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Showing posts from February, 2010

When you pray

"But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." -Matthew 6:33

Until we get our hearts out of the world, how easily our hearts are carried away with the thoughts of earthly concerns! Until we can separate and purge our spirits, how we mingle our prayers with many ridiculous thoughts!

It is too usual for us to deal with God as an unskilled person that will gather a posy for his friend, and put in as many or more stinking weeds than he does choice flowers. The flesh introduces, and our carnal hearts insert and interlace our prayers with vain thoughts and earthly distractions.

Then, when we come to offer incense to God with our censer, we mingle sulphur with our incense. Therefore, we should always labour to get our hearts above the world into the presence of God, as if we were by him in heaven, and wholly swallowed up with his glory.

Though our bodies are on earth, our spirits should be in heaven. Until we get above the mists of…

This is How to Warn the Church! This is "Discriminating" Preaching!

As Iain Murray states in his book "Evangelicalism Divided":

"...the problem evangelicals have faced is deeper than a common acceptance of definitions. It is one thing to agree on statements, another to apply those statements in the current church scene when it comes to admission to full church membership and to the sacraments. Part of the difficulty here lies in the fact that it is beyond human ability to discern the reality of spiritual experience with certainty. While the Bible draws a clear line between the saved and the lost, it is not a line which the church can draw with the same accuracy. Wherever Christianity has been healthy this has always been recognized. In the words of Hugh Binning, the Scottish Puritan,

" Charity (love) hath much candour and humanity in it, and can believe well of every man, and believe all things as far as truth will permit. It knows that grace can be beside a man's sins; it knows itself is subject to such infirmities; therefore it…

Iain Murray

I will be posting excerpts from the writing of Iain Murray over the course of the next week or so. Tomorrow will be excerpts from his book "Evangelicalism Divided" which a very prominent pastor has recently pulled out of context and twisted.

From: A Senior Saint on Unity
By Iain H. Murray

Christians agree that unity is the gift of the Holy Spirit (Eph 4:3). It follows that when believers experience more of his grace and power, the bond between them will grow. Conversely, what William Hamilton once said is true, "The more carnal a Christian is, the more sectarian he will be." (Note: Sectarian, i.e. One characterized by bigoted adherence to a factional viewpoint)

An outpouring of the Spirit always brings greater unity. What Daniel Baker reported as happening in the revival at Beaufort, South Carolina, was true in many parts of the States at the time of the Second Great Awakening:

"The effect no one can conceive who was not present. Politics were laid aside; bu…

Unbelievable!

I urge all to go to this linkand listen:

This should concern anyone and everyone who is familiar with the writings of Iain Murray and/or who has thoughtfully read "Evangelicalism Divided". Murray's statements are being pulled out of context and he is being misrepresented to support one man's personal agenda.

Does anyone read anymore? Does anyone hold a man accountable if he should misrepresent the statements of another? This is scary stuff. It is one thing to encourage Christians to be discriminating regarding doctrine and to examine themselves to see if they are in the faith. It is an all together different thing being promoted by this man. There is a difference between false teachers and weak confused genuine believers.

I am trusting the Lord that the parties whom I have contacted, to make them aware of this, will set the record straight.

Never too old to giggle!

O how good it is to giggle like a little child. Life is full of such simple delights. One can find joy in some of the seemingly silliest things--like frozen peas, for example. "Frozen peas? How can one find joy in frozen peas?"

Well here is how. Approximately one year ago, I bought a couple dozen bags of frozen peas (they were on clearance at a grocery outlet store) and brought them to work. For some reason we all started eating peas for breakfast. After the first week I found myself singing a little "jingle" while my peas were in the microwave at work:

Having peas for breakfast is very fun to do.
Having peas for breakfast is very good for you.
Having peas for breakfast--is very strange its true;
But, having peas for breakfast is something you should do.

Of course, in order to get the full picture, you have to imagine a 49 year old woman singing the above jingle (several times and with a Shirley Temple type voice) while swaying back and forth in front of the microwave. B…

Your Throne, O God, Is Forever

Now this is a Valentine!

Psalm 45

To the choirmaster: according to Lilies. A Maskil of the Sons of Korah; a love song.

My heart overflows with a pleasing theme; I address my verses to the king; my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe.

You are the most handsome of the sons of men; grace is poured upon your lips; therefore God has blessed you forever. Gird your sword on your thigh, O mighty one, in your splendor and majesty!

In your majesty ride out victoriously for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness; let your right hand teach you awesome deeds! Your arrows are sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies; the peoples fall under you.

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever. The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness; you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions; your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia. From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you …

I grow so weary at times.....

The more I learn of the controversies that have plagued the Church throughout history, the more I realize that we are like mice on that little wheel in their cage; going round and round, repeating the same arguments--over and over and over again. I am beginning to think that many have fallen in love with the squeaking noise that the wheel makes.

I was reading "Differences in Judgement about Water Baptism, No Bar to Communion" by John Bunyon published in 1673 and discovered that the arguments presented in this 40 page publication are the very same arguments one may read by the men of today. Well, actually they are more versed then the arguments of today (on both sides).

John Bunyon answers a book written by the Baptists entitled "Some Serious Reflections on that Part of Mr. Bunyon's Confession of Faith..." he begins his answer by saying:

"But before I enter the body of your book, give me leave a little to discourse you about your preamble to the same, wher…

How Sweet and Awful Is the Place

How sweet and awful is the place
With Christ within the doors
While everlasting love displays
The choicest of her stores.

While all our hearts and all our songs
Join to admire the feast
Each of us cry with thankful tongues,
“Lord, why was I a guest?”

“Why was I made to hear thy voice
and enter while there’s room,
When thousands make a wretched choice
And rather starve than come?”

‘Twas the same love that spread the feast
that sweetly drew us in;
Else we had still refused to taste
and perished in our sin

Pity the nations, O our God,
Constrain the earth to come;
Send thy victorious Word abroad
and bring the strangers home.

We long to see thy churches full,
that all the chosen race
may with one voice and heart and soul
sing thy redeeming grace.

Isaac Watts

Can you guess who said this?

While reading through a treatise, I came across the following statements and was astonished. They were not contained within the same chapter; but they were part of the same treatise.

Can you guess who said the following:

But because the counsel of God is incomprehensible, we confess that in order to obtain salvation it is necessary to have recourse to the means which God has ordained; for we are not of the number of fanatics who, under colour of the eternal predestination of God, have no regard to arrive by the right path at the life which is promised to us; but rather we hold, that in order to be adopted children of God, and to have proper certainty of it, we must believe in Jesus Christ, inasmuch as it is in him alone that we must seek the whole grounds of our salvation.

The same man said elsewhere:

Moreover, we believe, that since baptism is a treasure which God has placed in His Church, all the members ought to partake of it. Now we doubt not that little children born of Christians a…

...the disuse of the OT would have serious practical consequences.

Many readers will be interested to learn that Dr. Lloyd-Jones preached evangelistic sermons from the Old Testament. This was as unusual in his day as were his doctrinal sermons. Murray notes that ML-J is often thought of today as a teaching preacher, but his wife, Bethan Lloyd-Jones, considered her husband to be first and foremost an evangelist (55).

This contemporary misapprehension may simply be due to the sermons that have been published as over against those which have not been released to the public in print. The assumption of publishers was that Christians would make up the lion's share of his readers, so the sermons that went to press were ones that it was thought were more geared to believers already in the way. But Murray points out that in reality, "more than half" of Lloyd-Jones' preaching was evangelistic. As already noted, the "Doctor" often used Old Testament texts in his evangelistic sermons and this was because he saw the "neglect a…

It's Not Too Late

As Valentine's Day is quickly approaching, I have the perfect gift recommendation for every women. It is critical, however, that you sit your husbands down and tell them about this before they go out on their own. Don't wait too long. You should probably plan on telling him this weekend--no later than Tuesday, if at all possible.

What is it? What is it that most husbands would absolutely love for Valentine's Day? Well, based on my conversations with men over the past 25 years, as well as, listening and observing how men talk and act about this particular "holiday" (when you cannot hear them); there is something that you can give them that would bless most, if not, all men.

Here is what I would highly recommend: First, ask your husband if you might be allowed this year to tell him exactly what you want for Valentine's Day. Once you have his attention, simply tell him that what you would like for Valentine's Day is absolutely nothing. Tell him that your gift …

A Shift from Theology to Morality - What would Jesus Do?

Those who have memorized Romans 10:9 ("If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved") are often horrified to read Jesus' words in Matthew 7:21 ("Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven").


The Problem of Evangelical Biblical Illiteracy
A View from the Classroom
David R. Nienhuis

Satan's use of Scripture in tempting Jesus is clear indication that a merely cognitive level of biblical literacy does not automatically result in the formation of a Christian character.

For well over twenty years now, Christian leaders have been lamenting the loss of general biblical literacy in America. No doubt you have read some of the same dire statistics that I have. Study after study demonstrates how nearly everyone in our land owns a Bible (more than one, in fact) but few ever take the time to rea…

Natural Discernment vs. Spiritual Discernment

But since we are intoxicated with a false opinion of our own discernment, and can scarcely be persuaded that in divine things it is altogether stupid and blind, I believe the best course will be to establish the fact, not by argument, but by Scripture. Most admirable to this effect is the passage which I lately quoted from John, when he says, "In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not," (John 1: 4, 5.) He intimates that the human soul is indeed irradiated with a beam of divine light, so that it is never left utterly devoid of some small flame, or rather spark, though not such as to enable it to comprehend God. And why so? Because its acuteness is, in reference to the knowledge of God, mere blindness.

When the Spirit describes men under the term "darkness" he declares them void of all power of spiritual intelligence. For this reason, it is said that believers, in embracing Christ, are &…

Is Discernment an Art?

A little evening rambling: Today, while reading a book review on The Shack, it dawned on me that even the most learned, godly men of our modern generation have slipped into using terms that are man-centered to explain spiritual things. The book review was entitled, "The Missing Art of Evangelical Discernment" It was a very good review in most other respects. However, the title and the concluding comment which read, "The popularity of this book among evangelicals can only be explained by a lack of basic theological knowledge among us -- a failure even to understand the Gospel of Christ. The tragedy that evangelicals have lost the art of biblical discernment must be traced to a disastrous loss of biblical knowledge. Discernment cannot survive without doctrine.

Reader, I ask you "Is discernment an art?" I think not. You can know doctrine inside and out--even teach at an seminary; and, have little to no discernment. There are scholars world-wide who are full of doc…