Thursday, July 26, 2007

Local NY Times Stands For Gay Marriage?

Our Local New York Times Editor wrote a July 19th editorial entitled, When Sin Is On the Other Conservative Foot. Now as usual, I have yet to see his reason and logic. For the last two/thirds of the editorial he writes a satirical conversation between Senator Vitter of Louisiana and God. In the end he more than demonstrates that Sen. Vitter has no moral authority to pass legislation against gay marriage.

Now I must admit that I like satire. If I did not know who wrote this particular editorial, I would have whole-heartedly agreed with this portion of it. Mr. Haxton is condemning men who are not qualified for a particular office. Lawmakers in Congress should be above reproach. Sen. Vitter deserves to be removed from office.

My contention with our Local New York Times Editor is not this particular argument, but his conclusion. Is he really against Sen. Vitter’s behavior, or is there something more to his argument? For instance, the first paragraph says:

“Being an Evangelical Christian not only gives you a direct line to God, but it apparently puts you in the express lane (10 sins or fewer) when it comes to seeking forgiveness.”

Now he has written this thought many times. Is he really concerned that there are immoral Senators attempting to pass legislation against immorality? If that were the case, why do we Scott City subscribers never see an editorial against Democrats? Even in the same state Rep. William Jefferson was smuggling $10,000 cash in his home freezer. The same Rep. also used the National Guard during Hurricane Katrina to retrieve that money. Isn’t it odd that we didn’t read one blip about that?

The truth comes out when Haxton writes these two paragraphs:

While the Senate was debating the ‘Protection of Marriage Amendment,’ Vitter was a vocal opponent of gay marriage. He said nothing was more important in ‘promoting that stable, loving, nurturing home environment’ necessary to avoid many of society’s ills.

Of course, one might also maintain a nurturing home environment by using a pay phone that can’t be traced.”

[Hustler exposed Vitter’s phone calls to a “D.C. Madam”.]

Again, if Haxton were just arguing for a removal of this man from office, I would commend him. Haxton is however not really arguing that, for he is plainly for immoral behavior.

This is where Haxton’s hypocrisy truly blazes forth. The problem is that Haxton doesn’t believe Evangelicals have a direct line with God. He really doesn’t believe God is able to speak at all. For nowhere in the satire does Haxton ever defend Gay Marriage, he simply assumes it while arguing through satire that judging others is wrong.

On what basis does Haxton defend gay marriage? Is this a moral issue? When he argues against God speaking, what does he do with Jesus’ words in defining marriage?

And He answered and said, ‘Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, and said, 'FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH'? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together let no man separate.’”

To put it another way, if Haxton’s main argument is that we should not judge others, then why write a satire that clearly judges? What presuppositions is he using? How can he say anything is wrong if God’s revelation and voice is now mute? Why should I accept his weak kneed conventional morality over my superior position? Arguing against hypocrisy is one thing. Arguing that Vitter’s position is wrong through his hypocrisy is illogical. [I do agree that simply arguing that marriage is better by contemporary standards is weak at best, and I would not side with the thoughtless and intellectually barren popular conservative arguments.]

Over the years, it has been interesting for me observe how men borrow from the Christian worldview in order to condemn the Christian worldview. To assume Christianity is true and then to repudiate it is illogical and irrational. Perhaps that is why the New York Times is losing subscribers. Perhaps that is why the Local New York Times is as well?

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Missionaries Kidnapped

Mr. Adam asked, "Why shouldn't we believe that Ellison would stand up for my right to be an atheist?" The answer is simple. Islam overthrows freedom for control. This is why Christianity is so feared among Islamic countries. The idea of Liberty of Conscience is fundamentally Christian. You may read here a story of Missionaries who have been kidnapped.

Have you ever wondered why atheistic/communistic countries such as the old Soviet Union made Christianity illegal? Same reason. Men who have Liberty in Christ will seek true freedom for all men.

The problem always comes down to the issue of government and separation of powers. I think the Framers of our nation understood the issues far better than people do today.

Pastor Groover Leaves For IL

Pastor Ed Groover has made it official. He is leaving Bible Fellowship Church of Dighton.
"As many of you know, the Lord has called me and Gloria to a new ministry. The First Baptist Church of Robinson, IL has issued a call to me to become their pastor and I have accepted. We are grateful for the wonderful way the Lord brought us together with FBC in a clear, unmistakable way. He put things together so smoothly and with every door wide open."
I will miss the long conversations and challenging teaching of this pastor. He is a pastor who understands the role of a pastor and understands exegetically based expository preaching. There are far and few who understand and practice the preaching ministry as he does.

He is going to First Baptist Church of Robinson, IL.

God Speed Pastor.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Is Ellison On Our Side?

The Left in this country seems to really believe President Bush is the new Hitler. I first personally experienced this several years ago at our State Fair. A man approached me at the Republican booth and started to explain to me in front of everyone how rotten Bush was. After his cloaked language was available for all to hear I asked him a pointed question. "Are you saying Bush is a new Hitler?"

"Well, I am not saying that."

"You said everything except that."

He went into denial at this point. Everyone listening in front of that booth was able to clearly see how looney the Left is. Yet I have to wonder why some Americans insist on thinking this way. In the great state of Minnesota, the people actually elected a Left Wing Loon, Rep. Keith Ellison.

WND reports that he [Ellison] is reminded "of the Nazis' use of the burning of Berlin’s Reichstag parliament building in 1933 to expand their power."

I am amazed. Al-Qaida is also being reported as cooking children and serving them to their families, Saddam tortured men and raped and murdered women at will [he was also a huge fan of Stalin], yet somehow Bush is the bad guy.

Ellison also says:

"The fact is that I'm not saying it was a [U.S.] plan, or anything like that because, you know, that's how they put you in the nut-ball box – dismiss you,"

This is in reference to the WTC being destroyed. So he only says he won't admit what he really thinks. We now have a Left Wing Nut, who practices a religion that keeps him bound to the enemy, speaking out against the President in a time of War. This is grounds for removal from office.

Speaking to a group of atheists, Ellison said, "You'll always find this Muslim standing up for your right to be atheists."

If you believe that, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell you real cheap.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

I'm Now Mobile

Well, I finally entered the cell-phone world. Paying the high costs of landlines when cell phones have become comparable just seemed silly to me. Plus the idea of being mobile is quite techno-geeky. So I am finally catching up with the rest of y'all.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Rocket Launching Time

Launching rockets prior to the fair. Here is Steven's.

After the launch the only person that managed to see this little thing in the sky was Steven. It actually landed 1/4 to 1/2 a mile away. Steven saw it land but had no concept of how far away it was. After searching through a wheat stubble field and looking in a patch of weeds, a friend Jaimie found it.

Jaimie's rocket launched well too. It was that silly parachute that just wouldn't open. But it was enough drag. There was no apparent damage to hers.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Moore An Expert On Christ

I read this quote of Michael Moore on AOMin:

“There is nowhere in the four Gospels where Jesus uses the word ‘homosexual.’ The right wing has appropriated this guy … and they have used him to attack gays and lesbians, when he never said a single word against people who are homosexual. Anyone who professes to be a Christian and does that is certainly not following the teachings of Jesus Christ.”
I have found it easily on other internet sites (like this one). Apparently Michael Moore's inability to think is now going to manifest itself in his broad knowledge of the Gospels and teachings of Christ.

I have heard this argument so many times I wonder if anyone that uses it has ever truly read the Gospels at all. The average person makes lots of claims about the Bible. Most of the time they are usually claims gathered over the years via Urban Legend style.

For instance, you have heard the books of the Bible were gathered at the Council of Nicea. Movies to college professors seem to repeat these things. Yet that Council had absolutely nothing to do with the Canon of Scripture at all.

To be certain, Jesus did not single out the term homosexuality. He does however define marriage according to the literal Genesis account of creation. Does Michael Moore believe Jesus' view of Genesis 1-3? Jesus does speak of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Does Michael Moore think Jesus is a hate monger against those cities of the plain? Jesus even teaches that there was a literal Noahic Flood and parallels it with the future judgment at His own Second Coming. Does Moore believe this?

Somehow, I have the distinct feeling Moore not only rejects homosexuality as a sin implicitly taught by Christ, but even the things Jesus explicitly teaches. If Moore doesn't believe what Jesus plainly says, why would he believe in anything the Bible says at all, directly or indirectly? I wonder what Moore will say to Christ when he meets Him face to face. It is amazing how bold man is when he thinks God is not looking.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Seedlings On Evolution

Michael Hobson recently wrote an excellent post on Evolution. The comments are even more interesting. Read here. And yes, yours truly could not resist commenting as well. Sometimes I wonder how silly I sound to these people.


LBCF on the Church

Allow me to offer a positive definition of the Church of Christ. Before I do, I need to be a little clearer. The Gospel defines the church and not the other way around. Since Protestants used to believe the Doctrine of Justification is definitional, it was believed that Justification in the Protestant sense was definitional of a standing or falling church.

I agree with John Calvin that within the Roman Communion there exists a true church, Rome however is not. She had clearly opposed Justification by Faith Alone at the Council of Trent. The Pope has recently affirmed prior councils. Therefore she remains outside of the Biblical definition of a true church.

For a definition of church and how she is to function, here is the chapter Of the Church from the LBCF 1689:

1. The Catholick or universal Church, which (with respect to the internal work of the Spirit, and truth of grace) may be called invisible, consists of the whole (a) number of the Elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ the head thereof; and is the spouse, the body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
a Heb. 12.23. Col. 1.18. Eph. 1.10,22.23. & ch. 5.23,27,32.

2. All persons throughout the world, professing the faith of the Gospel, and obedience unto God by Christ, according unto it; not destroying their own profession by any Errors everting the foundation, or unholyness of conversation, (b) are and may be called visible Saints; (c) and of such ought all particular Congregations to be constituted.
b 1 Cor. 1 2. Act. 11.26.

c Rom. 1.7. Eph. 1.20,21,22.

3. The purest Churches under heaven are subject (d) to mixture, and error; and som have so degenerated as to become (e) no Churches of Christ, but Synagogues of Satan; nevertheless Christ always hath had, and ever shall have a (f) Kingdome in this world, to the end thereof, of such as believe in him, and make profession of his Name.
d 1 Cor. 15. Rev. 2. & ch. 3. [Note]

e Rev. 18.2. 2 Thes. 2.11,12.

f Mat. 16.18. Ps. 72.17. & Ps. 102.28. Rev. 12.17.

4. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church, in whom by the appointment of the Father, (g) all power for the calling, institution, order, or Government of the Church, is invested in a supream & soveraigne manner, neither can the Pope of Rome in any sense be head thereof, but is (h) that Antichrist, that Man of sin, and Son of perdition, that exalteth himself in the Church against Christ, and all that is called God; whom the Lord shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.
g Col. 1.18. Mat. 28.18,19.20. Eph. 4.11,12.

h 2 Thes. 2.3-9.

(A note on this paragraph)

5. In the execution of this power wherewith he is so intrusted, the Lord Jesus calleth out of the World unto himself, through the Ministry of his word, by his Spirit, (i) those that are given unto him by his Father; that they may walk before him in all the (k) ways of obedience, which he prescribeth to them in his Word. Those thus called he commandeth to walk together in particular societies, or (l) Churches, for their mutual edification; and the due performance of that publick worship, which he requireth of them in the World.
i Joh 10.16. chap. 12,32.

k Mat. 28.20.

l Mat. 18.15-20.

6. The Members of these Churches are (m) Saints by calling, visibly manifesting and evidencing (in and by their profession and walking) their obedience unto that call of Christ; and do willingly consent to walk together according to the appointment of Christ, giving up themselves, to the Lord & one to another by the will of God, (n) in professed subjection to the Ordinances of the Gospel.
m Rom. 1.7. 1 Cor. 1.2.

n Act. 2.41,42. ch. 5.13.14. 2 Cor. 9.13.

7. To each of these Churches thus gathered, according to his mind, declared in his word, he hath given all that (o) power and authority, which is any way needfull, for their carrying on that order in worship, and discipline, which he hath instituted for them to observe; with commands, and rules, for the due and right exerting, and executing of that power.
o Mat. 18.17,18. 1 Cor. 5.4,5. with v.13. 2 Cor. 2.6,7,8.

8. A particular Church gathered, and compleatly Organized, according to the mind of Christ, consists of Officers, and Members; And the Officers appointed by Christ to be chosen and set apart by the Church (so called and gathered) for the peculiar Administration of Ordinances, and Execution of Power, or Duty, which he intrusts them with, or calls them to, to be continued to the end of the World are (p) Bishops or Elders and Deacons.
p Act. 20:17, with v.28. Phil. 1.1.

9. The way appointed by Christ for the Calling of any person, fitted, and gifted by the Holy Spirit, unto the Office of Bishop, or Elder, in a Church, is, that he be chosen thereunto by the common (q) suffrage of the Church it self; and Solemnly set apart by Fasting and Prayer, with imposition of hands of the (r) Eldership of the Church, if there be any before Constituted therein; And of a Deacon (s) that he be chosen by the like suffrage, and set apart by Prayer, and the like Imposition of hands.
q Act. 14.23: See the original.

r 1 Tim. 4.14.

s Act.

10. The work of Pastors being constantly to attend the Service of Christ, in his Churches, in the Ministry of the Word, and Prayer, (t) with watching for their Souls, as they that must give an account to him; it is incumbent on the Churches to whom they Minister, not only to give them all due respect, (u) but also to communicate to them of all their good things according to their ability, so as they may have a comfortable supply, without being themselves (x) entangled in Secular Affairs; and may also be capable of exercising (y) Hospitality toward others; and this is required by the (z) Law of Nature, and by the Express order of our Lord Jesus, who hath ordained that they that preach the Gospel, should live of the Gospel.
t Act. 6.4. Heb. 13.17:

u 1 Tim. 5.17,18. Gal. 6.6,7.

x 2 Tim. 2.4.

y 1 Tim. 3.2.

z 1 Cor. 9.6.-14.

11. Although it be incumbent on the Bishops or Pastors of the Churches to be instant in Preaching the Word, by way of Office; yet the work of Preaching the Word, is not so peculiarly confined to them; but that others also (a) gifted, and fitted by the Holy Spirit for it, and approved, and called by the Church, may and ought to perform it.
a Act. 11.19,20,21. 1 Pet. 4.10.11.

12. As all Believers are bound to joyn themselves to particular Churches, when and where they have opportunity so to do; So all that are admitted unto the priviledges of a Church, are also (b) under the Censures and Government thereof, according to the Rule of Christ.
b 1 Thes. 5.14. 2 Thes 3.6.14,15.

13. No Church-members upon any offence taken by them, having performed their Duty required of them towards the person they are offended at, ought to disturb any Church order, or absent themselves from the Assemblies of the Church, or Administration of any Ordinances, upon the account of such offence at any of their fellow-members; but to wait upon Christ, (c) in the further proceeding of the Church.
c Mat. 18.15.16,17. Eph. 4 2,3.

14. As each Church, and all the Members of it are bound to (d) pray continually, for the good and prosperity of all the Churches of Christ, in all places; and upon all occasions to further it (every one within the bounds of their places, and callings, in the Exercise of their Gifts and Graces) so the Churches (when planted by the providence of God so as they may injoy opportunity and advantage for it) ought to hold (e) communion amongst themselves for their peace, increase of love, and mutual edification.
d Eph. 6.18. Ps. 122.6.

e Rom. 16.1,2. 3 Joh. 8,9,10.

15. In cases of difficulties or differences, either in point of Doctrine, or Administration; wherein either the Churches in general are concerned, or any one Church in their peace, union, and edification; or any member, or members, of any Church are injured, in or by any proceedings in censures not agreeable to truth, and order: it is according to the mind of Christ, that many Churches holding communion together, do by their messengers meet to consider, (f) and give their advice, in or about that matter in difference, to be reported to all the Churches concerned; howbeit these messengers assembled are not entrusted with any Church-power properly so called; or with any jurisdiction over the Churches themselves, to exercise any censures either over any Churches, or Persons: or (g) to impose their determination on the Churches, or Officers.
f Act. 15.2,4,6. & 22,23.25.

g 2 Cor. 1.24. 1 Joh. 4.1

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Who Is the One True Chruch

A comment left by Peter on Tiber’s Blog concerning the issue of “separated churches” seems to have assumptions like that of many Evangelicals.

He says this:

I am puzzled. Don't they believe that they belong church that happens to be "truer" than the alternatives? If they didn't, wouldn't they go join a "truer" church. Further, can there be two churches that equally the "truest"? It seems that if they were equally the truest, they would be a single church - i.e, the one true church - because (a) they'd have no disagreements and (b) Christ viewed division as a scandal.

First, there are churches that may be more accurate in their Biblical positions and teachings. This however doesn’t make them a “truer” church. It just makes them more consistent and faithful to what God has spoken.

Another assumption is how the church is known to be a true church. For Peter, it seems to be whether or not you might claim to have apostolic succession. The problem with this argument is that the Orthodox churches could easily make that argument. In that case, it becomes a battle of which Apostle a church is a successor to. Are we really going to pit Apostles against one another? Is this unity? William Webster’s book on Matthew 16, The Matthew 16 Controversy, demonstrates most clearly that there was no Apostolic succession that all churches bent their knees to.

Divisions may be a scandal, but even the Apostles fought division their entire ministries. Almost all of the New Testament is dealing with false teaching and correcting errors in the church. Let me however offer an analogy to explain what I am thinking. Let us say there are three churches in Rome in the year 300. One claims to be the true church because she has the pedigree of Popes. Another claims to follow the teachings of the New Testament but uses a poor and inconsistent interpretation method. The Third follows to teachings in the New Testament using a consistent hermeneutic method. Which is the true church?

Of course the church that has the Pedigree assumes it must be following the New Testament because they have the Pedigree and authority that says they are. The Second obviously believes they have the truth but how do we know? The Third claims to be following consistently with what the Apostles preached as infallible and inerrant teaching. IMO, the latter 2 may very well be true churches even though they may disagree at points because both are attempting to follow the ONLY Apostolic commands and teachings. The other still has Apostles, therefore by definition the First one is of a wholly different viewpoint.

To say that the One true church is without error and division is another and most basic assumption of Roman Catholics. This is patently false. Ask any two Roman Catholics for a definition of Tradition and you may always get two different answers. Yet does this disprove Rome? Of course it does not. For the real issue with Rome is one of authority. Protestants and Roman Catholics simply do not even think on the same plane. We may use similar terms, but our concepts are totally different.

The question almost always comes down to Sola Ecclesia or Sola Scriptura.

Everlasting Promises Lead To Christ

I read an interesting argument in Nehemiah Coxe’s Covenant Theology: From Adam to Christ. In laying the foundation for the Particular Baptist view, he demonstrates that God made two covenants with Abraham. The first was the Covenant of Grace, and the second being the Covenant of Circumcision. He then seems to argue (if I understand him correctly) that both covenants are unbreakable by man. However, the Covenant of Circumcision will eventually be done away with by God Himself in order to bring about the New Covenant in Christ promised to Abraham in the Covenant of Grace.

What many Evangelicals struggle with today is that God made promises to Old Testament Israel that are stated with the term “everlasting”. For instance, Genesis 17:8 says, “I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”

Therefore it is assumed that the nation of Israel will always exist. Nehemiah then argues:

“The difficulty arising from those terms in the promise which give the right of the inheritance of Canaan to Abraham in the first place has already been considered and cleared, as well as how the land of Canaan may be said to be an everlasting possession. In the same sense this covenant is said to be everlasting. Israel could not be finally cut off from the promised inheritance until the covenant by which it was given to them expired. As the duration of the inheritance and of Israel’s right in it was everlasting, so was the duration of this covenant.”

You might be asking about how he cleared this argument earlier. He says a few pages earlier:

“…the other difficulty arises from the extent of the promise in regard to time. For here God promises to give this land to Abraham and to his seed ‘for ever’ and in Genesis 17:8 ‘for an everlasting possession.’ Now it is evident they have for many ages been disinherited of it. But the solution to this doubt will be easy to him who consults the use of the terms in other texts, and the necessary restriction of their sense when applied to the state or interests of Abraham’s seed in the land of Canaan. For the priesthood of Levi is called an everlasting priesthood. This is the same sense that Canaan is said to be an everlasting inheritance. No more is intended than the continuance of these for a long time, that is, throughout the Old Testament economy until the days of the Messiah, commonly spoken of by the Jews under the notion of the world to come. In this a new state of things was to be expected when their old covenant right and privilege was to expire, its proper end and design being fully accomplished.”

The argument as I see it is that there are many promises under the Covenant of Circumcision that according to the flesh will not be broken until Christ came. Then those “everlasting promises” will be fulfilled in Christ.

In other words, who would disagree that Christ fulfills the Law. For example Exodus 12:14 says, “Now this day will be a memorial to you, and you shall celebrate it as a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations you are to celebrate it as a permanent ordinance.”

When Christ came, did He not change this permanent ordinance? The time for this ordinance under the Old Economy was fulfilled in Christ. The New has truly come. Jesus is the true Israel of God, and He has established the New Covenant promised to Abraham so long ago.

Today, one does not have to be Jewish or an Israelite according to the flesh. A true descendant of Abraham is one who possesses his faith now looking to Christ.

Rome Affirms What She Believes

I am not sure why, but many Protestants are surprised that Roman Catholics will believe what Roman Catholics believe. For instance, at a story states:

"The Catholic Church teaches that people who have received absolution for their sins from a priest may, through an indulgence, draw on the "treasury of merit" accumulated by Jesus, Mary and the saints to lessen or eliminate the punishment owed to God."
Here Roman Catholics affirm what they believe demonstrating that those who adhere to the Reformation's Biblical doctrine of Justification may never truly be united with Rome.

In this story, the Pope affirms that Roman Catholicism is the only true church. What is troubling in this story is not that Rome affirms what she teaches (Wouldn't that be silly if she didn't?), but that World Alliance of Reformed Churches would be disillusioned with such an affirmation. Yahoo News states:

"The statement brought swift criticism from Protestant leaders. "It makes us question whether we are indeed praying together for Christian unity," said the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, a fellowship of 75 million Protestants in more than 100 countries.

"It makes us question the seriousness with which the Roman Catholic Church takes its dialogues with the reformed family and other families of the church," the group said in a letter charging that the document took ecumenical dialogue back to the era before the Second Vatican Council."

I have said it for a long time. The apologetic and theology of most Evangelicals I know would not withstand a good thinking Roman Catholic. Perhaps if Pastors actually preached verse by verse exposition of Biblical texts and gave apologetic support for their arguments, Protestants would not be so easily fooled.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Clip From the White Horse Inn

Found it. On the White Horse Inn they discussed youth ministries. The last minute of this clip relates to the prior post.

Busy Busy Busy

This past week or so has been very hectic. The Christian School here did a fund raiser by teaming with Wholesale Fireworks. The school raised quite a bit of money. The amount of work put in by volunteers was simply astonishing. Tracy Hess deserves the Volunteer of the Year award perhaps seconded only by Kari Unruh.

Steven is also a part of the Babe Ruth All Stars again. His team won the first game last night. We have at least another10 hours of driving left between today and tomorrow.

Rachel's ball team took 2nd in the local Comet League for girls 7-9.

Jacob...well Jacob does what Jacob does.

They just keep us busy. Now back to trying to read some more books while driving. :-)

Thursday, July 05, 2007

What Is a Pastor?

Several years ago I asked Pastor Phil Newton (he was speaking at a conference I was attending) about Youth Groups in churches. Since he was preaching through Biblical texts about the nature of the church, this question was something I thought needed attention. Why do we do youth groups the way we do?

He seemed to think I was totally against the idea of Youth Groups altogether, but the point of my question really had to do with how God has chosen to build His church. Were Youth Groups (in the Traditional Baptist sense) what He had in mind? Time was short and discussion came to an end before we had the chance to delve into it.

Here I am several years later still working through church polity. Alas a new topic on an Email List I occasionally participate in titled, MultiStaff Church History. The question asked was about pastoral staff (associate pastors, ect..) as opposed to Plurality of Eldership model.

In light of recent events at my own church I thought this topic would be interesting. One pastor had something very interesting to say. I have his full permission to post his thoughts. Keep in mind, this is an email.

Dennis S -

Very providential that you asked this question: you took the words
right out of my mouth.

> > >>Does anyone know (and preferably can document) when specialized "associate pastors" (youth pastor, visitation pastor, etc.) first start appearing? >

I was pondering and asking nearly the same question. I am often troubled a bit when someone in the church says something like "What this church needs is a good Youth Minister!" Without exception, it's always the least mature members of the church. I don't say that to insult anyone here, if you serve in that role or if your church has a youth pastor. But the concept that there is some sort of "need" for this, or less yet, some Biblical basis for it, I find very perplexing to hear from well-taught people.

I don't know the historical answer to Dennis S's question, but when I see how this role has become an assumed necessity, even in many sound RB churches and other solid expository Bible-teaching, elder-rule churches, I wonder how they justify it. Since when is someone qualified for pastoral oversight of teenagers, unless he is qualified to oversee the whole flock? In which case, he ought not to be a "youth minister" - he should be an elder. Further, the role strikes me as almost a sure-fire Rx for moral problems: I can't begin to tell you the stories out of Tulsa of "youth pastors" who have ended up in moral trouble with one of the teen girls in the church.

Certainly, this latter point is a weak argument, as we would not cease the existence of the pastoral role due to the frequency of pastors who end up in affairs -- but I would also counter that the "youth pastor" moral fall occurs more often, and is more explicable: setting up a 20-something quasi-elder among teens has a high probability of creating a heart pitter-patter in the heart of some teen girl. As an elderly friend of mine used to say, if we ever get a youth pastor, he should be old and ugly. (no jokes about how highly qualified I am for the role!).

Looking forward to replies to this and to Dennis S's original post.

Dennis G [I didn't want to expose this good pastors name with my Blog :-) )

This statement struck me, "I wonder how they justify it. Since when is someone qualified for pastoral oversight of teenagers, unless he is qualified to oversee the whole flock?"

I remember bringing this up prior to my own church's situation. What is interesting is the average layman's view of church polity and the roles and qualifications of pastors. Perhaps this is an area that is untouchable as my last pastor told me, but I would think a searching of the Scriptures and a healthy debate on the subject may be due? Any thoughts?

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Here Come the Martians

Last night I watched a portion of a movie called Mars Attacks starring Jack Nicholson. I realize that most of you are thinking that I wasted my time with such silliness. Well I like satire. I just can't help it. I grew up in cynical New England. Sarcasm was used in everyday speech. It is something I must be very careful with when I am around my children. Anyway, I digress.

Jack Nicholson plays two characters, one of which is the President of the U.S.. He and the scientist (played by Pierce Brosnan) believe that the Martians can't be hostile since they are advanced technologically. After the first very destructive encounter with the aliens (the Martians zapped everyone) it was decided that they simply misunderstood our intentions. So Congress is convened in order to communicate that we mean them no harm. The Martians come to the Capitol and zap all of Congress. The Martians then attempt to assassinate the President.

Now after three battles with the Martians, the President still wants to show these creatures that we mean them no harm. I looked over at my wife, who was sitting patiently through this ordeal, and said, "Isn't this just like they way Democrats treat Muslims in general and Terrorists in particular. After a major attack, Liberals say, 'Let's open the borders and show them we mean them no harm.'" (I know Republicans are losing on this issue too, but that is another point...)

This morning I hear that the The Development Secretary is going to say in a speech,

“In the UK, we do not use the phrase ‘War on Terror’ because we can’t win by military means alone, and because this isn’t us against one organised enemy with a clear identity and a coherent set of objectives”

Is this satire? One commenter on the story said:

Or do we create many of the problems that have come to haunt us at a later time.People have a habit of pointing fingers at any race or country that they have little knowledge of or if it fails to fit into the norm as we precieve it customs,religion etc.We in many ways are our own worse enemies and will continue to be untill we change our mode of thinking,but of course thats what creates war's and far to many see that as the ultimate solution.!!!!

Robert Ferrin, Bliss, U.S.A.
So there you have it. It is our fault. The Martians are coming and zapping people with their lasers and killing as many people as they can. Somehow, though, it is our fault. We need to open the borders to Muslims and say, "We mean you no harm." All the while they are laughing at us.

Perhaps the Left is correct, and Winston Churchill was wrong. Germany was telling the truth when they said they were not at war with us. They really did not mean us any harm.

Those recent bombs at the airport, they were just incidents. Law enforcement will fix that. We don't need to fight a war. That just causes Muslims to hate us. "Yack yack yack yack"