God can bring change in a hurry. Read the book of Esther. Which leads me to a not so random thought… When my children are forced to flee the rabidly intolerant and oppressive West, where will they be welcomed? Maybe Uganda. Maybe Russia. Maybe China. Maybe Syria.
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
I don’t often do this, but I’d like to draw attention to a sermon I preached two Sundays ago. Remember, dear brothers and sisters, your very young neighbors are being led to the slaughter…
There is some fascinating reading in the Jonathan Edwards Studies journal from Yale. University of Richmond professor Douglas Winiarski has worked through a mass of documents and detailed the events surrounding Edwards’ dismissal from the church in Northampton. A number of things stand out in the articles, not the least of which is to see congregational polity working in a very presbyterian manner. And, did you know that Edwards was open to and very close to affiliating with the Scots-Irish Presbyterians to set-up a new church in Northampton? The first four of five articles have been published…
The 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“:
When 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
A few months ago, a new advertisement for NewSpring Spartanburg went up. It’s a very simple sign—the name of the church, the address of their website, and the minimalistic logo are accompanied by an arrow pointing toward their new building…
Prior to a few months ago, it was easy for me to ignore #NewSpring even though she is the “local” evangelical mega-church in town. Now, with their recently opened building near ours, most people arriving at Trinity pass by this sign. If you drive a few yards past the sign, take a right turn (instead of the left the sign is suggesting), you end up at my church. For several months, I’ve mused about placing a sign for Trinity under the NewSpring sign. It would have a similar font, similar layout, similar colors (just enough to distinguish it), an arrow pointing the opposite direction, and a few added hashtags: #nofreecups; #uncool; #notslick; #doctrine; #fleshandbloodpastor; #wcf; #membersnotowners; #webelieveinchurchdiscipline; #webelieveinsanctification; #family; #foolsforchrist; #etc…
At #NewSpring Spartanburg, an image of Perry Noble preaches each week. His image is broadcast from the main “campus” in Anderson, SC, where his body is. #NewSpring’s goal is to have 100,000
members owners in the state of SC at various campuses (already they have set-up shop in Andreson, Boiling Springs, Charleston, Clemson, Columbia, Florence, Greenville, Greenwood, Lexington, Myrtle Beach, and Spartanburg). They’re currently up to 32% of their goal. At each of their campuses they do have a flesh and blood, resident pastor, but, due to the fact that Perry Noble is a #giftedcommunicatorandteacher, they don’t get to preach on Sundays.
So, what is Perry Noble’s preaching like? I watched the first ten or so minutes of Noble’s most recent sermon (“The Best Weekend Ever“) and was thrilled to see that some first-time visitors got fed…by the package of Oreo™ cookies and the box of Krispy Kreme™ donuts that Noble awarded them at the beginning of his sermon.
The first Scripture came along at about the 8-minute mark. Romans 6:23 was printed on the flat-screen TV next to Noble: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (NIV). A wonderful verse, no? A sobering opportunity to talk about the ravages of sin and the incredible grace of God, no? Well, here’s how Noble got into his exegesis of this passage: Continue reading
Worship the Lord with all your strength this morning!
This is the day which the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118:24).
Each edition of the Christ-centered byFaith Magazine features some interview of or article by a PCA superstar. Accompanying the Christ-centered article are numerous pictures of the star, posed—furrowed brow; thoughtful stare, eyelids slightly narrowed; calming smile; head-tilted back, laughing. I know the editor merely desires to convince us of the interviewee’s trustworthiness and winsome personality. And all of that to convince us of the trustworthiness and winsome perspectives outlined in his Christ-centered book. And all of that to convince us of the trustworthiness and winsome, Christ-centered content of the book of Daniel. It’s breathtaking in it’s Christ-centeredness! Thanks, byFaith!
The church must get serious about training the next generation—our five year-old sons and daughters—to suffer for the faith. Gone are going to be the days when Christian parents can cover their worldly ambitions for their children with a thin veneer of Christian conservatism and go happily on their way. The new pagan orthodoxy won’t allow such softness. For many parents this will be to die the worst kind of death. Their sons and (especially) daughters won’t be permitted to matriculate at an Ivy League college. They won’t be able to become Christian-ish investment bankers and Christian-ish lawyers and Christian-ish professors and Christian-ish Senators.
And the wheat will begin to be separated from the chaff… Continue reading
It’s said that progressives will revisit settled issues until they become unsettled. The Philadelphia Presbytery is using such tactics, hoping to revisit the settled Biblical polity regarding the sex (the Philadelphia Presbytery shows her slip by using the word “gender”) of elders. They desire to find some wiggle room for candidates for ordination who “may come forward who understand Scripture to allow women to be ordained to the office of elder.”
In no way do I mean the next sentence to be flippant. I’ve completed the work for the study committee…
1 Tim. 2:12-15.
This passage does not need study. It only requires faith.
Happy to see this, though I’m disappointed by that one abstention…