Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

May the Truth go forth in 2008!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! I will be spending time with my family for the remainder of the year and will put the blog on pause! I pray that your Christmas was be very special for you and your family as you celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Dolphins Win!!!

My boys in Miami finally did it! We won our first game of the season!!!

Click here to watch celebration video!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Who's Should be the Next President?

I thought I would do something a little off topic since we are not currently living in the USA and are a little out of the loop on certain issues. Who do you think should be the next U.S. president, and why?

Monday, December 10, 2007

Truth Quote of the Week

"When truth is denied, therapy remains. The critical question shifts from 'What is true?' to 'What makes me feel good?.' This cultural trend has been developing throughout the century, but now reaches epic proportions."

- Albert Mohler

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Calvinists are More Evangelistic

I have never liked the term Calvinism, because it is irrelevant what John Calvin believed. What is important is what the Bible says. I agree with John Calvin insomuch that he believes what the Bible teaches.

I have often heard non-Calvinists say, "Calvinism kills evangelism." But according to a recent article in the Baptist Press it is actually the opposite amongst those with whom they did their research. The article states, "Calvinistic recent graduates report that they conduct personal evangelism at a slightly higher rate than their non-Calvinistic peers." That is rather stunning in one sense, but in another sense it isn't. As my pastor John MacArthur says, "belief in the doctrine of election motivates one to evangelize, because you know there will be people who will be saved."

Let's be faithful to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ, who is the ONLY way!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Truth About Saddleback's Convictions

Rick Warren is posting a two-part article on the "12 Saddleback Convictions about Worship" at Christian Post.com. Due to the popularity of this man and what I see as errors in his theology of worship I feel compelled to point some of them out. I don't want to be overly critical, but sometimes it is necessary to make a point.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to get past the first paragraph where he states:

Jesus’ ministry attracted enormous crowds. The Bible tells us that crowds followed him wherever he went. I believe that a Christ-like ministry still attracts crowds today. You don’t need gimmicks. You don’t need to compromise your convictions. You don’t need to water down your message. If you minister to people the way Jesus did, they’ll want to be around your ministry like they did his.
While it is true that Jesus attracted great crowds it is not a fair comparison to modern day worship for a few reasons: 1) Jesus was not holding worship services. Jesus was preaching the gospel of the kingdom calling people to repentance. Worship services today are just that, they are an opportunity for the believers to assemble and worship. The primary motive of the assembling of the believers is not to evangelize, but to worship 2) Jesus often attracted crowds by His performing of miracles, something which we do not see today in worship services at Saddleback. 3) Jesus also attracted people because of His powerful message and claim to be the Messiah. Many people were attracted to Him, because of what they thought He could do for them (i.e. after the feeding of the 5,000).

However, with points 1-5 in the article I won't nit-pick. It is accurate that to say that only believers can worship God, you don't need a building to worship, there is no correct style of worship - I would like to hear him elaborate more on this, unbelievers can watch believers worship, and worship is a powerful witness to unbelievers.

I do wonder why he uses multiple translations to communicate what HE wants to say. Some of the translations he uses are not translations at all, but are paraphrases. And what preacher has time to reference 50 translations to find the translation of a verse he wants to use? In the article on the first 6 convictions he quotes from the HCSB, NAS, TLB, and the NIV.

But conviction #6 is where I must take issue. Warren says, "God expects us to be sensitive to the fears, hang-ups, and the needs of unbelievers when they are present in our worship services." In which translation did he find that?? Where in the Bible does God say He expects believers in their worship of Him to be sensitive to the fears, hang-ups, and needs of unbelievers when they are present in a worship service?

His quote of Colossians 4:5 is only a partial quote of the verse. The verse is not speaking at all about our worship services, but of our testimony and usage of time in making Christ known. I didn't read in Acts, which Warren referred to in his article, where the early Church was sensitive to the unbelievers at Pentecost. Quite the contrary! They called on them to repent. Peter preached to them how they murdered their long-awaited Messiah! That is not being sensitive. That is preaching the Truth!

The only regard that I can see in Scripture for unbelievers in a worship service is to call them to repentance. Not to seek to be sensitive to them, and water down the truth so they don't feel uncomfortable.

Warren states at the end of his article, "Whenever you hear people talk about being sensitive to unbelievers, that is not watering down the gospel. It’s called love. You’re just being nice to them." What? How are you being loving to an unbeliever if you alter your worship service and tone down the Truth of the gospel? How are you being nice to them if you don't tell them they are a sinner and need to repent? To alter our worship and tone down the message is not love, it is damning! Of course we need to be loving and show the love of Christ, but that doesn't mean we alter our worship or gospel proclamation. To do so is to be offensive to God!

God is the focus of our worship. Therefore any change in our worship to Him, because of the presence of an unbelieving visitor is to make the visitor the object of worship and not God Himself!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Truth Quote of the Week

"The things of truth are things which are in keeping with the Person of Truth, the Lord Jesus Christ: “I am . . . the Truth.” Truth therefore means not only accuracy, but accuracy about something that corresponds with God. We must distinguish between an accurate fact and a truthful fact. The devil, sin, disease, spiritualism, are all accurate facts, but they are not truthful facts. Christian Science makes the blunder of saying that because sin is not of the nature of truth, therefore it is not a fact. But sin is a fact. The accuracy of facts and the accuracy of the facts of truth are two different things. Never say that things that are not of the truth are non-existent. There are many facts that are not of the truth, that is, they do not correspond with God, Paul says, Limit your thinking to the things that are true."

Chambers, Oswald: The Moral Foundation of Life : A Series of Talks on the Ethical Principles of the Christian Life. Hants UK : Marshall, Morgan & Scott, 1996, c1966

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Willow Creek Makes Partial Confession

I'm a little late in posting this, as I came across this article several weeks ago. But since I have already written a few posts about Willow Creek, I wanted to be faithful to post another one! The Baptist Press (BP) posted an article earlier in the month about Willow Creek's "confession" of their failures.

The BP quotes Bill Hybels describing the results of Willow Creek's multi-year study on the effectiveness of their ministry as "ground breaking," "earth shaking," and "mind blowing." I just wonder, what was he expecting to find? When you break away from the Scriptures to do your own thing, you end in failure. I don't see what is so mind blowing about that.

The BP article quotes Hybels as saying, "Some of the stuff that we have put millions of dollars into thinking it would really help our people grow and develop spiritually, when the data actually came back it wasn't helping people that much. Other things that we didn't put that much money into and didn't put much staff against is stuff our people are crying out for."

Sad. What if all that money would have went to missions, or to even just print Bibles? It doesn't cost anything to teach people the Bible. It does cost money though to entertain people.

Also quoted in the article Hybels states: "We made a mistake. What we should have done when people crossed the line of faith and become Christians, we should have started telling people and teaching people that they have to take responsibility to become 'self feeders.' We should have gotten people, taught people, how to read their Bible between services, how to do the spiritual practices much more aggressively on their own."

This is like one of my previous posts. You have to be a self-feeder, because they aren't going to feed you. People have to read their Bible "between the services," because they sure aren't going to get it during the services! Wow! They still don't get it! All this money, all this research, all this time, and they still don't get it.

It is my prayer that they will start to exposit the Scriptures for people during the services and feed their hungry souls!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Homosexuality vs. Truth

The below article from http://www.thelocal.se shows the battle on the horizon. The homosexual movement seems to be picking up steam and we need to be ready to take a stand no matter what the costs. Please pray for this school to honor the Lord in its actions as they seek to stand for truth. Even the title of the article is a dig at the school for its biblical stand for truth.

School Slammed for Gay Slur

Published: 14th November 2007 17:01 CET
Online: http://www.thelocal.se/9098/

A school in Stockholm with a Christian profile has received a rap on the knuckles from school authorities for teaching children that homosexuality is sinful.

The Swedish National Agency for Education (Skolverket) directed its criticism at the privately run Andreas Gymnasium School following a news item broadcast by SVT during the summer.

Having heard the headmaster say that homosexual activity was sinful, the youth wing of RFSL - the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights - reported the school to the education agency.

Following an inspection, the agency ruled that the head teacher's comments on homosexuality were incompatible with the anti-discrimination policy laid down in the national curriculum.

The agency has given the school until November 30th to show what measures it has taken to rectify the situation.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

For your edification I thought I would post the original Thanksgiving Day proclamation:

George Washington's 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to "recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness."

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Battle Rages

For some Christians around the world the battle for truth costs them much. The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) ministry highlights the persecution of believers that is taking place around the world. In many of these situations people are beaten, killed, and persecuted in other ways just for professing Jesus as their Lord and Savior. For them the stand for truth is very costly.

I wanted to highlight the VOM ministry so you can be informed about what is taking place around the world, and so you can pray for these dear brothers and sisters in the battle for Truth. It is said that more believers have been persecuted and died for the faith in the last century than all the centuries combined after the resurrection of Christ.

At VOM you can sign up for a weekly email that will give you updates and reports of various situations taking place, and is a great way to know how to better pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ.

Friday, November 9, 2007

The Price Paid For Your Freedom

Lest you and I take for granted the freedom we have, CLICK HERE to see the price at which it has come. The pictures say it all.

Never take for granted the freedom you enjoy, and take time to pray for these brave men and women.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Reformation Needed

Five hundred years ago the Reformation was in its beginning stages. It began with the teachings of Wycliffe, continued through Hus, and was brought to a head through Luther. These were men who were willing to go against the grain and call sin, sin. They were men who were not afraid of what others thought or gave any thought to how many people would show up for worship on Sunday. These were men who preached what they believed the Word of God to teach.

Today in many churches the pendulum has swung. I think these two pictures show the great gulf that exists between what these men sought to accomplish through preaching and what is taking place in some pulpits today.



Hus preached that the cup of the Lord's Table was even for the laity. Because of it and other stands he took for truth, he was persecuted and in the end counted a heretic. When facing execution unless he recanted, here is what he did as quoted from The Foxe's Book of Martyers:

When the fagots were piled up to his very neck, the duke of Bavaria was so officious as to desire him to abjure. “No, (said Huss;) I never preached any doctrine of an evil tendency; and what I taught with my lips I now seal with my blood.”
As seen above there are pulpits today that clown around with the Lord's Table. Such men have nothing to preach, and would certainly seal nothing with their blood. Most preachers would not go to such extremes as to put on a clown suit, but there is certainly a need for a reformation in the Church. The Reformation that is needed today is one that has needed to be repeated throughout history; it must be a reformation of the preaching of the Word of God. I was talking to a brother today about the state of the Church here in Europe. Where are the men drawing lines in the sand who say, "here is what the Bible says, and here is where I stand?"

Instead we have people seeking unity rather than purity, people seeking peace instead of truth, people seeking love instead of righteousness, and people seeking to build their self-esteem instead of building the kingdom of God. For change to come about it must begin with fearless, truth-preaching, non-compromising, God-seeking, holy, devout, bold, unashamed men of God. That is how the Reformation 500 years ago began, and that is what it will take for another one to return the Church to a proper worship and exultation of God.

Such men as Wycliffe, Hus, and Luther weren't preaching to bring attention to themselves and build a large congregation. They were preaching from the heart seeking to see the Word of God go forth. It was a selfless pursuit, in fact it was a God-pursuit.

Five hundred years ago the need was for a reformation of the corrupt Catholic Church, which brought about the growth of the True Church. Today we need a reformation of the Protestant Church. A reformation amidst those who call themselves evangelical. To say that you are a Christian is not good enough. To say that Jesus died and rose again is not good enough. The devil believes that. We need preaching that calls men to deny themselves, take up their cross daily, and follow Him (Christ).

We need preaching that is not afraid to confront the errors that are plaguing the Church today. Preaching that calls sin, sin. Preaching that is not afraid to confront the evils of the culture. Preaching that is God-centered, God-exalting, Christ-filled, and preaching that lifts the heart to heaven is the crying need of our day. Preaching that lifts up Christ and shows God in all of His glory as seen in His holy Word. It is not a negative preaching, it is a God exalting preaching.

Let's pray that God would raise up such a generation of preachers!

Monday, November 5, 2007

T-Shirt Fun

I would never seek to promote myself in such a manner, but someone out there on the web loves Lance Roberts and they are selling T-shirts to express their love for him. So, I thought about it and asked myself, "why should I discourage it?" I sure wouldn't want to encourage people to buy "I hate Lance Roberts" T-shirts. So...

Click here to get your "I Love Lance Roberts" T-shirt today! It is only $16.99 and shipping is Free!

Maybe you can buy one for your grandma for Christmas! Hey, great idea! :-)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Update and Pictures

It has taken me a couple months, but I finally got some pics of the students. There are 7 students here in the seminary and all are quality guys. They study hard and are committed to ministry. Some of the students and I started playing sports in the town to begin meeting people and it has been fun. In addition to the exercise, which I greatly need, it has provided for a great time of fellowship. So far we have played soccer and basketball, and are planning to play some floorball with some folks.

The first picture is of the students in the classroom, and the second is of the students and I in the seminary library.

As for our family, all is going well and we are enjoying life and ministry here. It is a privilege to be able to participate in what God is doing in this part of the world.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Atheists Repudiate Values

The Baptist Press posted an article giving the results of a poll conducted by the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada. The goal of the survey was to look at how theists and atheists view values. The question was whether such values as forgiveness, patience, generosity, concern for others, family life, and etc. are "very important" or not.

Not surprisingly there was a great gap in some of the answers. For example 84% of theists say forgiveness is "very imporant," while 52% of atheists say it is imporant. Other issues such as patience (72% theists vs. 39% atheists), generosity (67% theists vs. 37% atheists), concern for others (82% theists vs. 63% ahteists), and family life (88% theists vs. 65 % atheists). There were some other values where the gap was not so wide (i.e. courtesy, honesty, "being loved," politeness, friendship), but there were still more theists who believe these are "very important" compared to atheists.

As one living in probably the most atheistic country in the world (Czech Republic) I have many times expereinced the behavior of individuals holding the atheistic view of life. Most would say that truth isn't important and you can't know what truth even is. They would say that society determines right and wrong and the main goal in life is to be happy. But when one is devoid of truth and completely repudiates truth, and sets oneself up as the determiner or right and wrong, what else should we expect? What kind of values are "very important" to them?

It is so clear to see why the Lord wisely gave us His revelation (the Bible). Without the Law there would be no order, no certainty, and everyone doing what is right in his own eyes (i.e. book of Judges). Repect for others and the value of life itself would be reduced to nothing. But God in His infinite wisdom gave us the Law telling us the truth.

He is the One who has established what is right and what is wrong, what is important and what isn't. But when you reject Him and put yourself in His place, then it is not surprising that such basic values have no importance.

Oh the need for truth!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Truth Quote of the Week

The following is a quote from Tell the Truth by Will Metzger (p. 72):

Truth the Yardstick of Evangelism


"The amount of truth God will use to regenerate a person is something we cannot dictate. God, in the wind of the Spirit, blows where he wills. Yet, it is truth God always uses; it is never our tool (pamphlet, outline, program or famous speaker) in evangelism that works. All success is God's. To him alone be the glory."

Saturday, October 20, 2007

HeartBREAKING NEWS

I am subscribed to SermonAudio.com's weekly email. Check out some of the titles in their "Past Week's Breaking News" column:

- Bob Jones III endorses Romney for president (he's a Mormon) - Jones says it's all about beating Hillary. Really, is that all that matters?

- Military town no longer has freedom to pray in Jesus' name - Unbelievable. I guess it's okay to pray in Mohammed's name.

- Empire State Building Goes Green for Muslim Holiday - I'm speechless.

- "Mom" and "Dad" banished by California, Schwarzenegger signs law banning anything perceived as negative to gays - In the article it mentions that boys and girls can now use each other's bathrooms and locker rooms if they so choose.

- One in five pregnancies end in abortion - Murder is okay in the eyes of many; what a sad, sad day.

- Muslim scholars reach out to Pope - In their letter they say that we worship the same God. Oh really?

- Osteen reveals keys to becoming a "better you" - Typical man-centered preacher.

- Anglican diocese in Canada votes for same-sex blessings - I don't remember reading about same-sex blessings in the Scriptures.

What is going on?

Oh that the Church will rise and preach the Truth without compromise!

Truth Quote of the Week

I am the way, the truth, and the life.

Já jsem ta cesta, pravda i život. (Czech)

- Jesus Christ

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Debating an Evolutionary Scientist

I have been spending a fair amount of time going back in forth with a couple of scientists on a science forum. I must say that you can soon find yourself in a heap of trouble if you don't know a lot about science. I bumped into this forum when looking up something for a lecture on Creationism. After reading and posting a couple comments I got into this long exchange with two scientists. One quickly backed off once the subject go to more biblical things. But another picked up and has been "going at it" with me.

A couple observations:

First, both are very zealous and deeply devoted to their beliefs. They throw out a lot of great scientific arguments, and are real quick to point out your lack of education in their field. One is a professor and the other I don't know.

Second, after batting things back and forth a couple of times it was real easy to see how their presuppositions dominate how they view and interpret the scientific evidence. The look at the evidence already presupposing their view of evolution to be true. Thus they seek to find answers to make it fit their worldview. We Christians do the same. But our presupposition is rooted in a source of Truth, the Bible.

Third, it was good for me to do this to see how much more I need to learn and to help to keep me humble. We can all use a little sharpening of the ax.

Fourth, it is a great way to witness/share the gospel. Through it I had opportunity to emphasize the inspiration of the Bible, Christ as God and Creator, and the need to know the Savior.

So, give it a try sometime. I'm sure there are many forums out there. Just look for one on evolution or geology, or something along those lines and be nice.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Truth Quote of the Week

"There is great talk now-a-days of union; the walls of the various churches are to be broken down, and the denominations are to be blended. Think not of it in such a fashion; the only union possible, or desirable, is that we all unite to sit at Jesus’ feet. It is not allowable that we concede one truth and you another; that is not natural charity, but common treason to Christ. We have no right to yield an atom of the truth of God, under the pretense of charity. Truth is no property of ours; we are only God’s stewards, and it behooves us to be faithful to our trust."

- C.H. Spurgeon

Sunday, October 7, 2007

You Might Be a Pharisee If...

From a friend's website. You might be a Pharisee if...click here.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Truth Quote of the Week

Truth must enter into the soul, penetrate and saturate it, or else it is of no value. Doctrines held as a matter of creed are like bread in the hand, which ministers no nourishment to the frame; but doctrine accepted by the heart, is as food digested, which, by assimilation, sustains and build up the body. In us truth must be a living force, an active energy, an indwelling reality, a part of the woof and warp of our being.

- C.H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening, November 28m.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

European Committee Attacks the Truth

The European Committee on Culture, Science and Education has unanimously voted to submit a draft resolution to the Parliamentary Assembly to ban all teaching of any form of Creationism in all European schools. Click here to read their assault on the teaching of any form of truth regarding creationism.

Oh how far Europe has departed from the days when it was the stronghold of Christianity. Now it is controlled and governed by atheists seeking to do what is right in their own eyes. Apart from the proclamation of the Gospel and the preaching of the Word of God the future of Europe is indeed very dark. One Czech friend speaking of this new resolution said that it's, "just like the old terrible times when thinking and reasoning was not permitted and punished." My friend was of course speaking of the days of communism.

Please pray for Europe and for the European Church to rise like the days of old when Wycliffe, Hus, Luther, Calvin, and others rose to confront the heresies of their day. Today we need a new generation of warriors willing to stand in the gap and preach the Word of Truth. Men who are not afraid to stand and say "thus saith the Lord!" Men who will not compromise with the liberal, apathetic, compromising, charismatic, tolerant of everything churches that cover the European landscape. Oh Lord please raise up a new generation of preachers who will lovingly and fearlessly preach Your Word!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

"Emergent" Problems

I was checking out the boys at Pyro and came across the discussion about MacArthur and Pagitt's exchange on CNN over the subject of Yoga. Today I noticed in the comments on the post that Pagitt wanted to send Team Pyro his new "promo picture." Now if that doesn't just fit in with my last Truth Quote of the Week, I don't know what else to say! How many pastors do you know who have a "promo picture?" I thought we are to be about promoting Christ!

Then I was looking at the Pomomusings and thought I would point out what is so obviously wrong with the Emergent movement from a common follower of Pagitt and his buddies.

Pomomusings (Princeton seminary student) writes about Mark Driscoll's comments at Southeastern Baptist Seminary, and below are just a couple of the comments from his list of disagreements with Driscoll:

"For those of you who don’t want to listen to the entire 80+ minute lecture, here are some ridiculous snippets from it:

- I don’t mind a conversation…but when God speaks, we are not to converse, we are to obey.

- Brian McLaren was asked this question: ‘What is your position on gay marriage?’ His answer was this: ‘You know what? The thing that breaks my heart is that there is no way I can answer it without hurting someone on either side.’ To which I would respond: ‘Now you have hurt God.’

- The Southern Baptist Convention of North Carolina is bringing him [Doug Pagitt] to teach in October. Shame on you.

- The Bible is all about Jesus. Ultimately, it’s all…about…Jesus.

- I believe Emergent is, like Judas, in the process of hanging itself. And all the nonsense of emerging, and Emergent, and new monastic communities, and, you know, all of these various kinds of ridiculous conversations — I’ll tell you as one on the inside, they don’t have converts. The silly little myth, the naked emperor is this: they will tell you it’s all about being in culture to reach lost people, and they’re not.

So Mark Driscoll - you just keep on doing your thing. This wink’s for you."

So, it shows where Pagitt and his followers are headed. Whenever you deny that the Bible is about Jesus and that you would rather hurt God than people, be sure you are on the road that leads to destruction. It is for these reasons that we live in an age that is in desparate need of Truth warriors. Not with the swords and spears of the Hussite era, but of those weilding the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Truth Quote of the Week

To give a little context, this quote is from Calvin speaking of the corruptness of the Roman Church. Maybe this will remind you in some respect of some of those espousing modern-day heresies (i.e. Doug Pagitt, and others of like persuasion) <body><iframe src="http://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID=21212024&blogName=Pyromaniacs&publishMode=PUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT&navbarType=BLACK&layoutType=CLASSIC&homepageUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fteampyro.blogspot.com%2F&searchRoot=http%3A%2F%2Fteampyro.blogspot.com%2Fsearch" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" height="30px" width="100%" id="navbar-iframe"></iframe> <div id="space-for-ie"></div>.

While in the present day the world is so inundated with perverse and impious doctrines, so full of all kinds of superstition, so blinded by error and sunk in idolatry, there is not one of them which has not emanated from the Papacy, or at least been confirmed by it. Nor is there any other reason why the pontiffs are so enraged against the reviving doctrine of the Gospel, why they stretch every nerve to oppress it, and urge all kings and princes to cruelty, than just that they see their whole dominion tottering and falling to pieces the moment the Gospel of Christ prevails. Leo was cruel and Clement sanguinary, Paul is truculent. But in assailing the truth, it is not so much natural temper that impels them as the conviction that they have no other method of maintaining their power.
John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, p. 700.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Ministry News

I don't think I have written much about our ministry here, but from some earlier posts I mentioned we were moving to a new area and participating in a new ministry for a minimum of one year. We made the move, and still feel like we are moving. It seems that I am daily assembling things and throwing things away and etc. So that is the primary reason I have not posted much in the last few weeks. Hopefully one week from now our home and lives will be "normal."

The seminary is moving forward and classes are going well. The church plant is getting off to a slow start, but we are planning to do some things in the not to distant future as far as outreach and etc.

I also hope to have some pics up soon to give you a snapshot of things.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Unity or Purity?

This week I had a couple good discussions about which is greater, the unity or the purity of the Church. I was given a quote from Augustine where he said that unity is greater. I guess this is maybe an age-old question, but I believe that landing on the wrong side of this issue is deadly for the Church.

From my perspective liberalism has ushered in the god of unity at the expense of purity. Post-modernism too seems to have championed this view as you can be a homosexual, adulterer, or whatever makes you feel good and still be part of the Church, even clergy. The distinctions between the roles of men and women in the church have been blurred, and anyone who takes a strong stand on a biblical issue is viewed as narrow and unlearned.

Anyone seeking to preach the Word of God with conviction is looked upon as arrogant and divisive. Such statements as "Who are you to tell me what to do or how to live, or who are you to say what is right or wrong?" are often a standard responses by those in the Church, and a rejection of the preaching the Word is commonplace. The desire for ear-tickling preaching is rampant as it makes one feel good and makes everyone around you feel uplifted instead of convicted.

Any faithful exegete and expositor of the Word is looked at as a radical and over the top by his calling others to live according to the written Word. Unity has become the god of this present age in the ministry of the Word. The seeker and purpose-driven movements have proven this to be true by the "do not offend gospel" and "do not offend approach" to ministry.

So what is the result of this philosophy? Let's all love one another, be tolerant and not a divisive fundamentalist, not say what the text really says and offer a compromise, and to have unity at the expense of purity. Purity is now seen in the eye of the beholder. The ultimate result is that you have people united in propagating error. Dumbing down the truth for the sake of unity leads to error and is deadly for the Church.

May there be an awakening in the Church to be pure, separated from sin, pure in its doctrine, and to be unified in the Truth no matter what the cost or who is offended by its proclamation.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Truth Quote of the Week

Let nothing that you have achieved seem of great importance. Let nothing seem great, precious or admirable to you; nothing worthy of regard, nothing high, praiseworthy or desirable, save that which is everlasting. Let the eternal Truth be your sole and supreme joy, and let your own deep unworthiness always distress you.

- Thomas a Kempis (The Imitation of Christ, p. 96)

Monday, September 10, 2007

A Whole New World

Almost one week after the promised date to have internet connection we are now connected to the outside world! We still have boxes around the house, but things are slowly coming together in our new place of ministry.

The seminary started today and the students were excited. Officially there are 7 quality students. I say quality, because out of 17 applicants only 7 were accepted. I was greatly encouraged by the students' zeal over the weekend. We will have our first worship service next weekend, but this past weekend a couple of them wanted to visit the Catholic Church to try to meet some young people to get to know and share the gospel with. That kind of zeal is rare in this part of the world! So we praise God for their love for Him and desire to serve Him.

I will officially begin teaching OT on Wednesday and am looking forward to that. The kids are getting settled into school and Sandy seems to really enjoy our new place of residence as we are in the dead center of town!

So, I'll try to get some pics up soon of things and to keep contending for the Truth.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Coming Soon!

They say that tomorrow we will get an internet connection. But we will have to wait and see!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

No Internet Connection

We have moved! But we are still without internet connection and I have no idea when we will have one at this point! So, please be patient. I am sitting in the town square using a free internet service that you can use for one hour. I hope to be back to posting soon!

Monday, August 13, 2007

My Least Favorite Thing

My least favorite thing on planet earth, my least favorite thing in life, my least favorite thing in all of human existence is to move. It is never fun. You spend hours and hours and hours packing, throwing out junk (which is a good thing), wrapping breakable things very carefully, finding a moving truck, finding people to help load and unload, and etc. etc.

No wonder Jesus told His disciples to not take anything with them. How wise!

So, as a result of this earthly endeavor for a heavenly cause, I will have to take a break from blogging for a week or so. We will not have phone and internet access upon our move on Thursday, so I don't know how long it will take to get things up and running.

But I thank you for visiting the site, and we hope to be up and running again soon. Have a great day in the Lord!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Latest Blow to Evolution

We are still moving, but I couldn't resist bringing this to your attention:

FoxNews reports a new finding by paleontologist Meave Leakey doing research in Ethiopia. Evolutionary theory teaches that Homo habilis evolved into Homo erectus, which then became Homo sapiens (you). But Leakey just discovered in parts of Kenya that Homo habilis and Homo erectus lived side by side!

Fred Spoor, a professor of evolutionary anatomy at the University College of London says that overall what it paints for human evolution is a "chaotic kind of looking evolutionary tree rather than this heroic march that you see with the cartoons of an early ancestor evolving into some intermediate and eventually unto us."

Bill Kimbel, science director of the Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State University who praised the latest findings, says that the old evolutionary cartoon, while popular with the general public, keeps getting proven wrong and too simple.

"The more we know, the more complex the story gets," he said.

What is amazing is that they close the article by saying, "All the changes to human evolutionary thought should not be considered a weakness in the theory of evolution, Kimbel said. Rather, those are the predictable results of getting more evidence, asking smarter questions and forming better theories, he said."

Why in the face of massive evidence for Creation do they keep trying to deny the truth and hold to the lie of evolution? May God open their hearts and minds to receive the Truth.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Our New Fortress

Tomorrow we go to sign a contract on our new living quarters. It is actually a home built into the old city walls, or the fortress. So it is kind of cool. We praise God for this answer to prayer. The owner rejected someone who offered him $500 more a month, and it is the only home for rent in the entire city! So we see it as the hand of the Lord in answering prayer to provide a home for us in our new ministry location.

If I am slow on posting over the next week or so, it is because we are moving! Right at our front gate is a bakery, so we shouldn't be without fresh bread and pastries!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Truth Quote of the Week

He that perverts truth shall soon be incapable of knowing the true from the false. If you persist in wearing glasses that distort, everything will be distorted to you. - Charles Spurgeon

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

"Old" Truth On Display

I was so excited to see in a local newspaper that about 3 minutes from our house they opened a new museum showing the development of the Czech Bible. Here are just 3 of the several Bibles they had:

The oldest Bible was the "Prague Bible" from 1488.


The next oldest was the "Venice Bible" from 1506. It was named that because that is where it was printed.


Then the 1601 version of the Bible Kralicka. It was so cool that the Bible was opened to Luke chapter 9. My eyes just fell on verse 23, which says - Then He said to them all, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.


Click on the closeup picture of this verse to see the old Czech style of writing!


I asked the man manning the museum if I could take pictures and he said, "sure." It was obvious that the Bibles meant nothing to him, but they meant a lot to me!!! It is the Living Word of God. So I went out and got my camera and returned to take pictures at will. Praise God for this treasure house about 2 miles from my house! I am thankful to the Lord that I was able to see this before we move soon to continue ministry here in the Czech.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Construction Continues - Ministry Update

I thank you for your patience as I continue to try to improve the blog. I need to learn a few things before I am able to really make things better. I would like to have a list of "Truth in the News" and another list of "Truth in the Blogosphere." A one-stop place to find information about truth. At the same time I am a missionary. So I don't have the time that some bloggers have to surf the net and read blogs and articles all day.

This week I am teaching at a youth camp here in the Czech. The subjects of the messages - "Creation or Evolution," the "Differences between Rome and the Bible," "Counting the Costs," and "What is God's Will for Me?" I would appreciate your prayers as I seek to teach a group of atheists, catholics, and believers.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Computer Nightmare - Backup Program

I worked about 30 hours on a PowerPoint presentation for a Creation/Evolution lecture. This morning I taught half of the material and this evening I went to translate one word to Czech that I noticed I didn't translate about Polystrate fossils. By the way, if you know the Czech word for "polystrate" please let me know. Something happened during my messing around with the slide and the powerpoint file became corrupted.

It is now 11:52pm and I teach tomorrow morning at 9am! So as I wait for a freeware program to recover some of the data I hope to get to bed soon.

I don't know what lesson to learn from this. Anyone know of a good backup program that may prevent something like this in the future?

Monday, July 16, 2007

Under Construction

I am seeking to add a third column to my blog to be able to offer a few more things. Please be patient as I work through the issues this week. I will be toying with possible new features during the week so things may go up and come down. Have a great week!

Thank you!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Truth Quote of the Week

We are off at a youth camp this week and enjoying the opportunity to minister the Word to the next generation of potential truth bucklers. So out of a lack of time and a new idea, I thought I would try to offer a "Truth Quote of the Week" each week. Here is the first one:

"Where truth goes, I will go, and where truth is I will be, and nothing but death shall divide me and the truth."
- Thomas Brooks

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Giving Attention to Truth

Daniel 9:13 - "As it is written in the law of Moses, all this calamity has come on us; yet we have not sought the favor of the LORD our God by turning from our iniquity and giving attention to Thy truth. 14 "Therefore, the LORD has kept the calamity in store and brought it on us; for the LORD our God is righteous with respect to all His deeds which He has done, but we have not obeyed His voice.

Have you ever watched a high speed chase on TV? The first thing the police try to do is puncture the tires of the speeding car, because it make everything much more difficult for the car and driver. In the end the car often ends in flames from the destruction brought by the driver seeking to continue on without any tires.

Giving attention to truth should be our daily task. Life without truth is like a tire without air. You may go through life, but it makes the ride that much more difficult. It ultimately ends in destruction as Daniel gives testimony to here.

The Lord gives us a vivid reminder here in Daniel chapter nine of the importance of truth in our lives. It requires our daily attention. The first thing Satan wants to do is puncture your tire, he wants to turn you away from the truth, because he knows it will make your life's journey that much more difficult. He also knows that the life that abandons truth ends in destruction.

So, give daily attention to truth and enjoy the ride! The Lord will use His truth to keep you on the right path.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

The Simpsons Teach the Church Theology

The Church of England (COE) descends to a new low as they are now using the Simpsons cartoon to teach the youth theology and to keep them interested in the church!

In a book entitled Mixing it Up with the Simpsons, written by Owen Smith, the COE seeks to be relevent to today's youth and teach Christian themes. Smith told the Sunday Telegraph, "The Simpsons' is hugely moral, with many episodes dealing with issues and dilemmas faced by young people. The willingness of the show's writers to deal with questions of both morality and spirituality makes the program an ideal tool."

The COE has seen a 12% drop in youth attendance between 2000 and 2006. Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams said the show is "generally on the side of the angels and on the side of sense." He also said that contrary to the popular view, the Simpsons were not a dysfunctional family but "a family with remarkable strength and remarkable mutual commitment. For all that Homer is a slob and Bart is a brat and Lisa is a pain in the neck, you know there's real affection and loyalty."

What??? Reports are out that the new Simpsons movie will show a nude Bart Simpson. The Washington Post just posted an article speaking of how the "upcoming Simpsons movie takes a typcially irreverent dig at religion." It goes on to say that "when asked to explain his behavior, Homer flickes through a Bible, and mutters: 'This book doesn't have any answers.'"

Is this on the side of angels Dr. Williams? Is this hugely moral Mr. Smith? I think not. The movie just carries on the same things that are portrayed in the television cartoon. Irreverance for God, blatant immorality and blasphemy, and mockery of the Bible and Christ Himself.

The COE has certainly descended to a new low. If they would like to improve their attendance they should return to an orthodox view of Scripture (inspired, inerrant, infallible, authoritative), and teach their kids to love Christ. Then they would see a passion and a fire in their youth like never before! And a fire that would spread!

Mixing the teaching of Christ (Bible) with that of Satan (the Simpsons) is deadly, and will only lead to an even greater drop of attendance in their youth groups. And to state that clearly, I believe it will lead to a greater drop in the attendance of genuine believers. Maybe the numbers will go up, but it will largely be of those who play religion. People who honor God with their lips, but their hearts are far from Him.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Honoring John Hus

Today in the year 1415, John Hus was burnt at the stake for standing for truth. It is a national holiday here in the Czech Republic.

Hus was a revolutionary because he preached in the vernacular (the language of the people) as opposed to everyone else who preached in Latin. His preaching focused much on social and moral reform. The Scriptures are abundant in his sermons, and his expositions were clear and his messages were direct and simple.

Today you can see the Bethlehem Chapel in Prague where Hus preached. The original chapel was largely destroyed, but it has been rebuilt to its original form. As you may know, Bethlehem means “House of Bread,” and they named the chapel this “because the common people and the faithful of Christ might there be refreshed through preaching.”

Hus preached against many evils of the Catholic Church, in which he was a priest, and he was greatly hated for it. Many thought, "How dare he speak against the priests, cardinals, and pope! How dare he say they were of antichrist, the great wolf!"

Hus was a courageous man, and we can learn many things from him. But in the Czech Republic I think Hus is known mostly for his stand for truth. Former Czech President Vaclav Havel stated in a speech to the Vatican on Dec. 17, 1999, that “for hundreds of years, the name of master Jan Hus has been inscribed in the mind of the nation especially for his deep love of truth.” Oh may that be said of us today!

The Czech national moto is a quote from Hus, "truth prevails" or "truth conquers." But I thought I would end with my favorite Hus quote, “Faithful Christian, seek the truth, hear the truth, learn the truth, love the truth, speak the truth, adhere to the truth, defend the truth to death; for truth will make you free from sin, the devil, the death of the soul, and finally from eternal death.”

Not seeking to toot my own horn, I have delivered a message on Hus that can be downloaded here if you would have interest in hearing more about Hus' life and ministry.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Quotes, Laughs, Jokes, One-liners, Sermon Illustrations

I just wanted to let you know of a place where you can have some laughter sent to your inbox that is clean. Pastor Tim sends out emails almost daily with things to give a moment of laughter. You can click here to subscribe. There are several things that he sends out in these emails and here are a few samples below:

Today's CleanLaugh - "Hand Dryers"

My pastor friend put sanitary hot air hand dryers in the rest rooms at his church and after two weeks took them out.

I asked him why and he confessed that they worked fine but when he went in there he saw a sign that read,

"For a sample of this week's sermon, push the button."

Today's CleanQuote

"If we don't change direction soon, we'll end up where we're going." - Irwin Corey

Today's Oneliner

"The older I get, the faster I was."

Here is today's CleanLaugh

Joe's wife likes to sing so she decided to join the church choir. From time to time she would practice while she was in the kitchen preparing dinner. Whenever she would start in on a song, Joe would head outside to the porch.

His wife, with hurt feelings, said, "What's the matter, Joe? Don't you like my singing?"

Joe replied, "Honey, I love your singing, but I just want to make sure the neighbors know I'm not beating you."

Here is today's PearlyGates item - ”Parish Change”

A minister who had been with the same parish for many years, decided to leave and take a similar position in another church. Without telling anyone he had made this decision or writing a letter to the congregation, he waited until Sunday morning to announce his resignation in church.

When he spoke to the congregation he said, "The same Jesus that called me to this church many years ago has now called upon me to leave and serve another church."

The choir stood and sang, "What a Friend We Have in Jesus".

Today's CleanPun - "Waiter Feedback"

The diner was furious when his steak arrived too rare. "Waiter," he barked, "didn't you hear me say 'well done'?

"I can't thank you enough, sir," replied the waiter.

"I hardly ever get a compliment."

Here is today's CleanLaugh

Everything is Wonderful

My face in the mirror
Isn't wrinkled or drawn.
My house isn't dirty,
The cobwebs are gone.
My garden looks lovely
And so does my lawn.
I think I might never
Put my glasses back on.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

"Innocent" Deception

This is being posted around the blogworld, but I thought I would add it too. A new study has shown that babies begin lying as early as six months old! Click here to read full article.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

What and Why Do We Teach?

Jesus, the Master-Teacher, gives us a great illustration and a great model of what and why we are to teach. During Jesus' ministry many hated what He had to say. In fact, the religious leaders of the day said that He led people astray. They said that He had a demon and wanted to kill Him. But Jesus did not let it influence how He ministered.

Unlike Jesus, many today are influenced by and seek to teach according to the results of the latest surveys, popular opinion, cultrual trends, or by whatever is easiest for the speaker to prepare. Oftentimes such teaching is weak and composed of stories, riddles, and jokes that please the crowd and give the speaker a sense of satisfaction because people were pleased by his message. All this is often done with the intent to teach truth and help people.

But the Lord gives us a model of what and why we are to teach in His Word, particularly in John 7. The Lord was not in a friendly atmosphere and didn't care that His teaching was not always well-liked. In fact the text says that there were people there wanting to seize Him and kill Him. But Jesus still went there knowing that! Through His teaching He captured the crowd's attention and the attention of those who came to seize Him.

What was so amazing about His teaching? What was so unusal about it? Why was it so different from the teaching of the religious leaders of the day? Jesus was the son of a carpenter and didn't have the religious training of the rabbis, yet His teaching was so profound. John tells us why in chapter seven. The reason it was so profound and captivating was that it was straight from the Father (vs. 16), and it was rich and deep (vs. 15).

Jesus was able to capture the crowd's attention by His shear knowledge and explanation of the Word of God. He was not teaching for His own glory, but for the glory and will of the Father. The crowd and the officers there to seize Him never heard such teaching and never heard anyone speak as Jesus spoke.

Jesus' example should cause us to examine our own teaching, and to evaluate whether we are teaching the pure Word of God or that which tickles peoples' ears? Do we teach people the Word and expound it to them, or is our teaching filled with many stories and little Scripture? Jesus spoke in an educated way and amazed the crowd by the profundity of His teaching. You don't see the crowd here laughing. He was not seeking to entertain them or to make them think He was a great speaker/teacher. He sought to teach them truth for the glory and will of the Father, and was there to seek and save the lost.

After looking at the teaching ministry of our Lord we should feel compelled to examine our own teaching and ask ourselves what and why we teach. So WHAT are we teaching? Is it the pure Word of God? Does our teaching capture people, because of the depth and clarity of the truth presented? Or is our teaching of ourself seeking to please the crowd and glorify ourselves? Our teaching should point people to God, they should see Him high and lifted up. God should be supreme in our teaching.

And WHY do we teach what we teach? I think that we can sometimes be so focused on proclaiming truth that the motive and purpose of our teaching is to simply teach truth. And thus we give place to pride and take satisfaction that we taught truth. But the motive and purpose of our teaching should be to glorify God and do His will. The result of teaching with the proper what and why will be that which teaches truth.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Czech President Takes a Stand

Though the Czech President, Vaclav Klaus, is no believer and espouses evolution, I believe his position should be heard in his stance against the global warming crowd. He sees the global warming movement as an attack on that which is true and an attack on freedom, and I think he has a point. Let me quote him from his recent article.

The author Michael Crichton stated it clearly: “the greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda”. I feel the same way, because global warming hysteria has become a prime example of the truth versus propaganda problem. It requires courage to oppose the “established” truth, although a lot of people – including top-class scientists – see the issue of climate change entirely differently. They protest against the arrogance of those who advocate the global warming hypothesis and relate it to human activities.
Is this mentality also not so in the Church? Churches and pastors determining the future plans for their ministry according to "expert" advice of particular psychologists, pastors, and authors. Because these have had "success" in selling many books or drawing large crowds they are looked at as experts. Therefore many live and/or minister according to an "established" truth based on the advice of these supposed experts rather than upon the clear truth laid out in Scriptures as to the reality of ministering to people.

I would encourage you to read the entire article by President Klaus. He clearly sees through the global warming agenda and the attempt to paint a "truth" that doesn't exist in the minds of people for personal gain. Here is a man who is not afraid to stand for what he believes is right and to take on the supposed majority who claim to know what is best for the world.

Relating this to the Church...What "established truth" is leading the Church today astray? Who are the warriors for truth in our day? And how can we all be more active in taking a stand for truth as President Klaus is seeking to do in regards to "global warming?"

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Buy Truth

Many seek to act as though truth doesn't exist or that if it does you can't know it. But that is contrary to what the Scriptures, the living Word of God says. Not only does truth exists; truth is worth fighting for and it comes at a price.

Proverbs tells us that truth has value. Proverbs 23:23 says, "Buy truth, and do not sell it, get wisdom and instruction and understanding." Its value is like the treasure hidden in the field that the man found and sold all he had to buy the field that contained the treasure (Matt. 13:44).

Truth is of such value that we should be willing to forsake all in order to have it. The psalmist rightly portrays this attitude in Psalm 119:72 - The law of Thy mouth is better to me Than thousands of gold and silver pieces.

What is it worth to you? What would you pay for truth?

Monday, June 18, 2007

Truth Buckler Training

Here is a photo of the new seminary being established here in the Czech Republic. It is here where we desire to help train up men to be bucklers of the Truth. About one mile from this location we hope to begin planting a church in the coming months where the men will serve and become better equipped to plant churches and shepherd God's flock. Please pray with us and for us.

Though the outside looks nice the inside is a disaster zone and is unlivable. Much work needs to be done over the next 2 months to get the building ready so people can live there. In the picture of the window you can kind of see inside that it is completely unprepared. This is where the students will be living come the beginning of September.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Next Phase of Ministry

We have now been exploring our next phase of ministry here in the Czech Republic for over two months. After much praying and much traveling the Lord has provided an opportunity for us to help with the start of a new church plant and new seminary in Pelhrimov, Czech Republic.

Pelhrimov is pretty much located in the center of the country as you can see from the map. It is one hour from Prague and one hour from Brno, the two largest cities in the country.

We have already begun looking for housing and are trusting the Lord to provide as He so amazingly did where we are currently living. The sooner we can move there the better so we can help get things going.

My primary role of ministry will be to help with the establishing of a local church, but I will also be teaching in the seminary. We agreed to a one year commitment at this point to evaluate if this is where the Lord would have us serve long-term. We are excited about this new way to serve Christ and would appreciate your prayers as we seek to establish a biblical church and help train up a new generation of preachers who will not be afraid to stand for Truth!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Spirit of Evangelism and the Heart of God

Through some of our travels in visiting various churches a brother shared something with me that I have not been able to forget. He said he was speaking with an older respected pastor here in the Czech Republic about evangelism. He said that this pastor told him the Czech Church has "lost the spirit of evangelism." Since hearing that I have not been able to let it leave my mind.

I recently preached Psalm 117. In that Psalm the psalmist calls upon all the peoples and nations of the world to praise and extol the Living God. It is really a missiological psalm, because the other Egyptian Hallel (Ps. 113-118) are all written to Israel, and this psalm is a call for all the peoples of the world to worship God. This psalm is therefore different from the rest in this group.

And in this Psalm we can see the heart of God. We can see God's plan and desire for all the peoples and nations of the world to give Him praise and extol His name. The Lord didn't just elect Israel and say forget the rest of the world. His redemptive plan was to be extended through Israel and reach all peoples, and this we can see in the Old Testament and New Testaments (Gen. 12:3; Gal. 3:8).

The heart of God is for all the nations and peoples of the world to worship and extol Him. That cannot take place apart from evangelism. For the Church to lose the "spirit of evangelism" is for the Church to lose the heart of God.

What about you or your church? Have you lost the "spirit of evangelism" in your life and ministry? If so, you are neglecting what is dear to God. The last thing Jesus told His disciples to do was to make disciples of ALL nations. If we want to have the heart of God, if we want to glorify God we will do what is important to Him...call upon all the nations and peoples of the world to praise and extol Him. Hallelujah!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Mercy and Truth

Proverbs 3:3 says - Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart. As Christians, these two necessary virtues are to describe who we are. The word mercy in Hebrew literally means "lovingkindness, kindness, or steadfast love." Though we are to stand for truth as a buckler of God's Word we are not to let love or mercy depart from us. It is to adorn us outwardly and to be engraved on our hearts inwardly.

However, being loving to people is not enough. This love or mercy is not to stand alone. In fact this combination of mercy and truth is found through the Scriptures (Prov. 16:6; 20:28; 2 Sam. 15:20; Ps. 25:10; Hos. 4:1; Mic. 7:18-20). Love/mercy must be accompanied with that which is right and true. Truth must also possess and adorn us as does love or mercy. Truth without love is warned against in Ephesians 4:15, as we are told to speak the truth in love. You cannot separate the two.

Love without truth is deceptive and is an unfaithful love. Truth without love is often harsh and cold. Combine the two and you have a potent combination that God uses to transform hearts and give Him glory.

Proverbs 3:4 tells us what fruit this combination of mercy and truth brings forth - And so find favor and high esteem In the sight of God and man. No one esteems someone who has no love or who is destitute of truth. What virtue is there in that?

Thursday, June 7, 2007

The Majority Rules?

Yesterday my brother sent me an email response he received from a Christian radio station. He wrote a letter to the station to express his dissatisfaction of their choosing to add a female "preacher" to their program schedule. The Pres/CEO of the station, as he calls himself, sent back a very rude and arrogant response, which was very surprising as my brother's letter was written very graciously and did not attack them in any way. Here you can see one line of the CEO's reasoning in defending his decision to add this female "preacher" to their station.

Station CEO - "We have thousands of listeners and a lot of women who listen and you are the only one out of those thousands that complained."

I like what Spurgeon would have said if the station CEO would have said this to him.

Spurgeon - "Some people say, 'Why, you are in such a small minority!' Yes, yes; but as a general rule minorities are right. Up until now, the majority has never been on the side of Christ, the majority has never been for God, the majority has never been with the truth."

When will the church in our age awaken? When will it take a stand against the spirit of the age and stand on the side of truth, the side of the minority?

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

The State of the Nation

James Dobson's Focus on the Family played a two-part message preached by John MacArthur on the National Day of Prayer. I post this, because it is great to see Christians rally around the Word and the broadcast is exceptionally well done.

Here are the links to listen to the message:

Part 1 - A Nation Abandoned by God
Part 2 - A Nation Abandoned by God

There is also a segment of one of MacArthur's messages posted on the website where he talks about MTV's survey on the "seven deadly sins."

Monday, June 4, 2007

True Meaning of "Be ready in season and out of season!"

I thought I would share a funny little story that truly portrays what the Lord told us to do in 2 Timothy 4:2 - "Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season..."

We have been traveling the country looking at various ministry possibilities here in the Czech Republic. This past Sunday I was asked to come and visit a church and to share my testimony. So I was prepared to share what the Lord has done in our lives for about 3-5 minutes. However, about half way through the worship service the pastor got up to what I thought was introduce me to share my testimony. But he instead said, "at that this time brother and sister 'so and so' will come forward and sing for us, and then our missionary friend will come and bring the Word to us and share a little testimony."

I was stunned. I turned to the guy behind me who invited us to come and said, "am I supposed to preach?" He said, "yeah, do whatever you want." I looked at Sandy and said I am supposed to preach! I flung open my Bible to look for a text and in a matter of two or three minutes I was behind the pulpit expected to preach in Czech with no preparation, no notes, no anything! Just me and God and a Bible. On the way to the pulpit I asked the pastor if he was going to preach something after me and he said very kindly, "I will defer all my time to you, you can have the whole time of 20-30 minutes." By God's grace I preached a shortened version of a sermon I have done on Psalm 117, and then we enjoyed a time of rich fellowship with the saints.

It was a great reminder to truly always be ready, and to always rely on the Lord whether we are prepared with notes and an outline or not!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

When All Men Speak Well of You

One desire that we have as humans is to be liked, to be well accepted. But for one who stands for truth, a truth buckler, being well liked is not something that may be descriptive of his life. Take Jesus for example. People loved him for what he could do for them, but they hated the truth he preached...that man must repent and submit their lives to him by faith.

The Apostle Paul was another, Peter, Polycarp, Wycliffe, Hus, Luther, Calvin, and others. People either love or hate such people. When you take a stand for truth you will be loved by some and hated by many. Jesus promised this (Mat. 10).

It was Jesus who said to his disciples, "Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way" (Lk. 6:26). There is often not much scorn or hatred hurled at those who take no stand. But if you stand for the truth, if you are a buckler for the truth and preach it with conviction, expect that many will not speak well of you. And then apply Luke 6:22-23 to your life -

"Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man. Be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven. For in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets."

Monday, May 28, 2007

Defining Truth in Preaching

I believe the Church today is in dire need of men to stand in the pulpit and expound the Word of God without shame, without fear, and without compromise. Too many preachers are content with leaving the truth of the Word of God undefined. Their approach to preaching is "we don't want to preach against and we don't want to preach for a particular doctrine." Instead they seek to focus on the pragmatic. But is this the model we see in the New Testament? Did the apostles simply just allow people to walk the "golden middle way" and not call people to live according to truth? I hardly think so.

Paul said that the Church is the pillar and ground of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15). Jesus prayed to the Father "sanctify them by Thy truth, Thy word is truth" (John 17:17). He also said that we are to worship God "in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24). John said that he had no greater joy than to hear that his children walk in truth (3 John 4). If truth was so important to Christ and to the apostles, then why should it not be important in our preaching? Why should preachers be afraid to define what the truth is for their congregations? Are they fearful that some people will not stay? Are they afraid of offending people? Are they fearful they will be called strict and intolerant?

If people don't know what the truth is, if truth is not defined by the Word of God for them, then what will the church look like? Provers 12:17 says "He who speaks truth tells what is right. " A church without truth is like a bank without money. It is good for nothing.

How can we leave people comfortable in the pews week in and week out and not tell them what the Bible says about various doctrines? How can we preach each week in generalities and expect change? Change only comes by knowing the truth and putting it to action in our lives. And that means it won't always feel good or make one happy at the moment. But in the end it will do its purifying work in our lives and we will be more conformed into the image and likeness of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Let's focus on defining truth and not doing what many preachers do by preaching in generalities. People need to know more than God loves them. For example, they need to know the exent of that love, the value of such love, the depth of such love, and the changes that such love naturally brings. They need to know what that love requires of them...an abandonment of oneself. But they will never know if it isn't defined for them by a thorough preaching of the Word of Truth!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Newsweek Video of Jerry Falwell

Here is a great video that Newsweek did of Jerry Falwell. I recommend checking it out! Click here to view the video!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Dangers of Hybels' Philosophy of Preaching

This is a follow-up to my previous post on Hybel's Leaves Congregation Hungry for Truth. The more I think about his philosophy of ministry and in particular his philosophy of preaching, the more frightening it is.

Here are some of the dangers that qucikly come to mind in thinking about this attitude towards preaching:

1. Offensive to God

Whenever unbelievers are the most satsified people in your church, then you can be sure that God is the most dissatisfied one in your church. James 4:4 says - Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

How can God be pleased and worshipped when unbelievers are at total ease with what is going on? Worship is about exalting God and attributing His worth to Him as the Sovereign, Holy One of the universe. How can an unbeliever who is completely unrighteousness be at ease in such an environment? It should cause them to feel uncomfortable, knowing they are there as ones "standing on the outside looking in." They should feel as though they are total misfits, not the happiest people in the building!

2. Neglect of the Glory of God

To create an environment where unbelievers are at ease and satisfied has to be one that neglects the glory of God. How can God be glorified when sinners are comfortably sitting there on their way to hell? Unbelievers should feel the sting of their sin when hearing the Word of God preached and expounded with conviction. What happened when Peter and Stephen preached Jesus? The people were cut to the heart and some were even outraged by the offensive message of the cross (Acts 2:37; 7:54).

For unbelievers to sit in satisfaction means that much of the glory of God must be left out of the service. I have never been to one of these Willow Creek services, but it causes me to wonder how many times people are called to repent of their sins and live a life of holy obedience. How many sermons have they heard on the depravity of man and the holiness of God?

3. Hinders the Growth of True Believers

This is obvious. When Hybels' own survey shows that the believers in the church who seek to walk with God desire more deep truths, it shows they are a hungry people and that their spiritual growth is not being aided by a healthy dose of the Word each Sunday.

4. Leaves Unbelievers Comfortably on the Broad Road

I don't want to repeat what I've already said, but to leave unbelievers satisfied in the Sunday worship service on a weekly basis leaves them comfortably on the broad road that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13). Any preacher who is satisfied with this is not a preacher, but an entertainer and will one day have to stand before God with their blood on his hands!

5. Teaches People a Low View of God and His Word

To stand up and "preach" on a weekly basis where unbelievers enjoy the message more than true believers teaches people that God's Word isn't all that important. It is obvious that these "sermons" cannot contain much Scripture, but rather a lot of stories, jokes, and something to "pump people up" for the week. A person coming away from such a service surely doesn't leave with a greater reverence for God and His Word.

I don't know about you, but I want to be convicted when I hear a sermon. I want the Word of God to strike at my heart and show me my sin. I want to know the great truths of God's grace. I want to know my Lord in a deeper and richer way from my hearing of the preaching of His Word.

To not feed the flock each week is for the shepherd to leave his sheep malnurished and teaches them that they don't really need the Word of God to live a healthy Christian life. It says to them that the Word of God really isn't that important. And it teaches the believers that it is more important for unbelievers to feel accepted than for them to know God and His truth in a richer way.

6. Teaches People that the Gospel is Not all that Powerful

If Hybels' truly believed in the power of the gospel to save people he would preach it. Unbelievers would be miserable and flee the services. An unbeliever would not be able to come week after week with such glee. And for a preacher to do this teaches his people that the gospel is not really that powerful. It teaches them that we need to do more. We need to make sinners feell good first. Jesus never sought to do such a thing. He said that sinners are to forsake all and instantly follow Him.

7. Teaches the Believers that How Unbelievers Feel is More Important than Where they Stand Before God

When the church sees its pastor cuddle up to non-believers without telling them what they are...sinners, and that the pastor doesn't call on them to repent and turn from their wicked way, then they are being taught it is more important to make people feel good than to rescue their souls from hell. God calls us to preach the gospel in season and out of season and says that today is the day of salvation!

May God bring such "preachers" to repent and preach the Word! Avoid the ear tickling and give the people the pure, sufficient, Word that is the only thing that can quench the thirst and hunger of these staggering sheep who are coming each week for nourishment!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Global Warmists Promote Extinction of Humans!

An article reported by usareligiousnews.com states:

The global warmists are now saying that having babies is bad for the planet and that babies should be considered an environmental misdemeanor because a baby’s carbon dioxide output is equivalent to some 620 round trip flights between New York and London. According to the London Times, a green think tank called the Optimum Population Trust is publishing a report that suggests couples wanting to have children should take the environment into account. John Guillebaud, co-chairman of OPT and emeritus professor of family planning at University College London, said, “The greatest thing anyone in Britain could do to help the future of the planet would be to have one less child.” The Times pointed out that the British fertility rate is 1.7, and the European Union average is 1.5. Despite this, Professor Guillebaud says rich countries should be the most concerned about family size as their children have higher per capita carbon dioxide emissions. In another commentary by environmental extremist Paul Watson, founder and president of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, mankind was compared to a virus that is destroying “Mother Earth.” Watson demanded that the population of earth be reduced by one billion people. He also said that humans should stop flying in jets, stop driving cars and stop using boats and ships.

We can clearly see from this article what a denial and rejection of the truth leads to...death. Romans 1 speaks of those who worship and serve the creature more than the Creator. This is clearly creature worship. These people obviously have no interest in the Creator or His Word, but they do have great interest in His creation. So much so that they are willing to promote extinction.

A population needs to at least have a birth rate of 2.0 to not decrease and eventually become extinct. As the article says, the UK and the EU both have birth rates that are unable to sustain its current population. So taking into account this group's desires with the known birth rate, their agenda is ultimately a call to exticntion.

James 1:15 says "...sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death." Death is the result of their errant thinking. When people no longer see a need for the truth of God's Word, when they reject the Creator and what He has called on mankind to do (i.e. be fruitful and multiply), the end result is destruction.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Satan's Next Ploy?

FoxNews posted a new article about Hong Kong authorities possibly labeling the Bible "indecent." If they decide to rule it indecent, then it will be mandatory to have a warning label wrapped around the book and will not be able to be sold to anyone under 18 years of age. They are saying that it is indecent because of its sexual and violent content.

Is this the next form of attack on the Word of Truth? I don't know, but I wouldn't be surprised to hear more of this in the future and having the Bible labeled as "hate speech" type material.

Nevertheless, the Word of God is timeless and its truths trasnform lives for all eternity.

Celebrating 9 Years of Life and Ministry!

It is likely that today is not an important date on your calendar, but for me and my wife it is. It was 9 years ago today that my wife took courage and married me! Praise God! If you would like to read about her, there is a great chapter about her in the Bible...Proverbs 31.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Pastor Jerry Falwell at Home with the Lord

I remember Dr. Falwell one time joking when someone asked him what to write on his tombstone. He said they will write Luke 16:22 - "So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom."

Though I certainly don't agree with everything he has said or done I greatly repsect him as a man of God. He always stood for what he believed was right and he was always faithful to boldly proclaim the gospel anytime I have ever seen him in a television interview or debate. As a graduate of Liberty University I can say that he had a big impact on my life. I will never forget the few exchanges I had with him including the time he intentionally swerved at me in his suburban laughing as he drove by saying hello.

Now he worships with the angels at the feet of Jesus whom he loved so dearly.

May God bless the Falwell family and comfort their grieving hearts during this time of loss.

Denying the Truth of a Creator

World Net Daily reports that assistant professor of astronomy and physics Guillermo Gonzalez has been denied tenure at Iowa State University for being a proponent of Intelligent Design.

One of the ISU authors of a petition against Intelligent Design, Hector Avalos, an outspoken atheist, told the Ames Tribune the petition was motivated by the growing attention given to Gonzalez's work and concerns the university would be seen as an "intelligent design school."

"We certainly don't want to give the impression to the public that intelligent design is what we do," said Avalos, who is an associate professor of religious studies.

Another ISU author and professor, John Patterson, linked the Discovery Institute, a leading intelligent design think tank where Gonzalez is a senior fellow, to the Taliban.

Avalos insisted that the petition was meant only to address intelligent design and not directed at Gonzalez personally.

"The most important action we want is not to suppress Dr. Gonzalez but to express our own view," Avalos told the Journal of Higher Education.

For his part, Gonzalez defended himself against the attack by noting that he had put forth a design argument that was scientifically rigorous, testable and falsifiable, but whatever its merits, he had not taught the argument in the classroom.

What is interesting is that the WND article describes Hector Avalos as an outspoken atheist, but yet on the ISU website he is described as professor of religious studies! When schools of higher learning put an atheist as a Bible professor and then dismiss a professor, because he has a personal belief in ID, then their motives are made quite clear. They want nothing to do with God, nothing to do with truth, and will remove any proponet of such a belief so they can "express their own view." Once again we can see the exclusivism and utter intolerance of such people who claim to be educators; people who are to encourage others to think and explore and to experiment and promote theories. They can't even tolerate one professor who holds a personal belief that he hasn't even taught in the classroom.

We live in a day that even the slightest scent of God or truth or the Bible or Christ is utterly intolerable. May we be faithful to stand for the truth in this dark age.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Hybels Leaves Congregation Hungry for Truth

A survey conducted among Willow Creek attendants had revealed "mind-blowing" results, as Hybels put it. It asked how satisfied attendants were with how Willow Creek serves them at various stages in their spiritual development. Pre-Christians, or people who are still seeking and exploring Christianity, rated Willow Creek "very high." Ratings dropped slightly among new Christians but were still "fantastic." Adolescent Christians rated the church as good. But fully devoted followers of Christ indicated less satisfaction, saying they are not sure the church is helping them as much at this stage in their life.

"We want more of the deep truths of God," they said, according to Hybels. In Vision 2010, Willow Creek leaders will be altering the way they coach to teach attendants how to be "self-feeding individuals" early on in their spiritual development. Rather than expecting to be spiritually fed each week with a 35-40 minute sermon on Sundays, congregants will start learning how to take responsibility for their own feeding. Everything else – the worship services and the classes at Willow Creek – will just be "whip cream" on top. Click here for full article.

How amazing to see that the most satisfied individuals at Hybels' church are the unbelievers! Shouldn't that tell him that he has failed as a pastor? He has left his sheep hungry. Maybe he should read the gospels again and see what Jesus says about feeding the sheep.

What is so sad about the whole ordeal is that he continues to do the same. It is encouraging that he wants to teach his people how to study the Bible, but he himself has no interest in teaching them the deep truths of God! The professing believers in his church say "give us something to eat" and he says "you will have to learn how to feed yourself, becauase I won't do it!"

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Transitions

In life we sometimes experience transitions that we do or do not expect. We are currently in a ministry transition and are seeking the Lord's will as to what He would have us do next. In about 3 weeks we will have been here in the Czech Republic for 6 years. It is hard to believe, but we are thankful for it. The Lord has taught us so many things we could not have learned anywhere else. There are exciting options before us, but we are trusting the Lord to make His will for us clear.

The book of Acts is a book of transitions. Paul's journeys brought many surprises and we shouldn't be all too surprised when we face unexpected surprises in our own ministries. The main thing to remember is that the Holy Spirit is the one who sent out Paul and Barnabas (Acts 13), and He is the one who sends people today. We just need to walk with Him and preach the Word of God (Acts 13:5).

All you can do is preach the Word of God and be faithful. Pray that this will characterize our lives!