Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Praise and Thanksgiving

In honor of the celebration of Thanksgiving Day the following is a devotion from The Valley of Vision entitled Praise and Thanksgiving:

O My God,
You fairest, greatest, first of all objects,
my heart admires, adores, loves thee,
for my little vessel is as full as it can be,
and I would pour out all that fullness before You in ceaseless flow.

When I think upon and converse with thee
ten thousand delightful thoughts spring up,
ten thousand sources of pleasure are unsealed,
ten thousand refreshing joys spread over my heart,
crowding into every moment of happiness.

I bless thee for the soul thou hast created,
for adorning it, for sanctifying it,though it is fixed in barren soil;
for the body thou hast given me,
for preserving its strength and vigour,
for providing senses to enjoy delights,
for the ease and freedom of my limbs,f
or hands, eyes, ears that do thy bidding;
for thy royal bounty providing my daily support,
for a full table and overflowing cup,
for appetite, taste, sweetness,
for social joys of relatives and friends,
for ability to serve others,
for a heart that feels sorrows and necessities,
for a mind to care for my fellow-men,
for opportunities of spreading happiness around,
for loved ones in the joys of heaven,f
or my own expectation of seeing thee clearly.

I love thee above the powers of language to express,
for what thou are to thy creatures.

Increase my love, O my God, through time and eternity.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

True Thanksgiving

As we approach the traditional celebration of Thanksgiving I have been reading William Bradford’s “Of Plymouth Plantation.” It is a book that I highly recommend as it sheds light on what is often only glossed over and worse yet revised by many. For many Thanksgiving is for fun, food and football but if you truly understand the mindset and worldview of the Pilgrims you would see that Thanksgiving is to be a religious observance to thank God for all he has and will provide.

It was in reading through a number of Puritan books this year and now reading Bradford’s book that the meaning of Thanksgiving Day truly comes to light. With Thanksgiving this week I preached at SGCF on Phil 4:4-13 this last Lord’s Day to look at what True Thanksgiving was. It was not just about the food the Pilgrims had or the crops they harvested it was about a recognition that no matter their stead God was still sovereign and had them where they were for His purposes. We must keep in mind this first gathering in early November of 1621 was after a tough year where the Pilgrims lost almost half of their group and the future was still troubling, at least from all outward appearances. But the Pilgrims had a firm grasp on God’s providence and while I am sure there was anxiety and some worry at times it was dealt with by a heavy dose of prayer and scripture. Thus they could be thankful as Paul was thankful, in whatever our circumstance.

In Phil 4:4-13 we see Paul being thankful for a gift from the Philippian church but not so much for the gift but for the thought and intent behind it. He wanted to make sure that the Philippians who would have the opportunity to face their own persecution did not see thankfulness as hinging on circumstances. No, they were to ground their thankfulness in the cross of Jesus Christ. The Pilgrims also grounded their thankfulness, no matter their circumstances, in Christ and Scripture.

Anxiety is one of those sins we all deal with but all too often neglect to see it as such. I think it is when we see anxiety as a lack of trust and thankfulness in the Lord that we can begin to be victorious in fighting it. In these questionable economic times if you are a child of God, one who is covered by the blood of Christ, you can be as thankful as the Pilgrims were no matter your situation. This is not an easy task but it is when we begin to see thankfulness as being more than simply gratitude for what we have and more about a deep understanding of God’s grace and providence then anxiety is able to be overcome.

I pray this Thanksgiving Day in the midst of your family celebrations that you would take a moment to be Truly Thankful for God no matter your circumstances.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Review of: What is a Family Integrated Church? By Scott Brown

The following is a review of Scott Brown’s; What is a Family Integrated Church? that you can get, if you did not get it for free a week or so ago, at You can also download it form the NCFIC website for free here.

If you are not sure what a Family Integrated Church (FIC) is I would suggest you listen to this MP3. There are many that may claim some form of Family Integration but being Family Integrated is much more than the name that is used. I have found that since we started our FIC, Sovereign Grace Christian Fellowship, I have found many that misunderstand what we are about. There are those that mistakenly see this as simply about having everyone in a service together and having a disproportional focus on the family. Others simply do not get it and don’t like the concept as it does shake up the current segregated paradigm church has been in for some time. Then there are churches that see a need to use the moniker of being Family Integrated but do not really understand the motivation, direction and mission that many of those that seek a change in the church that would hold to being family integrated as Scott reveals. So, again, the following is a short overview of Scott’s talk and I would pray that you would listen to his talk and learn what being an FIC really is.

Scott Brown

The church is the body of Christ and we are to act as such and to do that which most glorifies God. So the idea of Family Integration is only one element of the church, or as Scott says it is one piece of the puzzle. I would have to say it is a piece sorely missing and one that needs to be restored to make the church all it can be. The “foundation and preservation of the FIC is fidelity to the Doctrine of Scripture.” That is to say this is not about new ideas, it is not, but it is about being true to what scripture proclaims and not adding to it as seems best to us.

Scott then gives 14 characteristics of an FIC and any comments I make will be italics underneath each point:

1. It is an orthodox church that is faithful to biblical theology and practices.
- Key here is that the goal is that the church would not only practice orthodoxy (right doctrine) but also orthopraxy (right practice).

2. The FIC seeks to see families worship together.
- It has been claimed that the FIC is only about families and some of that may be a perception from the name as well as the fact that FICs probably do preach on families more than other churches.
- This is not due to an inordinate focus on families by most churches so this does make FICs seem like they speak more on families.
- But it is true that we do as FICs seek to see families reunited in the worship of God in the corporate setting as well as worshipping together in private.

3. Singles are incorporated into the full spectrum of church life. (1 Cor. 7)
- FICs do have a place for singles. It may not be as the other churches see it by segregating them. The plan for the FIC is to match up singles with families so they can grow and learn about God’s plan for them with regards to families

4. Fathers are being equipped to be spiritual leaders of their homes.
- This is one of those areas that is most missed by the segregation of the families
- By taking the responsibility of discipling away and giving it to “trained professionals” we have helped to diminish and in some places eradicate the role of fathers that scripture reveals

5. Biblical roles and jurisdictions are in order. (Rom. 13)
- The church has roles and order in them and the goal of all churches should be to seek these out and follow them in both the church and in the civil realm.

6. Children are not isolated but incorporated as full participants in the life of the church.
- This is probably clear already that children are to be treated as an integral part of the church and to participate as they can in the group setting and not simply among their peers.

7. Biblical youth ministry is implemented.
- This is not youth ministry as the world sees it but it is ministry that fathers are equipped to do and then allowed to do

8. FICs seek to see wives functioning according to their biblical complimentarian roles as helpers to their husband and nurturers of the children in the home.
- This is again about God’s order for the family and not man’s idea of how things should be.
- We are to seek to have women, and for that matter men as well, to fulfill their God given roles as all of scripture reveals them to be.

9. Biblical offices and biblical requirements for church leaders are applied.
- The FIC seeks to again follow biblical guidelines in being led by such offices as Elders and Deacons as God’s word describes them

10. Family integration as a principle guides programs for equipping and evangelism. (Acts 21)
- The idea of being a FIC that does things differently than other ministries and churches does not negate that discipleship and evangelism is done. It may look different but it is accomplished as God’s word shows it to be done.

11. The household and hospitality are the center of community ministry.
- The family becomes a source of hospitality to the others in the church and to the world and thus is a vital ministry that is missed in churches that segregate the church.

12. The ministry is not primarily programmatic but relational.
- This is not about programs but about the relationships that form in families and between others in the church family, of all ages. What forms is truly a multigenerational church family that if the church today was honest is missing.

13. The fatherless are brought into the mainstream of church and family life. (Job 29)
- A large part of the FIC ministry is to bring fathers back to their biblical roles as family leaders
- For too long the church has, although often unwittingly, enabled men to vacate their positions as leaders of their families by supplanting their role
- The FIC seeks to equip men to regain their place as the leaders of their families and in biblical leadership in the church

14. Multigenerational faithfulness is promoted.
- Lastly this point covers many of the previous points in that while the name Family Integrated rightly shows a focus on family, church and individual, the true picture of the FIC is that it is multigenerational in both the church family life and the family life of the individual church members

I pray that you can see that in each of the characteristics above the FIC is to seek out God’s word as being sufficient to reveal what His church is to look like for His people for all time. The FIC is the “result of the architecture of God’s church” and not man’s ever changing whims. So whether you may or may not agree with the Family Integrated Church I would hope you would better see that this is simply a movement to seek out how God desires His church to be built. I also realize that in any movement that sees God’s plan for his church in one way that is opposed to another person’s method there is conflict. But I would pray that in all things the goal is to be as faithful to all of God’s word as we can be. My conclusion after much prayer, study and reflection is that while not perfect the FIC is truly attempting to be the church God desires to have worship and glorify him.

I pray that you would not simply take my thoughts on Scott’s talk but would listen to it yourself as he does an excellent job of proclaiming what we in the FIC are truly trying to achieve: God’s Glory. Here is the link to the MP3 again: What is a Family Integrated Church?

Thanks to my wife, Donna, for writing down the points as I listen to much of what I hear while driving to and from work and it is not only hard but unsafe to to takes notes at that time.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Around the Web and Blogosphere (11/19/08)

Voddie Baucham writes a good article on present life in the SBC for those that hold to the Doctrines of Grace: The SBC and Calvinism: A Personal Perspective.

Here is an interesting interview with Barak Obama about his faith, sounds like many American’s view of faith, very postmodern: Obama's Fascinating Interview with Cathleen Falsani

Book suggestion for the day, one that I am presently reading: Of Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford. Also, as a reminder please consider reading Kevin Swanson’s new book The Second Mayflower and you can read my review here.

James McDonald posts on public school, and he is only giving three of many reasons: Three Good Reasons to Avoid Public Schools

Consider signing the petition to fight FOCA at: Fight FOCA.
The Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) would eliminate every restriction on abortion nationwide.
- FOCA will do away with state laws on parental involvement, on partial birth abortion, and on all other protections.
- FOCA will compel taxpayer funding of abortions.
- FOCA will force faith-based hospitals and healthcare facilities to perform abortions.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Around the Web and Blogosphere (11/11/08) - Free Stuff Day

At you can download today and tomorrow (11/11 – 11/12) the MP3 “What is a Family Integrated Church” by Scott Brown.

In this message Scott identifies fourteen characteristics of family integrated church life. Family integration is only one architectural element of biblical church life, but if you lose that one element, you lose much.

Covenant Life Church has released an album, How Sweet the Sound, of traditional hymns. You can get it for whatever you feel is fair or you can get it for free by referring 5 email addresses.

At you can download Calvin: Of Prayer and The Christian Life (Unabridged) for free by putting in the following code when ordering, NOV2008.

More on Proposition 8

I was watching a news channel yesterday that had call-ins for those either for or against Proposition 8 here in California. By the time I was irked enough to call they were done but it did lead me to put in one place some of the arguments we should be using as all too often those for 8 do not truly express the issues very clearly just as those on the “No” side often express their side using terms that are not applicable. So here are some of the usual “No on 8” objections and the at least some possible answers, I have touched on this some here, here and here:

1) Objection: This is a civil rights issue:
Answer: As much as people want to make this a civil rights issue it is not. Homosexuals have the same rights as heterosexuals and that is to marry someone of the opposite sex within the parameters of the law; age limits, number of spouses and one cannot marry a relative. Also see number 9 below.

2) Objection: Why can a law stop one from marrying someone they love
Answer: The law does not deal with love so that becomes a non-issue. If this is pushed then simply, and most homosexuals do not like to go here, use the extreme examples of those that have behavior that even many homosexuals find offensive such as men and young boys, someone marrying their relatives, multiple wives or any number of other examples of what happens when love becomes the arbiter of marriage. What needs to be stressed is this is not about love but about what is defined as marriage, hence the reason for Proposition 8. Marriage has been defined as the union of one man and one woman from the beginning of time and that is also why the specifics would not be in the constitution, because it was assumed.

3) Objection: The vote was close enough to not be a mandate
Answer: If this is so then we should protest the election of Barak Obama because the popular vote, percentage wise, for Obama was virtually the same as it was for Proposition 8.

4) Objection: Homosexuals just want the same rights as others and that is the only agenda
Answer: While an individual homosexual may believe this if one is to look at the national scene the agenda is much bigger. Go to any parade that is used to promote the homosexual agenda and you will see all sorts of debauchery. If you were to look at any of the literature put out you would also see there is a much bigger agenda than simply to “be married.” The destruction of the family, by redefining it, is very important to the leaders of this movement

5) Objection: God is a god of love so he (small letters used here on purpose because they are not speaking of the God of the Bible) would want them to be married
Answer: If they are going to use the bible or use the word “god” hey need to define what they are speaking of. If they desire to use the bible they need to use all of it. So you can simply turn to Genesis 1 and 2 and see God’s design for marriage. You can also turn to many other places to see God’s views on homosexuality (Gen 18:20; Lev 18:22 & 20:13; 1 cor 6:9; 1 Tim 1:10 to name some of the places this is referenced) . It is also good to stress that while God is love this does not detract from his other attributes such as those of justice, righteousness, wrath are all active at the same time He is the God of wrath.

6) Objection: Homosexual relationships are more loving that heterosexual ones just look at the divorce rate among heterosexuals
Answer: Touche, we as a people of God do need to repent, that the church has a divorce rate that is parallel to the world is an abomination. We need to realize that God hates homosexuality but He also hates divorce (Mal 2:16) so we do need to repent. We also need to repent of other sexual sins such as pornography that pervades the professing church. This said the sin of others does not make sin right. Simply because many who profess, I say profess because I do not know, to be believers sin does not make the sin of others acceptable to God. Key here is to accept the responsibility we have to repent and not avoid the issue but at the same time make it clear that the churches culpability does not make homosexuality acceptable.

7) Objection: Who has the right to legislate morality
Answer: This is one of the big objections when a law is passed that deals with moral issues. But the truth is that any law or even not having a law speaks on morality. To say that homosexual union, I cannot use the word marriage as I see it as defined by God, is OK is a moral declaration just as much as saying is not acceptable is a moral declaration. All too often the claims to “legislating morality” are leveled when ones own moral convictions, or lack of convictions, are put into questions. Always remember that any law or lack of a law speaks to morality in some manner.

(Points #8 and #9 added 11/12/08)

8) Objection: California law does not call for teachers to teach on marriage
Answer: A close reading of the Education Code Section 51933 will show that this is playing with semantics. What the Education code says is the following:

"51933. (a) School districts may provide comprehensive sexual health
education, consisting of age-appropriate instruction, in any
kindergarten to grade 12, inclusive, using instructors trained in the
appropriate courses.
(b) A school district that elects to offer comprehensive sexual
health education pursuant to subdivision (a), whether taught by
school district personnel or outside consultants, shall satisfy all
of the following criteria:

(7) Instruction and materials shall teach respect for marriage and
committed relationships. "

So if a school is to teach on sex education, interesting that they put teaching on marriage under the heading, they have, “shall satisfy all of the following criteria”, to teach all of the other sections such as section 7. Thus is marriage is redefined they will be teaching marriage between homosexuals is fine. (you can read this for yourself here). Also interesting if you read the News10 article of a month ago that the teachers union has given $1 million diretily to “no on 8” and another $250,000 indirectly:

"SACRAMENTO, CA - Teachers are responding to news that California's largest teacher's union has given another $1 million to defeat a ballot initiative that would ban same-sex marriage.
The contribution recorded Tuesday makes the California Teachers Association the largest institutional donor to the No on 8 campaign. CTA also gave $250,000 in August to Equality for All, a coalition of gay advocacy and civil rights groups opposing Proposition 8. "

9) Objection: This is about equal access to the same rights as married couples (this is very much like #1 and I probaly should have combined them but I have heard this claim both ways)
Answer: While I may disagree with this as I see it as the having been the opening of the flood gates homosexual domestic partnerships do have equal rights in California. You can read Family Code Sections 297 - 297.5 for yourself but section 297.5 reads:

"297.5. (a) Registered domestic partners shall have the same rights,
protections, and benefits, and shall be subject to the same
responsibilities, obligations, and duties under law, whether they
derive from statutes, administrative regulations, court rules,
government policies, common law, or any other provisions or sources
of law, as are granted to and imposed upon spouses. "

And there is much more than just point "a" so you need to read this for yourself.

(Update 11/18/08) It would seem that Elton John would agree that this is not a civil rights issue. He says:

"You get the same equal rights that we do when we have a civil partnership. Heterosexual people get married. We can have civil partnerships."

Those are some of the things I hear and answers I see as valid and acceptable responses. If I think of others I may add them later. We need to make sure that we combat the claims of hate with the understanding that true hate would allow others to wallow in their sin. True love is to be used by God to open others eyes to the sin they are in so they can repent from it. This is true of any sin not just homosexuality so we do show love by seeking to make sure mankind understands God’s definitions of such things as marriage.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Review of The Second Mayflower

I have just finished reading Kevin Swanson’s new book, The Second Mayflower. This is a book that every Christians should read. It will probably anger some, encourage others and inspire even more but it needs to be read. In light of all that has transpired in the last year this book was truly prophetic.

As a nation, from the perspective of believers, things may appear bleak but this is not new for believers. The first travelers on the Mayflower faced persecution and tyranny and sought freedom to worship as God desired them to worship. As the name of the book reflects it is now time to prepare for a Second Mayflower. This will not happen overnight and may take generations but people need to begin preparing for the journey now, not later.

The book basically starts by letting us see the future that is before us. Then the book looks at the first Mayflower and what drove the people that started this nation to desire to leave the place they were in. This is important as while history may not repeat itself exactly it is important to look at so we learn lessons and see how others have responded to the situations they are placed in. Not to mention that the Puritans are one of those groups from history that are well know for their reliance on scripture for their decisions and actions. Next, the book looks at the state of our country because all to often those in a country such as ours need to have their eyes opened because we get so comfortable that we do not even realize the tyranny we are under. Mr. Swanson then moves on to describe the birth of the Second Mayflower and then deals with the preparations its participants need to make. Lastly, the book looks at the vision and course those that seek to change the world will need to take.

The following are some short insights from each chapter in the book:

Chapter 1: The Future of a Civilization
Civilization has moved from faith to humanism and while there was a small “stream of God-centered theology” in the 16th century the general move has been towards humanism and I think any honest assessment of America today would say that that is where we are now. Swanson asks the following question of churches today: “Do we have the commitment of the Puritans and Pilgrims in our churches today?” On first blush I would have to say no and the large number of professing believers who voted for the president elect would say as much.

Chapter 2: The First Mayflower
This chapter looks at the foundations of this nation 400 years ago that came with those on the first Mayflower. What we need to ask ourselves and future generations is can we reclaim the biblical ideals that drove them. They had a desire to be a city on a hill can we too seek to be that city. Also pointed out is how the Puritans and Pilgrims had a healthy acceptance of God’s law as the standard for human ethics so that they were well grounded and not reliant on the humanistic relativism we are reliant on as a nation today. Also shown in the Interlude between chapters was the move towards antinomianism, a replacement of revealed law by natural law, a misuse of the God’s law that helped drive people from it and lastly a move from faith and works as coexisting.

Chapter 3: The Rising Tyranny
In this the longest chapter Kevin Swanson sets out to show that we do live in a nation of tyranny. I would have never seen this myself until Kevin opened my eyes to the state of things. At issue is that the tyranny we presently experience is not of the uncomfortable nature that many experience but it is never the less tyranny. This chapter begins with two quotes that say much and need to be heeded:

“Those who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants” – William Penn
“Either you will be ruled by God, or by God you will be ruled” – Benjamin Franklin

One of the points made in this chapter is that tyranny is inevitable with an immoral people and as a nation we are just that. This chapter is full of eye opening examples that if you are like me may have not realized existed or simply may have not equated with the tyranny they represent.

Chapter 4: Casting a Vision for the Second Mayflower
To move forward with a Second Mayflower there needs to be an adequate vision to sustain the move in the midst of the trials and persecution that it will undergo. The book reveals that the vision needs to, among other things, aim for a reverence for the lawgiver, sound the cry for reformation, recognize God as the standard for all good but most importantly the vision needs to see the real need as a changed heart.

Chapter 5: The Birth of the Second Mayflower
In this chapter the subject is how this Second Mayflower was birthed. This birth is a result of some seeking to return to God’s word as the source of all that we understand. Kevin even puts Henry Morris’ Genesis Flood as instrumental as it sought to interpret the world around us by God’s word. This was instrumental as it began to create a move back to a distinctly Christian worldview. So the birth of the Mayflower has started but has much distance to go and it will have to start with families and the church. It will take work and that is the point of chapter 6.

Chapter 6: Making Preparations for the Voyage
This chapter helps us to see that this movement will not just happen but needs to start not at the level of the church but at home. Kevin says, “In a biblical framework, the family and the church are the key social units. The humanist, on the other hand, see both as irrelevant and works for their minimization or total elimination.” This should be eye opening in light of the socialist/humanistic nature this country has taken as their mantra. Also part of this preparation is the training of our children that it is not the masses that change things but a few that stand uncompromisingly for what is right. We need to not only prepare ourselves but also our children and the generations to follow.

Chapter 7: Charting the Course
In this chapter Swanson sets out the course before us. This course may include all or some of the following: Verbal Resistance, Civil Disobedience, Flight or even Civil Conflict. The course will depend on the reactions by the world around those on the Second Mayflower. These options are described biblically and not just as ideas so that our course is not by man’s invention but by God’s guidance.

Chapter 8: The New World
In setting course some may ask where the Second Mayflower would go and it would seem that the options are few as the US is still one of the most free in the world today, this may change. The point, I think, is not where we are to go if that is necessary but that we are prepared, or have prepared generations to come, to go or stay as God leads. That no matter where one is the principles of the Second Mayflower would be evident.

Chapter 9: Setting Sail
It is not so much about a destination but as related in the book an ideology. In this last chapter Kevin gives five elements of the “city on a hill” we should desire to be:
1) The reunification of the family and the decentralization of business.
2) The reempowerment of the family in discipleship (education), care for elderly parents, and inheritance
3) The reviving of church relationships, god-centered worship, and a healthy diaconate
4) The decentralization of civil government
5) The application of God’s law to family, civil government, economics, education and culture.

As I said before this is a book that every Christian should read and I pray you will do so.

Proposition 8 Protests

I was thinking this morning about the No on Proposition 8 protestors, here in California, that are doing so because they did not get their way. It is interesting that we so easily accept these protests but what if those that disliked the fact that Barak Obama was elected went out and protested what would people say. .

Proposition 8 won in California by a margin of a little over 507,000 votes (52.4% - 47.6%) and that in a state that voted 60.9% to 37.3% for Barak Obama, that says a lot. If you compare this to the US vote total in the popular vote Barak Obama, based on numbers I have seen, won 52.3% to 46.3% in the popular vote nationwide. If the No on Proposition 8 voters feel slighted and do not feel the people have spoken what would happen if nationally people protested and said the same about the general election for our new president.

I do understand the feeling the other side has in their loss but that does not necessitate a protest. That is unless their agenda is much more than simply to be married and they have a much bigger agenda. As I said in my last post you need to watch the documentary by the Gunn Brothers, Shaky Town to see that agenda and the passion they have to see it fulfilled. Before Proposition 8 won it was clear that if it did win the fight wasn’t over and it is not.

Friday, November 07, 2008

The Documentary - Shaky Town

I just got done watching the documentary Shaky Town by the Gunn Brothers and it was very good. With all that has transpired and is transpiring regarding Proposition 8 in California it is eye opening to see all that has gone on in California in the last year or so. I live in Southern California and because the press is very one sided I had not know all of the things that have taken place in San Francisco. I would recommend this movie to anyone so that you can see that the homosexual community has an agenda and so should we. Our agenda is to be driven by god as revealed in His word. To defend marriage is not just to defend a word but it is to stand up for what God has ordained form the beginning.

This is not just an issue for California but for the rest of the United States. Even now there are protests in the streets against the passage of Proposition 8 but I would have to say the press, whether purposefully or not, is giving a biased view of things. The protests shown on TV are in areas with; in general, large homosexual communities and the numbers relative to the actual population of California are small. However they are vocal and the picture the press gives is one that would appear not quite what it is. But do not think that homosexual community will sit back, just watch the DVD and you will see this issue will not go away until we stand up for God’s word as diligently as they stand up for their opinions.

You can download Shaky Town from for only $4.95 and it is well worth it. You can also buy it from the Gunn Brothers for $18 if you want the actual DVD. One note is that this documentary is not for little children and maybe even not for those under 13 as it does deal with issues of a sexual nature that young minds may not be ready for. But parents need to see this documentary.

From the Gunn Brothers:

The Gunn Brothers take you to Shaky Town to show you a history of Christian persecution including fire bomb attacks, threats, legal assaults, and now, more recently, a mayor who attacks the Christian institution of marriage.

You'll hear testimonies from Christian Heroes involved in a front-line battle against immorality in the so-called “tolerant” city. You'll also see real video footage of Christian churches in San Francisco being attacked by violent groups of homosexuals. So be warned, this movie is not for the faint-hearted!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Around the Web and Blogosphere (11/5/08) – Post Election Edition

Here are some post election comments, in no particular order:

The Brown Family at Ketocton Baptists: Will Christians Learn the Lesson?

Doug Phillips: Message to America: Christians Can Make a Difference When They Unite in a Principled Cause That Upholds the Law of God

Voddie Baucham: Is it Over?

Albert Mohler: America Has Chosen a President

Scott Brown: Life Under Barack - Build Holy Families and Holy Churches

Jasmine Baucham at Joyfully Home: A ”Change We Can be Thrilled About

C.S. Hayden's Blog: Words of wisdom for Barack Obama, a day after his electoral victory

America You Have Your Savior – Now What?

America has spoken, as a whole, and they have said their savior is Barak Obama and the Government. As I watched the election results come in it was obvious that America can be bought. All a politician has to do is to whisper sweet nothings in the ears of the American people and offer them free stuff and they will clamber to the voting booth to sell their soul. It was simply that Obama offered more free things to the voters than McCain and the result was a victory for government subsidized (translated redistribution of wealth) handouts.

What do believers do now? Well first we need to pray for the new leaders, all of them no matter their party, as the word of God calls us to in 1 Tim 2:1-4. We need to pray for the salvation of Barak Obama and that he will be the new person (2 Cor 5:17) that only God can make. Paul was a leader that persecuted Christians and he was radically changed, God can do the same for Barak Obama and those that are leading with him.

Next we need to regain a grounding in the word of God rather than everything but the word of God. We need to see His word as not only true but sufficient. I would pray that when the next election comes around we are not arguing over what parts of scripture we can ignore, or reinterpret, so as to get “our guy” in but are so grounded in scripture that when a candidate whispers sweet nothings in our ears (2 Tim 4:3-4), and it is in large part nothing, we do not fall all over ourselves to jump on their band wagon. But that we would instead weigh all things by the never changing, and I mean never changing, word of God and leave that as the final arbiter of what we believe and do.

This needs to start now and it requires a return to God’s law and not man’s. It requires a determination to stand firm in the word of God no matter the consequences. It will be difficult but nothing of great value is gained by taking the easy road. The Puritans faced a stiff challenge and suffered greatly but they were so firmly grounded in God’s word that they knew they could do not other.

I have mentioned this before, but I have been reading Kevin Swanson’s new book The Second Mayflower and it speaks to times such as this. I am hoping to get a review of the book done by next week but if you want to read a truly prophetic book with all that has happened in the last few months pick this book up. It will be uncomfortable for many but that is what we need, to be uncomfortable. For me and far too many others we have become comfortable and as the pilgrims we are called to be in this world comfort is not our calling. Let us seek to follow the only true savior and to do so by His revealed word.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Around the Web and Blogosphere (11/04/08) - Election Day Edition

Doug Phillips in his blog post: Maxims of Christ's Servant Standing Before the Political Parties of America give good insight on this election day, gives a great overview on how we should vote as believers. Here is part of what he says:

When I step into the ballot box I am there representing the Lord Jesus. This means that I am bound by the standards He has established in His Word for the selection of leaders, and am not to be motivated and directed by my own private opinions or fears. I stand alone before God and am personally responsible to Him for the choices I make. I am not responsible for the sinful choices of those who may not be committed to representing the Lord in the ballot box, or who will not be governed by His transcendent standards. I would rather honor the Lord than win an election. I recognize that my obedience will have more to do with God’s blessing on this nation, regardless of an election outcome, than my man-centered efforts at political victory. Ultimately, however, I believe in victory. I do so because I serve the God who not only owns the cattle on a thousand hills, but who will vanquish his opponents in His time and in His way. As Christ’s servant standing before the political parties of America, I am content to know this, to trust Him and to be faithful.

Also from Mr. Philips: Five Things Which Are No Different About This Election from All Other Presidential Elections in Our History
1. God is still on the throne.
2. The Scriptures are still the only rule of action for Christians.
3. The duty of believers at the ballot box is the same today as it has always been. We may only select leaders who meet the Scriptural requirements for civil magistrate. Leaders need not be perfect, but they must be qualified.
4. The obedient response of the elect of God to the Lord Jesus Christ and His law-word, not partisan politics or the results of presidential elections, is the key to national blessing.
5. The results of the presidential election, regardless of who wins, will work together for the good of the elect of God.

Voddie Baucham speaks to our call to vote in his post: Now Go Vote. With regards to all he has written he says: I want to help Christians THINK BIBLICALLY when it comes to politics.
I cannot agree more as that is exactly what we need to do, THINK BIBLICALLY

Albert Mohler asks for us to pray this election day in his post: A Prayer for America on Election Day, and pray we should.

Here is some good insight from Steve Camp on the times we are in: Facing Perilous times: ….reacting biblically to the disintegration of our culture. No matter the results today God is still God and He is still sovereign. Lets us live as such.

Listen to Kevin Swanson’s radio show Generations Radio: Who You Gonna Vote for?

Monday, November 03, 2008

Who Shall We Serve

I heard it said that it was not all too long ago that in our nation it was common place for a pastor to speak to an upcoming election the Sunday before the election. In checking the internet I found that from the early 1600’s to the 1800’s it was common place for a sermon to be given that had as a focus that of giving biblical perspective on the voting process and God’s part in it. So this past Lord’s Day I preached such a sermon: Who Shall We Serve. I used Joshua 24:14-18 as sort of a base for the sermon because we are not only to claim we serve God but to do so in action and that starts by relying on His all sufficient word. All too many Christians at this time of year seem to be relying on pragmatics rather then scripture in their voting decisions. To add to this there is fear that Christians should not have since we above all should realize that the God we serve is sovereign over the outcome of any election and thus while we are to be diligent in voting as God leads, by His word, we at the same time need to know that God’s will will be done.

My prayer is that we realize that scripture is sufficient to guide our decisions and that we would display that we do serve God by relying on Him and His revealed word for the actions we take. At the end of the day on Tuesday night, Wednesday morning or whenever the winner is announced God will still be on His throne and we will still be citizens of His kingdom.