Tough Questions

March 20, 2014 — Leave a comment

This is a sermon from our pastor that wrestles with one of the chief objections to Christianity. We are taking a journey through Genesis and in chapter 6 we come to the place where God expresses his regret at having created man.

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The Prayer of John Knox

In the March 2014 issue of Tabletalk magazine, Buck Parsons provides us with a short, inspiring account of John Knox. Knox was the Scottish reformer who impacted Scotland even more so than Braveheart. He was a pastor of deep prayer who stood tall in the face of opposition. Click on the title of this post to read Parsons article. I am providing three quotes by and about Knox here to whet your appetite.

1.  Give me Scotland, or I die. (John Knox)

2.  One man with God is always in the majority. (John Knox)

3.  I fear the prayers of John Knox more than all the assembled armies of Europe. (Mary, Queen of Scots)

I don’t see how I can be both a celebrity and a pastor, and so I am happy to give up the former so that I can focus on the latter.

–Mark Driscoll

A few years ago the term Celebrity Pastor was coined. Granted the two terms do not seem to mesh. The term was early applied to Mark Driscoll of Seattle. The drippings of celebrity tend to tempt men away from the servant-leader role of a biblical pastor. Such has been the case with Driscoll.

He is now in the news for realizing this unhealthy and often times sinful mix. I pray that his repentance will be full and magnify the Lord.

If we want to define celebrity as one who is celebrated, then all celebrity pastors do not have to be sinful. Here are a few considerations for determining whether celebrity becomes a detriment to being a pastor.

  1. Is celebrity status thrust upon the man or is it sought by the man?
  2. Does the pastor excuse his actions based on his popularity?
  3. Is the focus of the pastor more on the broader Christian community and/or culture than on the sheep of his flock.
  4. Are the actions of the shepherd inconsistent with the actions of the Chief Shepherd?
  5. Are steps taken to maintain or elevate the celebrity status?
  6. Who gets the glory – the man or our God?

“Noah is the least biblical film ever made.” This is a quote from the director of the movie, Darren Aronofsky. His quote continues with language that I will not quote in this article.

Of course, whenever Hollywood takes artistic license with a biblical story, a debate about the role of art is sure to ensue. And just as surely as that debate will rage, some in the Christian community will judge Christian critics for being judgmental. (Did you catch the irony of that sentence?) In fact, it is already happening and the movie is weeks away from being released in the U.S.

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Don’t eat when you are naked.

Frank Barone on the Moral of Adam & Eve

Growing Strong in Faith

March 15, 2014

If you are like me, you can relate to the cry of the man before Jesus when he said in Mark 9:24, I believe; help my unbelief! That man had come to Jesus asking for help with his demon possessed boy. He had faith, but struggled with not having faith. The question then presents itself as how can the needle on my faith gauge tilt more to the side of believing and away from the side of unbelieving? How can my faith be strengthened?

To answer that question, we can turn to the biblical character who epitomizes faith – Abraham. In Romans 4 Paul presents the great gospel truth that Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness (Romans 4:3). His faith was such that God chalked that up as righteousness in Abraham’s account.

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Augustine Quote on Sin

March 14, 2014

augustine quote