Thursday, April 30, 2009

Tennessee Here We Come

Well it is almost time for us to start our vacation, tomorrow to be exact. We are heading out to see a number of friends in the Nashville area, see the map above, for about 10 days. We also get to visit with people we have either met briefly or over the internet such as: Ken Carpenter at Franklin Springs Family Media, The Vaughn’s of Vaugnshire Farm and others. I will blog from our trip with some pictures as we head from the left coast to a much different part of the country.

Being Governed by Tyrants

In Mr. Obama’s press conference, or whatever you call it as it always seem very staged to me, he mentioned that the Auto Unions had made sacrifices to save the auto companies such as Chrysler. However when you read some of the items that were agreed upon one has to ask where is the sacrifice. Here are a few of the items mentioned, with my comments, in the Wall Street Journal concerning Chrysler:

1) The UAW will eventually own 55% of the company. - So this means that we the people who pay taxes get to bail out Chrysler and in the end the UAW gets to own the company. That sure is sacrifice, well at least for the American people.

2) “Chrysler will also issue a $4.59 billion note to the health-care trust fund” – I thought they were broke, so where does this money come from, oh yea the American people. How is it possible to ask for billions of money, admittedly over a few years, from a company that claims it is broke? That is unless someone provides the money, which Mr. Obama sees fit to do. So again where is the sacrifice from the UAW

3) “Among the cost-cutting measures that the UAW leaders have accepted are a suspension of cost-of-living-adjustments and new limits on overtime pay. Workers will only be paid for overtime after they have worked at least 40 hours in a week. Chrysler workers will also lose their Easter Monday holiday in 2010 and 2011, according to the union summary.” - This does not say they will not get overtime it says they will be paid overtime like most of the rest of the people that work for an hourly wage. As far as cost of living adjustments (cola) I have not had one of those in years and having a paid day for Easter, what is that.

I am not saying the automotive companies is in the right here either, what I am saying is that one needs to be very discerning about what is said by our government. They are spin masters and the truth very rarely comes out of them. Scripture speaks of sacrifice and the OT sacrifices pointed to the one true sacrifice, Jesus Christ. Mr. Obama needs to understand what true sacrifice is.

What is going on today in Washington DC is not the biblical function for government, read Romans 13:1-7. God’s purpose for government is to protect the people from “wrongdoers” as defined by God (V4) and to be “ministers of God” (V6). Until we seek government officials that have a standard that is unchanging, hint there is only one unchanging standard, and see fit to see that standard as all sufficient for not only faith but also practice we will simply see more of what we are seeing today. No politician or political party will change a thing, for God’s glory, if they do not seek to rely on the only person who can change things and His infallible, inerrant and all sufficient word. Benjamin Franklin once said, and I have also heard this attributed to William Penn: “Man will ultimately be governed by God or by tyrants”. Since as a country we have turned from being governed by God we are left with the tyrants we now have in office. This is not a call to retreat from the world and politics but regain our moorings in His word so as to vote and make decisions based on God’s standards and not mans, by God’s law not natural law. Let us prepare and pray for the future and future elections.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Where is Your Focus?

This last Lord’s Day I preached on Genesis 13:1-18 : Where is Your Focus? This passage is a great picture of the differing focuses man can have. We can focus on what looks good to our senses and move on that as Lot did or we can focus on the promise of God, today as we find in His word, as Abram. But what is also interesting in this passage is that both Abram and Lot lived in wicked lands. Sodom and Gomorrah is specifically revealed as wicked in V13 but we also know that Canaan where Abram resided was not a righteous and noble land. It was how each man lived in the land they were in, where their focus was, that changed their outcomes. Lot succumbed to Sodom to sit at the gate (Gen 19:1) while Abram built altars and worshipped contrary to the peoples around him.

This does not mean Abram did not interact with the City of man but it reveals he lived in the City of God and lived by God’s standards and not the worlds. This is the picture we need to take to heart today; We need to be where God places us and wherever that is we need to live for Him and by His word through the power supplied by God. We can move to someplace that appears the best but if we do not live by God’s standard it will in the end make no difference where we reside. If we live in the City of man we will be subsumed by it. Let us be as Abram and let our focus be on God and this includes ALL His word.

No Demographic Winter for Muslims

Some time ago I wrote on the documentary Demographic Winter and below is a video that is along those lines. Whether one agrees with the numbers or the conclusions the principle is clear: Muslim’s are having more children while the rest of the world is not. Sadly this is true of the western church as many professing believers put off child birth and restrict the number of children they have for a myriad of reasons. While there may be physical and other valid reasons for these decisions many times the decisions are much more narcissistic.

So take from this video what you will but realize that one day we, or our children or their children, may wake up to a much different world than we see today and not the difference that we as believers would like to see. But even here we can be optimistic because none of this is out of God’s sovereign control. Times like this will be times of sifting and we need to stand firm and be obedient to God in the face of the trials we may face being always aware that God does not put before us more than His children can handle.

Thanks to Generation Cedar for placing this video on their blog. One comment on the Generation Cedar blog mentions the reliability of the statistics but as I said above the numbers are not necessarily what you need to focus on but the principle, which is also shown in Demographic Winter; that of the direction the west and I would say particularly the church, has taken with regards to children.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Chuck Baldwin in Southern California.

Today we went to a meeting where Chuck Baldwin spoke. For those of you who do not know who Chuck Baldwin is, he was the presidential candidate for the Constitution Party and was also endorsed by Ron Paul. Mr. Baldwin is also the Pastor of Crossroads Baptist Church in Pensacola Florida. Chuck Baldwin was also the candidate I wrote in, as he was not on the ballot in California, for president because of all the choices available he was the only one that met the biblical standards I found in scripture.

It was good to hear someone speak that did not spout the same old rhetoric of most politicians, that of how the federal government can solve all of our problems. I was especially pleased to hear that he understood the priority of the states and the importance of the states in returning this country to what it was founded on. When asked how the Constitution Party could better get its message out his answer was the states needed to promote the message of the party. This is so true since as long as we look to the federal government for leadership and guidance the states will always see themselves as servants of the federal government instead of the other way around as the founders intended it.

I realize that no political party will change anything for good apart from obedience to God. But as we sojourn in this world we need to work to promote God’s word and standards and if a political party can be used by God for that endeavor then we should support it. Again always realizing that we need to see God and His word as our first allegiance so that if a party, any party does not put forth biblically qualified candidates then no mater who they are we cannot vote for them.

We need to evaluate all things by God’s word and seek to find that which we can support based on His word. You can check out the platform of the Constitution Party yourself. You may or may not agree with all points of the platform but on the important issues such as life and the role of government they are very good.

Again, I see no party or candidate as a savior but we do need to seek candidates and parties that come as close to God’s standards. When the next election comes about do not be swayed by the “lesser of two evils” and the “to not vote for a certain candidate is to vote for another” rhetoric. Prepare yourself to be able to discern candidates that meet biblical standards. This is not seeking a perfect candidate, as there are none, but to find those that meet the minimum standards that God puts forth. The time to pray and research this is now and not when the decision is placed before you in the future.

My call is not necessarily a call to join the Constitution Party, even though for me that is what I will do, but is most of all a call to discern who you support not by pragmatism but by the Word of God. It is infallible and inerrant and sufficient. Not only sufficient for faith but also for practice, including directing who we vote for. Let us not rely on the worlds pragmatism and humanistic reasoning but on God’s word as our standard.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Around the Web and Blogosphere (4/24/09)

Voddie Baucham shares some excellent insights into the recent issue over Miss California’s comments regarding homosexual marriage at the latest Miss USA Pageant: Homosexual Marriage Agenda Infects Miss USA Pageant. Let me add that Christians need to be very wary of making Miss California out to be some martyr. As believers we should be just as concerned that a professing Christian, from what I understand, is prancing around on stage in front of millions in her underwear in what Voddie rightly calls, “pure soft porn sexploitation” and obviously sees nothing wrong with it. I am thankful she spoke out and was not politically correct but I would pray that she would also see the error in the event she was participating. The issue that was revealed in this event, by the reactions of the judge, is the depth of the homosexual agenda. That this is not about freedom to express ones self, was that not what the contestant was doing, but about perverting God’s design for His creation. It is about prompting an agenda and using whatever means it sees fit.

As believers we need to not state the argument against homosexual marriage based on feelings, by what we have been taught or even by a number of votes but by what God’s word says. It is not a matter of whether I feel marriage is to be between one man and one woman for life or that a majority of people in any one state thinks this way but it is about obeying God’s command for what marriage is called to be in His word. For the professing church, where the divorce rate is almost as high as in the secular realm, we need to take a hard look at ourselves and ask if we really take marriage as seriously and biblically as we should. We can decry homosexual marriage, and we should, but we need to make sure our reasoning starts with God’s word, as it will not change like opinions do, and we need to make sure we as the Church take the log out of our own eye that is not letting us see that God is not pleased with our actions regarding marriage either.

I just finished watching a new DVD by The (connected with The Apologetics Group) called: The Late Great Planet Church: The Rise of Dispensationalism Vol.1. In this volume they cover the history of dispensationalism with more to come on other areas. If you were raised and bred on dispensationalism, as many in the last 100+ years have been, this may be a struggle for you but I think it is very important to understand the history of this eschatological system. This then gives a framework for the understanding of its hermeneutic, or method of interpretation. Here is a review of the DVD by American Vision: Late Great Planet Church: A Brief Review

Scott Brown at the National Center for Family -Integrated Churches is blogging the NCFIC Confession. For all of those that seem to think that the FIC is only about the family needs to see that Article 1 relates to the Sufficiency of Scripture. This is a place that I would hope and pray all churches start with. You can read the full Confession HERE.

Many of you have seen the ads on TV with regard to vaccinating our daughters for HPV (cervical cancer). They make this out to be a harmless and necessary vaccine, but is it? The video below is a disturbing video on Gardasil and the effort to make it mandatory for girls to attend public school. The video also speaks to other issues with the vaccine. As Andrea Schwartz, where I saw this video, says: Another Good Reason to Avoid Public School. Forward this video to all those with daughters as many will simply be taken in by the rhetoric and the fear mongering being used to promote this dangerous drug.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Dr. Ron Paul on Secession

Dr. Ron Paul speaks well, in the video below, on the topic of secession as a restraining force against a tyrannical federal government. I realize this topic is uncomfortable for many but it was not always so. As one looks over the history of our nation, as Dr. Paul states, we are a nation due to secession. We are a nation that always knew secession was an option should the nation depart form the good of the states. As he also mentions our government supports in many ways and forms other countries rights to secession but for some reason our federal government claims it is unpatriotic and wrong to speak of such and issue ourselves. Well the reason they speak as such is they understand that once talk of this issue arises it, the federal government, loses the power it so greatly craves. The federal government is to serve the people and the states and not the other way around as things presently are. Listen to Dr. Paul as he is not necessarily calling for secession but is calling for us to be able to talk about it and thus put the power back in the hands of the states and not in the hands of a bloated and tyrannical federal government.

So the call is not necessarily for secession but to talk about the subject and reveal to the federal government that it needs to realize its place and purpose; serving the states and the people. It needs to realize that it is not to control but to be an instrument of the people and talk of secession makes that point abundantly clear, thus why they hate this talk so much.

Thanks to Christian Exodus for posting this video.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

2009 Leadership Summit

I just finished listening to the 2009 Leadership Summit recently held in Indianapolis that was sponsored by Christian Home Educators of Colorado (CHEC). These are talks that must be listened to by every homeschool father. These MP3s must be listened to even if you are a Christian father that does not homeschool.

I am sure that these talks will step on some toes but I wish someone had given me these talks many years ago and stepped on my toes when we started homeschooling. I have to admit I was one of those fathers that is eternally grateful that my wife saw the need to homeschool when I did not. I was one of those fathers that when faced with the option of homeschooling by my wife I simply said something like, ”whatever you say.” In many ways I did not find homeschooling it found me and it was quite some time till I saw its importance and even longer till I saw the biblical call for it.

I wrote a three part series some time ago that asked: Are You Homeschooling or Schooling at Home Pt 1, Pt 2 & Pt 3. The point was to ask what is it that bolsters ones reason for Homeschooling. If it is simply to better educate our children then we do not have a firm foundation. We need to base our homeschooling on God’s desire for parents to be the ones that disciple and raise their children. We need to seek to raise children in the fear and admonition of the Lord and education will come as God leads. If our focus is instead on education all we will end up doing is bring Plato’s Republic home and in the end all we may produce are polite, well educated humanists.

Even if as Christians we use biblically grounded curriculum if our major focus is on knowledge and not character we will in the end not produce the disciples God has placed in our charge. So let us begin to see our purpose as God sees it and that is to raise godly offspring and that starts with teaching the fear of God. It starts by seeing that we need to homeschool and not simply school at home.

I would strongly suggest you listen to all the MP3s from the 2009 Leadership Summit which you can get here for $4 each: . You can also read Kevin Swanson’s blog post on the conference here: Indianapolis 2009

Here is a list of the talks:
1) For Such a time as This – Kevin Swanson
2) The Battle for Faith and Family – Voddie Baucham
3) A Vision for the Family in the 21st Century – Doug Phillips
4) The Homeschooling Movement in America – Dr. Brian Ray
5) A Trojan Horse and the Enemy’s Counter Strategies – Chris Klicka
6) Homeschooling-Capturing the Vision – Kevin Swanson
7) Harvard or Heaven – Where are We Going? Voddie Baucham
8) Visionary Fathers and the birth of Leadership for the Next Generation – Doug Phillips
9) Leading and Bleeding – Mike Cheney
10) Closing Remarks – Kevin Swanson

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Around the Web and Blogosphere (4/14/09)

Kevin Swanson has written a great piece on The Gospel. He touches on how we tend to segment the gospel and not present it in its entirety. We need to see that the Gospel is not about just being “saved” but it is that and so much more. His post at Generations with Vision, The Gospel, deals with this issue. This past Resurrection Day I preached on Phil 2:5-11 and there Paul speaks about the affect of the cross and how it is not simply to be just about being saved but saved in effect to good works, into a God glorifying life of obedience to Him. We are to have the same humility Christ showed in coming down to be a sacrifice for the sins of many a sacrifice that results in so much more than simply spending eternity with God. It leads to a God honoring life in obedience to His word. Let us not as Kevin says “bifurcate” the Gospel but let us present the Gospel in all its glory.

Christopher J. Ortiz at the Chalcedon Blog writes: A State of War. He starts by quoting R.J. Rushdoony: “We are therefore in a state of war, war between heaven and humanism, war between the Almighty God and the totalitarian state, war between God and the scientific planners, predictors, and controllers, war between God and all those who deny His infallibility. Such a conflict is a very uneven one, and there can be no doubt as to the outcome of this war.”

Unless one were to become anxious: ““[T]he Lamb shall overcome them” (Rev. 17:14); and with Him are the “called, and chosen, and faithful.” If we keep the commandments of God, and the testimony of Jesus, we shall possess the Kingdom. It need not be our generation, because regardless of the time of God’s visible reign, our participation would be the same. Therefore, war today as if the victory was coming tomorrow!”

This is what we are seeing right before us. However all too often the professing church attempts to fight this battle not by the word of God and being in obedience to it but by the same humanistic tools the other side is using. God’s has called us into this battle and we need to fight with the weapons He has supplied. We need to battle in the faith supplied by God and not by the wiles of man. The Victory is the Lord’s and it is assured

Voddie Baucham writes: Are You Ready to go to Jail for the Gospel? Walter Hoye is…... This was a convicting blog post because in our culture that is increasing hostile to the truth of God’s word we should all contemplate the question Voddie asks. We should also pray for Pastor Hoye as Voddie says in the post: “Take a few moments to write this courageous pastor a note of encouragement: Walter B. Hoye II, PFN# BGR852, Santa Rita Jail 5325 Broder Boulevard, Dublin, California 94568-3309”

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Are we a Christian nation, Obama says “we” are not

I would agree with Mr. Obama but only in that we are “no longer a Christian nation” in general. Any plain reading of the founders of this country, and I do not mean stopping at the 1700’s but going back to the 1600’s as well, would make it clear that we were founded on biblical principles. That this nation while imperfect was founded on God’s word and law is clearly evident in the original writings of those that founded this nation. They may not have all been Christians and they were imperfect but their “values” and “ideals’ were in large part based on scripture.

What is infuriating in this video is that Mr. Obama uses the word “we” but he does not speak for us all. He may feel this way and it is clear that he seeks to solidify us a socialist/secular nation as he even call us a secular country but he does not speak for the entire nation. What is interesting is that he speaks of “ideals” and “values” but where are these to come from if not from the word of God. If these so called “values” and “ideals” are simply the construct of the mind of man they will be ever changing, as is evident by the direction of our nation, and influenced by the God denying hearts of those that seek to be gods themselves.

While I am sure this sort of talk from the president makes secularists, humanists and atheists ecstatic I wonder how do all those professing Christians that voted for this God “forsaking” president feel. By the way I used the word forsaking” on purpose as it is evident by his actions and words that he denies, forsakes, the God of the bible. Sadly I fear that many that profess to be Christians see no issues with his comments and probably hold the same ideals and values.

As believers we need to make sure that we ground ourselves in God’s word, all of it, and rely on it as sufficient for all of life. When we turn to our own understandings we quickly become as the President. Far too many professing Christians will deride the president for what he has said and then when it comes to obeying God act just as Mr. Obama and deny God by their actions. While we may live God’s word imperfectly let us strive to live by it, under the power of the Holy Spririt, as the all sufficient rule for all of life.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Should We Rally Behind GM?

I recently saw the commercial below and was offended by how GM could ask us to rally together when they are taking vast amounts of money to save their hides, under the guise of saving the economy, without our express permission and agreement. This along with the fact that when things first came to a head the unions rejected pay cuts and other actions to work to save the auto companies makes such cries of rallying hard to stomach. I do not know what may have happened since that first request of the unions but the gall to ask the American people to rally behind a company, and GM is only a representative of the toxic mindset of the auto makers, that is in effect now owned by the American people is absurd.

My son wondered if with all of the bailouts and the great amount of funds that have been given to the auto makers if we are eligible for employee or better yet owner discounts. The problem is that while scripture and the constitution make the government a servant of the people, and thus we would be owners in a way of the auto makers, the government instead sees itself as being served by the people. Thus, they speak of the government having a stake in the auto makers and companies such as AIG but they do not mention the American people.

As believers we need to work and pray for a government as Paul speaks of in Romans 13:1-7. One that is to be there to serve God and His purposes as expressed in scripture. A government that is to protect the people not one that subjugates them and is served by them. We need to seek a government that is truly a minster of God and not as we now have, one largely filled with God haters that seek their own agendas and not God’s.

One plus in all that has happened in the last year is that if many are like me they are seeing the failure of government. While those that see this may be in the minority for now that can change as God changes hearts to seek the sufficiency of His word for all of life including the governance of our land. There was a time when the first settlers came here that God’s law was supreme. It may have been wielded imperfectly as we are imperfect people but the mentality was to be subject to God above all things. While that mentality has largely faded it may take a drastic falling away from God and His word’s sufficiency for all of life as we are in for the country to regain it’s foundational moorings in God’s supreme word. This needs to start somewhere and so let it start with you and me and our families and while it may take more than one generation to right this ship it can be done by the power of God. However, if it is not God’s will for this country to be righted then as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego said in Dan 3:16-18 so be it as we simply need to desire God’s will to be done.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Is the Church a Family of Families? Dr. Baucham Comments

I am very thankful for Dr. Voddie Baucham and his writing. I have recently heard numerous complaints about the term regarding the FIC as it being a “Family of Families.” Usually many that have this complaint have other issues as well with the whole idea of the Family Integrated Church but this is one of the supposed theological angles they often latch onto. Voddie recently wrote a two part series on this and does a great job of explain this term: Is the Church a Family of Families? & Is the Church a Family of Families? 2

He makes the distinction, that many miss, that the term speaks to the “distinctive structure of the FIC” and not the nature of the church. As I have said and many others have said when the FIC looks at the nature of the church it is nothing but orthodox and thus the structure of the church is how we view the outworking of the nature of the church. I encourage you to read Dr. Baucham’s articles and see that the FIC is simply a move to find the most orthodox structure of the church by using scripture as the guide and not man’s ideas of how church should function. Scripture gives us all we need to function, it is sufficient, as a church and that is where we need to look first and foremost.