Daily Archives: August 8, 2013

The Elephants Debt: James MacDonald & Harvest Bible Chapel Recent Developments

Former HBC Elder, Dan Marquart, cites MacDonald’s behavior, secrecy regarding salary and HBC authority structure as the reasons for his departure. Also, HBC Elders reply, and Marquart responds to HBC Elders.

On June 22, 2013, we informed you that three HBC elders, Scott Phelps, Dan Marquardt and Barry Slabaugh, resigned from the elder board, and now, the disclosure of Marquardt’s resignation letter and other communication provides a far more detailed account of the serious character concerns that drove Marquardt to resign.

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Mum’s the Word on Divorce: The Church’s Scandalous Silence

If I asked you to name the “hot button” social issues of concern to Christians, you’d probably cite abortion and gay marriage right away. Of course, the coarse and hyper-sexualized nature of popular culture might also come to mind.

But what probably wouldn’t come to mind is the high incidence of divorce. Given the clear biblical teaching on the subject and its impact on families and children, that is, to put it mildly, more than a little odd.

Actually, as one Christian leader rightly puts it, our lack of attention to the subject is a “scandal.”

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Alas! The Emperor in the West has no clothes on!

A Twisted Crown of Thorns ®

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Looking at the trends in the West through the eyes of Christians in Africa it appears as though, says Conrad Mbewe, the Western Emperor is marauding with no clothes on. Yet no one dares say….

Even if you tried to bury your head in the sand, you can still hear the tremor in the ground of the Western carnival that is coming. The music and dancing are getting louder and louder. It is one of human-rights-with-no-holds-barred. It is coming with all the revelry that you would expect. It cannot be ignored.

However, one problem with this procession is that it long left its original route. There are no principles to guide it, except the whims of those who are hiding behind its masks and leading it in whichever direction they please. Even those of us who are in Africa are totally alarmed by its lack of principles.

The other…

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Surprise! IRS assault on churches started with Holder

The seeds of the IRS targeting of conservative groups were planted by Eric Holder in 2001 when as deputy attorney general under President Bill Clinton he convinced incoming Attorney General John Ashcroft to seize the building of a conservative megachurch, says the church’s retired pastor.

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Fukushima leaking radioactive water for ‘2 years, 300 tons flowing into Pacific daily’

The rate at which contaminated water has been pouring into the Pacific Ocean from the disabled Fukushima nuclear plant is worse than thought before, an Industry Ministry official said as PM Shinzo Abe pledged to step up efforts to halt the crisis.

“We think that the volume of water is about 300 tons a day,” said Yushi Yoneyama, an official with the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, which regulates Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO).

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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (RJS)

Ray Comfort at The Way of the Master released a new video – put it up on YouTube and made it available for purchase just after midnight Wednesday morning. The provocative title? Evolution vs. God. This trailer should give a bit of an idea what the video is like:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=1gv2xbXkAfs

You can find the entire video (some 38 minutes) on YouTube if interested. I’ve watched it a couple of times and have to say that it contains a rather interesting mix of the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

Read More Here: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2013/08/08/the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly-rjs/

Question 31-Puritan Catechism

Reformedontheweb's Blog

SpurgeonQ. What benefits do they who are effectually called, partake of in this life?

A. They who are effectually called, do in this life partake of justification, (Romans 8:30) adoption, (Ephesians 1:5) sanctification, and the various benefits which in this life do either accompany, or flow from them. (1 Corinthians 1:30)

Charles Haddon Spurgeon-A Puritan Catechism

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Early August 2013 Presuppositional Apologetics Links

Personal Priorities for Godly Leaders – John MacArthur

A survey of today’s evangelical landscape can be a letdown. Biblical teaching is scarce and moral scandals abound. Too many church leaders have concealed sexual sin and financial schemes behind a thin façade of ministry. Eventually the world exposes their hypocrisy, shaming believers, discrediting the gospel, and defaming the Lord. In that setting, it is imperative that a true Christian leader have irreproachable character.

The biblical standard for a church leader’s character is found in 1 Timothy 3. Paul initially lists several moral qualifications for an elder: He is to be “the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money” (1 Timothy 3:2–3).

Sexual Purity

A leader must first be “the husband of one wife.” The Greek text literally reads “a one-woman man.” That phrase doesn’t refer to marital status at all but to his moral character regarding his sexual behavior. If he is married, he is to be devoted solely to his wife.

It is possible, however, to be married to one woman yet not be a one-woman man. Jesus said, “Everyone who looks on a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). A married—or unmarried—man who lusts after women is unfit for ministry. An elder must love, desire, and think only of the wife God has given him.

That qualification was especially important in the church at Ephesus, the sexually perverse city where Timothy ministered. Many, if not most, of the congregation had at one time or another fallen prey to sexual evil. If that was a man’s experience before he came to Christ, it wasn’t a problem (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:17). If it happened after his conversion, but before he assumed a leadership role, it was a problem. If it happened after he assumed a leadership role, it was a definite disqualification (1 Corinthians 9:24–27). Those same standards apply to men in positions of spiritual leadership today.

Sexual purity is a major issue in ministry, and that’s why Paul placed it at the top of his list. It is in this arena, above all others, where leaders are most prone to fall. The inability to be a one-woman man may have put more men out of the ministry than any other issue.

Not Given to Excess

A leader in God’s church must also be “temperate.” The Greek word translated “temperate” (nēphalios) means “without wine” or “not mixed with wine.” It refers to sobriety, the opposite of intoxication.

Because of their position, example, and influence, certain Jewish leaders abstained from wine. Priests were not to enter God’s house while under its influence (Leviticus 10:9). Kings were advised not to consume wine because it might hinder their judgment (Proverbs 31:4–5). The Nazirite vow, the highest vow of spiritual commitment in the Old Testament, forbade its participants from drinking wine (Num. 6:2-3). In the same way, spiritual leaders today must avoid intoxication so that they might exercise responsible judgment and set an example of Spirit-controlled behavior.

It’s likely Paul’s primary usage of nēphalios went beyond the literal sense of avoiding intoxication and extended to the figurative sense of being alert and watchful. An elder must deny any excess in life that diminishes clear thinking and sound judgment. Commentator William Hendriksen said, “His pleasures are not primarily those of the senses . . . but those of the soul” (Exposition of the Pastoral Epistles [Grand Rapids: Baker, 1981], 122).

Drinking is only one area in which excess can occur. Overeating has been called the preacher’s sin, and often that’s a just criticism. If a man cannot exercise self-control and discipline over something as basic as his physical appetites, he proves that he is irresponsible, immature, and unfit to lead. A leader who displays uncontrolled excess of any kind weakens his testimony and cripples his usefulness.

Paul’s point is clear: Godly spiritual leaders must be moderate and balanced in every area of life.

Self-Disciplined

It follows that a “temperate” leader will be “prudent,” or self-disciplined. The temperate man avoids excess so he can think clearly, which leads to an orderly, disciplined life. He knows how to order his priorities.

A prudent man is serious about spiritual things. That doesn’t mean he is cold and humorless, but he tempers his humor by the realities of the world. A world that is lost, disobedient to God, and bound for hell leaves little room for frivolity in his ministry.

Such a man has a sure and steady mind. He is not rash in judgment, but thoughtful, earnest, and cautious. He follows Paul’s counsel in Philippians 4:8: “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” His mind is controlled by God’s truth, not the whims of the flesh. Jesus Christ reigns supreme over every area of his life.

Well-Organized

It follows that a man who is prudent will have a “respectable” or orderly life. That means he handles every area of his life in a systematic, orderly manner. His well-disciplined mind leads to a well-disciplined life.

The Greek word translated “respectable” is kosmios and derives from the root kosmos. The opposite of kosmos is “chaos.” A spiritual leader must not live in constant chaos, but in an orderly fashion since his work involves administration, oversight, scheduling, and establishing priorities.

The ministry is no place for a man whose life is a continual confusion of unaccomplished plans and unorganized activities. Over the years I have seen many men who had difficulty ministering effectively because they were unable to concentrate on a task or systematically set and accomplish goals. Such disorder is a disqualification.

These traits lay the foundation for a man’s ministry. He must have his personal life under control to be an effective overseer. However, there are other qualities he must also possess which directly affect the people he serves in leadership. We’ll look at those next time.

 

(Adapted from Divine Design. All Scripture quotations are from the New American Standard Bible.)


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B130808     COPYRIGHT ©2013 Grace to You

Dates, Doctrines, & Dead People (Part 2)

Last week, we began a series articulating 10 reasons every Christian should learn more about church history. We started with the fact that most believers are clueless about church history, and that ignorance leaves them vulnerable to all sorts of error and misconception about the past. Today we will consider three more reasons why church history is important … and why it should matter to you.

Read More Here: http://thecripplegate.com/dates-doctrines-dead-people-part-2/

Lead Me In Your Truth and Teach Me Your Paths

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

A Psalm of David. To You, O LORD, I lift up my soul. 2 O my God, in You I trust, Do not let me be ashamed; Do not let my enemies exult over me. 3 Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed; Those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed. 4 Make me know Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths. 5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; For You I wait all the day.  (Psalms 25:1-5 NASB)

Doubting God and His promises, worrying about things that are in God’s control are sins. Our enemy focuses primarily in His attacks on us by attempting to bring us to a place where we doubt God. This struggle comes to all who commit themselves to serving God with their lives. The closer they draw to God, the more Satan or…

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The Gospel: God-Centered Vs. Man-Centered

Sadly, there’s growing confusion surrounding the Gospel itself within mainstream evangelicalism.

With this in mind, Apprising Ministries gives you a look at a critical aspect of God’s Gospel here.

THE GOSPEL: GOD-CENTERED VS. MAN-CENTERED