Sunday, October 28, 2007

MO Baptist Convention Annual Meeting

On Monday at noon until Wednesday at 4:00-ish I will be attending the Missouri Baptist Convention annual meeting held at Tan-Tar-A. Therefore, the post to the website might be a little slow. However, keep checking back. If I have internet access and find the time then I will try to still make posts. But if not I look forward to seeing all of our students on Wednesday night--do not forget to be a super hero or villan.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Why the NFL's Global Vision should be ours today ran a story about Commissioner Roger Goodell's global vision of "Making America's Obsession the World's Passion". As I read that I thought about Jesus. I wonder what is the Church's obsession? Is it fame? Is it prominence? Is it influence? What is it that we desire? Is our obsession Jesus? And if we can honestly and humbly say that He is indeed our obsession then my question is this, "do we have a global vision of making our obsession (Jesus) the world's passion?" Oh, that we had the passion that Coca-Cola and now the NFL has to spread their joy for the joy of others! Today, I am encouraged by reading this article to repent of all the things that are my obsession that is not Jesus. I am encouraged to be more intentional and focused on not only making Jesus my obsession but of spreading that obsession to be the world's passion.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Message of Obadiah

I am not sure that I will be posting the sermon from last night. I might in the future whenever I am able to work out a few of the kinks. To be honest after I went home I felt really sour about the sermon. I was afraid that I communicated the wrong thing. My hope in asking, "Does God have enemies" was to cause us to think about what it was like when we were God's enemy or for those who do not know Him to realize they are in a dangerous spot. I hope that was conveyed and perhaps it was--but I went home thinking I could have communicated that truth more effectively. I understand that one of the things that I said might be confusing but I still stick beside it. I really do believe that the Word of God reveals that God not only hates sin (as an outward expression) but also the sinner (an inward condition), but on top of this we can also say at the same time that God loves the sinner. I do not understand all of the complexities of God.
If you are curious as to my stance here are a few other places you can look:

Does God Hate Anyone?--CARM
Does God Love the Sinner and Hate the Sin?--John H. Gerstner (Excellent)
If you are absolutely distraught on this I would suggest buying and reading D.A. Carson's excellent work: The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God

Another one of the reasons I felt uneasy has to deal with a website I visited the day before preaching this sermon. I stumbled upon the site of Westboro Baptist Church of whom maybe you have heard about on the news. These are the "Christians" who picket funerals and hold up signs such as "God hates fags" and "Thank God for (insert present disaster here)". The site made me weep because they are proclaiming a half truth. They too believe that God hates the sinner...but where they falter is that they hate the sinner. Not realizing that they are incapable of the righteous and holy anger of God. They are ungentle and unloving and feel that they are being biblical in doing so. Therefore, I had a fear that what I was preaching could potentially convey that. We should take the path that Jesus Christ took and love our enemies. We should love sinners. John Piper wrote an excellent article that I think you should view: Do I Not Hate Those who Hate You?

Also there has been a request for the full text of Jonathan Edwards' sermon Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, just click on the link and you will find it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

My Stance on Halloween

This might be somewhat controversial in our church...therefore I want to begin by saying that my opinion is not necessarily the opinion of our church as a whole nor is it necessarily the opinion of anyone else in our church. Tim Challies who has an excellent blog posted an article today entitled Trick or Retreat? which I believe is worthy of a visit. My personal stance is very close to that of Challies. Should we have a Christian "alternative" at church? Should we forget the whole issue and participate fully? Should we turn our lights out and declare an all out war and retreat from the pagan holiday? Should we use it as an opportunity for missions?

It seems that the most common responses by Christian people is to declare an all out war against Halloween. In this war we either decide to combat it with our Reformation Day, Harvest Festival, etc. or we decide that the best way to win this war is for our people run away from it and not be influenced by evil. What is my opinion? I believe that the "run away" approach is usually not a good one. And I believe that Reformation Day might be a good idea but could be counter-productive.

Why do we not use this open-door invitation that our community has given us to be good neighbors, to share the love of Christ with those who visit our house, or to even go a step further and dress up and give out gospel tracts, candy, etc.? Last year our youth group did a Backwards Halloween. Instead of getting candy from people we blessed the community with some candy of their own.

My personal stance is that costumes are not innately evil (it is probably best not to do that which affirms the occult--witches, devils, etc.). Candy is not evil unless you want to preserve your teeth. Certainly going out into our community, getting to know people, and enjoying fellowship is certainly a good thing. So, in a nutshell my personal stance is that Halloween is an open door for missions and we should take it!

What is your opinion? Is this friendship with the world? Or is this being missional?

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Message of Haggai

Wednesday you were challenged to not waste your life. I sincerely hope that the Lord spoke to you in this. One of the great tragedies of our day is that we are plauged by "good things". Especially in Christendom. We have our Christian CD's, our Christian movies, our Christian books, etc., and the whole while we waste our lives spent on these "good things" and are never missional nor more importantly do we have deep vibrant relationships with Jesus. My hope and prayer for not only you, but also myself, is that we might have a single passion to live by. Let us not throw away our lives! Here is the full text to the sermon on Haggai: Consider Your Ways

The Message of Habbakuk

I realize that I did it again...waited about a week or two to post. I apologize! It is a bad spiral that I would love to climb out of. I want many of you to come to our website--I put lots of work into it then very few show up. So, I get discouraged and do not update it. But, how can I expect it to grow if those of you who do come are not filled with the Word? Why would you come back. Therefore, I am going to make it a discipline to try to post at least something every week day. Here is the message from two Wednesday's ago on Habakkuk--When God Doesn't Make Sense

Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Message of Zephaniah

I just realized it has been an entire week since I have written anything! Sorry. I guess if I expect people to visit then I need to update more. Last night we spoke on the Prophet Zephaniah and talked about God dancing over us because of what He has done in our lives through His Son. To be honest with you I do not think I feel the full weight of this message--I feel as if I did an insufficient job of presenting the message of Zephaniah. However, I trust in the fact that the Lord is sovereign and that He uses His word to accomplish His set purposes. With that being said here is the link to the sermon, The Dancing Surgeon.


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