Do We Need Compromise To Be Relevant?

August 21st, 2010 | Posted by admin in Articles - (Comments Off on Do We Need Compromise To Be Relevant?)

Part I in a series on compromise in the church

Compromise can be well illustrated thru a story that I heard years ago. Eskimos in the barren North often kill wolves by taking a razor sharp knife and dipping it in blood. They allow the blood to freeze to the blade; then they bury the handle of the knife in the snow with the blade exposed. As the wolf begins to lick the blade, his tongue becomes numb and desensitized due to the cold. As he continues to lick the knife, it begins to bleed, and thus, licks even faster—unaware that he is consuming his own blood, and slowly killing himself.
Within time, the Eskimos return and bring the dead animal home. In the same way, the enemy numbs us through compromise. Within time, we, like the wolves, don’t realize that we are dying—dying spiritually. The enemy desensitizes us until we are numb to the things of God.
Read more

Entertainment- What Goes In Ultimately Comes Out

August 14th, 2010 | Posted by admin in Articles - (Comments Off on Entertainment- What Goes In Ultimately Comes Out)

Part IV in a series on compromise in the church

As I said last week: Holiness is not a strange, outdated word. Its being set apart, or separated from anything that causes us to sin, whether mentally (in what we think), or physically (in what we do). Holiness begins in the heart. We should continually strive for holiness in all that we do and say. “The Holy Spirit is first of all a moral flame. It is not an accident of language that He is called the Holy Spirit, for whatever else the word holy may mean it does undoubtedly carry with it the idea of moral purity” (Tozer).
Ironically, one youth pastor told me, “I don’t worry about what I watch, or listen to, as long as my heart is right.” But this is a very dangerous view. Most will admit, however, that this statement is really just an excuse to cross the line when it comes to entertainment. Let’s be honest: Many rationalize watching and listening to very questionable material because they enjoy it.
Read more

Prop. 8… Seven Points Federal Judge Overlooked

August 7th, 2010 | Posted by admin in Articles - (Comments Off on Prop. 8… Seven Points Federal Judge Overlooked)
  1. To say that authentic Christians hate, or fear, those trapped in the homosexual lifestyle demonstrates a gross misunderstanding of the principles of the Christian faith. To “confront in love” simply comes from a desire to honor God, and to truly love and care for others. We must extend compassion but without compromise.
  2. If warning, confronting, challenging, advising, an admonishing can all be categorized as “hate-speech,” then, based on this definition, many parents hate their children. But of course the opposite is true: Parents love their children, so much so that they warn, confront, challenge, advise, and admonish daily. So why are those who do the same often characterized as “hate-mongers”?
  3. Read more

Pastor Shane Idleman

August 2nd, 2010 | Posted by admin in Articles - (Comments Off on Pastor Shane Idleman)

A PERSONAL NOTE FROM SHANE

Throughout my 20s, I continued to run from God; searching for identity and truth in everything but His Word. By age 28, I had climbed the corporate ladder. Money and success became my gods and ultimately controlled my life. I was driven, but for the wrong reasons. I felt a sense of purpose, but it often left me feeling empty. I was passionate, but for the wrong things. As a result of my misguided focus, my life took several unnecessary turns for the worse. By then, alcohol, anger, and arrogance had taken their toll—my life was crumbling around me. At that time, I believed I was strong because I could bench-press over 400 pounds, drink a 12-pack of beer, and win most of the fights I was in. What I failed to realize was that I was weak; I was dying spiritually. I didn’t have control of my life—my life had control of me.

Read more

Entertainment—where do we draw the line?

July 17th, 2010 | Posted by admin in Articles - (Comments Off on Entertainment—where do we draw the line?)

Someone once said, “I don’t worry about what I watch, or listen to, as long as my heart is right.” This is a very dangerous view. Most will admit, however, that this statement is really just an excuse to cross the line when it comes to entertainment. Let’s be honest: Many rationalize watching and listening to very questionable material because we enjoy it.

What we watch and listen to affects the heart; it’s impossible to separate the two. If we would make it our goal to know Christ more personally, we would preach Christ more powerfully. For example, if a preacher fills his mind with worldly pleasures and desires all week and expects the Spirit of God to speak boldly through him from the pulpit, he will be gravely mistaken: “The gratification of the flesh and the fullness of the Spirit do not go hand in hand” (R.A. Torrey). Who he is all week is who he will be when he steps to the pulpit—the passion and conviction of his message is only as strong as the passion and conviction within him. The same is true with you: “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34). What goes in ultimately comes out.

Read more

Abortion: I cannot remain silent—will you?

July 16th, 2010 | Posted by admin in Articles - (Comments Off on Abortion: I cannot remain silent—will you?)

It’s apparent to me that America has been asleep at the wheel; we can no longer ignore our God-given civic responsibility and the massive impact that politics has on society. Make no mistake about it: America’s leaders play an enormous role in shaping the direction of the country. Our current administration needs to seriously reconsider the direction they are taking us. “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when the wicked man rules, the people groan” (Proverbs 29:2).

Sadly, many in government still support partial-birth abortion, even when the life of the mother is not at risk. Partial-birth abortion is a process where an unborn, often healthy, baby’s body is delivered feet first, often near full term, until only the head remains inside the womb. (The head remains in the womb so that the abortion is not considered murder. Once a baby is fully delivered, his/her life cannot be terminated.) The physician then punctures the back of the child’s skull with a sharp instrument and removes the child’s brains before delivering the dead baby.
Read more

Can I lose my salvation?

July 16th, 2010 | Posted by admin in Articles - (Comments Off on Can I lose my salvation?)

I’ve heard both sides of the argument, and only God truly knows a person’s heart, but I can share a few thoughts. One thing is for certain: Salvation is a gift from God that cannot be earned.

One school of thought suggests that salvation cannot be lost, as in losing your car keys, but that it can be left, as in walking away from it. This may be why Jesus spoke of the man who said in his “heart”: My master delays His coming; therefore, I will turn from living a godly life. When the master returned unexpectedly, the servant was banished because he chose to turn from what he knew to be right. In another passage, Jesus said, “You have left your first love,” when speaking to the church in Ephesus (Revelation 2:4). James 5:19-20 adds: If anyone wanders from the truth and someone turns him back, a soul is saved from death. If anything, these Scriptures, and many more, reinforce the fact that we have certain responsibilities. We should never turn from what we know to be right. Jesus encouraged His followers to be watchful, prepared, and ready for His return. Are we watchful? Are we prepared? Are we ready? (See Matthew 24:45-51; Luke 21:34.)
Read more

A 4th of July Wake-up Call

July 3rd, 2010 | Posted by admin in Articles - (Comments Off on A 4th of July Wake-up Call)

Part V in a series on politics

Within the last few decades, we have seen the destruction of the institution of marriage between a man and a woman, the removal of God’s Word in several areas, and the aborting of millions of babies. Ironically, many of the men and women who died for our freedoms did not die for what we are becoming today. They understood sacrifice—duty to Country was duty to God. Many gave their lives in order that we would be “one nation under God,” not above God. A Fifth Division graveyard sign in Iwo Jima, Japan, states it well: “When you go home, tell them for us and say, ‘For your tomorrows we gave our today.’” This 4th of July, let’s honor those who gave their lives for the freedoms we now enjoy.

Read more