Dec 21, 2008

Work in Progress III

Obviously Ive said so so candidly
that I have been at the center of all said previously
but ive been avoiding focusing on the centered me
because i am only i because of the cross at calvary
where Christ gave His life and the blood was shed for humanity
dont get me wrong its the me who commits the sins you see
but redeemed through Christ, the Holy Spirit empowers me to be
a soldier soul winner who desires to see the gospel preached

grace has become the present tense and not the former
the latter was sin and the past makes you a drama club performer
wearin the mask that has now been shed
cravin for the truth the appetite is for His word we must be fed
im alright bein a sheep thats been found led
i see the path to walk from the words of the shepherd and what He's said
its a good thing that Hes always known
the paths the turns and He's laid out the road
anxiety is squashed and I now know what to do
just have faith and these things will be added unto you


Dec 17, 2008

Work in Progress II

Figured it was over facing the end
to the hole destined to send no more friend
its been entered the decree is final
no plea

standing condemned before the bench and tried
asking for help begging to be given life
nowhere to sleep nothing to eat
no more hustling and walkin the beat
is this how you really spell relief?
standing amongst many sinning as the chief
everyone here says they are innocent
man that arguments weak
no plea

luxury comes in a stamp and envelope
an 8 by 11 in which to put feelings in a note
maybe this time the lies are replaced with hope
no plea


Dec 16, 2008

Work in Progress

Take a polaroid of these healthy veins
snap a shot of what used to be scars of pain
wrath to self dealt by dames
obsession and compulsion results insane
former glory and obsession of self
put the hopes and dreams back on that dusty shelf

supercalinarcissitic tendencies
all my friends are dead and im callous see
focus fogged and vagueness magnified
only answer to the question is it wasn't me who died
the conscience wasn't there the 1000 times lips lied
the grin and stare was bare when my momma cried
wheres the relief when guilt shows up
is it still in the spoon or at the bottom of the cup?

keep on reading as you think thats messed up
let this remind you thats only some of the stuff
while freedom is chattin incarceration is happenin
lockin up the mind of a rock star whose now a has been
never stepped foot on a single stage
never sold a single or had a label that paid
but a legend in the mind of self spelled fame
funding from the pocket of those viewed as lame

now its the last phone call from the phone you pay
maybe even the last time seen in the light of day
lookin over the shoulder for the next way out
every hand that helps receives an angry shout
self mapped roadblocks that lead to the end
even at that point the spoon was still the only friend
its not so bad to stop and think of you
it was convincing that our love was true
last question is does it all sink in
not a second as the spike breaks the surface of skin
fantasize if you must but its all about the trust
cause killin ourselves is what we've done since the dust


Dec 11, 2008

Everybody Needs Rehab

Every now and then there's a tug on my conscience that humbles me and causes me to remember things about my past. Not that it would be one of glorification, or one of fantasy, but of sobriety. There are a significant amount of relationships I once had with people who are part of the recovery movement. You can call it Narcotics or Alcoholics Anonymous (NA and AA) or you can call it 12-step groups. Either way, I knew and still know a good number of individuals who are in what's known as "Recovery."

When I was redeemed by the blood of Christ in July of 2004, I was not yet able to stand on my two feet as a man. Worse yet, I barely qualified as human in many respects. When this part of my life is discussed with peers and people I associate with now, they just say good job, or well done. You have a good life so now everything is alright has become the adage. However, what they don't seem to hear when they hear my words, is the grace of the Christ. In the intermediary time spent transitioning from dope fiend to human being, there was not much discipleship occurring. My discipleship was spent soaking up the philosophies of Narcotics Anonymous. As well as I see many do embracing these steps and ideals, they are being saturated with humanism that has long washed itself of the truth and redemption of God found in Jesus Christ.

The relationships I had break my heart and I long to return to my people. Yes, my people. Many of them remember what it's like to be forgotten, swept under the rug, and written off as useless members of our society. They too will admit that they were exactly that. But, they still face that demon on a regular basis and end up owning a persona that causes insecurities, shallow perceptions of relationships, discontent and disinterest in God, and most of all, social anxieties that separate them (us) from others when we are in a room full of people who love us.

I am familiar with their pain, and it is an intimate pain that I wish I could say has been lifted. But today it stands as a thorn in my flesh and reminds me daily of what I was actually delivered from the moment I realized the full payment for my sin could be found in Jesus Christ. Oh how great is our Lord on High? I know this call, these thoughts, this thorn is for good reason. It is to remind me that there is a mission field I was placed in and I have shirked this duty for a long time. Smoke filled meeting halls, cussing street people, and manic depressed recovering addicts can finally recover once and for all.

Problem is, there is not many people in those smoked filled rooms telling them who the real Jesus is. I think I'm going to make me a meeting tomorrow night. RU Anonymous? When's the last time you shared the gospel with that dope fiend who just asked you for a quarter? I used to be him. I never heard from you. Maybe the next one will?

Mat 11:28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Dec 4, 2008

Accusations of Aversion

One might become ostracized when discussing ecclesiology with individuals whose only exposure to it is that of the position justified by tradition, then proven from scripture. The perspective of 'church' being implemented as it is found in practice throughout the New Testament is often frowned upon and dismissed as being impossible to embrace due to cultural restraints we now face daily. As emergent as many may find this to sound, I think it's at least owed a second look in our study.

Some of us can discuss this openly, humbly, and in Christian love. But most of us, will dismiss the other party as a confessing heretic only to never find ourselves in fellowship with one another again. Whether or not fellowship ever existed between parties to begin with bears little relevance when the topic matter creates enough friction to cause harm or hatred toward a brother.

Most often, proponents of this perspective are misunderstood. Rightly so, as the norm is created by those who are zealous and promote a complete retreat to the other end of the spectrum where there is no return to the middle in sight. Either way, we need to remember that the disillusioned generation that has spawned and multiplied under the wing of emergent theology, there is still a part of that group that still resides under the wing of biblical theology.

One that does well to seek discipleship under the teachings of our Lord, also does well to understand that it isn't a retreat that's needed. It's a recovery. So when you encounter someone who may share in this thinking, you could remember to hear out the evidence first. Or just do what's always done, accuse, dismiss, and then accuse them of having an aversion toward preaching, institutions, or true church. Or in other words, dismiss their legitimate aversion toward cultural christianity and assign them false convert status because they don't meet the status quo.

Nov 29, 2008

Separation of Church and Apostate

(or I am of the Clergy, and you are of the Laity)

In Matthew 13:52, we read what is the end of a series of parables being explained to the disciples. How fortunate we are to have a first person perspective through the revelation of God's Words. I will admit that my intellect compares to that of these Galilean fishermen who are often baffled and in need of clarification of the teachings and parables of Jesus. Just as the disciples approached the Lord for explanation (Mat 13:36) I too need His wisdom to gain a better understanding of the words He was speaking.

So in benefiting from the breakdown given from our Lord in this thirteenth chapter, I would offer up a comparison that seemed to make sense as I read these words this morning. When Jesus mentions that "every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house," the first thought is that He is making reference to the Scribes in the Law of Moses. This sounds great, as it means there were those amongst the hard hearted who have come unto repentance. But this is merely a first-glance assumption and is owed further analysis.

Without indulging in pages of exposition of this passage (which it could easily take) Jesus is not proclaiming the sending of Scribes of the temple, or the Law of Moses, but scribes of the new covenant. Messengers who will proclaim the truth of the Word of God shall be sent forth (Mat. 28:19-20, Mk 16:15) to deliver a message to the nation of Israel (Mat. 23:34) and then on to the gentiles (Acts 9:15). But in both of these cases (Israel/Gentiles) it is not just a message of grace that is being delivered. For those who reject it, and will continue to reject it they will heap upon themselves greater condemnation, it is a pouring upon of more condemnation to those who will reject the message of salvation. Some will hear and convert, rejoice, and serve the Lord, but many others will scourge, kill, and persecute those who are proclaim the Gospel.

It is a hard pressed position to state that there is a separation of believers when it comes to ministering the message of our Lord. There was no certain ordination of who was to be the carrier of our Lord's Words. The royal priesthood of believers is a universal ordination that includes what we've separated as Clergy and Laity. So while the clergy have their reserved parking spots and the laity, if it exists, has no prominence in the body at all, that is because of sheer design. There is nothing biblical about the separation and special attention given to those who "devote" themselves to the administration of "order" in the "local church." So exerting authority over another because of education does nothing more than align actions with the Scribes of the Law of Moses when in short, we should all be Scribes in the New Covenant.

It could be said that we as a universal church have been reduced to babes running around bumping into walls and needing stitches. We should learn from the exhortation given from the author of Hebrews 5:12-14 and start from the beginning, and teaching each other as scripture commands us to do. We need not relegate this duty to appointed singular scholars who have striven their entire lives for that social recognition, or genealogical birth right handed down from father to son, vocation to vocation, but relegate it to elders amongst us, who qualify as fathers in the faith and servants to the body. Men who are willing to wash the feet of others are willing to serve in humility, knowing that they are ministering to souls, not bodies that fill pews once or twice a week.

Nov 27, 2008

Winner of Amazon Gift Card

Congratulations go out to the winner of the first giveaway sponsored by Deliver Detroit. If you entered the contest and did not win, thank you for your participation. If its any consolation to those who did not win, the odds were not too bad, so kudos for taking a chance. I hope that you continue to follow the blog, and I assure you that while not much as happened in the past few weeks I will be preparing some long overdue posts for future reading. School is a bear sometimes and dividing time amongst that, work, and side projects can be overwhelming. But, being busy is a good thing in my world, it keeps me out of trouble.

I hope to hear from more of you in the future and want to remind everyone that the next giveaway will be coming soon, and will probably be a little more exciting. At least I believe it will be for me! So until next time, happy thanksgiving.

2 Corinthians 9:15

Nov 23, 2008

Deliver Detroit

This is a reminder for those who have subscribed to the feed for this blog through the Amazon Gift Card contest, that you must email me and confirm that you have subscribed in order to gain entry into the contest. If you have subscribed, but have not emailed, your entry will go unnoticed. So please remember, that if you have subscribed, you need to EMAIL me ASAP.

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Nov 16, 2008

Can You Answer This Honestly?

What is your life? The ominous question found in James 4:14b seems to appear as a vague notion or question that provokes philosophical thought, or perhaps navel gazing. One could imagine the intellectuals of our day standing about in the proverbial pantheon of debate exchanging ideas about what exactly is life? Who gives life? Why do we ask what is our life? One could even imagine a plethora of nonsensical rationalizing and justification of absurdity in the arena of thought.

But simply stated, the question is rhetorical, and the author answers his own question. Your life is but a vapor. Considering this statement should take little time. If you've spent much on it already, you are wasting precious time. Spending time pondering what our life is beyond that which Scripture indicates, is simply stated, a waste. When asked what your plans are, your hopes, aspirations, or desires you wish to see accomplished, all of it is vein if not done in light of Christ's redemptive work on the cross.

Our justification is what gives purpose to any effort we put forth to accomplish any deed. The Savior Jesus Christ should be our life, if our life is not in sacrifice to Him, it is a waste. When faced with this question one could think long and hard about past achievement, future aspiration, or present worry. We of course must deal with all of those things, but only in accordance to the daily carrying of our cross, bearing the reproach of Christ, and going outside the camp to Him. That is our life.

Nov 12, 2008

Free Amazon $25 Gift Card Giveaway!

If any of you know me remotely well, you'll know that I love books. I also love to read. It just so happens that I have a spare gift card I intended on using for books lying around. I've tried to come up with a clever way to encourage my readers to enter for a chance at winning a $25 Amazon Gift Card and have come up cold. So, because I lack any luster in my thought process lately, I'm going to make it real simple. Beginning tonight at midnight any reader who subscribes to this blog via feedburner (submit your email address in the box) and then in turn Emails me to inform me of their subscription will be made eligible to win this Amazon Gift Card. One entry per person, per email address. You must submit the confirmation information provided by feedburner once the subscription process is completed. The contest will conclude November, 26th and the winner will be announced and notified on Thanksgiving day.

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Nov 8, 2008

New Song: Show Your Kindness

Christ Our Life Fellowship has released a new studio version of their song "Show Your Kindness." Although this is just one song, they have many other beautiful songs that warm the heart while provoking sober thoughts of the worship we offer to our Lord Jesus. An exhaustive list of their many songs can be found on their worship music page. If you seek sound Bible based music that glorifies Christ and honors the timeless truths of our Lords teachings, Christ Our Life will exemplify that and then some.

Listen in and enjoy...

Nov 7, 2008

So Many Stars, Few Little Words

Consider the diverse universe we live in. From Earth to Pluto traveling 65mph takes 6,500 years. This pales in comparison to the distances from earth to billions of other celestial bodies. Our galaxy has hundreds of billions of stars. Yet, we are one galaxy amidst billions of others.

Nov 5, 2008

Social Reform and an "Obama Nation"

Admitting this aloud amongst many of my conservative brethren could prove to be a fatal flaw, but it equates to little in my little book of worries. But, being a student of Social Work and an advocate for social justice changes how I view things in the normal "evangelical conservative lens." It's safe to say that I don't agree with a good majority of President-elect Obama's policies and campaign points, but part of me is glad that he has won the election.

Barack Obama may or may not represent the change needed in our country, and as a bible believing Christian, I know for fact that the one thing that will change anything or anyone for the better is not something he's going to propagate or promote from the presidential podium. Jesus Christ is the one sole agent of change that can motivate the heart of man to do anything good, and that means "anything."

It is bittersweet that Barack has won the election, and I'll admit that it would've been just as bad looking forward if he would've lost. I say hooray that white America gets a dose of reality, and I say Amen that we have as a nation elected a president that is African-American and represents the birth of an age where barriers are no longer daunting, but beatable.

Change is what this country needs. Change is the name of Obama's election winning platform, but the change he offers as a man is temporal. It has little effect on the eternity of many. As a Social Work student and benefactor of social programs for the poor (as I am white, and I am poor) I am anxious to see just what Barack's term will bring. Either way, a message for those who are rejoicing in the win and the wonderful things they believe he is going to deliver upon will leave them wanting.

Barack is not the messiah, stop believing the change he advocates is the change that will fix things.

It's not.

Nov 2, 2008

A Call for a New Reformation in the Church


Main Entry: Ka·bu·ki
Pronunciation: \kə-ˈbü-kē, ˈkä-bü-(ˌ)kē\
Function: noun
Etymology: Japanese
Date: 1899

: traditional Japanese popular drama performed with highly stylized singing and dancing

It would seem sadly fitting that 491 years after that day in Wittenberg, Germany we find the church in such dire straits. A lot of what passes for “Christianity” today is gross heresy because the Gospel is watered down to make it less offensive to sinners, and as such it becomes “another gospel” and as such is declared anathema by Paul in his letter to the Galatians. But much of what is declared to be appropriate in “Bible believing”, orthodox churches is little more than a carefully choreographed and stylized dance, with actors who know their roles and carry them out as expected, saying the right thing, looking the right way. Even the churches that are admired as being paragons of "Reformation" thinking are seemingly content to carry on the dance, comfortable that what they are doing is the right thing: Sunday worship=Sunday school+1 hour of singing and preaching+maybe a Sunday evening sermon for an hour.

So what should the church look like? The model now is to dutifully show up on Sunday morning, an hour early for Sunday school if you are especially devout. You sit in your pew, stand up when told to stand up, sit down when told to sit down, drop your check or cash (or pass it on) when the offering plate comes, listen to the announcements, sing a couple of songs when the choir isn’t performing, listening to a sermon for 20-45 minutes and then heading out after the closing prayer. It is highly regulated, the same every week and does very little to foster a “love one another” atmosphere. I have often said in response to the “just love Jesus” crowd, how can you love Him if you don’t have any idea who He is? In the same vein, how can we love one another if we don’t know one another? Church is designed now for us to receive, we listen in Sunday school, we listen to the choir, we listen to the prayer, we listen to the sermon. It is very comfortable and very easy to be anonymous. It is also pretty easy to not get to know anyone, especially as the church gets bigger.

Men like Michael Horton, who is someone who I admire and appreciate for his knowledge and ability to communicate, still buy into the notion that the church is fine in its present form, we just need to modify what is being taught. According to Horton and company on the White Horse Inn, what makes a church a “True Church” is the Word rightly preached and the sacraments rightly administered. Umm, what about Christians? If you have a guy faithfully preaching and passing the wine and bread to a room full of unbelievers, is that a church? Isn’t the church the assembling of the body of Christ under the Word? The focus is not on a faithful preacher, is it? As long as we stay in the church sandbox, we just need the right order of worship, the right exegesis, the right observance of the sacraments. I am a big advocate of deeper study, of expository, verse by verse, chapter by chapter Bible preaching that links one Sunday sermon to the next. But is that all that we need?

As I was watching Luther with my friend James last night, it struck me that when you look at Luther and read his 95 Theses, what Luther was trying to do was reform the church within the framework the church had created. Given the circumstances that is understandable. But we haven't gone much beyond that in the intervening 491 years. We are still content to tinker around in the sandbox, moving the shovel over here and the pail over there.

The need for a fresh reformation is not limited to the egregious false gospel preached in emergent churches or in far left liberal “mainline” Protestantism. It is also found in many of the most “conservative” churches, churches that pride themselves on fidelity to Word and creed and confession, who wear the mantle of “Reformed” like a superhero cape.

This need for reformation goes beyond how we preach, or what music we sing, or the programs we run. It is not about tweaking around the edges, tinkering with the basic model. It goes to how we view the church and how, or if, we get beyond the model of the vast majority of churches. Semper reformanda should not be about returning to the 1950's. Or even the 1600's. Our source should always be the Word of God. Being "Reformed" is not a declaration that we subscribe to this Reformed confession or that creed, but that we seek God's will in the church, in our teaching and preaching, in our prayers, in our worship, in our lives.

So who am I to make such a grandiose, sweeping declaration? What of all the more learned men in the church, shouldn’t they get to decide how the church is run? I should maybe just be quiet and go about my business. Maybe not. I am hardly a modern day Martin Luther, or even a modern day Ulrich Zwingli! I haven’t exactly done a really good job of leading in the church in the past so what business do I have in declaring a need for an overhaul of how we “do church” in America especially but throughout Christendom? I am nobody I guess, but I am one of His sheep and thanks to men like Martin Luther and William Tyndale I can read His Word and because of that and because I love His church, I am concerned. That concern drives me to speak out, not out of anger or out of arrogance but out of fear. Fear that we are worshipping a jealous, holy God in a way that suits us instead of glorifying Him.

I do not have an end-result in mind, a preordained conclusion. I am not calling for the wholesale abandonment of the church, the "steeple house" in favor of so-called "house churches". But I am similarly not content to just muddle through like we are, tinkering around in the sandbox unafraid or unconcerned with why we do what we do because that is just how we have always done it. But I want to think out loud on this public forum, to express what my thoughts are and to encourage constructive conversation and even rebuke if needed. I want to examine every aspect of the church as it exists today, not just in this external or that, but in everything we do, including some of the most cherished traditions we hold.

This is very important to express up front. My intent is not to slander any of the multitude of godly men who lead our churches today, or the people who attend and serve, or the men raised up by God in the past upon whose shoulders we stand. This thought process is NOT an indictment of any church I have, am or will attend or any individual who I have been taught by, sat under the preaching of, or even anyone who has sat under my teaching or preaching. But the human heart, whether mine or Calvin’s or John MacArthur’s, tends to wander like the sheep we are. We need constant reflection in the mirror of Scripture to see if what we are doing is worship authorized by God or if it is strange fire. That is my intent, and that is my only intent. I invite you to think and pray and study along with me, and see where it leads.

(originally posted by Arthur Sido at "The Voice of One Crying Out in Suburbia")

Oct 28, 2008

Review: The Prince's Poison Cup by R.C. Sproul

The Prince's Poison Cup
Author: R.C. Sproul
Illustrations: Justin Gerard
Ages: 4-8
Language: English

Berenstain Bears
, Dr. Seuss, Golden Books, and The World of Beatrix Potter are all books that I had the enjoyment of growing up with. I can honestly state that being raised in a non-Christian home, my mother made an attempt to educate my brother and I with wholesome literature. Early on, I can remember the emphasis of reading and her spending time helping us to understand what it was we were hearing. My brother and I loved books as kids. Kids love books when they can interact and relate with the characters in the books. The most powerful imagery of these childhood books I still have today are the messages they ultimately conveyed.

While this is the first book in R.C. Sproul's series of children's books that I've read, I've heard warm reviews of the others. Most notably this book enters the world of the child by relating to the common distaste of medicine that all children seem to be born with. The illustrations tell of the comfort a child might experience from Grandpa sharing a story and advising with his wisdom why medicine tastes bad. If you have an imagination (and most certainly your child does) the warm images will compensate for the lack of detail our adult minds will be looking for in the theology of this story.

Because it is from R.C. Sproul, many parents who read this to their children should be expectant of a resonating influence of scripture in the plot. The opening page quotes John 18:11 and inevitably sets the tone that coincides with the title of this story. Providing the backdrop to Sproul's allegory is the concept of creation, the garden, and the fall of man. The emphasis and buildup of just what it was that the Prince (Jesus Christ) was preparing to do create the anxiety necessary for telling a good children's story. Climaxing with the death of the Prince, the resurrection through the power of His Father, and the moral summary given by Grandpa would seem to let readers down at first glance. However, this book sets out to accomplish its task, and illustrates the curse of sin (sickness), the distasteful medicine (cup of wrath), and the healing brought from its ingestion (cleansed cup of Christ).

The story does not provide ample text to preach a sermon from, but any parent reading this book to their child would do well to accentuate details through the powerful imagery seen in the full color illustrations. There are several images throughout the book that don't seem to have a correlated description in the story, some would say this was poorly planned, I believe it to be intentional. I would thoroughly enjoy reading this book to a child, and vicariously viewing this through the lens of my childhood past, these illustrations would excite me and they breathe life into this potent little book.

While reflecting on the important values and ethics I picked up in childhood readings, nothing could be more important than learning about the nature of the One True God. This book embodies the nature of our Lord through the story of Christ's atonement and the reconciliation given us through His cross. While some younger children may not grasp the concept of propitiation and reconciliation, The Prince's Poison Cup provides a means to teach your children biblical truth. Even better, the appendix includes a summary of questions to ask a child while promoting an understanding through scriptures that tell of Christ's work in the atonement.

Without having read any of Sproul's other childrens books, I have no comparison to gauge this one by. That said, I would still recommend this book to parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, or even babysitters. If I could only go back and tell mom to buy this book for me as a child, I would.

Buy it now!

Oct 25, 2008

Doubting the Son?

If the Trinity is hard to understand, then just take a moment and open up the Scripture to the book of Hebrews and read the first chapter. Most notably, Heb 1:8. God, calls Himself God, when He is speaking to the Son.

Grasp That...

Oct 22, 2008

Repost: Social Chameleons

Acts 2:42 (Esv) And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

If I could for a moment, impose a different perspective on your line of sight? Imagine being a heroin addict. Then, place yourself in a homeless living situation without money, food, or a will to live. Also, any money you have is used to buy more heroin and needles to use it. Sound despairing yet?

Now, slap on about ten more years of hard drug addictions to liquor, crack-cocaine, cocaine, methamphetamine, prescription pills, and whatever other substance that would elude to temporal oblivion.

There yet? No? That's alright, for some it's unimaginable. Trust me here, we aren't even skimming the surface. Nevertheless, all of these blatant failures at fixing an unrepairable internal condition resulted in adaptation. I had to become what everyone wanted me to be. I also had to paint an image of myself that would convince me I was alright when I looked into the mirror. Ultimately I was an expert at "social chameleonism."

Now imagine once again. Christ saves you. Christ teaches you. Christ places you into fellowship with other believers and you desire to devote yourself to the teaching of the word and the breaking of bread and prayer. Do you suppose there would be some sense of anxiety with the paradigm shift? Crackhouse to meeting house? Street corner beggar to redeemed saint? Do you see the dilemma caused?

Finally, at what point do I explode from the utter gratitude for His mercy and grace? Then where do you learn to make adjustments that help you change your perspective from people being targets to people being friends? I wonder if fellowship of the saints was a remedy to the natural inclination our human nature has to surround ourselves with those who reflect what we are on the inside?

edit: To clarify the last line, this tendency to surround ourselves with the unregenerate when we are unregenerate. The principle then applies once we become saved and seek fellowship with believers. Hence the church discipline the Lord taught as well as Paul of putting out unrepentant brethren from the fellowship. In this we would see that fellowship with the redeemed is something to be desired!

What do you say?

Oct 14, 2008

Me, Myself, and Prosperity (Apostasy?)

The message of prosperity and its far reaching choke hold on many people today is not one that is new to our time and culture. Albeit the definition of prosperity now, as defined by an American context is simply being able to have peace through financial securities. However, other cultures that are not bombarded by the commercialism, abundant resources, and freedoms of American life have very different definitions of prosperity. The bottom line still equates to a matter of "wealth" and the amount of resources you have readily at your disposal. These individuals typically express that these riches bring "peace" and provide comfort.

One of the major tenets of Satanic Cultists is, ‘do what thou wilt is the whole of the law.’ It is a promotion of self and demotion of the needs of others. Mark Cahill's newsletter this month shares an interesting witness encounter with one such person. This philosophy has it's origins in the fall of Satan and is embedded in the nature of man. Sinful rebellion and selfishness is a natural born trait of all those born of Adam's race. This selfishness and natural state is harnessed and becomes fertile ground for those who preach or teach messages that appeal to such a perspective.

The proponents of financial prosperity, as in it being the sole purpose of and definition of financial prosperity found in Scripture, usually state that, "Prosperity is biblical." Indeed it is actually found in several Hebrew words that occur in seventeen different verses of the Old Testament. Context clarifies the intent and meaning of such uses and clarifies the prosperity not only meant wealthy situations for the nation of Israel, but peace and well being due to the blessing of the Lord and His care for them when they were obedient. There is also Scriptural advice that teaches peace and joy during abundance and prosperity but yet during adversity or evil one must remember where it is coming from and that it's origination is a result of sinful behavior (Ecclesiastes 7:14-15.)

Proverbs 1:31-33 exemplify the results of straying from the Lord's counsel, and show the true meaning of prosperity having origin in the comforts of "knowing" the True God. Deuteronomy 13:1-3 is classically cited to disprove those who call themselves modern day prophets, but also give provision for measurement against anyone who may teach a message that consistently lines up with the doctrines found in the Word of God and aspires to worship and follow other gods. A good lesson on this can be found in today's lesson of 'TableTalk Magazine.' Being a professor of faith and then led astray into denunciation of the Lord God is labeled Apostasy, and most Orthodox Christians would affirm that this indicates a lack of true saving faith. Jeremiah 2:19 declares fear of the Lord not being in a dissident. Ezekiel 13:20-23 tells of how the One True God feels and deals with proponents of false messages. The most aberrant aspect of these teachers is the lack of a call to repentance and an insinuated encouragement to continue on in sin. This chapter (Eze. 13) makes much emphasis on the falsehoods of those who preach 'peace' when there is no peace. Not knowing the one true God is an absence of peace, because there is only one name under heaven by which men can be saved (Acts 4:12.)

Finally, we see in the New Testament the wish for one to prosper. This example is found in the third letter of John. Simply stated in 3Jn. 1:2 the author wishes the well being of a disciple. One who is doing the work of the ministry and acts toward others in all charity and Christ-like devotion. This prosperity seen here is also one of the well being of the recipients' soul and business affairs. His well being is based solely upon his obedience to the Word of God and the blessing that comes from keeping his counsel (Ecclesiastes 12:13.) His soul's prosperity is contingent upon his faithfulness to the Lord and is a blessing that provides strength to overcome the war against the flesh and sinful temptations. This reprieve is indeed true prosperity.

Oct 11, 2008

Still Here

There are reportedly some 168 hours in a week. I've worked 35% of those hours, slept another 30% of them (at least tried to) and can't really recall what I've done with the rest. I can't think of much to say for the blog lately.

So, statistically speaking, odds are I'll come up with something soon.

Oct 5, 2008

Sacrificial Living Over Cozy Comforts

In light of the temptations that each day brings for the Christian life I would say there is great reward for the endurance that brings the believer through them. When we stumble and fail to consider the righteousness that is the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus, we bring doubt and disbelief to our testimony. The question is not whether or not someone believes we are followers of Jesus because of the evidence that contradicts our confession in the sin they witness us struggling against, but whether they measure that accusation or assumption based upon the whole of the fruit that is demonstrated over the time of a believers confession. Each moment that I ponder the shortcomings and temptations I give in to, the chastisement and grief that follows reminds me of just how much I am not sacrificing for Him. It magnifies the comforts that I justify having and belittles the desire to give more, serve more, and work more...More for His glory and honor.

The grace of Christ has taught me this and so much more. I pray that this becomes more evident in the things I fall short in, as well as the things that I succeed in. Maybe, just maybe, where I stumble is where another believer prevails, and instead of shattering and condemning me for that sin, the right thing would be to lift up and bear each others burdens.

Listen to this compilation that has reminded me of this. It contains excerpts from John Piper's sermon at T4G 2008 "How the Supremacy of Christ Creates Radical Christian Sacrifice." This by far has been one of the most powerful sermons I have heard this year and hope that the compilation does it justice. I would encourage you to listen to the entire sermon as well. If you would like a copy of the compilation, please download it here and distribute it freely. The text the idea centers around is Hebrews 13:13.

Oct 1, 2008

Sep 24, 2008

Daytime Detroit

On the flip side of the dark Detroit city streets, there is a bustling and very busy style of life. The night and day are just that and appear to be diametrically opposed in the manner of which kinds of people are out and about. Either way, the city still has a heartbeat. While it may yet be faint, it is still pumping and what little life is left can still be seen.

Having an opportunity to walk from the Greektown district to the Financial district, I was able to make use of my time spent there on business. When I parked, I stuffed my back pocket full of tracts and set my affections on God as I prepared to share the Gospel with someone, anyone, whoever the Lord set before me. As I went about my duties, my travels covered much ground from one area of Detroit to another. Of the 20-25 tracts I had, I left with 3 leftover. I even made sure that I went in front of the courts and gave some to the attorneys coming and going. Figured they'd need them as much as the next guy.

The best part about the entire trip was a familiar face. On the many excursions downtown with friends, and solo efforts, this individual has been spoken to at least once every time, I'm almost sure of it. When I saw him, I asked him if he was keepin warm. He said it'd be easier if I had some coffee. It was quite chilly between the buildings this morning and I know that I would appreciate a coffee If I were in his shoes. I figured we could do one better, and took him to the coney for breakfast.

Sadly, as we entered the coney, "Lloyd" walked in behind me, still wrapped in his blanket. The cook from behind the counter came trouncing around the grill and gave us the old one over look and acted as if we had just broken the treaty of versailles and brought war into his country. This was not something that is unexpected, most people cringe at the thought of someone like Lloyd coming into their business, he might be begging. I bought his meal to go and he bought his own cup of coffee witht the one dollar he had. I told him he was eating today, that's for sure.

I left Lloyd at the counter and told the waitress to take care of my friend. I bid Lloyd farewell and told him I would see him again, as Im sure I will, we've seen him plenty of times before. I spent another thirty minutes or so wrapping up my business at the Coleman building. Leaving there it was back to passing out tracts, most of them went at the bus stop next to the Coleman building where the Spirit of Detroit sits. I rounded a corner and could see up in the distance that "Lloyd" was back at his spot, eating his food, and had his nose deep in the back of the tract, as it was a very detailed one that required thorough reading.

I approached him once more and reminded him about the requirements of God's law on the human soul, the punishment for sins, and the crucifixtion of Christ. I then reminded him that our time here is short, and the joys and sorrows of this life are temporary. With joy I proclaimed the resurrection from the dead, glorified bodies, and Christs conquering of sin and death. Lloyd just looked with glazed eyes and uttered a smiling "thank you" as we shook hands. I walked away, and he went back to reading the tract.

Today was a good day. Pray for Lloyd. (P.s., Lloyd also goes by Mario, I'm almost sure of it)

Sep 22, 2008

Forgotten Resurrection

In evangelism, there is always an emphasis on making sure the point gets across. Sometimes too much so. The point most often expressed is that one must make a decision right away or else they may be left behind or threatened by the idea of scorching flesh for eternity. But all that it essentially equates to is selling fire insurance. Turning from sin is presented, and often enough, the importance of it is emphasized properly, but then modern evangelism pushes for a decision and a soul "won" for which the "evangelist" can brag about later. But this is not the gospel or evangelism. The original intent of preaching repentance remains intact, but the understanding of the power of regeneration and where it comes from is neglected. Placing emphasis on a decision through the means of a man denies the saving power of the full gospel. While man's neglect does not hinder the Power of God unto Salvation, it does reinforce the already hard heart of a false convert and increases their self-righteousness.

This is not a proper approach, and I won't critique it as so. I am stating the neglect in the matter of preaching the resurrection as well as the cross. Without resurrection there is still a crucified body buried in a rich man's tomb. Without resurrection there is no conquered death and promise of eternal rest for the believer. Without resurrection, the entire purpose of preaching Christ crucified is futile. Even in my personal efforts of evangelism, the preaching of our Lord's resurrection is forgotten, when it should not be. A true understanding and grasp of the reality that is Christ's resurrection and triumph over death would develop a rightful knowledge of who has the power to regenerate man. After facing the glory of the risen Christ one is only left with a perception that can only be had by faith from God. This perception is that Christ has the power to lay down His life and take it up again. The only alternative is plain, man has no power to give himself life. Eternal life can only be granted by the Lord, not by man's decision.

The dilemma stems from doubt and true allegiance given to the feat that was accomplished at Calvary. Christ made mention of His own resurrection. Even in His mention were the twelve and other listeners often perplexed by its meaning. (Mat 17:22-23, Mat 20:18-19, Luk 9:22, Luk 18:32-33, Luk 24:46-47) But the Lord repeatedly reminded them that what He was doing on earth had a terrible end, that He would die. For all that they heard was just that, He was going to leave. When he arose on the third day in glorified form it was difficult for His own followers to immediately recognize Him. But when they did, they were overcome so much so that they risked their lives to go into the world and proclaim the gospel. Never falling short of emphasizing the resurrection.

Opponents of the resurrection often place physical, earthly restrictions upon its possibility. They forget that if there were a resurrection, it would be of supernatural means, and the origin of these means in fact would be God Himself. Who above all would be capable of resurrecting a body in any form?

So in thought there is only one logical conclusion to the approach of evangelism. Jesus Saves. That's it, no dogmatic methods, no utilitarian approaches, and no need for bringing people to your Pastor for him to evangelize. The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation, and if we indeed heed the truth of Scripture, we would do well to remember the resurrection, for it is evidence of the power of God in its purest form.

Are You or Aren't You?

I have thought many times about the answer to the question, "Why are you a Calvinist?" Asserting a stance on the doctrines labeled by a certain man's name ignores the inherent truth within them found entirely in Scripture. The Doctrines of Grace are not fabricated solely on one man's systematic theology, only expounded upon. Any study of Calvin would reveal his consistent appeal to the Church for purity and piety toward God. But he is not the origin of these doctrines, nor is he the only authority of them.

I am not a Calvinist, I am a Christian. It just so happens to be the same as telling the difference between the jars of jam from those of jelly. I believe and affirm the truth of God's Word. I also affirm the doctrines of grace because they explain the condition of the Modern Church and why its so difficult to find truth amongst the very people who claim the name of Christ yet live like Hell in the mean time.

Sep 19, 2008

When Does The Church Become The Church?

If a little rhetoric could do this justice, that would be dandy. But it won't, and I'm going to try anyway.

When does the church figure out that talking about BEING "a" Church isn't actually BEING THE Church?

The colloquial definition for this has become an ebonic slang term in the burbs. It's what is known as Trifling.

Sep 15, 2008

Free Sunday School Lessons For Children

Saturday afternoon, the mail ran late. When I went out to the box to see what was there (something I enjoy doing for some odd reason) there was only one 5" x 7" sized package there. I pulled it out to find a cartoon likeness of Noah and the animals of the Ark.

In typical childlike form, the illustrations were colorful and appealing to the eyes of a child. Admittedly they were appealing to me as well. I opened the package sat down to figure out what it was about. These large illustrated flash cards had a paraphrased story-like breakdown of Noah and his Ark. Just like the joyful happy versions we see painted on the walls of Sunday school classrooms these cards too radiated the smiling faces of different colored animals and an unconcerned, bald, bearded, Anglo-Saxon version of Noah.

As harmless as they first appeared, I even put the puzzle together that was on the back of the cards. It was fun for a few minutes. Then I sighed and put it all back together and neatly stacked it up. As I sat looking at it and feeling saddened that what I had received was a mass marketed mailing list promotion that thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people received in the mail that same week. Then the though crossed my mind that many of these same individuals are going to purchase this curriculum and teach it to their children in their age delineated, and generationally divided Sunday school classes. Oh, don't fret it's equally done amongst the sexes for the adults too. Men here, women there. Same problem, inept, untrained teachers teaching the Word. Worse yet, we deprive the children of worship with the rest of the congregation where falsehoods are countered by the preaching of the Word.

How convenient. We can keep them busy with the passive, unlearned teacher who could be equated to an unpaid babysitter and let them have fun at the same time. While they are having fun, they are given the great Americanized version of a literal event that illustrates the power and judgment of the Lord our God. After all, the flood makes for a good story no?

One might ask why I have beef with these cheesy Sunday school materials. And you might guess the this is the premise of me telling you. They left out some important facts that should be communicated to all of creation regardless of age or ability to comprehend. I could do well to share in my own words, but I think God's will work better.

(Gen 6:5-7 ESV) (5) The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (6) And the LORD was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. (7) So the LORD said, "I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them."

This part is summed up on card (1) in a few short words. "He looked down at his creation and felt very sad." Sure, it even mentions briefly that people had merely forgotten about God and had grown wicked. That's it. I would hardly say we should make children understand fully the details of the sexual immorality occurring in the text of Genesis 6, but then a majority of American parents consume visual images on prime time television right along with their Children just the same. I know that's a whole other argument, but I hope you get the gist of it. Right along with that imagery we have violence that was taking place amongst men while they walked the earth. Hardly a mere flooding of the earth "Just Cause."

On the bright side, this material could be utilized in the right hands of the right teacher. Sadly enough though, the material is part of a mass marketed media ploy to try before you buy scheme. You have to really seek out the details to discover that your free gift of the "deluxe" version is really a 10 day trial that you'll eventually pay for. And after you visit their site to see the other "fun" lessons they have, you can order the "New Age" flash card set, to learn about profound New Age philosophies that will set you free! Can anyone say motive please?

Would it be distasteful if I had no problems with you finding me a slight bit cynical in this matter?

Sep 13, 2008

In Lieu Of Institutional Christianity

In response to the Catholic sacramentalism, many have adopted a view that the New Covenant is not one marked by any outward expression or form. The proponents of this view also emphasize that the New Covenant is wholly represented by sprituality and invisibility. The major malfunction with that statement is simply refuted, Christ appointed the signs of the sacraments. Most notably in His command to remember His death until He comes again and to carry out the great commission. If I may quote Edmund P. Clowney in Contours of Christian Theology: The Church,

These outward signs mark out a visible fellowship; they structure Christ's church as a community with membership. Baptism requires a decision about admission to the community. The Supper, a sign of continuing fellowship, implies exclusion of those who have turned away from the Lord. Those who scorn the church as an institution may rightly rebuke the secularizing of the church on the model of imperial Rome or entrepreneurial Wall Street, but the sacraments testify that the church must have organized form as well as an organic life. (emphasis mine)

I can never over express my sympathy for those who have utter disdain for the institutional and overly sacramental church structures, but have sadness for their utter rejection of anything that system resembles that is clearly residual from the structure the Lord lays out in scripture. The reason for my sympathy is one of a similar conscience and similar perspective, but the empathy comes from hoping the dim mirror would be clearer for them. But to reject any of its form because of institutional abuse is a response to the farthest extreme and a rejection of scripture and biblical mandate itself.

Sep 10, 2008

Mine Is Right Because I Ordered It That Way!

Last week, I attempted to make a clever reference to the choices we make in food and how we prefer to consume things, and ever so tastelessly, I'll admit I probably failed. Either way, I hope the point made got across. If you are clueless, the post below should help refresh your memory on what was being discussed. I am going to discuss more in detail some of the points I was hoping to make. This way, some light might be shed on what I find to be some necessary "sarcasm" for this particular topic. The quotes are from the post in question, followed by the unpacking of it's intent. Thanks for reading!

Let's get on with it shall we? This chit chat is wasting space.

Man, isn't America great? Not only can I choose what flavor cake I want, I can eat it too. Then I can put it away and tell the rest of the world how they should deny themselves and sacrifice for jesus. Who's jesus? You tell me...

Evangelism has become a highly debated issue in many circles. On the forefront of Church history, we see the prioritization of the proclamation of the Lord's Gospel and the message for mankind to repent of sin and become restored into a right covenant with the Father. Revival in its purest sense has graced the landscape and shores of many continents and has always shown its truest form through the redemption of sinners and the witness of freshly bore fruit.

Righteousness was always the indicator of a believers conversion because it was such a stark contrast to his previous state, utter depravity. If there is no essential contrast of one from the other the indication would and should be pretty obvious. However, today's evangelicali$m has shrouded and clouded that truth with its own veil and outward form of godliness. Sadly, a majority of the examples labeled "christian" that are paraded in mainstream media today are simply charlatans and false teachers who have successfully done what Simon the sorcerer had originally set out to do, and that was make a buck (Acts 8:18-20). Thankfully, through God's providence, Simon came face to face with true Apostles who spoke a true message and openly rebuked Simon for his treacherous attempt to pilfer the gift of the Holy Spirit for his own gain.

So what of this point? Simply put, many have gone out in the name of Jesus. Many claim to carry His banner, proclaim His name, and do so 100% convinced that their take on the Gospel is the one that is right. Their cry too is repentance and faith. Their cry is righteousness and holiness. Their cry is that only Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (Jn 14:6). They seem to be preaching the very same Gospel you and I would say is...Gospel. But one minor difference exists that separates the heresy from the fact. While the decree is proclaimed to sacrifice your life, sell your posessions, and give your life to Christ, this decree is scarcely met by the same degree of fulfillment required by the words being directed at others. They are telling you to do what they think they are doing right. The only standard that qualifies perfection and accuracy is theirs.

Distinguishing the deeds that are done as more righteous than the deeds done by others who also profess Christ through measuring it against the deeds carried out on personal behalf in no way measure up to the deeds required to consider oneself "righteous" in the eyes of God. Technically, what is being done is carried out with a pure intent that has reversed itself and become hypocrisy and ill motivation. "Way Of The Masterism" has created a creed and coven of street preachers who are maliciously making mishief and denouncing anything orthodox in the name of true religion. Out of the box evangelism training and pragmatism has created a brood of unqualified, unordained, rebel, and seceding persons who desire to see their version of the gospel preached so much that they've divorced themselves from all the means and Biblical standards that have served Christ's Church for centuries. Its hard to think that the standards they've created for what is called "righteousness" are so much more different than the ones they've read in the Scriptures.

The cake has become flavored by true religion, but as most flavors in most out of the box cakes it is "artificial." If you deviate from the original instructions just a bit, it throws off the entire batch, no matter how you try to spell it. As much as the same desires are shared by so many others in the Church, The Believing Body of Christ, their too is a desire for truth and holiness to be had in God's people. The supposed restoration of the testimony and witness of Christ in the world is not going to come about through the means of men. It will come about through the means of Christ, when He chooses. His glory is His and His alone, not ours to initiate or dictate the time and hour. While the sense of urgency should be on the forefront, the compromise of the Lord's Church as seen in Scripture should not be had through misinterpretation, prooftexting, and sheer overemphasis on non prescriptive Scriptures. Remember, not to preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but from good will (Php 1:15). To seek a name for ourselves with the wrong purpose completely undermines why we are preaching the Gospel in the first place. Sometimes, those who say they are Christian only do so because they've been told by others they are, but they are still lost, should they not bre treated as if they were lost? Instead of everyone besides ourself who says they are Christian become a target for our anger and "other" gospel?

If I believe that my gospel is the one that will save men, I've removed Christ from the equation and ignored His sovereignty in salvation. Essentially, I've changed the recipe and somehow done as man always does when he steps in and attempts to change the world and the Church through his own power and methods. In doing so, I've not only wound up with bad cake, I've wound up with an empty plate...

Sep 6, 2008

Perceptively And Slightly Skewed Please


How do you like your Gospel? Rare, medium-well, or toast? Depends on your taste right? I guess so. It's really a matter of choice isn't it? It may as well be with the plethora of options we have to choose from. Almost like going to the old school buffet bar for family night. Now that's fine dining. While you gorge on your preference, you can get free dessert too. Man, isn't America great? Not only can I choose what flavor cake I want, I can eat it too. Then I can put it away and tell the rest of the world how they should deny themselves and sacrifice for jesus. Who's jesus? You tell me...

Imagine that we have a preconceived, and presupposed notion of how things are. Matter of fact, forget imagining, let's just flat out assume. Then, take that presupposition and base it upon our experiential relationship with what we believe to be god. Instead of the safer route of basing all presupposition upon scripture, we'll opt for the former.

For sake of argument, let's assume that the god we worship is our perception of some 'type' of jesus. Then, we see that this experience dictates our relation to the world, others around us, and those who we feel "led" to preach the gospel to.

Next, isolate our demographic, narrow our target audience, and then yoke everyone around us by the standard we've set based upon our individualized experiences. Let's also keep in mind that because we are reaching this group, it is on terms our experience has created. The next assumption is that we know the hearts of men. Then another assumption is that we are able to divide the truth infallibly and precisely as if we spoke it into existence, and any challenging position is heresy and automatically dead wrong. We can also throw in the half-cocked, lame brained idea that we actually have an influence upon those being ministered to by our experiential gospel with hit and run 'here's our message tactics'.

Another assumption is made that the efforts that are half hearted put into this experience based concoction of a gospel is actually going to change peoples hearts and deliver them from their sin. Not only their sin, but their environment and their life. Not only their environment and life, but their entire culture, worldview, and ethnic identity--as empty as ethnic identity is, it exists. Now that all of our assumptions or ducks, or whatever, are all in a row, what then? Well, we are successful members of ministry, men and women of god, people who have been set apart from the mainstream, and wonderful participants of the kingdoms will for the nations! Here in the present tense! We are prophets, called to beckon Nineveh and Sodom. Ordained to Apostolic offices that stand on par with the canonized words of Scripture. We have been nominated to faithfully communicate the very spoken words of our own presupposed-experiential gospel as if they were the words of God himself.

Where do we start then? Can't we just leave everyone where they are? Or do we allow them to fend for themselves, plug into a fellowship we disagree with (pretty much all of em, anywhere). Do we know where to send them if we can't bring them back to our own local body? Should we ignore this glaring defect in our ministry so that a week later we can shred them and their entire concept of Christ while accusing them of being false converts? The latter sounds so harsh, but it is more edifying for our ego and our piety. After all, we can only define our piety by destroying yours, shoot, it makes us feel better. After all, they are all religious hypocrites? Well? Pharisees deserve that kind of treatment don't they? So what if you've professed Christ, your not in fellowship with me so you are a religious hypocrite worthy of the rebuke the Lord Jesus gave to the Pharisees. Their religion isn't true like ours, it is based upon a false conception. After all, they are American, so they automatically don't know Christ. Their mere profession is worthy of dismissal the second it falls from their mouths, they must immediately be rebuked and strongly corrected. There is no way they are babes in Christ, or new converts, there's no way they are fellowshipping with a genuine local body, there's no WAY THEY CAN POSSIBLY KNOW MORE THAN WE DO ABOUT THE WORD OF GOD...DON'T THEY KNOW WE ARE THE RESTORATION OF THE PROPHETS OF OLD, CALLED OF THE ISRAEL KIND TO CONDEMN THE NATIONS!


Shouldn't we talk to them first? See where they really are in life? See what they really think about the Gospel? See if their profession matches their fruit? Love them as our brothers or sisters, or even better, love them because they may be our enemy? Better still, regardless of the results of any of these answers, shouldn't we be determined to know nothing among them except Christ and Him crucified? -Amen

Sep 2, 2008

Birthday Schmerthday

Today, I officially become a 29 year old bag of dirt. How bout that? Today, I live to see a day I never thought I would. As hindsight would have it, my past has made my present (and future) extremely joyful. My past has presented me with an outlook that gives something to compare present and future grief or sorrow to. Today, I have a vertical gratitude that produces an appreciation for all things temporal. My past indicates that in all actuality, I am only four years old. For the birthday that has the most significance has not been far off.

Today, avails to little in light of eternity. Today, friends and relatives might find it nice to call me and say hello, and happy birthday, and In turn I'll be presented with an opportunity to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. His grace is the only reason I have today, let alone a perspective that allows me to reflect on my yesterday's, and the only provision for a hope in any tomorrow's. Christ is my life, my all, and my reason for living (Php 1:21).

Today this bag of dirt may be considered but young in the eyes of the world, but my eyes are weary and I long to go home and be with the Father. I've seen a fair share of wretched, depraved, and useless existences, and even partook in most of it. Here lies my stead and my plot in life and until this flesh returns to dust I'll serve in the foxhole awaiting the trumpets call. I know now that I once served a purpose, and that was my own self satisfaction and agenda. But today, my purpose is to see my life be a testimony to His grace and His glory (I Ti 1:8-14).

This day is a reminder of grace. The grace of God alone to change the hearts of a man who did not want to be changed, yet distinctly knew his only hope would be to change. I'd never thought my cry to Christ that day would be heard, or that He would see fit to grant a wretch like me repentance. Today I remember my belly-button birth, but today I reflect on that birth occurring under the sovereign, watchful, and loving hand of the creator Lord Jesus Christ.

Today, life is but a vapor. Tomorrow, there is hope in resurrection (Jas 4:14).

Until mine eyes set sight on the celestial city, that great offer of grace shall bide me through.
While I await the vision of my Lord, my comfort will be in what He's set for me to do.
And just when I think it's me who does the work, it's the Lord's word that rings true.
The glory of sinners turned to saints belongs to the one and only Lamb who was slain.

Coram Deo

Aug 29, 2008

Finding Fault In A Blog

Is Easy. Because they are not Scripture. They are quite simply...


Aug 27, 2008

Modesty From Noah Webster's Dictionary

Modesty - In females, modesty has the like character as in males; but the word is used also as synonymous with chastity, or purity of manners. In this sense, modesty results from purity of mind, or from the fear of disgrace and ignominy fortified by education and principle. Unaffected modesty is the sweetest charm of female excellence, the richest gem in the diadem of their honor.


Modesty, as an act or series of acts, consists in humble, unobtrusive deportment, as opposed to extreme boldness, forwardness, arrogance, presumption, audacity or impudence. Thus we say, the petitioner urged his claims with modesty; the speaker addressed the audience with modesty.

So what about modesty for us men? What kind of expectations are there for us? How is it seemingly the hot topic to always address the issue of immodesty in women, albeit the primary focus there is in dress, but modesty can be had in more areas than physical dress can it not? How could we make a presumption or comparison on this same topic but in regard to the men in the Church? Something that should definitely be paid attention too, and I think we will give it a look.

Stay tuned because I think this one's not going away for a while, it's burden on my soul is too great.

Aug 26, 2008

The Lord Preserves And Plans For His People

I have nothing to offer in lieu of commentary regarding this passage. The only thing I can say is simply this. Read it.

(Mic 4:1-13) (ESV)

(1) It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and it shall be lifted up above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it, (2) and many nations shall come, and say: "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths." For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. (3) He shall judge between many peoples, and shall decide for strong nations far away; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore; (4) but they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid, for the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken. (5) For all the peoples walk each in the name of its god, but we will walk in the name of the LORD our God forever and ever. (6) In that day, declares the LORD, I will assemble the lame and gather those who have been driven away and those whom I have afflicted; (7) and the lame I will make the remnant, and those who were cast off, a strong nation; and the LORD will reign over them in Mount Zion from this time forth and forevermore. (8) And you, O tower of the flock, hill of the daughter of Zion, to you shall it come, the former dominion shall come, kingship for the daughter of Jerusalem. (9) Now why do you cry aloud? Is there no king in you? Has your counselor perished, that pain seized you like a woman in labor? (10) Writhe and groan, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in labor, for now you shall go out from the city and dwell in the open country; you shall go to Babylon. There you shall be rescued; there the LORD will redeem you from the hand of your enemies. (11) Now many nations are assembled against you, saying, "Let her be defiled, and let our eyes gaze upon Zion." (12) But they do not know the thoughts of the LORD; they do not understand his plan, that he has gathered them as sheaves to the threshing floor. (13) Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion, for I will make your horn iron, and I will make your hoofs bronze; you shall beat in pieces many peoples; and shall devote their gain to the LORD, their wealth to the Lord of the whole earth.

Aug 23, 2008

Church, Family, Society, and State

The church witnesses to the righteousness of the kingdom, penetrating society like leaven or salt, but it is not identified with the world it touches. The church is neither competitive nor correlative to the family, to the state, or to other societal institutions. These are the forms of life in the world, from which the church is distinguished.

(-Edmund P. Clowney, Countours of Christian Theology: The Church, P.191)

Aug 22, 2008

Please Listen Carefully and Understand...

To issue a decree of peace surrounding the recent blogs and comments, I've removed all negative commentary or further posting of comments on the recent blogs. The spirit in which I had intended to deliver the initial posts regarding modesty in the Church were fully intended on commenting, describing, and addressing the specific issue of the Church as a whole entity. In light of such matters it is also a severe case of what we shouldn't do when we are trying (as we always should be) to glorify God.

It is of my admission and understanding that these posts could have been entirely understood to be directed at a particular local body, and even to individuals personally. This was never the case, intent, or purpose of these posts. If you are a visiting, referred, or regular reader I would encourage you to read archives to get a feel for the purposes and the content of a majority of posts that have been shared here at Deliver Detroit.

In the latter half of the second "prostitute" post, I described and did all that I felt necessary to imply the necessity of love in such matters. Love is of utmost importance in correction and in affirmation of each other as believers.

As covered by Jen, in the introduction of the very first posting, and in a guest post still yet to come, I pray that you will see the heart of the matter and the intent of covering this topic. Sometimes coincidence seems to dictate the story, but doesn't necessarily mean that it is.

Some things to remember about the posts in question that were at the heart of my point. These are what I wanted to communicate, but may have not done that well enough, and humbly ask forgiveness from all who were offended, stumbled, or surprised at such a directed response.

1. That the implication of church discipline upon believers (or false professors) sinning openly after proper address from believers is the precedent.

2. Although immodest dress is never explicitly listed as being a punishable offense, it becomes sin when it is addressed and the behavior still occurs in disobedience to the correction/teaching and is an outward sign of an inward rejection of truth and authority in church discipline. Rejection and no indication of repentance upon such confrontation is punishable by being shunned, denied benefits of intimate christian fellowship and treat them as if they were a "Gentile and a Tax Collector."

3. Lastly, the sole purpose of likening worldly things to christian behavior in the fellowship was intended to bring a correlation that has become seemingly blurred in a majority of fellowships everywhere. This line is drawn by the difference of Christ's Bride (the Church) and the World System. While the line starts disappearing and the Bride's purity becomes more and more compromised, it become adopted and accepted as normal behavior, debasing the testimony and the ability of the Church to be Salt and Light to the world.

What was being addressed is a clear line that is drawn by holiness but now marred by culture. For many persecuted Christians worldwide, making a profession in Jesus Christ could result in instant martyrdom. Having to meet in secret and underground for safety from persecution should encourage us to ponder the thought that these believers lay down everything for their profession. Those who do not believe, simply put, will not make an insane profession that will cost them their lives in order to have social status and happiness every Sunday or Wednesday evening. They profess Christ because they have been redeemed and laying down one's life for the redeemed is a cost worthy paying.

Aug 21, 2008

Some Encouragement In Light Of Scorn

Jen (Reformed Sheology) has commented something I wanted to share with everyone who has been following the series of posts lately. By no means do the commentary and the postings do any justice in reflecting the purpose of what I had intended. If that be so, shame on me for not being concise. But my Sister in Christ has shared her heart and burden as well and gives a little more illumination of the heart of the matter I had intended to convey, her comment was as follows.


I would like to thank you for sharing your heart with us. I also want to say that I know how difficult it must be to take up this issue as a man. Because the feminist movement has destroyed biblical gender roles in our culture, most women do not want to hear this coming from a man. In fact, most women do not want to hear these things from anybody.

I’ve written more than once about the powers of persuasion God has given women and how, instead of using them to influence men in a godly way, we choose instead to manipulate men for our own gain. Many women deliberately choose their clothing in order to gain the attention of men. This, I think, is the real heart of the issue. Modesty isn’t about how we dress. One’s wardrobe is only a symptom of the problem. Immodest dress is nothing more than a means to gain attention by saying, “Look at me!” This is what the Bible calls vanity, and it is a heart issue that must be addressed.

I think your post, “Prostitutes of the Flesh (Pt.1)” explains why we have become numb to the fact that this is sinful, and that is, because it has become the social norm for people to see women hanging out of their clothes. Third wave feminism has basically encouraged women to look at pornography as a way to be empowered. These attitudes have naturally spilled out into society and also into the Body of Christ, dulling our senses as to what is and is not immodest.

God has called men to be spiritual leaders, both in the home and in the church. In a day and age where so many fathers are absent and unable to protect their daughters from a culture that wants to prey upon them, I thank you for taking leadership on this issue.

Aug 19, 2008

Pardon Me, Let Me Sweep Up That Mess.

Posts here of late have been misunderstood very easily and the things said regarding specific topics often strike raw nerves with some. It is also easily seen as being too general in statement. I would implore with any readers who believe this to be so, to please consider some things. Is the post specific to a certain individual, situation, or dilemma? Or is the post geared toward approaching an issue that is vast in it's reach, wide in it's occurrence, and problematic for the Church overall? These two questions would do well when you read what I post. The reason it sounds broad, is because it is. If you localize something that is not intended to be localized it causes one to take issue and personal resentment toward what is said. Then it sounds accusatory and one may feel wronged or offended by it. If it becomes a matter of personal conviction and you feel you are being attacked by the sentiment or information written about, I would ask you to read the post and see if it includes your name in there. If it does not, your conviction is not my responsibility. However, if there is conviction, then you should examine yourself against the Holy Scriptures and place faith in Christ to lead in your decision making regarding that conviction.

If I have caused offense to any individual, I humbly ask forgiveness. If I have created a stumbling block for anyone, I also ask forgiveness in that. But, if you are offended because you have personalized what was not intended for you, let me remind you that your expectations are not my responsibility. The Lord's are.

Aug 18, 2008

I Vow To Make A Covenant with My Eyes

(Ecc 7:25-26) I directed my mind to know, to investigate and to seek wisdom and an explanation, and to know the evil of folly and the foolishness of madness. And I discovered more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, whose hands are chains. One who is pleasing to God will escape from her, but the sinner will be captured by her.

Should you avoid going to the public swimming pool, beaches, or strip clubs for that matter, for the sake of guarding and covenanting with your eyes, to prevent yourself from sin (Jas 4:7-8)? If these places are obvious stumbling blocks to an individual (man) it may be safe to say that you should avoid them as if they were the stench of death themselves (Rom 6:23). To maintain an accordance and attempt of walking in the righteousness of the Spirit and pursuing the holiness given of Christ Jesus would suggest so wouldn't it (Rom 12:2)?

So if the church is resembling the above description, is it the church? If it is, is it not due rebuke and correction? Lastly, should you treat it as you would the aforementioned stumbling blocks, would not it be the same sin, leading to the same outcome, and tarnish the same name professed by your mouth and the mouths of the very ones who violate His holy word?

You tell me. Because I'm either completely disgusted, disillusioned, and angry, or I am completely confused and totally misunderstanding the scriptures.

Aug 16, 2008

Daily Help from Charles H. Spurgeon - August 16th

Question: How is that those who live holy lives do it with such joy?

The lives of some of God's people fill us with holy astonishment. Strange and marvelous are the ways which God used in their case to find his own. Blessed be his name, he never relinquishes the search until the chosen are sought ought effectually. They are not a people sought to-day and cast away to-morrow. Almightiness and wisdom combined will make no failures; they shall be called "Sought out!" That any should be sought out, is matchless grace, but that we should be sought out is grace beyond degree! We can find no reason for it but God's own sovereign love, and can only lift up out heart in wonder, and praise the Lord that this day we wear the name of "Sought out."

-Charles H. Spurgeon

Aug 15, 2008

You and Your Daughter are Prostitutes...Of The Flesh (Pt.2)

continuing from yesterday's post...

Undoubtedly there could be a lack of understanding and a need for discipleship in the truth and exemplary duty of modesty in a culture where modesty has been dismissed as a cultural stage we have progressed out of. But also, there is an innate evil in the heart of sinners and the unregenerate that seeks to sow seeds in amongst the wheat that spring forth tares choking out life and killing anything it comes near. John 3:11, the message we heard from the beginning is that we love one another. This love is in accordance with our Lord's will, not to knock each other down by flaunting the flesh that causes temptation and sin. Romans 5:5, The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts, this will relfect in our actions toward others. I ask this, is showing off an acreage of cleavage showing love toward a brother who struggles with lust? Are you so self-conscious that you have to find gratification in luring all the wrong attention you can toward yourself?

It's simply stated for believers in 1 Thessalonians 4:7-9, we shouldn't have to be informed or written to that we are to love one another. Loving one another not only means that we are not to cause a brother to stumble, it is better to go without a pleasure or behavior than to cause a brother to stumble, especially in lieu of liberty and purity (1 Co 8:13). Peter (2 Peter 1:4-7) admonishes us to show evidence of our fruit through self-control, persevearance, godliness, kindness, and love! But if you are lacking in this (2 Peter 1:9) you are blind, shortsighted, in violation of the covenant promises of God through Christ Jesus.

So to end this post now, as It's taken much time to get to this point, it will take much time to undo it, or seek to make it better. As the letter of 1 Peter 3:5, I Timothy 2:9, and the admonition from all of scripture to have a testimony embodied in your very being and the light of Christ being reflected in your life clearly, unmistakingly, undoubtedly, and powerfully (Mat 5:15, Luk 8:16, Luk 11:33).

I guess my point is the lack of those whom are repulsed enough of the enemies attack on the culture is truly showing. I pray that if you have been redeemed of God that you get up, get up NOW and begin participating in the Great Commission given us of Christ Jesus. Go, tell others that they may hear, that they may be saved, and that some may come to know him...

Galatians 6:1-5 teaches a very important lesson for the teachers, elders, evangelists, and men in the body of believers. This lesson is a calling out to those who care about sin in the face of a righteous God. It's an admonition and rebuke to the leaders in the body to remember the covenant made with the Father in redemption and rebuke, correct, and teach those who sin openly, and amongst us. It is also an encouragement to help them learn the truth of the word that will show them a more righteous way in Christ who gives us life, and power over sin through the Holy Spirit. In Galatians 6:10 Paul goes on to teach us that we must first do good to all people (love), and especially to those who are of the household of faith (emphasis mine). Would not doing good to the brethren include teaching them a better way while also eradicating through discipline the problem of sin in the body of believers?

...Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.
(Eph 4:17-19)