Worshiping Our Peers

30 10 2008

My good friend, Viz, write a great article on his thoughts about how we are so prone to worship our peers.  Here’s the first paragraph:

Observation: men seek other men to identify with. The Gospel puts a twist on this: we are commanded to identify with Christ, both directly and indirectly. By directly, I mean that we’re to present our lives as living sacrifices, being transformed into Christlikeness (Romans 12:1-2). By indirectly, I mean that we’re to mark those who are conforming themselves to Christ, and follow them (Philippians 3:17). But instead, we young men seem far too impressed with those who should only be pointers to Christ.  Read the rest.


Fear God and Keep His Commandments

28 10 2008

This semester is full of lessons that are growing me by leaps and bounds.  One such lesson would be found straight out of  Ecclesiastes 12:13.  It says, “The end of the matter; [after] all has been heard.  Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”

I can’t get over that statement because it changes your whole priority as a person.  There’s a huge push in the reformed realm to read a lot of books and there’s always a “latest-greatest” book to read.  I’ve been caught up in that push and I have at least a couple hundred books on my shelf that are waiting to be read.  However, there is a much more pressing need.

Books are a great thing, and I’m not one to advocate that we should only be about reading our Bible, I think we can definitely find biblical support against that.  I am saying, though, that we need to make sure our priorities are in line.

For me, I don’t know God’s Word.  My memory base of Scripture is incredibly small, and though I know generally what each book of the Bible is about, I really can’t break it all down into specifics.  Now, how am I suppose to fear God and keep His commandments if I don’t know Him and what He says and where.

I’m done fooling myself by thinking because I know theological terms and I’ve got the logic to support it that I know enough of the Bible that I can start tearing through books.  The truth is, I can argue a doctrine with logic, but if asked for Scriptural support, I will close to none if any at all.   Logic is no good without the truth of God’s Word to give it authority and power.

I can fool a lot of people with my logic, but logic doesn’t save or change lives.  Only by the very Words of God are people changed and that’s all it takes.  This summer in NYC, I was witnessing by just having people read verses.  If they didn’t believe it, I kept making them read it after 3-5 times reading it, they actually believed it and accepted it as truth.

Another example would be this past weekend.  My friend was having a hard time with some things going on in her life, and I’m trying to give her some encouragment, admonish her, and give some solutions.  I talked to her the next day about it, and she was very honest with me about it and told me that what I had to say wasn’t very helpful or encouraging; but one of her friends spent time with her later that night and just quoted Scripture for about an hour to her and she said that was exactly what she needed.

The difference is obvious.  I used my logic and my own words to try to help her, and the other person said nothing except quotes from Scripture.  The truth of God is incredibly powerful!  And I need that more than anything else right now in my life and I need it if I ever want to a real help to someone.

So yah, I’m on the war path to search out God right now and gain more fear and more knowledge of Him from Him and no where else.

Can the pagan sing lullabies to comfort the redeemed?

28 10 2008

I am so grateful for the friends God has put in my life.  I was admonished through an email sent by a friend the other day.  It was in response to a comment I had made about secular music.

Can the pagan sing lullabies to comfort the redeemed?
What can the pagan say that so resonates in the heart of a child of God?
Has a heart been regenerated if it finds fellowship with the still
stone-hearted siren?
If the pagan meets us where we are at, should that not startle us out
of our carnal rebellion or apathy?
If the Word alone is to be the counsel of the Christian, why would he
cuddle up close to be counseled by the word of the wicked?
When the Mighty Savior radically transforms a vile sinner, shall he
remain in his worldly ignorance, continuing to follow the pagan pied

What is Fundamentalism?

16 10 2008

Many people claim to be Fundamentalists, but the majority don’t fully know what it means.  Here’s a great definition taken from “Pursuit of Purity” by David O. Beale.

Fundamentalism means giving time, talent, and money for the defense of the Faith.  Fundamentalism means subjecting oneself to scorn, criticism, heartache, and rejection for sound doctrine and a position untainted by worldly and ecclesiastical inclusivism.  Fundamentalism means both separation from liberals and from brethren who “walk disorderly, and not of the tradition” of our founding fathers.  Fundamentalism means watching what we believe, going down to defeat, and rising up to start all over again.

There’s a lot more that could be said for every word of that paragraph, but suffice to say that Fundamentalism is more than what kind of church service you have, what standards you set, or what the name of your church is.  It’s about taking a militant stand behind the fundamentals of the Scripture and fighting tooth and nail for them.

Fundamentalism wasn’t started as a separation from the world but from those who proclaimed to be Christians but held a lesser view of the Scriptures.  Fundamentalism at it’s core was intended to find the bare minimal essentials needed to fellowship so that there could be fellowship with as many believers in as many denominations as possible (that is implying that Baptists and Fundamentalists are not synonymous).

Instead, we see the typical Fundamentalist church today, isolated from other denominations and even churches within their own denomination.  The focus no longer is on how close can we get to someone else without having to separate, but how far can we can get from everyone; and they rest in the comfort of their reclusiveness. 

My generation is fed up with this philosophy, but unfortunately, they remain as ignorant as everyone else.  My generation views Fundamentalism as a church that wears suits, listens to traditional music, and has all these legalistic standards.  So what do they do, they reject Fundamentalism all together, but they don’t realize that Fundamentalism doesn’t having anything to do with those things mentioned above. 

A person can openly claim to be a die-hard Fundamentalist and be the pastor of a church that wears shorts and flip-flops on Sunday, worships with contemporary music, and even has a drink now and then.  A true Fundamentalist holds to 5 pillars: the total inerrancy of the Scriptures, the virgin birth of Jesus Christ, the deity of Jesus Christ, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and salvation by faith alone through the death, burial, and resurrection of the incarnate Jesus Christ.

These 5 things must be our battle cry, and they should be used primarily as a means of fellowship and second as a means of separation.  This is something that all generations must grasp the concept of before more young people keep running away from something they have a false view of.

Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with  one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospe.  Philippians 1:27

The Proverbs 31 Woman

16 09 2008

My professor has a high standard of punctuality and a great philosophy on learning.  Today we’re going through the book of Proverbs.

There was a laugh in the class when Dr. Farmer talked about Mother’s Day in church when the preacher uses the Proverbs 31 text and makes all the mothers feel guilty and then says “Happy Mother’s Day!”

Dr. Farmer says he thinks the text is being misused.  He encourages us as young men with the fact that the Proverbs 31 wife isn’t something we can expect to find here at school because the girls here are not matured like the one in the passage. Instead, how our wife turns out is heavily dependent on what we are as husbands.  It is our responsibility to be the leader and help them grow into the Proverbs 31 wife.

So how are we to look for a wife without these signs?  Dr. Farmer says that we need to be looking for a woman who fears the Lord above all else because the fear of the Lord is beginning of not only wisdom but everything.
I think that’s a great point for us as singles to remember as we look for that special someone.  Its also a challenge for you married men, that you be the leader for your wife because how you lead determines who she’ll be.

Don’t Waste Your Summer: Take Time to Smell the Roses

28 07 2008

I planned out the “Don’t Waste Your Summer” series with all the topics back at the beginning of summer. It’s funny because I think this week’s series has a whole new meaning to me now then when it was planned. I was just talking to my friend about this a couple nights ago and she calls it the “summer blues”.

It’s that time of summer break when the vacation-from-school feeling has worn off and you’ve had your summer fun. Now, everything seems mundane and monotonous. You can sense that school is drawing near, and you kind of want to go back but you still want to make this summer the best yet. Does that sound familiar to you?

The question is, how do you break out of this cycle that is whisking your summer away? or better yet, what causes the cycle? Because, if we can identify the problem that is causing our summers to become “old hat” then the problem can be fixed.

Like anything that you do for a while, you get wrapped up in whatever drama there is that goes along with it. So often we find ourselves enclosed in this box and we loose touch with the reality that there’s more to life outside of our own. Whether it’s work, a girlfriend or boyfriend (aka “work”), a sport, or a hobby, sometimes it becomes habit and routine and we loose the happiness that we once found in it.

That’s when it’s time for a detox. Just like we need to regularly detox (flush out) our system by going on a temporary short-term diet. So also, our lives need a good detox on a regular basis to help us feel fresh again and put things in perspective. The common method is a vacation which most of us do at least once a year, but that’s not enough and you can’t go on vacations all the time like you need.

So, what you need is a simple break. Whether it’s going on a walk for an hour by yourself, sitting outside watching creation, or even excersing. Whatever it is that you find most enjoyable and relaxing, and don’t even think about reading a book or listening to music. Just take a break from everything. The more you do this, the better.

Another thing that I’ve really enjoyed is meditation. Not prayer (although it is often incorporated), all I do is sit in a quiet place and close my eyes and evaluate my life and look back things. I also like to think about who God is and where he’s brought me. I’ve benefited a lot from these times.

I hope that’s a help to you and you’ll take opportunity of your summer to not let your summers become stale, but to keep them alive by getting outside the box and finding enjoyment in the simple things.

Don’t waste your summer!

Previous Posts:
Don’t Waste Your Summer: Read Books
Don’t Waste Your Summer: Speak Truth
Don’t Waste Your Summer: Do a Study
Don’t Waste Your Life: Get in a Bible Study
Don’t Waste Your Summer: Save
Don’t Waste Your Summer: Meet New People
Don’t Waste Your Summer: Blog (more)

Don’t Waste Your Summer: Blog (More)

15 07 2008

I’ve been blogging for 3yr now which seems like a long time to be writing. I wasn’t very consistent at all when I first started up until this year which you can read more about. I’ve come to see blogging in a whole new light which motivates me to write.

Think about it this way, a pastor preaches 3 times a week usually, and he reaches a select group of people. Now maybe his sermon is recorded, and maybe it’s even put on Sermon Audio, but that’s not the norm. Most sermons preached are heard once and almost never listened to again. Unlike a blog, where I write something, and I have people reading it for months, even years which amounts to far more people than we have in my church.

Do you see what I’m saying? The amount of people that can be reached through blogging is huge, and the impact of what our words are making in their lives cannot be measured, but I’m sure people like something about what we write since we have a consistent amount of readers everyday. I’m not saying that a pastor’s job isn’t as effective as blogging, but I am saying that blogging adds a totally different dynamic than that of a pastor’s.

If you have a blog, I encourage you to write more on it. Writing is an excellent habit to get into, and blogging is such a powerful means of ministry. If you don’t have a blog, I would strongly suggest that you look into getting one. You don’t have to write super long posts, Abraham Piper sure doesn’t. You don’t have to be an expert or a deep intellectual. There’s all types of people out there who are interested in different styles and different content. I guarantee there’s a group out there who would love what you have to say.

This is the perfect time to start blogging or start doing it more often when you’ve got the freedom of summer to start a new routine. If you’re interested in starting to blog, my suggestion would be to look into Blogger or WordPress which are both free blogging sites that are simple to use. If you do end up starting a blog or you want to start blogging more, let me know about it in the comments section.

Don’t waste your summer!

Previous Posts:

Don’t Waste Your Summer: Read Books
Don’t Waste Your Summer: Speak Truth
Don’t Waste Your Summer: Do a Study
Don’t Waste Your Life: Get in a Bible Study
Don’t Waste Your Summer: Save
Don’t Waste Your Summer: Meet New People