Restoring the hearts of the fathers to their children…

[Remarks delivered at #defundPP rally at The Peace Center (Greenville, SC), April 23, 2016]

Several weeks ago, I had the opportunity to testify before the South Carolina Senate Judiciary Subcommittee. Under consideration was the Personhood Constitutional Amendment joint resolution S.719. If this joint resolution gets passed, the people of South Carolina will be able to vote on the November ballot to put the following language in the state constitution:

The privileges and immunities of citizens of South Carolina and the United States shall not be abridged, so that no person shall be deprived of life without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws. These rights shall extend to both born and preborn persons beginning at conception.

(to keep up with this personhood legislation like our Personhood South Carolina Facebook page)

During that subcommittee hearing, it stood out to me that those speaking against S.719 were predominantly women (representing Planned Parenthood) while those speaking in support were predominantly men. Sensing the same disparity, Sen. Margie Bright-Matthews opined during the subsequent full Judiciary Committee meeting. She said, “there were a lot of men that had a lot of opinions about what should happen to a woman’s body and that was my problem.”

My first thought after the subcommittee testimony and Sen. Bright-Matthews’ statement—which, of course, was ignorant and deceptive on many levels—was this… Continue reading

Obama’s attack on the Gospel…

At the core of God’s Word is this truth: man is sinful. From Adam—the first man—sin spread to all mankind: “…through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Rom. 5:12). We are born sinners who sin. Therefore, when the Son of God took on flesh and lived among men there came an announcement appropriate to the context of the sinfulness of mankind: “He will save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). When Jesus began preaching he contextualized perfectly: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15).

That the One who came to save His people from their sins was a preacher of repentance should not be lost on us. “Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?” (Rom. 2:4). That Jesus came preaching repentance was God’s tolerance toward you and me. He said what you are is not good, therefore, repent. To the sexual immoral, Jesus says repent. To the thief, Jesus says repent. To the covetous, Jesus says repent. To the drunkard, Jesus says repent. To the fornicator, Jesus says repent. To the idolater, Jesus says repent. To the blasphemer, Jesus says repent. To the self-righteous, Jesus says repent. To me, Jesus says repent. To you, Jesus says repent.

At every point where the unchanging Law of God reveals a knowledge of sin, you and I are called to repent.

Why? Because “it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment” (Heb 9:27). There is a judgment to come where the repentant will meet their Savior and the unrepentant will meet their uncovenanted Judge.

This is the Christian faith. God’s Word teaches these truths for the good of our own sinful souls, and we announce them for the good of every sinful soul in the world. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6). Praise God there is that one way…open only to those who repent and believe.

To not announce such glories would be the worst kind of cruelty. To allow someone to persist in his sin until he dies is unkind and merciless. To not call for all men everywhere to repent is to denounce the tolerance of God.

Someone once told me I was a blasphemer and a foul-mouthed jerk…using the words of James 3. I repented by the grace of God. And Scripture has continued the same annihilation of my sinful nature, inherited from Adam. Everywhere proud, everywhere lusting, everywhere envious, everywhere unkind. And I, by the grace of God, hope to continue in repentance until the day I die…and then inherit my reward.

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God (1 Cor. 6:9-11).

In hellish contrast, watch this video released by the Obama administration:

Contrast the worldview of this video with what I laid out above from the Scriptures. Repentance—the kindness of God, remember—is the enemy. The gospel of “such were some of you” is intolerable. In its place—all dressed up in the language of affirmation and love—is bondage to sin and the damnable weight of an ever-changing law.

So devastatingly sad. But Christians will continue to preach the gospel of such were some of you until our governing officials make us shut-up. This video makes clear such silence is the desire of our President. In the meantime, we will preach repentance because we love our Savior, the friend of sinners, and because we love sinners.

It is those who reject repentance that hate souls.

Another brick in the wall…

Yesterday President Obama announced that he will push to make it illegal to call homosexuals to repentance. Once the transition from man to “woman” or woman to “man” is complete, there will be no help for the conscience of the man or woman who discovers the disaster of sin and the glory of God’s design. Transitioning is a one-way street, they say, though they assert that gender is a choice, a social construct, a choose-your-own-adventure tale. Such moral clarity…

Christian, are you ready for Biblical sexuality itself to be outlawed? Are you ready for fertility to be restricted? Are you preparing yourself and your children to obey God rather than man?

False teachers…

It’s easy for crunchy Reformed Presbyterians to be at peace with evangelical super-pastors in their areas. We are happy for the local mega-church to do the initial evangelistic heavy-lifting, using those muscles we have let weaken with little use. Every unchurched person, we tacitly assume, needs an entry-level church in which to meet Jesus. That’s been the utility of Bill Hybel’s and Perry Noble’s and Stephen Furtick’s ministries—they did the evangelism that Reformed churches were not capable of and got many saved. Now that the evangelism is done, we can draw those young believers away by telling them they need something more than milk. On a grand scale, the body and it’s many parts are working wonderfully well together, right? Perry planted, R.C. watered, and God gave the growth…

Such a process would be possible if at the initial stage those who were practicing “evangelism” were actually practicing evangelism, rather than peddling false assurance to those who aren’t saved. Decisional regeneration is the name of the game, and it is wicked.

For someone who has sucked from the breast of the modern evangelical mega-church, there must be a wholesale repudiation of their first church before they are likely find a home in a healthy, God-fearing church.

Luther got it… Continue reading

Eagles nests and human babies: an example of ethical stupidity…

A South Carolina man may go to jail for cutting down a tree that held the empty nest of an eagle. Bernie Kole, a neighbor who complained about the missing tree and nest whose complaints made another neighbor make a report to the State, said, “If nothing else comes out of this, I want the public to know they can’t remove, damage an eagle’s nest, and you certainly can’t cut down the trees.” The penalty:

DNR wildlife biologist Charlotte Hope, who monitors the birds, said the penalties for damaging a nest or harming eagles can be stiff, including tens of thousands of dollars in fines and jail time. Both the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act apply. The acts prohibit endangering bald eagles and damaging or removing a nest, among other restrictions.

Meanwhile, just up the road at the Charleston Women’s Medical Center… Continue reading

Pastor Martyn Lloyd-Jones on sin, man, and tolerance…

Here’s an example of boldness and faith in Jesus Christ. Pay particular attention to what Lloyd-Jones says about tolerance. Lloyd-Jones’ comments are particularly poignant as the Roman Catholic Church discusses whether or not to come out of the closet (though I don’t trust CNN and many other news sources to be reporting what’s happening in the Vatican with any understanding). (HT: Gary Knapp)

NewSpring at the Movies (our "local" #giftedcommunicator)…

Here’s the next “sermon” series at our “local” mega(lomaniacal) church (viewer discretion is advised):

Meanwhile, up the road a piece at Trinity Presbyterian Church, we’ll be opening our Bibles—God’s Word—to Luke 7. #novideos #noproductionvalue #uncool #1Cor2:1-5 #churchforthosewholovechurch #willheeverfinishluke

The end justifies the means (our "local" #giftedcommunicator, part 2)…

NewSpringBuildingThe numbers-obsessed evangelical church will do anything to produce results—and those results are understood to be only and always the blessing of God. Stephen Furtick, pastor of Charlotte’s Elevation Church, revealed the magic behind the massive number of “spontaneous” baptisms at his church: put 15 planted people in the audience who quickly rise up just after he gives a call for people to come forward during the service. Here’s the plan of attack, outlined in “Spontaneous Baptisms How-To Guide“:

Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 8.56.36 AMWhen this came to light was Furtick ashamed or repentant? Of course not. Out came the explanations (denials and indignation)…

When they started talking this week on the news about our baptisms, I got hot. Yes, sir. I got hot. They were saying that we manipulate our baptisms, that we have people planted in the audience who pretend to go get baptized. For the record, we have never planted anybody in our church to pretend to be baptized. I am too scared of God to do something like that. Please. Please. … And to take the fact that we have volunteers who get up and lead the way so that people know where to go and to act as if they were pretending to be baptized and to negate the sincere faith decision of precious people who had one of the most meaningful experiences of their life, that’s just sick.

Essentially what he is saying is that none of the 15 plants were actually baptized. They certainly did make people think they were going forward to get baptized. It’s manipulation and Elevation Church continues to practice and promote it. It results in people having “one of the most meaningful experiences of their life” and so a little dishonesty is not so bad. The end justifies the means.

Then there is this which is worse… Continue reading