Church Discipline Requires a Tender Heart – Love Not Legalism

Monday, October 6th, 2014

A biblical attitude is crucial to the whole process of church discipline. If the attitude of those implementing discipline is not right, then what God designed to be a beautiful act of selfless love is transformed into an ugly act of power, even if all the other instructions are followed to the letter. The offspring of that evil may shortly surface as a disuniting and judgmental spirit in the fellowship, or it may lay dormant until the next attempt to lead the church in discipline and then surface with a vengeance.[1] (more…)

Teaching the Basics: Important But Insufficient!

Monday, September 29th, 2014

“And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age”’ (Matthew 28:18-20). (underline and embolden added)

Most often, this passage is referenced in order to emphasize missions and evangelism, and those are indeed vital components; however, the teaching task is often, albeit unwittingly, reduced to a secondary or tertiary status. Additionally, the essentialness of the breadth and depth of the teaching component is often obscured by our words and practice. (more…)

Think About IT: Finding the Will of God

Monday, August 18th, 2014

God’s will is obscured by ungratefulness!

Christians (and many who give great evidence of not being Christians) often opine about knowing the will of God, as if God is hiding it from people. However, it is our ungrateful hearts rather than God that conceals His desires for us.

Any follower of Jesus who truly wants to know the will of God can. It begins by giving thanks.

“In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus,” 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

Response: Clarification About Election and God’s Sovereignty

Monday, August 11th, 2014

The following are responses to comments posted by a blogger on 9/19/2013 on the SBCToday blog, http://sbctoday.com/2013/09/17/rev-ronnie-rogers-responds/ in response to an article entitled “Is Libertarian Free Will Eternal?” This one gets a little deep. The blogger is a knowledgeable Calvinist, and very forthright about Calvinism’s determinism. His comments about my post are emboldened.

You said, “It’s hard to believe that Pastor Rogers’ comments are being celebrated as so definitive. Here is one example of his mistaken logic:”

Then you quote me saying, “Whether one is a Calvinist or not, God being omniscient, He has always known who the elect were, and for anyone to deny that God always knew who would be saved seems beyond the pale of orthodoxy.”

Again, the essence of Calvinism is not the affirmation that God knows who will be saved (the elect), but rather that He unconditionally chose some to salvation and did everything necessary to predetermine that these unconditionally elect would freely choose to believe.”

The following statement is apparently your example of my faulty logic, “While affirming God’s infallible omniscience he denies that God has determined from eternity who is elected.” (more…)

The Five Reasons for Church Discipline

Monday, August 4th, 2014

I have led churches to practice church discipline for thirty years now, and I do not see that the need is any less today than in years past.

Church discipline can be understood as the biblical attitude and actions of the local church that enable her to preserve her submission to the head of the church in holiness, fellowship, testimony, mission and doctrinal purity, with the purpose of maintaining a conducive atmosphere for following Christ and experiencing His presence and power. Church discipline includes the following purposes: redemption, correction, protection, purification and justice. On a practical level, I would further distinguish between non-formal and formal discipline. Non-formal includes all aspects of the biblical teaching and practical application of church discipline up to public involvement of the full church body in either seeking repentance of the sinning brother or sister or removal from fellowship. (more…)

Do the “Doctrines of Grace” Affect Evangelism?

Monday, May 26th, 2014

Some Calvinist’s aver that ideas like limited atonement, unconditional election, and selective regeneration really make no difference in the nature of the evangelistic endeavor, i.e. these are tertiary or irrelevant to the proclamation of the gospel. To wit, God being secretly pleased to withhold salvation from a vast proportion of the humanity that He created does not affect the nature of propagating the gospel. (more…)

The Exalted View of God in Scripture

Monday, April 7th, 2014

The nature and attributes of God are seen not only in His person, but in His creation as well. We are reminded, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20). The Old Testament declares the same truth in Psalm 19:1. (more…)

A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

This is the title of a document that was produced in the spring of 2012 by Pastor Eric Hankins. It sets forth the beliefs of many Southern Baptists regarding critical points of God’s salvation plan. The signers of this document and many likeminded others reject Calvinism along with the label non-Calvinist; preferring to describe themselves as Traditionalists. The document caused quite a response among Calvinists.

The most recent issue of The Journal for Baptist Theology and Ministry is comprised of a group of essays by supporters of the Traditional Statement. These essays explain the articles of the Traditional Statement more fully. I encourage you to read the essays. They will help you understand some serious problems with Calvinism and become familiar with a more biblical understanding of God’s plan of salvation.

I contributed the commentary on article five entitled The Regeneration of the Sinner.

Here is the link, http://www.baptistcenter.net/

Think About IT: The Battle We Cannot Ignore

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Francis Schaeffer (1912 – 1984) was a Christian pastor and apologist. He is responsible for helping countless pastors and Christian leaders to think more broadly and deeply about God and our world. He considered himself an evangelist. The following is a timely quote by him from almost thirty years ago.

“Make no mistake. We as Bible-believing evangelical Christians are locked in a battle. This is not a friendly gentleman’s discussion. It is a life and death conflict between the spiritual hosts of wickedness and those who claim the name of Christ . . . It is a conflict on the level of ideas between two fundamentally opposed views of truth and reality. It is a conflict on the level of actions between a complete moral perversion and chaos and God’s absolutes. But do we really believe that the part we play in the battle has consequences for whether or not men and women will spend eternity in hell? Or whether or not in this life people will live with meaning or meaninglessness? Or whether or not those who do live will live in a climate of moral perversion and degradation? Sadly, we must say that few in the evangelical world have acted as if these things are true. Rather than trumpet our accomplishments and revel in our growing numbers, it would be closer to the truth to admit that our response has been a disaster.”[1]


 

[1] Francis Schaeffer, The Great Evangelical Disaster (Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1984), 31-32.

Infanticide and Euthanasia

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Recently, Chris Haynes presented a very helpful paper in the Round Table in Ethics that dealt with infanticide and euthanasia. A clear understanding of the sanctity of life is something every Christian needs to know in order to strengthen his own faith and be equipped to help others see God in the world and society. Chris’s paper is a great resource to that end.

(more…)