Monday, January 31, 2005

Visited By India's Finest

Yesterday, FBC was visited by Mr. & Mrs. K.M. Johns, a couple who have been ministering to India for over 30 years. They have come to visit the U.S. and churches in the American Baptist denomination.

They gave a greeting from our brothers and sisters in Christ from India. They also spoke to our Sunday school classes. Then they taught the children during a portion of the service. Mr. Johns shared his personal testimony as to how his father had died while he was very young. This led to a series of events which brought him to an orphanage. Because of a missionary sent from America years ago, Mr. Johns received Christ. Today Mr. and Mrs. Johns teach children about Christ and do many other things as well for our Lord's Kingdom.

After all was said and done, they went out of their way to meet the Scott City Christian School kids. The reason was simple. The SCCS raised $500.00 for the couple while collecting "change" over a period of about six months. This made a big impression on the missionary couple. When all was said and done, I think my family will be left with the bigger impression.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Witnessing to Mormons and Scripture Alone

Today I was caught completely off guard. Two mormon missionaries showed up at my door. Once again, they were female. I realize that is unusual, yet it is true. I have not kept up on my mormon witnessing skills, but I stuck to the basics and survived the encounter. Actually, I caught them in so many contradictions without ever discussing the Book of Mormon, that perhaps the Holy Spirit will use today's conversation to change their hearts. Only time will tell.

I have just recently started a new book written by James White called Scripture Alone. I have only read the first third of the first chapter, but it gave some great ideas on how to share the sufficiency of Scripture with those who deny that God still speaks to His people through the Bible and does so with clarity. So I highly recommend this book. How can you go wrong when just the first ten pages make it worth the money. If it can help me witness to mormon missionaries, it can help you in your understanding of the great doctrine delivered to the Saints.

So now some shameless advertsing. Click on the link (book) and get the book.

Hunt's Conspiracy Saga Continues

For those of you who read Dave Hunt and have been following his meltdown and anti-Calvinism crusade will enjoy some humor that David Hughes has written. Keep in mind that Dave Hunt has made the claims that there is a Calvinistic conspiracy against him (conspiracy theories seem to be the rage of the day) and that Acts 1-15 were originally written in Hebrew (his claim in order to get around Acts 13:48).

Here is an imaginary excerpt from an imaginary book about an imaginary conspiracy:


A stiff, cold breeze followed him through door, making it difficult for him to close and sending a chill down the spine of Sarah.

“Sorry Sarah”, Hunt said, closing the door and brushing the snow from his shoulders. “Any calls?”

“No Dave, not one. Just a few emails. Expecting any?”

Dave knew that they would come—phone calls, letters, emails, and faxes, all demanding an explanation for the claims he made about Acts 13. But he could not say anything. He could not reveal his source. He promised. He pinky swore.

“Sarah, did you happen to find any other sources for my claims?” he asked as he took off his coat and hung his hat on the hook.

“Yes I did Dave, and I’ve already responded to a couple of emails with the list of scholars I found through my extensive online research.”

“That’s wonderful!” Dave felt deep relief. He now had a response to all the questions and did not have to give up his source.

“But Dave, there was something strange about the list.”

“What’s that?”

“I attempted to contact some of these scholars. It seems that most of them have disappeared mysteriously.”

“What?” Dave felt a chill even though the room was now toasty-warm. “What do you mean they disappeared?”

“Well, they wouldn’t answer my emails. But I did get a response from one of them. His name is Dr. Phillips. He wants to meet with you. Here’s his number.” Sarah handed the sticky note to Dave.

“Why did you try to contact the sources?”

“The plot would go nowhere if I hadn’t.” She said, then continued with her typing.

Dave retreated to his office. The shelves were lined with hundreds of books, most of which he read through the previous week, carefully underlining and taking notes. He peered at the phone number on the note and picked up his phone. He dialed.

“Uh…hello?” The voice on the other end crackled.
“Dr. Phillips?” Dave asked.

“No no. This is Hideaway Pizza. Would you like to order? “

“No no,” Dave Responded. Are you sure this is Hideaway Pizza?”

“Heh. As sure as I am that Spurgeon believed in limited atonement.” The young man said with a laugh.

“Actually, he wasn’t….er..he was……well, at least he was inconsistent. Anyway, sorry. “

Dave looked again at the note. “Oh, that’s a FIVE.” He muttered to himself. He dialed again.

“Yes?” A quiet voiced answered.

“Is this Dr. Phillips?”

“Yes, it is. Mr. Hunt I presume?”

“Yes”, Hunt replied. “You had some information for me regarding the book of Acts?”

“Shhh!” the man said tersely. “Not over the phone! I’ll meet you at the café at the corner of 45th and Guadalupe. Thirty minutes.” The phone went dead.

The drive to the Minuteman Café was a short one, but the thoughts running through Dave’s head on the way over made it seem longer. As he sat in the booth, a small man wearing a dark coat approached and slid into the booth across from Dave.

“Are you Dr. Phillips?” Dave asked.

The man looked around the room, scanning the other tables. The restaurant had few patrons, and the man was scanning each of them with his eyes suspiciously.

“Yes” he whispered. “I am Dr. Phillips. I don’t have much time so listen to me carefully. You are onto something very big. Much bigger than you or me. What you stated in your book is accurate. Who was your source?”

“I can’t tell you that,” Hunt said. “I pinky swore.”

“It was Ted Anderson.” Phillips said.

“How did you…”

“There are only four of us who know. We guard a very important and dangerous secret. There used to be twelve of us. Eight have met with misfortune, including Ted.”

Hunt was shocked. “What happened to Ted?”

“A bizarre accident. A shelf above his desk with the entire set of the Early Church Fathers collapsed on top of him. Poor guy. Those are heavy.”

“I wouldn’t know. Do you think it was an accident?”

“All eight people who have died have met with similar ‘accidents’”.

Hunt was puzzled and now a little frightened. “What information do you have for me?” He asked.

Phillips once again scanned the room carefully. He then slide removed a thin, wooden box from his coat and slid it across the table. “Open it.” He said.

Dave’s fingers fumbled with the latch but at last freed it from the catch. The box was very old, but what was inside looked infinitely older.

“What is it?” He said. There, in the box under a layer of plexi-glass was what appeared to be a fragment from a very old document. It looked as if it were made from fibers in a mesh pattern.

“That, my friend, is what Calvinists don’t want you to seek. It’s what they sought to destroy for centuries. Calvin and Luther tried to destroy all copies. And now a modern conspiracy seeks to destroy what is before you.”

“What is it? It has some sort of gibberish written on it. Is that Greek.”

“No. Hebrew. It is the first five verses from Acts 13, from a document that pre-dates by at least two days the earliest Greek manuscript. ”

“What? I was right? My source was right? That means that the rendering of Acts 13;48…..”

Phillips finished his statement. “….could very possibly although not conclusively be rendered different than that of the modern versions. That is why that document before you could possibly although not conclusively be very dangerous. You must be careful. Now that you know, your life is in danger.”

Thursday, January 27, 2005

The Jesus Seminar and the Light of Truth

Does the name Dr. John Dominic Crossan ring a bell? No. How about the Jesus Seminar that was given so much air time on ABC News with Peter Jennings? Ahhhh, now you remember. Those are the liberal scholar wackos who determine which Scripture passages are true by voting with marbles.

It has been announced that James White and John Crossan will be debating the question "Is the Bible True?" Now those of you who desire to see the enemies of God become dismantled limb by limb will not be disappointed. This debate may be as lop-sided as John Pipa verses Dave Hunt on the Atonement.

It must be admitted that Crossan is no fool as to the arguments that conservatives put forth. So we will have to wait and see how the cross examination goes. It is one thing to get air time with idiots like Jennings who don't have the foggiest idea about Christianity, but it is quite another to go up against a Christian apologist who is very capable of not only proclaiming God's truth, but defending it from the likes of the Jesus Seminar.

The debate will take place before the Alpha and Omega's Cuise in late August as part of the trip.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Oh Unions of Differing Faiths

Every once in a while, a conversation concerning a high school age or college age young person and the topic of marriage comes up. Each time the question is, "Should our baptist youth be dating or marrying a person of a differing faith?" I don't even mean differing faiths from say a baptist to a methodist (which can be quite different historically speaking), but faiths that differ from each other as mormons and protestants.

I realize we live in a Rodney King "Can't we just all just get along world", but seriously, what kind of fellowship does light have with darkness? Do we now think that donkeys can be equally yoked with a bull and pull that ancient plow?

There used to be a time when truth divided. I suppose that if there is no such thing as truth, then we may do whatever we desire to be true. For those of us who desire and love the truth of God, then we must be consistent in our walk with Christ. We must seek to understand the purpose that God has given to marriage and not take God's will lightly.

As Jesus taught, "the two shall be one flesh."

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Salvation Part 6: Redemption

Before we deal with the issue of "So I can get saved and do what I want like kill people", we need to look at the term "redemption". Quite often, I think we overlook Peter's words when he says, "knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold...but with the precious blood...of Christ".

To redeem means to buy. Now let's be consistent. If Jesus purchased something, then it must belong to Him. If we are going to say that Jesus purchased everyone in the world ever, and yet billions of people go to hell, then Jesus didn't get what He paid for. Does Jesus own His people when He purchased them or not?

We may not like the teaching of particular redemption, but if Jesus bought you, then you belong to Him. It is really that simple. "How do we know if Jesus purchased us" you might ask? Well, I think we will have to continue with that on our next blog.

Friday, January 21, 2005

The Double Standard of Science

Let me clarify a little futher about the "truth" of evolution. I have asked enough evolutionists to know that the different theories that are put forth are just that, theories. They are theories or mechanisms by which scientists are searching to figure out how evolution happened.

In other words, evolution is tue, scientists just don't know for certain how it happened. So they don't know when it happened for certain, how it happened for certain, where it happened for certain or anything else for certain, but it did happened. In a public debate, I remember listening to one evolutionist argue that, "Hey, evolution must have happened because we are here."

What is being ASSUMED is that evolution is true, now let's prove it. Is that science? I thought the definition of science was supposed to be atheistic, naturalistic, materialistic? I thought science by it's own definition was to be led where the evidence takes you. Yet, science is attempting to prove what it already believes. If I do that with the Bible, that is considered circular reasoning, but if an evolutionary scientist does it, it is simply science. Slight double standard?

Let God Be True, and Every Man a Liar

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Iriony, Irony

I didn't even have to wait 24 hours to hear men contradict themselves. Just today I was listening to ABC News on the radio. One of their big stories is a new evolutionary theory. Yes, a new one. It seems that a new dinosaur extinction theory is now being promoted. Now dinosaurs are believed to have died off from lack of oxygen while having full stomachs. This being quite different from past theories.

Now the obvious question must be asked. Is this true for everyone except the Scott City science teacher? It certanly isn't true for me. It certanly isn't true a young lady who has believed God instead of the lie. Men's theories come and go, but God's truth remains.

Let God be true and every man a liar.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Truth From an Evolutionist?

Today in our local school, one of my friend's daughters learned a valuable lesson. Apparently God is lying to us. The earth, she was told, is billions of years old. When she said, "That is not true," the teacher began to mock her beliefs by saying that it must be true for everyone else, but it is not true for her. Now everytime the subject of evolution comes up, the teacher continues to mock how it is true for everyone except her.

Imagine that. An evolutionist mocking God's truth. On what basis is evolution declared true? Science proves it of course. How does science prove evolution? Since science is atheistic by definition, then everything must have a naturalistic explanation. Observations are the only way we know things.

Hold on now. Is the definition of science atheistic and naturalistic? What about the laws of logic? Who proved them to be true? Did we observe them is a test tube? How do we know observations are the only things we can know? Where did that rule come from? By the way, who has observed evolution? Was the teacher there?

I asked my son tonight, if he were allowed to go back to day 20 of the creation, how old would Adam look like? If he were an evolutionist, would Adam be considered a liar if Adam said he was only 20 days old while looking like he was 25?

Who is telling the truth anyway? Last time I checked, ALL of the science text books have been changed to meet the more modern scientific claims and the refuted earlier claims of science, but I discovered that when God speaks, His words stand forever. In a court of law, if someone has to keep changing their story [think of John Kerry and the Swift Boat Vets example], then perhaps that someone is a liar.

Let God be true and every man a liar.

Salvation part 5: Our high Priest & Intercessor

In a debate with the imploding Dave Hunt, John Pipa demonstrated the unified work of Jesus as being our High Priest with the atonement. Since we evangelicals don't have "priests" in this New Testament era, we often miss the rich meaning being being drawn from the Old Testament.

Under the Old Covenant, a priest would intercede on behalf of a particular people and mediate between two parties, God and Israel. We know from Hebrews chapters 7-10, that the Old Covenant priesthood was insufficient to bring about forgiveness of sins. They were simply a shadow of the substance which is fulfilled in Christ.

Under the New Covenant, Jesus, as our High Priest, intercedes and mediates on behalf of God's people. The offering that Jesus offers is His own scarifice. This New Covenant is a perfect Covenant simply because of who the High Priest is and what He offers to God.

Can you imagine Jesus in heaven pleading and interceding on behalf of a particular man, Jesus asking the Father to save him or her, Jesus offering His shed blood for him or her, yet, Jesus fails to save that person due to their "free-will"?

The Savior of the Scriptures is a powerful Savior who is ABLE to save us while we were yet UNABLE and sinners. I am very thankful that Jesus saved me from my worst enemy. ME!

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Salvation part 4: Substitutionary Atonement

Have you ever thought through the doctrine of Substitutionary atonement? Monday night I had a conversation with a man who believes that Jesus died for our sins, everyone's sins. I asked him if he believed in the doctrine of substitutionary atonement.

There is a strange phenomenon occuring in evangelicalism today. Many use reformed terminology while redefining historical terms. Historically speaking, substitutionary atonement means simply this: when Jesus died on the cross, the sins of His people are imputed or credited to Him.

So was anyone saved at the cross? If Jesus died to simply make salvation possible, then salvation falls squarely into the hands of men. If any of you, who call yourselves evangelical Christians, read this, think about all of the mormons who agree with that understanding. All of the religions of men make salvation some kind of cooperation where God's grace is coupled with man's choice and tada..., salvation!

If Jesus died as a substitute for every single individual, then why do sinners go to hell. According to my friend last Monday night, Jesus dies for all of our sins except for the sin of unbelief. Can anyone show me that from the Scriptures? Does not the Bible say that men are storing up wrath for themselves against the day of wrath due to their sins? How do you store up something that has been forgiven? Is unbelief something that Jesus can't pay for at the cross? Fourteen years ago, I did not believe in Jesus. Is that sin still unforgiven?

Maybe a better question would be, "Is it possible that all men would freely choose to remain in their unbelief and therefore Jesus saved no one at the cross?" How you answer this question will show what you truly think of yourself and God's sovereignty and majesty.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Rod Haxton: Our Local New York Timer

Our local newspaper editor must want to rid himself of his customers. As Rush Limbaugh has so often talked about, only liberal newspapers think they can berate their customers and think that their customers should keep coming back for more. They really think they are doing conservatives a favor by telling them how stupid they are and how unworthy they are of their service to them.

Rod Haxton, if you read this somehow, please realize something. We don't agree with you. Those of us here in Scott City who buy your paper do so for one obvious reason. You sell the only paper in town. Trust me sir, if any other person came to town who was even remotely neutral and objective, you would be out of business.

To mock God's Law and His people may bring you joy, but God's people despise those who so blatantly reject His truth. To redefine marriage outside of God's revelation and then side with the enemies of God is your choice. I realize making this statement may make me a fundamentalist. Please keep your New York Times editorials coming. More and more of us will just go to alternative media, or are you unaware of that phenomenon too?

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Salvation part 3: Union in Christ

Some may wonder about Eternal Security. Of course God knew what we would do, but did He really choose us? The text of Scripture is quite clear. God's people have been joined to Christ since before the foundation of the world.

Think about the meaning of Baptism. In some strange, mystical way, God has united God's people with Christ. It can be said that when Christ lived His righteous life, that life belongs to God's people by faith. It can also be said that when Jesus died, we died; when Jesus was buried, we were buried; when Jesus was raised, we were raised; when Jesus is seated with the Father, we are seated in the heavenly places with Christ.

The church is the bride of Christ, so she is in union with Him. Notice also the unity of man in Romans 5. All men die due to Adam's sin. Which is why Paul is able to say that all in Christ are made alive in Christ. So there is a unity among men who are in Adam and a unity of men who are in Christ.

So when one asks if I can get "saved" and keep on sinning is missing the point. Adam's life is sinful. That life is given to all of his posterity. Christ's life is righteous. That life is given to His people. So Paul is able to say, "How can we keep on sinning when we have died to sin?"

In other words, only the true man of God who has a new heart and new life in Christ can truly say, "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me."

Monday, January 10, 2005

Salvation part 2: God's Election

I had an interesting conversation yesterday afternoon with a man who believed that God intends to save every single individual ever. I then asked him about people who have never heard of Jesus or the gospel. He stated, "It is not fair if everyone does not get a chance to go to heaven." I then asked pointed questions that caused him to say, "I don't know. I never thought about that."

The wonder of the teaching of Scripture is not that God hates sinners (something most people are amazed to hear and reject), but that He loves anyone. I need to be crystal clear here before I make my next point. There are no God seekers, no, not even one. No one thinks of themselves as being God haters, but we are by nature. We must be consistent in our thinking and look to the Scriptures for what God has said to these things.

If man is so dead in sin then God must be free to raise the dead. In order for grace to be grace, it can not be demanded by the creature (what so many preach today is that God must give everyone a chance). It is the nature of grace that it is free and freely GIVEN. This grace must be sufficient to save or God is an imperfect Savior.

In the Old Testament, God chose a people for Himself. He did not choose Egypt or Canaan. He did not choose the Philistines, Hittites, Jebusites or ect.. He chose Israel. In the New Testament, God has chosen as Peter says, "You are a chosen race, a royal Priesthood, a Holy Nation..."

This is the foundation to man's salvation. God has chosen or elected a people from every nation, tribe and language. He has chosen a number that can not be numbered. He also has chosen them IN CHRIST. There is no one who is chosen outside of Christ. These chosen ones are united in some way with Christ before the foundation of the world.

NO! God did not look down the corridor of time and see who would choose Him. God chooses according to the pleasure of His will to the Glory of His grace. Therefore there is no man that may boast that he was somehow smarter or more spiritual in his salvation.

This forms the basis of what has been called Eternal security. But some of you will ask, "So I can get saved and keep on sinning?" I will deal with that soon enough. So hang in there.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Salvation Part 1, God is Free, Men Are Sinners

Ok, Ok, I know. The previous post was a bit vague. After this morning's sermon, I'm ready to go. Lynne preached a sermon that led a woman to come and recieve Christ. Lynne is preaching through an outline based upon our Confession of faith which is a form of the 1833 New Hampshire Confession of Faith. So I think I am now ready to start where Paul started in Romans.

Before I get to the nature of man and why he needs a Savior, Paul tells us that God is the Creator. This is fundamentally important. If evolution is true (macroevolution), then there is no need of a Creator. But Paul assumes, as all the Bible writers do, there is a Creator, hence, everything is created. Therefore, when God creates He creates with a purpose so that everything and every event is created by God for a purpose. The nature of God is also plainly seen by what has been made so that we are without excuse.

Paul then tells us that all men know about God, but this knowledge does not save man. This knowledge only condemns man. Therefore, man does what he does while lost in his sin. He surpresses the truth of God and exchanges the truth for a lie.

I now want to be clear here. Man is a sinner. Man is a God hater. There is NO God seeker. All men sin and fall short of God's glory. You may say that you know a lot of non-Christian people who are very religious and seek God's truth. Notice that I did not say before that "man is not religious", for he is. But men reject the true Creator/creature relationship. He does so by his choosing and his sinful bent. Man's total inability to obey God could not be better expressed than when Jesus stated, "no one is able to come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day."

Man is dead in sin. Man is in rebellion. Man is a slave of sin. There is no "cooperating power" in man to assist God. There is no "prevenient grace" that helps every single individual ever to choose or not choose Christ. Men do not have an autonomous free-will.

I am not saying that every individual is as bad as they could be. For God has restrained men in their evil passions. The law of God as enforced by governments has been the main reason man has not been as bad as he could be. Nations that have no restraint on evil are nations under God's judgment.

When we allow the Bible to speak to us and tell us who God is and what man is, then we may come to a solid foundation for understanding how salvation works.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Why Do We Assume?

I saw yet another Tradition confronted today. Someone didn't do what they were supposed to do. Someone didn't fit the theological mold. Hearts are broken. People assuming things in the backround. Hush. Hush.

Things that I have predicted for years come to pass yet once again. Am I some kind of prophet? Well, not really. Sometimes experience is the best teacher. When false teaching is taught to people either explicitly or implicitly, error always manages to destroy lives.

"Once Saved Always Saved. Do not question your salvation," it is often said. "Remember, you prayed that sinner's prayer."

How often have we heard "believers" say they were Christians, only to see them depart from the faith? Were their everyday lives growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ? In a day of "do not judge", "believers" simply assume they were saved because they spoke the right words or went to church every Sunday.

I guess the question is, "Why do we assume 'Once Saved, Always Saved'?" Is it a doctrine taught in Scripture? Is there a verse that says if you pray the sinner's prayer with good intentions you can never be lost, so don't question your salvation?

Perhaps the question is more fundamental. Perhaps we need to question our Traditions and Assumptions and look to the Scriptures and see what the Gospel of Christ truly is. Pastor Lynne will be preaching a series titled the "Old Time Gospel". I am excited to hear what he will have to say over the next few months. Look for the next installment as I deal with the nature of God's Grace and man. I think between the both of us, some Traditions may fall.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Earthquakes Signs of the End?

Many are asking, "Are earthquakes really signs of the end of the world?" In Matthew 24 Jesus tells us, "See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in My Name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will mislead many. You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs."

TV self proclaimed prophecy experts claim that the "birth pangs" is key to understanding the end times. Just as a woman's birth pangs get closer together till the baby comes so there will be an increase of "earthly" birth pangs or an increase of earthquakes, showing that the end must be near. Then these prophecy experts (non-scientists) become experts at reading geological data provided by sensors in the earth to detect earthquakes. Since the data gives the appearance that earthquakes are on the rise, the end must be at hand. Therefore, their interpretation of Jesus' words in Matthew 24 must be true.

Hold on though. Geology expert Steven Austin of the Institute for Creation Research demonstrates that not only is the scientific data being misinterpreted, so is Matthew 24. First, for so many of us Matthew 24 has been read in the context of bad science for so long that we simply assume that any other alternative interpretation is unbiblical. Are we really thinking that there are more wars today than in the past? Is there an increase in nations rising against nations? Are there more famines today than ever? If you think so, please watch the History channel. We must look at the intentions of Jesus' words, not some forced interpretation that seeks to predict the end of the world.

Second, a more scientific interpretation of the geological evidence shows that there are far less earthquakes today than in the past. The reason according to Austin is simple. There is far more equipment in the earth today than in the past. Yes, amazingly enough, the newer equipment happens to be more sensitive too.

The power of tradition is enormous. Let this year be the year we challenge ourselves to learn how to put Scripture first. Let us learn to exegete the texts in a way that would be God honoring.

See the Christian Research Journal Volume 21/number 4 for the article, Are Earthquakes Signs of the End Times?

Church Government

How should the church function in the 21st century? What does the Bible have to say about church government? Listen to a Reformed Baptist perspective on the nature of the church by Dr. James White. Click here. There is also a new debate book titled, Perspectives on Church Government: Five Views of Church Polity, published byBroadman & Holman Publishers.

It is a breathe of fresh air to hear godly men address these issues. It is so often that we simply assume that what we are doing is biblical simply because it feels right or that "we have always done it that way." When numbers or popularity become the benchmark of success (ie: the mega-churches that have McDonalds and Starbucks), I think we ought to be a little concerned.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Traditions in the New Year

Happy New Year!

Last night we celebrated at the church with some families while playing games. It was a good time.

While we were cleaning up, I was told of a teacher in our church "who has some weird ideas, like being able to lose your salvation." What a great way to start the New Year. To learn of someone who teaches the incomplete work of salvation in our lives as believers.

Part of the problem, as I began to explain to this person, is that in a volunteer ministry, we as leaders of the church do not equip our volunteers with the ability to "rightly divide" the Scriptures. Too many people who have no ability to exegete the Scriptures are in positions that they should not be in. Jesus and His Apostles remind us throughout the New Testament that false teachers will always be IN the church. I am not saying this person in particular is a false teacher. Quite often we have people in our churches, who have never been challenged in their "traditions" and hence never been forced to come to "consistent" conclusions.

Perhaps in this New Year, we as Christians will be willing to be "ever reforming" as the Reformation sought in centuries past. Traditions are not evil, as long as they are submitted to the final authority of Scripture.