Monday, January 30, 2017

MacArthur's Ministry Crumbles as Miracle Interrupts Sermon

Sun Valley, CA: Grace Community Church was stunned this past Sunday when their long-time pastor John MacArthur did the miraculous. He said,  "I don't know..."

MacArthur has long held that the miracles of the 1st century are no longer present today, but now Grace Community Church's cessationism stands in doubt. "If Pastor John can say, 'I don't know,'" observed one congregant, "Who's to say there can't be prophecies, healings, and all manner of modern day miracles?"

In past years, miraculous happenings were dubbed 'strange fire.' "But this is the strangest fire of all," noted a staff member who desires to remain unidentified. "Pastor John speaks of bringing heat from the pulpit, and seeing people on fire for Jesus, but I just don't know what would happen if our people had to live without the sure certainty of every verse of the Bible being completely explainable by Pastor John."

Some of MacArthur's critiques have also jumped in. Wayne Grudem, professor of theology at Phoenix Seminary and strong proponent of the gifts ongoing nature, wrote in his blog yesterday, "Pastor John should take his doubts into the prayer closet. He can lift up with unintelligible sounds his confusion and the Spirit will undoubtedly clear things up for him and God."

Grace Community Church is offering counseling ("Biblical counseling without any connection whatsoever to modern psychology," the website indicates) to anyone suffering traumatic doubts regarding God and the Bible.

When asked what spawned MacArthur's, "I don't know," Julie Dickson noted, "Oh, he was teaching on the logical order of God's divine decrees."

#satire

Sunday, January 29, 2017

5 Steps for First Year Pastors

Do you want to succeed in your first church? Do you want your first year to become 50 years in ministry? Then, look no further...

1. Whatever you do, don't keep things the same. People love variety and change. You were hired to bring that change. Change the service time, service order, and service elements. Sing all new sings, select a new Bible translation, and nod your head apologetically for all the years the church existed prior to your arrival.

2. Run with the horses. Only the Puritans ministered to hurting sheep, and where are they now? Dead, that's right. If you want a thriving ministry, book deal, and expanding platform, find the smartest, wealthiest, most gifted young adults and spend all your waking hours with them.

3. Copy the clothing, mannerisms, and styles of TED Talk speakers. The world listens to these people, and if you want the world to listen to you, it's about time you humbled yourself and put on a new self.

4. Keep your people busy. The reason sports teams excel is because they never rest. If you want to be a Next Level Church, you can't let your people sit on the bench. The Sabbath might have flown in the first century, but we're in the 21st century and it's high octane ministry or extinction. 

5. You must nail social media. Martin Luther might have spent 3 hours praying before his day of ministry started, but that was at the dawn of printing. We're in the digital age, and to digital our souls must go. Spend those 3 hours planning your strategic engagement with Instaface, MySnap, and Pintawitter. Your people don't want you to visit them or pray for them. They want a witty pastor, mocking worldly ideas and worldly people on social media. 

So get to it...seriously, now, don't pause, pray, reflect or contemplate. The devil's busy. Shouldn't we follow his example and get busy too?

#satire

Monday, January 23, 2017

God doesn't need focus groups.

Paul's letters in 1 and 2 Timothy warn about people who quarrel with words and distort truth. If any preacher or teacher feels like God needs an editor or innovator to improve upon His Word, they are unfit for office.


Saturday, January 21, 2017

The greatest tragedy...

The greatest tragedy is to be deceived by our own deceits.

   Only the truth will set us free, and yet, to let go of one's own deceits is humanly impossible.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Why I'm deactivating Facebook

So, I'm leaving Facebook...soon.

My 5 reasons:

1) I want to read things that have been proven by time to be worth reading.

2) I get sucked into drama that distracts me from the drama that deserves my attention (my wife, my kids, my friends, my family, my church). I don't want my kids to have to ask me to turn off my phone.

3) I worship at the idol of fame, and too often that idol takes the form of social media. Why do I care so much? A wise man once said, "Be killing sin or it will be killing you." The wisest man, Jesus, said, "It's better to rip off a sinful thing, arm, eye, in your life than to go to hell with it still there."

4) I looked at Facebook for 2 hours total between Jan-October 2016. I was more productive, less distracted, and better relationally. I came back to it fully for 2 months and I got addicted to "it" again quickly. I'm not even sure what "it" is, but whatever "it" is, "it" has taken my affections away from Jesus. And affections for Jesus are the sweetest things in the world.

5) This will help my prayer life. I said I wanted to be on Facebook to see how my friends and family were doing to pray for them. Turns out, I spend more time scrolling and less time praying. Hopefully, if the scrolling is absent, I'll just do the praying regarding the many concerns I receive in more personal ways.

More spiritual people than me use this tool effectively. God bless you and may God use you on a medium that ate my lunch. If others are like me, feel free to join the club.

Please feel free to leave a comment if you hope to maintain contact with me. We'll figure out a way to share personal information.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Vindication

If you care more about your name, family, or country being vindicated than the name of the LORD, you will face a similar decimation as the people of Israel.

God is willing to destroy us and our false desires in order to save us.


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Thinking about it...

The Law of God exposes our true nature.

The grace of God exposes His true nature.

A Pro-Choice Story - The Year 2035

"Joyce, you're not going to believe this, but I have a daughter."

"What are you talking about, Laura? That's crazy! Wait a minute, how would you not know you had a daughter?"

"Turns out, three years ago the doctor performing my abortion at 35 weeks, didn't actually abort the fetus, but took the thing and put it up for adoption, unbeknownst to me."

"No way. What a lying, SOB. That's got to be illegal."

"Oh, you think that is bad, the adoptive family just died in a massive car crash, and it turns out there isn't any extended family willing to take her. The state just called me because they pieced the whole story together and want to know if I want her back."

"Have you considered utilizing Protocol 45?"

"You bet I have. To think I was lied to and am now put in this position; it's so unfair. Protocol 45 seems like the only option. Otherwise, I'll live my whole life wondering what happened to that girl."

"Yeah, talk about emotionally draining. That's why they implemented Protocol 45. Children can really suck our careers and finances. The last report says a kid costs almost a half a million dollars to raise. The state knew our future depends on Protocol 45. Otherwise our choice and freedom are at risk."

"And to think, Protocol 45 almost got overturned by the Supreme Court last year. It would have cost our country millions to care for and raise all those unwanted kids. Think of what we might lose if tax dollars went to these unwanted organisms? We'd lose our rights to education, health care, and unemployment subsidies. And for what?"

"So, how does it work?"

"Well, I just tell the state I'll take her. Then, I go to a clinic and they euthanize her right there. I hear it's totally painless. They even have fun games and beautiful colors everywhere so the children end their lives so happy. It's such a relief to know how safe and humane this will be."

"Yeah, it's perfect. I'm so sorry you have to go through this. You had nothing to do with this, and then boom, such a burden put on your neck. You shouldn't have had to deal with this in the first place. That do-gooder doctor needs his own trip to Protocol 45."

"Yeah, too bad, he's over 10 years old, huh?"

"Someday, we'll figure out how to go after these haters of freedom and life."


Ways to respond:

1) Personally recognize that we (I) are part of the problem. I want things and my wants sometimes suffocate (sometimes literally) the needs of others for life. We have maimed our friends, hurt our loved ones, and caused others to suffer because we wanted things.
2) Receive God's forgiveness. God sent His Son to die, to be killed, because we have killed our sons and daughters. 
3) Those freed by God's grace are called to help others find freedom. Lord Jesus, have mercy upon me, a sinner.

    Psalm 139: For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand

    when I awake, I am still with you.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Words to live by...

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

And since my heart, life, family, friends, community, church, and world are all broken, I will not rest until God fixes as much as possible.

To neglect the brokenness is to await destruction.

Or as John Owen (1616-1683) once noted, "Be killing sin or sin will be killing you."

Sunday, January 01, 2017

(Satire) Piper Doubts Your Salvation without Edwardian-like Resolutions

Minneapolis, MN: Desiring God Ministries recently posted John Piper's "New Year's Resolutions for Real Christians." Here are Dr. Piper's thoughts:

#1: Resolutions without hyphenated expressions like 'gospel-centered dieting' and 'Christ-exalting exercise plan' will unlikely be successful.

#2: You do not have to turn to that New Age Pilates or Yoga for 2017. A new DG video set now includes spliced video clips from my most animated sermons. If you mimic all my gestures, hand raising, and intense body poses, you'll lose weight and taste God's joy for all peoples.

#3: This year's Bethlehem Conference for Pastors will host several seminars on resolution-making for the New Calvinist. The titles of these seminars are as follows: "Divine Sovereignty and Human Resolutions," "Dare to be Not like Driscoll," and "DeYoung and Restless Resolutions for the Rest of Us."

#4: If reading a book by a Catholic, known Arminian, or supposed liberal is listed in your 2017 resolutions, you should test yourselves again to see if you are truly in the faith.

#5: Resolutions that lack an action-plan for world missions, praying for every country in Operation World, and planning for an early-retirement that allows for missions work in closed countries, will be considered suspect.

#6: Any resolution not fronted with "If the Lord wills," is clearly heretical, invalid, and lacking of spiritual discernment.

#7: Since Jonathan Edwards is the litmus test for true Christianity, a minimum of 70 resolutions should be listed for 2017.

#satire