convert them.

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The Danger of “Justification By Faith Alone”

From Martin Lloyd-Jones book, The church and the Last Things:

“There is a danger, I sometimes think, that in our emphasis upon justification by faith only, we fall into the error of forgetting this further differentiation on the basis of our works, of our faithfulness as Christian people. We have to fight for the great doctrine of justification by faith, it is constantly being attacked, but it would be a very grievous thing if, in asserting that, we in any way detracted from this other teaching which reminds Christian people that all their works are observed by the Lord, the righteous judge, and that what you and I do as Christians in this world will have an effect upon our life in glory in the next world.”

What he means by this is that we will still be judged for our works, even though we have been fully justified before the Father. How we live as believers according to His word, still matters. We are to be more conformed by His word, yielding more and more to it.

Bruce Jenner Needs to Fear God More Than He Needs the Love of God

Once again before us we have a wonderful opportunity to learn what is wrong with the gospel in America. As the pictures of Bruce Jenner adorn everything after his sex-mutilation operation, people are rushing in to either condemn him for being a sinner, or pour out their view of the love of God upon him. One blogger put it this way:

The real scandal worth discussing is that of a Gracious God who would come and die and live again so that He could make a way for broken sinners like us to be with Him while teaching everyone that redemption has so little to do with us and everything to do with Him.

And that isn’t just in the Bible. It is the summation of all of Scripture.

So, before the Internet gets going… before the whole world starts talking and there are harsh words and angry debates and Christians who look like we carry around pockets full of stones, let’s remember this:

No matter what the cover of a magazine tells us to call a person, first…

We must call one another Loved.

I’m not so sure this is true, especially given that the author does not express what this “love” is. This is a sad tactic of many when it comes to such a debate concerning public figures living out their lives with sinful natures. Someone points out that nature, and others immediately counter with the L-word, and we know that once the L-word is thrown out there, anyone else who dares to comment on the situation is clearly un-L-wording… Just by throwing out the L-word, truth is stymied and the gospel stands askew once again. The question we need to ask: Would Jesus just throw His arms open wide and give ol’ Bruce a big hug and welcome him into the kingdom?

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The Quick and the Dead

I was at a church recently that was working its way through the Heidelberg Catechism as a means of confession of faith. This particular Sunday, they were on question number 46:

Q. What do you mean by saying,
“He ascended to heaven”?

A. That Christ, while his disciples watched, was taken up from the earth into heaven and remains there on our behalf until he comes again to judge the living and the dead.

This is obviously a newer translation because the older renditions refer to the living and the dead as the quick and the dead. You will also find the same references in new adaptations of the Apostles’ Creed.

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