What happens when the Church tries to blend its understanding of society and being the example of the living Christ? Dr. James White speaks to this issue. Please listen to the whole message before jumping into fads.
In the past few months a surprising number of ministers have succumb to suicide, have fallen away, or have expressed serious doubts about Christianity. It is imperative that the church come to realize that we, the congregants, must undergird the men and women who have been called, by God, to teach and train disciples. We can speculate about why these things are happening, but one thing is clear, we are at war.
This war is being fought daily by these ministers. They are the soldiers on the front lines, and many find themselves isolated and overwhelmed. This is often due to the rest of the Body of Christ not knowing their importance in teaming with them to advance the Gospel.
More often than not, the Body of Christ is either unaware, or willfully ignorant of this war. They don’t know or purposefully have forgotten, “Eph 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Many in the Church think that it is not their responsibility to stand with their pastors or ministers against the wilds of Satan.
Pastors and ministers are the men and woman who are separate from the deacons, elders, or other congregants. Peter gives and interesting response to those who are insisting that the Apostles step up to aide in the distribution of resources, “Acts 6:2-4 And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
This is often called the creation of the office of deacon. The passages clearly express that the office of deacon was created to attend to the needs of the church. They are to support the mission and vison of the pastor, so that they can focus on the preaching of the Gospel.
When the church fails to abide by the structure of the church, at its inception, an unholy amount of pressure is applied to the pastor or minister. This stress and strain leads to an unhealthy balance between the responsibility of the leadership and the disciple. Some may say that The Great Commission was only directed to the eleven; however, it only serves to strengthen the responsivity of the disciples office.
Matt 28:16-20 “Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
The breakdown is simple, the eleven were told to go and make disciples. Peter’s assertion that they were to attend tables was true. Jesus appears to the disciples to instruct them as to what they are to do. This appearing was during the forty days he spent with them, before the assentation. As recorded in Acts 1:3 “He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.” Luke tells us that the initial giving of The Great Commission was to the eleven and then the eleven passed on the importance of disciples go and make disciples.
Those who were to follow are to be disciples of the Word and then, when these disciples grow in to “adulthood,” are to become deacons and then these men were to undergird the pastors and ministers so that the process can be repeated. Many deacons today seem to be more concerned with how to get out from aiding the pastor and are willing to pass as much of their responsibilities on to a “hired” man. An example of just how this imbalance affects the Body of Christ can be understood in an article by The Christian Post.
The Christian Post quotes Dale Partridge, a minister and friend of late California Pastor Jarrid Wilson, ““My post is simply a call for church reform according to Scripture. It’s my opinion and experience that today’s audience-centric churches will run pastors raw. Serve, labor, love, perform, and sacrifice until you can’t do it any longer. Over the years, I have heard many pastors (who are grossly underpaid) talk about their desperate need for a break yet have no financial way of achieving it. In other words, we have built an institutional church machine that doesn’t accommodate but actually compromises the health the Bible requires for New Testament pastors,” Partridge added.” (https://www.christianpost.com/news/people-struggling-with-mental-illness-shouldnt-be-in-church-leadership-jarrid-wilsons-friend-says.html)
Partridge’s comment is accurate, in the since that churches have become too “audience-centric.” The article; however, leaves out the responsibility of deacons and other laymen to undergird the men and women whose staff these churches. The Gospel never says for those called or chosen to be God’s voice, in all of the various iterations, to work alone.
Paul gives thanks to a plethora of churches who come to his aid. Paul in Rom 15:14-16 states, I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. But on some points, I have written to you very boldly by way of reminder, because of the grace given me by God to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.” Paul is voicing his need for the church in Rome to asset him in carrying out, both his calling and the calling God has placed on all who believe.
“Buried in the midst of his collection of clauses in verses 15–16 is the essence of his reminder, more easily understood as summarized by Eugene Peterson in The Message: “I’m simply underlining how very much I need your help in carrying out this highly focused assignment God gave me, this priestly and gospel work of serving the spiritual needs of the non-Jewish outsiders so they can be presented as an acceptable offering to God, made whole and holy by God’s Holy Spirit” (Peterson, pp. 336–337). (Kenneth Boa and William Kruidenier, Romans, vol. 6, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 448.)
It is the simplest expression of the thought behind Paul’s meaning. This paraphrase of the passage does clarify the thought. Paul is saying, “I need your help.”
Being a pastors or ministers of the Gospel is difficult. This difficulty is compounded by a lack of understanding of the role each part of the Body of Christ is to play. Deacons are to undergird, or aid, church leaders in administering to the needs of the congregation, which allows for the pastors to preach the word. A congregant is to do the work of a disciple until God calls them in to ministry or to the other side of the veil.
Note: All Scripture, unless otherwise noted, comes from the ESV bible.
Dr. Turek and Dr. Rice Broocks share how the work of the Evangelist is lacking in today’s church. Please listen with an open heart and an open mind. It’s time we stop thinking that the Gospel is to only be presented within the walls of the church and bring it out in to the world.
On key thing to note, Ravi says, “Make them a friend.” and “Understand your faith well.”
I recommend listening and studying Dr. Turek’s material.
For generations man has tried to deny the sovereignty of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They have done this by calling into question the origin of the universe. Christians believe that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob created the universe with a word. Secularist believe it was with a release of energy, “The Big Bang.”
In an article titled “No Big Bang? Quantum equation predicts universe has no beginning” published on the site Phys.org, physicist and astronomers have announced a new theory. Claiming that their model compliments Einstein’s theory of general relativity. This theory; however, has the same flaw as Einstein’s, human nature.
The human factor comes into play when the evidence doesn’t aline with the worldview of the one attempting to solve a problem. They have a tendency to “fudge” their results. Einstein was no different.
“It was 1916 and Albert Einstein didn’t like where his calculations were leading him. If his theory of General Relativity was true, it meant that the universe was not eternal but had a beginning. Einstein’s calculations indeed were revealing a definite beginning to all time, all matter, and all space. This flew in the face of his belief that the universe was static and eternal. Einstein later called his discovery “irritating.” He wanted the universe to be self-existent—not reliant on any outside cause—but the universe appeared to be one giant effect. In fact, Einstein so disliked the implications of General Relativity—a theory that is now proven accurate to five decimal places—that he introduced a cosmological constant (which some have since called a “fudge factor”) into his equations in order to show that the universe is static and to avoid an absolute beginning.” (I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist (Foreword by David Limbaugh) (p. 73). Crossway. Kindle Edition.)
Einstein allowed his worldview to override the truth. Even though Einstein proved that the universe had a beginning, he was adamant to not give credibility to the Christian worldview. “Although Einstein said that he believed in a pantheistic God (a god that is the universe), his comments admitting creation and divine thought better describe a theistic God.” (I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist (Foreword by David Limbaugh) (p. 74). Crossway. Kindle Edition.)
One cannot overlook the validity of personal bias when it comes to proving or disproving one’s personal worldview. This article stands on that principle. This new theory attempts to help iron out the “fudge factor” in Einstein’s theory.
The article states, “The universe may have existed forever, according to a new model that applies quantum correction terms to complement Einstein’s theory of general relativity. The model may also account for dark matter and dark energy, resolving multiple problems at once.” The article seeks apply “quantum correction terms” to Einstein’s theory. Knowing Einstein’s worldview, we can ascertain that these scientists are attempting to remove the Judeo-Christian worldview on creation.
My assertion is proven within the article itself, “Although the Big Bang singularity arises directly and unavoidably from the mathematics of general relativity, some scientists see it as problematic because the math can explain only what happened immediately after—not at or before—the singularity. “The Big Bang singularity is the most serious problem of general relativity because the laws of physics appear to break down there,” Ahmed Farag Ali at Benha University and the Zewail City of Science and Technology, both in Egypt, told Phys.org.”
The worldview of Ahmed Farah Ali and Zewail City of Science and Technology both share the common perspective of many atheists. For example one of Einstein’s contemporaries looked for a “loophole.” “In 1919, British cosmologist Arthur Eddington conducted an experiment during a solar eclipse which confirmed that General Relativity was indeed true—the universe wasn’t static but had a beginning. Like Einstein, Eddington wasn’t happy with the implications. He later wrote, “Philosophically, the notion of a beginning of the present order of nature is repugnant to me. . . . I should like to find a genuine loophole.”” (I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist (Foreword by David Limbaugh) (pp. 73-74). Crossway. Kindle Edition.)
However, when personal worldviews are set aside, truth prevails. “By 1922, Russian mathematician Alexander Friedmann had officially exposed Einstein’s fudge factor as an algebraic error. (Incredibly, in his quest to avoid a beginning, the great Einstein had divided by zero—something even schoolchildren know is a no-no!)” (I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist (Foreword by David Limbaugh) (p. 74). Crossway. Kindle Edition.) Einstein’s willingness to skew the facts to support his personal worldview ended up showing that man will go to great lengths to deny the deity and sovereignty of the Judeo-Christian God.
I will end with this, “And as “irritating” as it may be, his theory of General Relativity stands today as one of the strongest lines of evidence for a theistic God. Indeed, General Relativity supports what is one of the oldest formal arguments for the existence of a theistic God—the Cosmological Argument.” (I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist (Foreword by David Limbaugh) (p. 74). Crossway. Kindle Edition.) To God be the glory forever and ever, Amen!
“If you think the God, who breath life into dirt, can’t create life in a virgin’s womb, you limit the sovereignty He possesses over His creation.”
- C. Norman Hocker
In the light of 1 Corinthians 6:18-20: “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (ESV)
There are two perspectives I would like to cover. The first is by SBC president JD Greear and the other is by Apologist Dr. James White. Which is more accurately address 1 Corinthians 6:18-20?
Perspective 1 – JD Greear
SBC president lists 3 ways Christians ‘go wrong when discussing homosexuality’
Perspective 2 – Dr. James White
There seems to be a certain viewpoint that has begun to build in the church. This viewpoint has affected me, for the past few years. The viewpoint is dealing with the problem of pain.
Just about everyone, who I encounter in the church, have shown me their true face. Many stay away, others just ignore my existence and even more lie to my face. I am sure they don’t think by saying to me, “If you need anything…,” and when I do ask, they don’t think, by not showing up, they are lying.
It is in these times of desperation, that I turn to true God-fearing people. I listen to them speak and give praise to the Lord, in their suffering, and it gives me hope. I see that even in my darkest times, there are those who are experiencing more.
I give thanks the LORD Jesus for giving me understanding and insight in to my heart. He has shown me through, people like, Joni Eareckson Tada, that God may want me to be where I am. I praise God for all that I am going through, may He grow me in these times of difficulty and pain.