Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Oh that the reformers were here

From - http://www.jamesdobsondoesntspeakforme.com/

James Dobson doesn't speak for me.

*Well He doesn't speak for me... so no issue there.

He doesn't speak for me when he uses religion as a wedge to divide;

*I think that Religion is a Wedge that SHOULD divide us... there are people who believe in many False Gods, there are people who believe in a couple of False Gods and there are people who believe in just one False God... But they all believe in a false God(s) {which Mark Driscoll would say is a demon) and not the True and living God. There is a Wedge there and rightfully so.

He doesn't speak for me when he speaks as the final arbiter on the meaning of the Bible;

*I have to agree here, but I think that he is pretty close most of the time at least more so then Mr. Obama.

James Dobson doesn't speak for me when he uses the beliefs of others as a line of attack;

*Generally speaking I would say he doesn't here either, but only because he doesn't go far enough... Is should be a line of attack and a plea to come to there senses.

He doesn't speak for me when he denigrates his neighbor's views when they don't line up with his;

*Again, I think if he denigrates a view, I would agree 9 times out of 10.

He doesn't speak for me when he seeks to confine the values of my faith to two or three issues alone;

*There really is only one issue and two issues of our day - 1. How do you line up to the BIBLE?! [ Abortion and Gay Marriage for which I think he does speak for me, they are both sinful, immoral and disgusting... a tribute to man being able to invent new ways of doing evil.]

What does speak for me is David's psalm celebrating how good and pleasant it is when we come together in unity;

*As long as we have unity IN Jesus Christ, I agree

Micah speaks for me in reminding us that the Lord requires us to act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with Him;

*I agree here to, and how can we act justly if we are allowing thousands of babies to be murdered daily??

The prophet Isaiah speaks for me in his call for all to come and reason together and also to seek justice, encourage the oppressed and to defend the cause of the vulnerable;

* "defend the cause of the vulnerable" Like the unborn who are being murdered, who Mr. Obama would allow to be murdered more easily... the thought that a 'Christian' could support Murder is beyond me.

The book of Nehemiah speaks for me in its example to work with our neighbors, not against them, to restore what was broken in our communities;

*Ummm... this is exegetically poor. This was a community of people who had the same faith. How can I would with an unbeliever and give God the Glory?

The book of Matthew speaks for me in saying to bless those that curse you and pray for those who persecute you;

*It sure does... and I have a feeling that persecution is knock, knock, knocking at the door in America for true Christians.

The words of the apostle Paul speak for me in saying that words spoken and deeds done without love amount to nothing.

*I agree... and what is more loving then telling someone they believe a Lie?

The apostle John speaks for me in reminding us of Jesus' command to love one another. The world will know His disciples by that love.

*We are to love other Christians with a special love and outsiders with a different love. We are to love, no disagreement there, the question is what is love? I have to say Tolerance isn't Love, it is more like apathy.

These words speak for me. But when James Dobson attacks Barack Obama, James Dobson doesn't speak for me.

*Ummm... wrong, he does speak for me there.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

What does that mean?

Have you ever been talking with someone and just wanted to say, "What in the World does that mean?!?" I had an experience like that today, and Yes this will be about theology. So I was talking with a pastor and he was relating a story and within this story told me that if i was going to do what he did, I would need, prayer, fasting and to "make sure I was right with God." How can a Christian not be right with God if all of our past, present and future sin has been removed, and we are seen as Righteous, because of Christ's imputed righteousness? Heard this phrase many times from Christians, get right with God, and it seems what they are speaking of is to repent of the sin in our life. But when is our life without sin? If you understand the rhetorical nature of the question, you will see the problem here. We are either right with God or we aren't, God can't say, OH you sinned 5 min. ago now we aren't square, because Jesus squared everything at the cross.

So where did this term come from and why are we saying it?

Mercy and Justice

"We all are hypocrites, We all want to recive mercy [from God] and give justice." - Mark Driscoll

I was stricken by the truth of this statement. When I sin, I only want God to deal with me via his loving kindness and mercy, but when someone sins against me - I am ready with the imprecatory Psalms on standby. I virtually scream out, "God Get them, Show your wrath and avenge me."

As for the head of those who surround me, let the mischief of their lips overwhelm them! Let burning coals fall upon them! Let them be cast into fire, into miry its, no more to rise! (Psalms 140:9-10 ESV)
Yet I think that this is something that needs to be rehashed within myself, I need to have my spirit filled with compassion for the sin of others against me. I am actually reminded of a sermon preached by T.J. Southard at Mountain View Christian Church on forbearance. He was preaching from the text Mark 1:40-45.

And a leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, "If you will, you can make me clean." Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, "I will; be clean." And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. And Jesus sternly charged him and sent him away at once, and said to him, "See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to them." But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in desolate places, and people were coming to him from every quarter.(Mark 1:40-45 ESV)

The point that T.J. Made was that Jesus healed this Guy who came to him and basically asked for healing; Who if he was healed of his skin disease could get his life back. Jesus Healed him with the quasi condition of "See that you say nothing to anyone." Jesus basically says don't tell people that I healed you. But the Guy doesn't obey, instead he goes and tells people, and Jesus could "no longer openly enter a town, but was out in desolate places." Jesus had to stay out of populated places because of this guy. If I was Jesus, I think I would have removed the healing from the guy. He didn't keep his part. Jesus could have rightly removed this man's healing, taken away his life and possibly family, but He didn't.

I think that is the attitude that I need to have. I think that is the attitude that we all need to have, after all we shouldn't be paying back those who mistreat us with anger, we should be praying that God effects them, changes them. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing (1 Peter 3:9 ESV). We are called to forgive, not be vengeful because vengeance belongs to God alone (Deuteronomy 32:35; Romans 12:19).

Friday, June 6, 2008

25 Questions to ask a Pastor, while looking for a Good Church

I will confess, I didn't come up with the questions myself, but I think that they are very Good. That Said, I e-mailed these questions to 3 pastors here in town, only one has responded. I will also put his response here. The only other information I have about this pastor is that, while at a local event, when asked what the gospel was, he danced around for about 3 min and never mentioned repentance in any form; nor was there any clearly defined answer.

1. What is man's biggest problem, sin or self esteem?

2. What must a man do to inherit eternal life?

3. How do you deliver the salvation message?

4. How hard is it to become a Christian?

5. How often do you talk about sin, righteousness and judgment?

6. How seeker sensitive is your church?

7. Who do you do church for?

8. Do you dumb down your sermons?

9. Can you explain the Doctrine of the Trinity?

10. Do your sermons emphasize theology or are they more relevant?

11. Describe your youth programs.

12. Describe your evangelism programs.

13. What church growth model do you follow?

14. How much do you give to missions and the hungry?

15. Do you believe the Bible contains no errors or contradictions?

16. Do you believe in a literal 6 day creation?

17. Do you believe in a literal hell and eternal punishment?

19. When you distribute the Lord's Supper, do you emphasize the need to exa! mine yourself?

20. Can a person who is living in a persistent lifestyle of sin inherit eternal life?

21. Does your church exercise church discipline?

22. Do Sunday school teachers, nursery, and youth volunteers fill out an application to answer questions about their core beliefs

23. What are the essentials of the faith?

24. Do you have a cross in your sanctuary?

25. What is the primary purpose of man?

Hi Ken,

In response to your email – Family Life Church is all about Encountering Jesus, Experiencing Life and Expecting Change. Our core values and beliefs are on our web site (listed below).

As to the answers to your list of questions I think you will find them on our web site, also. We endeavor to make it as informative as possible. However, I can tell by your questions that FLC may not be what you are looking for, but if not, I know there are many great, Bible – believing, Christ-centered churches here in Newberg.

God Bless,

Dave Benson