Sunday, June 29, 2008

Confessing Anglicans Respond

For the past week (June 21-29, 2008) over 1,000 Anglican leaders converged in Jerusalem to discuss the future of the Anglican Church (A.K.A. The Church of England and the American Episcopal Church). The Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) met to dicuss the state of the existing international church, in particular the unbiblical behavior and expressed beliefs of many Anglican churches (particularly in the U.S.A. and Canada).

A summation of their meeting is a 4 page document that deserves reading (courtesy of the BBC): http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/29_06_08_anglican_statement.pdf

I love their willingness to stand on the Scriptures, their clear teaching on what Biblical marriage is, and also on the "false gospels" that are being preached in the name of Christianity. I also appreciate their humility in confessing the sins of people who embrace heterosexual marriage, but fail to honor it as we should.


Here are a few of the statements in their Jerusalem Declaration that I believe every Christian should also be willing to confess:

"We joyfully embrace his command to proclaim the reality of his kingdom which he first announced in this land. The gospel of the kingdom is the good news of salvation, liberation and transformation for all. In light of the above, we agree to chart a way forward together that promotes and protects the biblical gospel and mission to the world . . . "

1. We rejoice in the gospel of God through which we have been saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. Because God first loved us, we love him and as believers bring forth fruits of love, ongoing repentance, lively hope and thanksgiving to God in all things.

2. We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God written and to contain all things necessary for salvation. The Bible is to be translated, read, preached, taught and obeyed in its plain and canonical sense, respectful of the church’s historic and consensual reading.

3. We uphold the four Ecumenical Councils and the three historic Creeds as expressing the rule of faith of the one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

5. We gladly proclaim and submit to the unique and universal Lordship of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, humanity’s only Saviour from sin, judgement and hell, who lived the life we could not live and died the death that we deserve. By his atoning death and glorious resurrection, he secured the redemption of all who come to him in repentance and faith.

8. We acknowledge God’s creation of humankind as male and female and the unchangeable standard of Christian marriage between one man and one woman as the proper place for sexual intimacy and the basis of the family. We repent of our failures to maintain this standard and call for a renewed commitment to lifelong fidelity in marriage and abstinence for those who are not married.

9. We gladly accept the Great Commission of the risen Lord to make disciples of all nations, to seek those who do not know Christ and to baptise, teach and bring new believers to maturity.

10. We are mindful of our responsibility to be good stewards of God’s creation, to uphold and advocate justice in society, and to seek relief and empowerment of the poor and needy.

12. We celebrate the God-given diversity among us which enriches our global fellowship, and we
acknowledge freedom in secondary matters. We pledge to work together to seek the mind of Christ on issues that divide us.

13. We reject the authority of those churches and leaders who have denied the orthodox faith in word or deed. We pray for them and call on them to repent and return to the Lord.

14. We rejoice at the prospect of Jesus’ coming again in glory, and while we await this final event of history, we praise him for the way he builds up his church through his Spirit by miraculously changing lives.

It has begun

Genetic engineering used to send shivers up the spines all around the world (does anyone else remember Hitler's attempt at Aryan supremancy??).

But now, it becomes commonplace news (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,373441,00.html).

A woman in the U.K. had 11 eggs fertilized to make human babies. Then six were killed and rejected because they carried a "potential" gene that might have led to breast cancer later in life. Not only was in-vitro fertilization used to ward off this "dangerous gene", but in-vitro was not even necessary because the couple had shown no complications to impede natural conception.

Some people marvel that in-vitro fertilization allows for parents to pick the gender and greater ensure the healthiness of their child. But do we ever pause and think of the millions of lives that are not given a chance at breath because they carry "potentially" harmful deficiencies. I have the joy of knowing children with physical and mental handicaps. I know many men and women who have struggled through cancer and other vicious diseases. But all of them deserved a chance at life, and so do these babies who are being denied their inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Not to mention that many of the "rejected embryos" are then subject to scientific testing, as if these human lives are lab rats.

Please take a moment and silently think of the life that is being denied because of the "progress" of human scientific evolution.

Friday, June 27, 2008

E.F.C.A. Statement of Faith Revision Passes




For the first time in 58 years after the creation of the Evangelical Free Church of America, the denomination voted to revise its statement of faith. Unlike so many revisions across the history of U.S. churches, this revision has NOT moved in any direction toward theological liberalism. In fact, the E.F.C.A. further clarifies its strong belief in the inspiration and authority of the Holy Scriptures. It takes a firm stand on the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ and His premillennial return.. It raises a banner on the importance of the biblical commands to feed the hungry and care for the disenfranchised! It expresses belief in the supernatural forces that wage war against believers and the world around us and our need to combat these forces through the Holy Spirit's power. It also challenges every believer and church to be active in fulfilling the Great Commission.

Though I was unable to attend the national convention, I commend the people who put forward this statement (now nearly five years ago) and those who voted in favor of it on June 26, 2008! I pray this statement guides our young denomination for another 50 years as well as the original statement of faith. I am honored to be ordained into such a Christ-honoring fellowship.

To read the document check out the E.F.C.A. website: http://efca.org/about/doctrine/

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Watch out world...

...here he comes!! We apologize for the background noise at the swimming pool, but had to share this video because he just loved being in the water so much. As for the other video - hope you all enjoy it half as much as we did!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

2 Quotes that Require Thought:

"I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend to the death your right to say it." --Voltaire

"Democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." --Winston Churchill

He'll be walking soon!!

Samuel is chatting away, standing for a few seconds, and has even taken a couple of steps on his own (until he realizes he's not holding onto anything!). Hardcore babyproofing, here we come! He is also teething like crazy. His gums look like they're ready to burst, so we sure hope some teeth come through soon.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Words are not enough . . .

My home state of Iowa is in shambles due to an unprecedented amoung of rain. My wife's home town of Cedar Rapids has nearly 1 billion dollars in damage. Luckily her family's home is safe. But her dad's corporate downtown office is flooded, approximately 6 feet of water in his office (nearly 3 blocks from the river).

Praise the Lord this catastrophe has only caused the loss of one life across the area. Pray for continued protection for those suffering. Pray for the broken hearts that are being experienced by many as their homes, memories and lives have been ransacked by the flooding.

If you are interested in pictures or articles, the Des Moines Register (dmregister.com) has more than most can handle.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Giggles

Here is some footage of Samuel's giggly personality as of the last few weeks. Also, a little story to give you a glimpse into our world. Yesterday afternoon, the 3 of us went to a nearby park to swing. As Samuel was happily swinging, Mommy and Daddy were sitting by watching. Samuel laid his head down on the side of the swing and had a far-off look in his eyes. Mommy said to Daddy, "What do you suppose he's thinking about?" Daddy said, "I don't know." Then Mommy and Daddy proceeded to watching the pee trickle down his leg, drip off his toes, and fall to the wood chips below. We had our answer.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Daily life with Samuel

Here are just a few clips of eating, playing and talking with our little guy. Right now he is teething, so he's not quite as light-hearted and giggly as usual. But he is still learning and exploring, which is very fun to watch. He can carry on a "conversation" with the best of them and he's got lots of energy (takes after his daddy)!!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Can we believe in God? Is Christianity intelligible?

Those who read this blog know that I am a convinced believer in Jesus Christ, but there are some of you who still have lingering doubts. First, I'd like to say that there is always a bit of doubt mixed with authentic faith in Jesus Christ, but secondly, I want to offer two recent articles that have been written by one of my professors at Denver Seminary. Dr. Doug Groothuis addresses two big issues that you might like some wisdom on yourself.

Click either one or both of these articles and enjoy these short explanations that help to clear up some confusion and false ideas that have been promoted lately in books and the mainstream press.

Article 1: Talks about why arguments again believing in God lack credibility.

Article 2: Talks about why we can trust the truth and historical accuracy of the Bible.

Fundamentalists are Okay for Piper

John Piper has written up 20 reasons he refuses to take potshots at Christians who identify themselves as conservative fundamentalists (click here to read them all).

Here are my favorites:

1. They are humble and respectful and courteous and even funny (the ones I've met).

4. They believe that the Bible is true, all of it.

8. They believe in hell and are loving enough to warn people about it.

12. They resist trendiness.

15. They still sing hymns.

16. They are not breathless about being accepted in the scholarly guild. (my favorite)

20. Everybody to my left thinks I am one. And there are a lot of people to my left. (I too have this going on)