Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Separation of Church & State

The Jeffersonian doctrine of the separation of church and state is enshrined as the most sacrosanct issue not enumerated in the United states Constitution. This weekend a number of evangelical pastors endorsed a candidate in a direct challenge to the Internal Revenue Service. You may read the full story here at The Christian Post. The Alliance Defense Fund is behind the effort.

I strongly disagree with their efforts. First, such 'civil disobedience' fall outside of the teachings of Romans 13 which clearly teaches that civil disobedience cannot occur unless the governing authorities provoke me to sin. I believe that test was not met. Second, the church must only confront the state when there is state sponsored wickedness - a' la' Bonhoeffer and the Confessing Church movement. Third, it is the task of the church to preach the gospel and it is through the gospel and the Word that people are changed. Changed people change government. Fourth, God is neither Republican nor Democrat - he is for holiness and righteousness which must be the standard for electing leaders.

What do you think?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Happy Birthday

My bride of 38 years has a birthday today. Happy Birthday dear.

The Slippery Slope

"If you're demented, you're wasting people's lives – your family's lives – and you're wasting the resources of the National Health Service." Those chilling words from Baroness Mary Warnock who posits a duty to die to free up precious financial and medical resource and to free families of their obligation for care. Check out Dr. Al Mohler's blog [link on the left] for September 23 titled "Licensing People to Put Others Down" -- The End of Human Dignity.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ligonier West Coast Conference

The excitement is building as Ligonier brings a conference to Scottsdale Bible Church this weekend. R. C. Sproul, Ligon Duncan and John MacArthur. The" goal is to equip you to answer questions that all Christians and non-Christians find perplexing." For many in this area this will be their first opportunity to hear and see these men in person. these kind of conferences charge my spiritual batteries. How about you?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Good Readings

Tolle Lege is a web site that posts good quotations from Christian sources. Tolle Lege is Latin for "take up and read," a quotation from St. Augustine's Confessions in which Augustine details his conversion to Christ. Here is the appropriate quote:

"So was I speaking and weeping in the most bitter contrition of my heart, when, lo! I heard from a neighbouring house a voice, as of boy or girl, I know not, chanting, and oft repeating. ‘Take up and read; Take up and read.’ ['Tolle, lege! Tolle, lege!'] Instantly, my countenance altered, I began to think most intently whether children were wont in any kind of play to sing such words: nor could I remember ever to have heard the like. So checking the torrent of my tears, I arose; interpreting it to be no other than a command from God to open the book, and read the first chapter I should find…

Eagerly then I returned to the place where Alypius was sitting; for there had I laid the volume of the Apostle when I arose thence. I seized, opened, and in silence read that section on which my eyes first fell: ‘Not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying; but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, in concupiscence.’ [Romans 13:14-15] No further would I read; nor needed I: for instantly at the end of this sentence, by a light as it were of serenity infused into my heart, all the darkness of doubt vanished away.” (p. 127 in Volume 1 of The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers published by Eerdmans) Enjoy this new web site!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Something Lite

The Woods Tea Company is a folk group out of St. Albans, Vermont. I first encountered them several years ago on a PBS special. I was able to catch them in concert in Grantham, NY this summer and they will be in Arizona next year. For those who enjoyed Peter, Paul & Mary; The Weavers and other groups their music is refreshing and great to hear. Give them a try.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Worth Reading

Thabiti M Anyabwile is senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman in the Cayman islands. This is a helpful book for pastors who are seeking to teach church members what it means to belong to a church. It is a helpful book for church members who seek to understand their role in Christ's church. I'd like to give one to every family in my congregation. This work is a follow on and is dependent upon Mark Dever's Nine Marks of a Healthy Church (Crossway, 2004) and his 9Marks Ministries. You can read more and order this book through the Westminster Books link. It helps support my book habit!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

On the Horizon

Michael Horton, professor at Westminster Seminary in California, has a new book coming out on Christless Christianity. It looks worthwhile. From the promo:

Christians have always had their differences, but never in church history have there been so many statistics indicating that many Christians today are practicing what can only be described as "Christless Christianity."

Christless Christianity guides the reader to a greater understanding of a big problem within the American religious setting, namely the creeping fog of countless sermons in churches across the country that focus on moralistic concerns and personal transformation rather than the theology of the cross.

Michael Horton's analysis of the contemporary church points believers back to the power of a gospel that should never be assumed.

Here is an excerpt from the DVD:

Random Thoughts

1. Fairness - is in the eye of the beholder. Witness the "scrupulous" reporting of Governor Palin's religious views and the absence of the same in the MSM. 2. "Gotcha!" How I feel about MSNBC's removing Olbermann and Matthews from coverage of the campaign. Do tell - but there is no bias in the MSM! 3. The Alliance Defense Fund is soliciting pastors to challenge the IRS's muzzling of pastor's endorsing candidates by specific preaching on September 28. Sorry, but I think that is the wrong way to deal with the issue and certainly a wrong use of the power of the pulpit. Sorry but I know of no text that supports a particular candidate. I'm certain some preacher somewhere will use Daniel, Thessalonians and a few other ripped out texts to rant against Obama as the anti-Christ, the man of sin or the Obamantion of Desolation. I'll pass on this one. What do you think? 4. Borrowing from Andy Rooney "Don't ya just hate it when a blogger does random thought - must have nothing much to say!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Persecuted Church - India


Orissa: six more churches set on fire, hundreds of homes destroyed

More and more Christian villages are being plundered and set on fire as police remains idle. Death threats are made against Christians if they practice their faith. but according to the government of Orissa the situation is “under control”.

Bhubaneshwar (AsiaNews) – The anti-Christian pogrom in the state of Orissa shows no signs of a let-up. In the past three days six churches have been attacked, set on fire and destroyed; hundreds of Christian-owned houses have been devastated and then torched. The number of refugees and missing people is rising.

According to reports that have reached AsiaNews from the diocese of Bhubaneshwar, the Catholic church in Padunbadi was attacked last night, plundered and torn down. Even the church wall was razed to the ground. The Catholic church in the village of Kakadabadi was also attacked yesterday and torched.

On Monday the Baptist church in Durgaprasad, the Catholic church in Chadiapally, and both the Catholic and Baptist churches in Balligada were set on fire and destroyed. Thanks to FreeRepublic & AsiaNews

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Persecuted Church in China - update

Word has come from China through Voice of the Martyrs that Pastor Bike has been released. See the August 19th post. Praise God for answered prayer!

School Begins

We are privileged to host a The Covenant Home School Network in our facilities. We expect 70 families in the Surprise, AZ area to be involved. This is the second year we are doing this. Click here for more information

Monday, September 1, 2008

Evangelicals and Sarah Palin

I was intrigued to read some posts over at Hugh Hewitt: Palin by Comparison. The John Mark Reynolds piece is long but very good.

I am bothered because some Evangelicals are saying they won't vote for the McCain - Palin ticket because the Bible forbids a woman to have authority over a man. I believe that is false exegesis of the New Testament passages as well as Proverbs 31 (Reynolds comments on this as well). St. Paul is addressing roles and authority in the church and says nothing about business or government. So, I believe their thinking is very misguided at this point. 'Nuff said.