Notable Links Aug 8

Street preacher awarded £2,500 in damages after wrongful arrest

Some good news from across the pond. I’ve read about the ongoing dis-regard for Christians and their beliefs in Briton. There seems to be a pattern of discrimination against Christians in public.

Why Do People Say “Jesus H. Christ,” and Where Did the “H” Come From?

I never knew what the IHϹ monogram stood for. I for sure didn’t know Jesus once had a middle initial!

Bonhoeffer, writing to Rüdiger Schleicher

“Either I determine the place where I want to find God, or I let him determine the place where he wants to be found.” – Amen

Should the Rich Be Allowed to Buy the Best Genes?

Perhaps Aldous Huxley is more of a prophet than I give him credit for. Gene editing will become another way to divide humanity – especially between the haves and have nots. The article asks the hard question: Will gene editing really help the human race?

Notable Links – Aug 1

They Tried to Start a Church Without God. For a While, It Worked.

I thought it curious that atheist and skeptics would even start their own “church”. It didn’t work for the reasons I first thought about when I heard about the concept.

VP Pence Unveils the Spacecraft that will Take Astronauts Back to the Moon in 2024!

We (as in all of humanity, mother) are going to the Moon!

Latino Immigrants Are Evangelizing America

The largest growing segment of Evangelicals in American today are Latinos. I’ve often thought about planting a church with intentions of it being bi-lingual. The Spanish speaking immigrants need Jesus too.

The Calendar of Saints: A Rookie Anglican Guide

As a Protestant coming from a “low-church” tradition, I’ve always been curious with the “high-church” traditions regarding saints. Here is a handy guide I’ve found from the Anglican tradition.

Searching the Lost

“The Son of Man came to look for and to save people who are lost.”

Jesus; Luke 19:10

Jesus had a mission when he came to us 2000 years ago. Most emphasize his death. Others emphasize his resurrection. But, how many emphasize Jesus seeking out the lost?

This will be the focus of my book coming out towards the end of this year. It will be a short book talking about how the Church today has forgotten that we are to seek out the lost in this world and help them towards having a healthy relationship with our heavenly Father.

I will begin in Luke 15 and zoom into the story of the Lost Son. It is my conviction many who find themselves lost are powerless to get themselves found. It takes the searching of the shepherd, the urgency of a woman, and the love of a Father to bring people into a renewed relationship with our Father.

Jesus’ mission on earth was “look for and to save people who are lost.” Jesus then extends that same mission to us, the Church.

We have the concept of preaching and proclaiming the gospel down-pat. The problem is we proclaim this gospel in the safe environment of our church buildings. Jesus says, “go to the people” (Matt. 28:19 CEV). We want to “save people” but we are falling short on the “look for” part of Jesus’ mission.

British missionary Charles Studd said, “Some want to live within the sound of church or chapel bell; I want to run a rescue shop, within a yard of hell.” We cannot storm the gates of hell by staying home.

Sky Daddy Radio

I am excited to tell you about a new venture I am doing with my brother Jon. Together we have started Sky Daddy Radio. It is a podcast where we talk about Christian theology, news, and culture. We’ve got a few episodes in now. The introduction is just what it sounds like: we introduce ourselves and what we hope to accomplish with the podcast.

Episode 1 we talk about the Norte Dame fire and why seeing the cathedral in flames effected us protestants in American.

By the way, you will hear us refer to the podcast as “The Nitty Gritty.” Apparently there are several podcasts with that name. Who knew? So we had to change the name. Why Sky Daddy Radio? You’ll find out in episode two. In this episode we discuss the Sri Lanka bombings. Such a sad event to happen on the holiest day of the year.

I am interested to see where this podcast takes me. I am proud to be working with my brother and chatting about our faith and how we are to live that faith out in our world.

(Really, I think it is a way for my brother and I to have fun chatting while still calling it “ministry.” Nonetheless, give us a listen and have some fun with us.)

You can find us on the link below on Podbean. Look for us on iTunes and Spotify also. If you like what you hear subscribe and give us a review.

https://skydaddyradio.podbean.com/

2019 & Beyond

It has been a while since I posted any content on this site. I assure you, this is not because the issue of church partnership or the gospel means any less to me than before. But, the reason is largely in part BECAUSE of my love for church partnership that I have not written on the subject for a while.
Last September my wife and I accepted a position to manage the local homeless shelter called The Refuge.

The Refuge is a rotating shelter. We have no formal building to which we can house the homeless at night. We instead rotate the guests from church to church each week. Every night of the week the guests are fed and sheltered during the cold winter months here in Michigan. And it takes church partnership to do this.

The Refuge is the largest volunteer organization in our county. We help the local churches work together to give the homeless in our county food, shelter, and the love of Jesus. We are equipping churches to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

I’ve been with The Refuge since 2014. I have always been impressed with their work and ability to get the churches together for one cause. It is the best program I have seen that has brought churches together to make the world a better place. I am honored to be working with such a great organization.

That being said, this is why you have not heard from me in a while. But, this not to say you won’t hear from me going forward. I will be stepping up and writing more about church partnership and other subjects as I feel led. Also, I foresee doing some videos concerning bible study, current events, and discussing books that I have enjoyed.

The best way to keep tabs on my writing is to subscribe to this blog. Or follow me on Facebook or Twitter. I’ll post links when I post to my blog.

Uniting Is Needed More Than Ever

Photo by Shane Rounce on Unsplash

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Heb 10:23–25 (ESV)

This verse is famous for its use in sermons encouraging the people to not neglect their church attendance. It is an exhortation to not neglect to attend a fellowship of like believers where you can learn from each other, be encouraged from each other, and not lose hope. By fellowshipping together we “hold fast the confession of our hope.”
But this is not the only application.

Recently I wrote about persecution and my belief that it is coming to the West. It is on the horizon. The one thing that I believe will help us weather the storm is by being in unity.

“The faithful Underground Church…In formerly Communist Russia, no one remembered anymore the arguments for or against child or adult baptism, for or against papal infallibility. They were not pre- or post-millennialists. They could not interpret prophecies and didn’t quarrel about them.” ~ Richard Wurmbrand, Tortured for Christ.

Persecution has a way of bringing the body of Christ together. During Communist Russia, many Christians were imprisoned for their faith. In the prison, there were no denominational lines that separated them. They came together as one, preached to each other, shared scriptures, and sang hymns to one another.

Should we wait for the persecution in order to come together as one body?
Hebrews tells us to “not neglecting to meet together.” This is not just for your local church, but for all local churches. This is meant for the whole body of Christ, all the local churches, to meet together. This is how we will encourage one another. This is how we will build each other up. For when the storm comes we will lean on each other and our love will get us through.

Chasm Between Charismatics and Cessationists Part 2

Photo by Jeff Sheldon on Unsplash

“Of all the theological squabbles that have plagued evangelical Christianity over the years, especially in the West, a particularly profound division centers on the power of the Holy Spirit and the ways in which He is at work today.”

I am continuing today talking about an article that came out of the Christian Post recently. They are asking the question if the chasm between Charismatics and Cessationists be bridged. For the sake of the kingdom of God, I hope so. The Christian Post asks a few scholars from both sides to weigh in. Here are a few quotes and my thoughts.

“And we do not ask them to come to our church, we’re not trying to offload anybody or tell them ‘If you don’t have the ‘fire’ of God in your church you should not be there.’ We don’t say that. I don’t agree with that at all.” – Jennifer Eivaz, author of Seeing the Supernatural: How to Sense, Discern and Battle in the Spiritual Realm – Continuationist

I think this is the key to Charismatics and Cessationists working together in the same community. We should not be undercutting our fellow sister churches in our communities. We should not criticize or talk down about another church. What we should do is teach our doctrines charitably agreeing to disagree. When we learn to love each other in spite of our differences we begin to show the world that we are indeed Jesus disciples.

“Brown told CP that the increasing visibility and overt presence of the demonic in popular culture will precipitate an even greater awareness of the reality of the spiritual realm.”

Seeing our post-Christian culture as it is today versus yesterday, it would lead one to believe it is getting worse, become more godless. Seeing the enemy work the way he does in our world pushes many Christians to seek our God and ask him to move in a powerful way.

When we go out evangelizing we will see the enemy working in ways we have not seen before. If you read any missionary biographies you’ve seen Charismatics and Cessationists alike encountering demonic forces they were not prepared for. But, by the grace of God, and the power of the Holy Spirit, both Charismatics and Cessationists were able to defeat the enemy in the name of Jesus Christ.

The one thing that Charismatics and Cessationists need to do, is rely upon God, his Holy Spirit, and his Word.

Chasm Between Charismatics and Cessationists Part 1

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

“Of all the theological squabbles that have plagued evangelical Christianity over the years, especially in the West, a particularly profound division centers on the power of the Holy Spirit and the ways in which He is at work today.”

The Christian Post come out with this article last week asking the question if the chasm between Charismatics and Cessationists be bridged. For the sake of the kingdom of God, I hope so. The Christian Post asks a few scholars from both sides to weigh in. Here are a few quotes and my thoughts.

“It is very possible that our differences may continue to keep some Christians from working intimately together on some ministry projects, but the overall ability to agree together on the essentials of the faith must be a stronger chord that keeps us together on mission.” Eric J. Bargerhuff, author of The Most Misused Stories in The Bible – Cessationist

As any student of Church history knows, there will always be churches and Christians who disagree with each other. But, the point I stress here on my blog is that though we do have differences we can still work together on mission. We can still walk the streets together in evangelism. We can still help the poor together; feed the hungry together; clothe the naked together; house the homeless together. The kingdom of God is an active kingdom that has not stopped being active when the apostles died out – of this I am sure we can all agree. Therefore, let’s work together getting our hands dirty for the kingdom of God.

“And when we speak of the sufficiency of Scripture we don’t mean that we have a relationship with the Bible. We mean that God’s Word is His one and only Word — that there is only one Bible and that nothing else can be called Scripture or claim to be the Word of God for all people.” – Michael Brown, author and talk show host – Charismatic

This is a huge hurdle for the Charismatic and Cessationist alike. Many Cessationist accuse Charismatics of downgrading the sufficiency of Scripture by using the gifts of prophecy, tongues, and interpretation. There is much evidence in the past, and still some circles today, where these gifts are misused outside of biblical boundaries. But this is not to say that all Charismatics and Pentecostals don’t believe the Bible or not see it as the final authority. Likewise, it would be foolish to accuse the Cessationist of not be “full gospel” because they don’t exercise the gifts.

Let’s come together knowing our Bible to be the sole source for our gospel and see our communities changed for Jesus Christ.