Saturday, March 21, 2009


The other day I saw a banner at a local church that announced the following: " Classic Worship-11:A.M." Now I KNOW what these dear Brethren are trying to do... they are trying to reach out to the community - they want potential visitors to know that at 11:00, there's going to be Hymn singing, offering, preaching, closing hymn, prayer, etc...- in other words: If you are looking for the "old-fashioned" worship time- this is the place to be! I understand their motives.. these are good people.. they want people to feel comfortable coming to visit! They want to reach people with the Gospel. That's admirable!!...but this makes me wonder.. Has it REALLY come to this?? Do we look at Worship as something that we package and promote like a product??? You've seen the signs: "traditional worship, Contemporary Worship, Willow Creek style worship, Blended Worship".. it goes on and on... what ever happened to what we Presbyterians call," The Regulative Principle of Worship"? The BIBLE ALONE instructs us in the elements of Worship. Now, I realize that there are different ways to implement those Biblical Elements.. but what are we saying when we have different "style" services geared toward the various "tastes" of our potential visitors and current members.. Is this like the Buffet at the restaurant," Choose from Hundreds of items at our Mega -Bar"??? Dear Reader, the Elders of the local Church need to decide what they are going to do with the REGULATIVE PRINCIPLE... and YES that does EXCLUDE A FEW THINGS... One thing that it DEFINITELY EXCLUDES is DRAMA during the WORSHIP SERVICE... yep , I said it... ALL those little skits that you have seen during the service ... they should'nt be there! Am I saying that the Church should not be "capturing the ARTS " for Christ?? no way ... THE CHURCH NEEDS to INVADE EVERY AREA of CULTURE... but it is NOT to be done during Worship... do it at a SEPARATE Gathering... All this innovation; all these polished, practiced, focus group driven attempts at finding a "worship Style" that makes people feel "comfortable"... is nothing more than salesmanship AND showmanship. SO much of it depends upon the way it "looks", the "atmosphere" that is created, How "hip" and "cool" is the MUSIC???? Dear Reader.. do You ever think about what we have done to WORSHIP??? The Vision statements of our churches are crafted as if we are actually creating a "catch-phrase' for a product!.... Let's return to the VISION of the Apostles.... WORSHIP is to be done according to SCRIPTURAL PRECEDENT! NOT according to the marketing strategies of the World! well, excuse me , I'm getting a little Thirsty.. so I'm going to get a drink- I think I 'll have a Coca-cola Classic... I am glad they stopped making that NEW coke... but wait there's Caffeine free coke, diet coke, coke zero, cherry coke, ... wow SO MUCH TO CHOOSE FROM...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Many of us are familiar with the story of the patriarch Abraham! In Sunday School we learned about the way that The Lord called him unto Himself! We all have heard the story of the "confirmation of his faith",when God asked him to sacrifice his son, Isaac on the altar. We have seen the paintings of Abraham raising the knife in the air- only to be stopped by the Angel of The Lord, the Lord Himself provided a ram for the sacrifice- Abraham told Isaac that God would provide and HE DID!!The life of Abraham was filled with examples of God's provision in difficult situations! God told Abraham that HE would be the Father of many nations... but FIRST Abraham had to learn that he was first and foremost a Father to his children.. and that God had a very special job for him !

Speaking of Abraham, God said, " For I have KNOWN HIM in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice, that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has promised."

Many read this verse and say," OK OK.. God is God and of course HE KNEW all about Abraham.. ok he KNEW HIM.. He was intimately acquainted with him,, and...etc.etc.".. Now ALL THAT is true.. but what we need to remember is that in the Hebrew,, this phrase" KNOWN HIM" means so much more that just "Befriending " someone.. or knowing everything about them.. It actually means " LOVED BEFORE-HAND" In other words... The Creator of the universe "set HIS LOVE" upon Abraham.before HE ever created him... but lets look at the REASON for this " LOVED BEFOREHAND" Blessing that Abraham's!! " It was " IN ORDER THAT he may command His children and His household after him, that they may keep the way of the Lord.." Here it is my friends, COVENANT THEOLOGY.. the special place of priviledge that the children of believers occupy! Dear Reader, God was telling Abraham, " YOU ARE MINE, YOUR CHILDREN ARE MINE, I am STARTING SOMETHING HERE... I LOVED YOU BEFOREHAND so that you can teach your children ALL ABOUT ME" All of us who are members of the Body of Christ need to learn from this revelation to Abraham- Christian Father , it is NOT THE RESPONSIBILITY of the youth pastor, the Sunday School teacher, or the Children's minister to "lead your child to Christ" it is your privilege to do this!!! YOU are the one who should teach them to pray, and to share the Word of God with them in family worship.... It is your calling to pray with and for them.. and to talk of The things of God "when you are sitting down, when you rise up, when you are walking on the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up" God will use this to draw your child unto HIMSELF! Christian Father, do not miss this opportunity to teach your children the MOST IMPORTANT truth in ALL THE WORLD! You worry and you stress out over whether your child is doing good in school, or is going to get into a good college and get a good job... but have you made it clear to your child that THE MOST IMPORTANT thing is to KNOW THE SAVIOR and to know that He has paid for the Sins of ALL HIS PEOPLE ! He calls us His people and HIS FRIENDS... He LOVED US BEFORE- HAND!!!and THAT is Good news!!!

Monday, March 9, 2009


The sun is shining, the trees are budding, and soon it will be time for that yearly ritual- SPRING CLEANING!! You know how it goes! ALL the nooks and crannies that you "let Slide" are calling for your attention!The closet where you have been " piling stuff up", the secret place under the bed where you have been sweeping dust, the way up high shelf where SOMETHING is GROWING ( not sure what it is,,, but it's probably UGLY)... all those places need to be taken care of! Cleaned up and cleaned out.. OH I KNOW.. you feel pretty good about yourself, do'nt ya.. Hey , you "managed the mess" for a LONG TIME! You knew how to handle it. You knew what to"let slide" and exactly how to do it!After all, you work hard, you have so many OTHER responsibilities that occupy your attention... but reality steps in when you try to start your cleaning...- that stuff that you piled on top of the other stuff, it is REALLY difficult to clean now.and .. that closet?? oh yeah, you stacked SO much stuff there.. that you can'nt even open the door with out causing an earthquake.. and that ugly stuff that is growing on that top shelf.. it's taken on a life of it's own.. it might be hard to "KILL"!!! Maybe you should have dealt with all of this before NOW!!! Dear Reader, many of us who are Christ followers are guilty of sweeping TOO MUCH stuff under the rug.. there are problems in our families that we have not dealt with! HUSBANDS, is there something in your life that is preventing you from loving your wife as Christ loved the Church?? Is your wife your BEST friend?? or do you look to your co-workers to fill that "role"???do you look to your "buddies" to fill some kind of "void" in your life?Do you and your wife just live in the same house.. and each of you "does your own thing"?? If that is the case, then something is lacking.. remember.. you are ONE FLESH.. God wants to heal your realtionship so that you can live a life of love and fullfillment!Maybe you noticed something .. but you swept it under the rug.. you stacked it in that closet.. You were working a lot .. and your wife got busy with HER friends and her activities..She spends more time with her "friends" than she does with you. and NOW... well. you just decided that things are the way they are.. and...there's other things that need your attention..Dear Reader, deal with it now.. do'nt put this off!

Maybe you are a leader in ministry and well... you know the old saying," you know where ALL the Bodies are buried".. and you let them lie there too! You know about relationships in your Church or ministry that are NOT HEALTHY and you let it go... you shove it under that rug... You better be careful, that thing on that top shelf is growing.. it's taking on a life of it's know about those things that are being done out of a spirit of manipulation and self-interest.. the evidence is there.. but you look the other way.. and think," I HAVE TO let that go.. I ca'nt perform miracles".Maybe you are not a leader. but if you are a member of the Body of Christ, it is your responsibility to go to your brother or sister in a spirit of humility and admonish them privately.. always following the steps of Matthew 18.. But " I ca'nt do that. that will make things worse"" hey there's a little more room in that closet keep stacking..... Dear Reader, before you accuse me of being negative and "works" oriented.. let me encourage you.. our HEALING in ALL these areas is ALL about GRACE! Jesus wants to heal us.. he will ALWAYS LOVE US NO MATTER WHAT.. but think of the joy and freedom that will be ours if we let him clean out those closets, and sweep ALL the dirt from under that rug.. are'nt you tired of living with the KNOWLEDGE that ALL THAT stuff is there and it is unhealthy.. ??Run to Christ and he will give you Rest" Would'nt it be nice to just rest??Jesus will do the cleaning for you.. just ask HIM.. He's really good with the Closets, under the bed, and the corners.. he NEVER Misses a spot.....

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Start A CHRISTIAN SCHOOL?? Not ME- I'm Waiting on the Rapture!

Many in the Evangelical community today have never heard the name, J. Gresham Machen. He was a scholar, a theologian, a Follower of Christ, and a visionary of the highest order. Machen was professor of New Testament at Princeton Seminary until 1929. He left the seminary in obedience to the Biblical command to seperate from unbelief, and he founded another. He was expelled from the mainline Presbyterian Church because he believed in such things as inerrancy, infallibility,Virgin Birth, and Salvation by Grace. Machen was a brilliant writer and his thoughts on education were prophetic,and profitable-for many reasons.

Machen taught that there were several reasons for Christian Schools, but the two thatwere the focus of his writings were American Liberty and the propagation of the Christian Faith. Machen warned us in 1934 that the government was seeking to monopolize the educational system.. and he warned that the centralized bureaucracy was dangerous.. and was against the ideals of the U.S. Constitution. Machen taught that parents have the RIGHT to bring up their children in accordance with the dictates of their conscience and NOT in the manner prescribed by the State!Many people in 2009 do not realize that in Oregon in the 1930s a law was passed making it mandatory that ALL children attend PUBLIC schools! In Nebraska, a law was passed forbidding the teaching of any language other than English,even in PRIVATE schools, until the child was too old to learn them well! No Latin,!!!Think about it Classical Education lovers- they could still do the Logic and rhetoric... a TWO-Vium????)No Greek, Hebrew- You get the Idea!In New York, a law placed private tutors under State control!! Machen believed that Christians should and would fight against these encroachments upon freedom.. He predicted that thousands and Thousands of students would be educated at HOME AND in Christian Schools.. and He was right .. it is happening.. but let me ask you to think about something, Dear Reader.. HOW did it happen?? The answer is very simple: Christians got INVOLVED.. ( dare I say it??) in the political/legislative process.. these laws were struck down because Christians hired Lawyers, "irritated" their representatives, and influenced the culture! They did not retreat.. they did not express the defeatest mentality that says," Hey, arent things supposed to get worse for Christians?? You know Jesus said that His kingdom was a"spiritual" Kingdom, we are'nt supposed to try to CHANGE SOCIETY.. are we??? I think the rapture's going to happen real soon- you do'nt polish the brass on a sinking ship! Brothers and Sisters.. because those Christian parents decided to take a stand,, we have young people who are being educated at Home and In Christian Schools - and they are learning that The Word of God is OUR starting point" for all discussion about EVERYTHING! There is NO neutrality. the Bible is the ONLY infallible Rule of Faith and Practice( all of Life)Those Believers left us a great inheritance that we enjoy today... and just think they could have sat in their Pews, behind the walls of their Churches, staying out of the political arena,arguing about whether Arch-duke Ferdinand was the Beast of Revelation, and waiting for the "rapture"...... but they did'nt!!!!think about that tomorrow when you drop your child off at your Christian school.. or start your homeschooling day.. just think about it...and oh yes... we are PROBABLY living in the last days... look at all the stuff on the news.. rapture probably soon.. what's the use of trying.. to do anything???