Thursday, January 24, 2013

Against the Tide

Against the Tide
Living in a Post Christian nation makes us live differently. If you still think we are a Christian nation, you are out of touch. However, we are called to be a kingdom of believers.
“Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” Psalm 105:19.
The tide in our generation is a rush of secular humanism and blatant anti-Christian world views. The purposeful, unrelenting tide is to strip the populace of morals, truth, and order. In its place there is this surge of legalized immorality, lies parading as truth, and chaos defined as law.
No culture can continue to exist without a foundation that provides protection and service to the constituents. These functions have to be based in some sort of absolute that becomes the source upon which judgments are made. If the courts, the congresses, and police make situational, personal decisions based on feeling rather than law or the absolutes, the people then can no longer have trust or confidence in the government. If our educators, our schools and universities are teaching there is no truth or absolutes, we have returned to the place of Divine judgment, as in when everyone was doing “what was right in their own eyes.” The flood then had to come to cleanse the earth of the folly and ungodliness. The problem with relativism is that it brings society to a place of reprobation. Too long, we have been drinking the cool aid of the world. It is poisoning us to death, slow, but sure. The pace of the poisoning has picked up dramatically because the once guardians of truth, the church and the schools, have been overrun by wolves in sheep’s clothing. In Russia the pastors of the state church are KGB agents. In the US and western world, many pulpits are filled with unbelievers who have a social agenda contrary to the word. With no absolutes they mirror the world and exacerbate the problem of declining Bible knowledge and worldview. This is the only way you can justify the gay marriage acceptance in some churches; they have forsaken the word and twisted it to mean nothing. 
The warnings continue to go out and are continued to be ignored. To stem the tide of the decline, there has to be raised up another generation of young people who love the word, who love God, and are not polluted by the current philosophies of man. Someone has to see through the lies and grab the truth. Someone has to wake up and realize this is taking the world into judgment.
When we begin to speak of the truth being a person (Jesus) and his word being the basis of existence, we are shouted down. The reason for the shout down is the truth convicts and no one wants to change their lifestyles to comply with the word of God. 
Our job is to ignore the shout down and continue to preach the truth regardless of the consequences and the rejection. The church has become anemic because we want to appease the world and make it comfortable. We must accept the stigma of the truth. We may be branded as “those people,” but we must wear it in confidence of the absolute truth revealed in the word of God. We must study to show ourselves approved.
The Loss is Exponential
82% of Americans including Christians believe that “God helps those who help themselves,” is a Bible verse. (not)
50% of high school seniors think that Sodom and Gomorrah were husband and wife.
A large number believe the Sermon on the Mount was preached by Billy Graham.
Only one third of Christians believe in absolute truth.
Only 68% of Christians have heard of Spiritual gifts and only one third could name one.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

2013 Moving Ahead

Every year when we turn the corner, we have hope. It is strange that the tick of a clock means one year has ended and another begun. The joke that we say every year on the 31st is, “see you next year.” But that little change in time does something for us inside, in our mind, in our heart. It is like we can close the door to a piece of history and start fresh. It truly is psychological, but oh so necessary. I know I need it. It somehow feels like a breath of fresh air, a new resolve, a time to make resolutions of improvement or change.
Here are some things to look forward to in 2013:
The youth will be bringing the drama back to the River with the production of the play “Bema.” This will be presented on April 7th at 5:00 PM.
Also, there will be fundraisers for Youth Camp in June and the first will be February 3rd after church.
The Worship and Dance teams have scheduled four nights of worship throughout the year and we will have guest teams participating. Those will start at 6:30 on the Sundays they are scheduled.
LifeStyle Women’s ministry has the year planned with a number of great meetings including a retreat with Shirley Sustar.
We will continue our 5th Wednesday special “Gifts of the Spirit” meetings. The first one will be January 30 at 7:00 PM and our guest ministers will be Jim and Shirley Sustar and they will focus on miracles.
The Hospitality Team has planned our annual events such as the picnic and Thanksgiving. But they have planned a special evening with a St. Patrick’s Day Banquet on March 15th at 7:00 PM. This will be an adults only event providing a great night out for everyone.
Our Family Life Hour is off to a great start and we will be continuing to enjoy that and improve it as we go.
In early March we are coordinating with Heartland Christian Center and bringing James Goll and his team in for a conference. That will be March 8, 9, and 10. The tenth is a Sunday and our guest minister that morning will be Mickey Robinson.
Likewise, throughout the year we will continue to provide seminars and guest speakers that will bless the church and allow you to invite others to attend.
Our Dinner and Discipleship has expanded to three classes: How to Hear God, Kingdom Man, and Faith and Healing. The youth will have their regular meeting while we have classes and we will all meet for supper at 6:30 PM on those second Sundays of the month.
As we have said, we are focusing on our Families and our children. Next generations leadership and equipped young people is a formidable mandate.
For me, it is thrilling to watch so many of our church actively working and serving in some capacity. Everyone counts.
I am so pleased, if you will allow me, with the direction, willingness, and participation of all of you!
Are You In? Really In?
I am constantly thinking of the church and our goals. The kingdom of God is under attack from spiritual forces that express themselves in modern terms. They walk the halls of government, they parade in the streets, they teach in our schools, they print our media, they write the blogs. The war for the souls of men and women is raging. We think missions, and rightly so, but there is a mission field in front of us every day. I am overwhelmed at times with the lostness of most people. God help us. God help us fight this tsunami of disaster that plague the souls of men.