Pastoral Perspective

May 28, 2020

There are a couple of things I have been saying about this whole crisis from the beginning.

  • I cannot accept that one of God’s purposes in all this is that every one of His churches be shut down across the entire country and the rest of the world too.
  • That this crisis, whatever else it is, is a revealer of men’s hearts.

What I have noticed concerning believers in this is that they usually find themselves in one of two positions both of which have roots in the Scriptures.  One position is that of compliance even to the closing of their church’s door because of what is found in Romans 13 which says,

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. 5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.

To these who frame this crisis as a Romans 13 matter those who disagree with them then must be doing so in defiance of authority and, therefore, are sinning and must be condemned.

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Sigogglin

May 4, 2020

The mountain folk of Appalachia have a word to describe something that should be straight but is skewed instead–sigogglin.  That word perfectly describes some of what we are witnessing because of this virus.  No one should be surprised to discover that it aptly describes the actions of certain of our politicians.  Whether it be those who have strange notions of what is essential as opposed to non-essential or mandates that apply to others but not themselves and their family, every new day seems to reveal more examples at which to look in disbelief.

However, to those with an eye to judge the straightness of a thing, there are more than politics about which to be concerned.  Sigogglin is visible in some men’s theology.  Take this statement for an example, “It is sinfully wrong to Read the rest of this entry »

An Open Letter to Dr. Kevin Schaal President of the FBFI

April 13, 2020

An Open Letter to Dr. Kevin Schaal, President of the FBFI, concerning his blog post, “On Worship, Freedom, and Love at the Proclaim and Defend blog.

I have a question.  Why do you hope that “wisdom and governmental guidelines coincide” concerning when a church should again gather together in person?  If this wisdom can be acted upon truly independent of outside guidelines as you stated elsewhere in your article, what does it matter?  (By the way, what expectation should the church have that it and the world will be in agreement about anything especially since our worldviews are supposed to be different?)

At a time when religious liberty is under attack in the United States, one should not be opining about “foolish” defenses of liberty and hopeful coincidence of church wisdom and governmental guidelines.  While some who might be perceived as leaders among us (due mainly to their pastoring a “successful” church) increasingly sound like Read the rest of this entry »

The Non-essential Church

March 24, 2020

The other day while musing on the purpose behind what we all are going through I came to a few conclusions.  Just as in the story of Job there is an important God-purpose.  Secondly, the Devil will devise his own desires and we can be sure that it is opposite of what God wants.  Finally, men will also make a purpose from it and their actions will naturally mirror the Devil’s devices more than God’s.  We might also observe that while God’s purpose may not be immediately discernable, the others will come to the surface rather quickly. Read the rest of this entry »

From the Archives: Matthew 26:36-44 Gethsemane’s Cup

March 29, 2018

Matthew 26:36-44

Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. 37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. 38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. 39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. 40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. 42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. 43 And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. 44 And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.

This passage of Scripture gives us a precious personal glimpse of our Savior hours before He would be crucified for the sins of the world.  Too often the primary focus of Christ’s suffering in His passion is on its physical aspects.  There is no doubt that our Savior suffered horribly in His physical body prior to and during His crucifixion.  The emotional and spiritual anguish greatly contributed to His physical suffering as can be seen in this passage.  The question that this passage raises which deserves a sound Scriptural answer concerns Christ’s prayer: Read the rest of this entry »

Just a Thought

January 3, 2018

Waiting with confidence creates desire.  Waiting with doubt breeds discouragement.

Journey through John, The Uncertain Man

October 16, 2017

John 3:1-18, There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? 11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? 13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

We see in this passage a very religious-minded man that is truly ignorant about the nature of the kingdom of God and how a man could be born of the Spirit.  Reliance on a religious system or tradition for truth is woefully insufficient.  We must rely solely on the truth of God which He has preserved for us in the Bible. To his credit, Nicodemus did not allow his nagging doubts about important truths to go unanswered and then not be properly prepared to enter into eternity.  Though he was somewhat embarrassed by his ignorance and, therefore, came to Christ “by night,” he did the right thing in going to the only one that could truly answer his questions.

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Simple Bible Truths Series, Part Fourteen

January 24, 2017

Man: Bondage of Sin

Romans 7:18-21,

For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 21 I find then a law, that when I would do good, evil is present with me.

Does the dilemma described by the Apostle Paul sound like a battle that you are fighting?  It is the law of sin and its bondage on all men.  Even if a man is knowledgeable of the deceitfulness and destructiveness of sin and commits himself to change, he will find himself still doing those things he rejects.  Man is a slave to sin, and sin is not a benevolent master.

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Just a Thought

November 19, 2016

“Ignorance is not as bliss as obedience is blessed.”

Journey through John: Water to Wine

November 3, 2016

John’s Gospel presents us with multiple proofs that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.  While some of the presented proof is direct revelation from God, the majority of the proof that is laid forth in John flows from Jesus Himself in the words He speaks and the works He does.

The first of His miracles is recorded for us in John’s second chapter where He turns water into wine at a marriage feast.

And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: 2 And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. 3 And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. 4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. 5 His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. 6 And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. 7 Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. 9 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, 10 And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. 11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.

John 2:1-11

In all of His miracles, we must avoid understanding them as a mere display of Christ’s abilities.  Jesus never did the miraculous for show.  The purpose of each miracle was to instruct about some specific truth concerning Himself so that men would believe in Him.

And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

John 20:30-31

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