Friday, April 9, 2010

Name Change, Piper, Warren, etc.

Hey guys. I know that it's been a while, but I am back, with a new name, a new description, and a new story: John Piper and Rick Warren. Don Johnson at Pyromaniacs has a great blog post today about the whole situation (very simply, Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life, liberal Evangelical, etc., has been invited to Piper's Desiring God conference in October of this year).

I am concerned when I hear something like this happen. I remember the first time I heard of John Piper; I was in my society Sunday School class at Bob Jones, and our chaplain brought up Christian Hedonism by John Piper. I didn't think very much of it at the time, because I didn't know anything about him, and I had other problems (still KJV only at the time, didn't know squat about the Bible, didn't have a proper understanding of the great Reformed doctrines or Calvinism, etc.). As I went through school, I found many people who were reading his books, and really, and I mean REALLY, enjoying his Puritan Reformed emphasis. A professor at the school, and a good friend of mine, whose church I attend here, has mentioned on more than one occasion that many students have a "love" for all things Piper. I have a friend that works at the same place I do, who has a great enjoyment of some things Piper. I link to his blog (! :) Desiring God is a link on my blog here.

The Bible is specific when it says to be separate and come out from among them (2 Cor. 6:16-18), and yet, many people want to step back, and see what will happen. My concern is that people, for their love of a man, will overlook a serious compromise in the stance of Evangelical Christianity, and it will cause serious problems. Rick Warren is weak on stances of the gospel, and he hasn't (to my knowledge, at least) been consistent in any way in having a clear gospel message at his megachurch. To have the Desiring God conference have the potential to turn into the Purpose Driven Life seminar is very saddening. As HFs (note: any time you see HF, I am referring to Historical Fundys, which is what I am sort of, I guess, maybe straddling that and CE, which is Conservative Evangelical, if you are into labels), we need to be careful. My exhortation in this case is very simple, and it is from the Bible.

I Corinthians 1:11-13
For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. What I mean is that each one of you says, "I follow Paul," or "I follow Apollos," or "I follow Cephas," or "I follow Christ." 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?

We can't be so blinded in following men, that when things like this happen, we turn a blind eye. May we be diligent in pursing Godly, helpful relationships, and praying that God gets the increase (I Corinthians 3:5-7).

A Hymn by Charles Wesley

O for a heart to praise my God,
a heart from sin set free,
a heart that always feels thy blood
so freely shed for me.

A heart resigned, submissive, meek,
my great Redeemer's throne,
where only Christ is heard to speak,
where Jesus reigns alone.

A humble, lowly, contrite heart,
believing, true, and clean,
which neither life nor death can part
from Christ who dwells within.

A heart in every thought renewed
and full of love divine,
perfect and right and pure and good,
a copy, Lord, of thine.

Thy nature, gracious Lord, impart;
come quickly from above;
write thy new name upon my heart,
thy new, best name of Love.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Be Thankful!


It seems so typical and natural for one to say that after a door has been opened, a deed accomplished, help given, and for any number of reasons, it is an entirely appropriate response to the above-listed things. I’m required to thank my clients after they speak to us, even if they are angry after the call. It is common courtesy.

I find it interesting that as Christians we are probably the least likely people to show gratitude. We grumble about the choice of cereal we have on Sunday morning, we complain about the slow person in our lane on the way to church, we mutter about the lack of cappuccino at our coffee fellowship, we roll our eyes when we are singing a song that doesn’t agree with our theology, we sigh (sometimes outwardly) when the pastor makes his fourth point… during his first point.

As Christians, what are we doing when we don’t show gratitude?

We’re sinning.

Paul, in his final exhortation to the Thessalonians in his first letter, says to them:

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. (I Thessalonians 5:16-18, NIV)

The spirit of gratitude that we should have is not a suggestion, or a begging request. It is a command to believers, and it behooves us to obey.

You would think that it would be easy for Christians to obey. After reading great passages of the sacrifice of our Savior and all that he has done for us, you would think that we would just stroll around with big smiles on our face. How quickly we forget what we have been given! We are concerned with our next job, our next meeting, who we are going to marry and so on and so on, and we lose sight of what we have, and why we should have a true spirit of gratitude.

May God use us to be true examples of gratitude to others, and may we mean it when we say thanks!

Thou who hast given so much to me, give me one more thing - a grateful heart!

- George Herbert

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hey, everybody!

I'm back from a hiatus - been dealing with some family issues, but it's all taken care of!
Fundamentalism - how goes it?
I think it's become a cult of personality - when you think of Fundamentalism as a movement, you don't think of anything wonderful it's done, you only think of names- Harold Sightler, Bob Jones, Jack Hyles, etc, etc.
It reminds me of what Paul said when calling out believers about who they were bragging about who they belonged to.
Would to God we would have people more concerned about what the Bible said, than who they would be associated with!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Hanging Ceiling Fans

I didn't get to work on the blog this weekend - my parents were in town, and I hung three ceiling fans.... I will write part 2 of the Fund history today, and hopefully will post it tonight.

Friday, August 28, 2009

State of the Fundamentalist (Part 1)

This is going to be a very long, drawn out process. I've been doing preliminary research for over a week, and, since I don't want to disappoint, I'm going to start by making some general observations.

I was driving into work the same way that I always come into work, and I passed by the campus of my alma mater. I remember sitting in the chapel services every Monday-Thursday, going to Sunday morning worship, and hearing about the "Fundamentalist" position staked out by my school.

Now that I am out of the school, I am seeing that taking hard and fast stances on issues is not the easy thing that the school makes it out to be. That is the first part of the "State of Fundamentalism" that we will tackle - its hard and fast positions on matters of theological/social importance.

I am not trained as a theologian; I don't have the necessary background available to effectively hash out different theological perspectives. All I know is that I am a Bible-beliving Christian, and in reading my Bible, I must come to grips with a great truth: God is completely and TOTALLY in control over everything. There is nothing that I can do to get saved, only God can save. This statement alone would cause me great trouble in certain areas of Fundamentalism. Many preachers in the movement would say that there is a necessity for balance (God's will/man's choice), but to add any element of man's CHOICE working out his salvation introduces works. Without even attempting to answer this, the Fundamentalist pastor waves it away, without a second look, but without addressing this issue. We will continue to have people shouted down aisles, told that they need to "choose Christ" without fully understanding and appreciating the need of a proper understanding of salvation.
Another theological "hotbed" of Fundamentalism is eschatology. Most Funds are pre-trib, pre-mill. Some, with the same biblical conviction, are not. Those who are not run the risk of ridicule, or downright contempt if they attempt to hold any other position. I remember once, at my parent's old church, the preacher for a Sunday School message stating that the "only eschatology taught in Scripture is a pre-trib, pre-mill position, and if anyone else teaches anything different, they are adding to the gospel." What an incredible statement! I believe that a pre-trib, pre-mill position best explains the end times, but I would NEVER say it's the only biblical possibility.

This attitude among many (not all) Funds leads me to the next point in our state of the Funds: their perceived moral superiority.... which I will cover later. Much longer post that I wanted to use, but FWIW. : )

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Another website - It's very funny.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Testing out mobile blogging - i dont know how much ill use it but we will see!
- Brandon