03:30 – 15:29 We started out with an update on what is going on down in Australia with our brother David Ould and a reality TV show he did. We hope to have David on, probably on 9/9, to discuss what is going on with the “spin” and the cultural response to a Christian witness regarding homosexuality.
15:30 – 49:00 …discussed Yasir Qadhi and his response to ISIS and a recent article applying unfair standards to him. (mp3 tag: James corrects the record and encourages Christians to be sure of the truth of their sources when discussing Islam.)
“The embarrassing teenage son of The Dividing Line!”
Typically we interview Reformed Baptist pastors or folks who can help us grow in our understanding of Particular Baptist history. Not today! :D On episode 58 of our interviewpodcast we have Les and Tanner of The Reformed Pubcast on. We wanted to introduce y’all to some other podcast with Reformed Baptist (like CredoCovenant Fellowship).
On this episode we get to know them some as they tell us about their weekly podcast. If you think we’re laid back… well, you ain’t seen nothing yet! :D
Waiting on the Spirit of Promise is a study of the life and ministry of Abraham Cheare (1626-1668), containing selections from Cheare’s works, and rescuing an important seventeenth-century Baptist from obscurity. Cheare has been overshadowed by other more celebrated Baptist contemporaries, but as the pastor of the Particular Baptist work in Plymouth, Devon, Cheare played a key role in the advance of the Baptist cause in the West Country in the 1650s. His Sighs for Sion is an excellent illustration of early Baptist piety. With the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660, Cheare, like many other Dissenters, suffered arrest for his refusal to give up preaching. Cheare’s prison writings reveal both a sturdy faith in God and a deep-seated piety. Despite the fact that he was incarcerated in a series of “nasty prisons,” Cheare used this time of suffering to deepen his walk with God and so provide a model for his congregation of Christian integrity and joy in the midst of trial. To the very end of his life, Cheare eagerly awaited further outpourings of the Spirit of Promise upon the Church and looked forward to that day when his Lord Jesus would make all things right.
Baptists are not often thought of as leading theologians and practitioners of worship. But forgotten in history is one crucial fact: the Baptist tradition formed out of a desire to worship God purely. Early Baptists devoted immense energy to questions of worship and drew conclusions of even contemporary value. Through the seismic liturgical shifts of English society in the seventeenth century, worship was both their most galvanizing and disintegrating impulse. As time passed and terminology changed and Baptists shied away from this divisive topic, this emphasis was lost. No one today considers worship a Baptist distinctive.
Pure Worship re-creates the fascinating historical context of the early years of the English Baptists. Examining many thousands of manuscript pages, Matthew Ward pieces together an entire theology of worship that not only guided the early Baptists but also attracted the attention of many elements of English Christianity. Baptist thoughts on worship were neither minor nor tangential but the very heart of what distinguished them from the rest of England. Pure Worship offers a complete reenvisioning of what it meant to be an early Baptist and reveals their overwhelming desire to be known as pure worshippers of God.
Historians have painted a picture of nineteenth-century Baptists huddled in clapboard meetinghouses preaching sermons and singing hymns, seemingly unaware of the wider world. According to this view, Baptists were “so heavenly-minded, they were of no earthly good.” Overlooked are the illustrative stories of Baptists fighting poverty, promoting abolition, petitioning Congress, and debating tax policy.
Politics and Piety is a careful look at antebellum Baptist life. It is seen in figures such as John Broadus, whose first sermon promoted temperance, David Barrow, who formed an anti-slavery association in Kentucky, and in a Savannah church that started a ministry to the homeless. Not only did Baptists promote piety for the good of their churches, but they did so for the betterment of society at large. Though they aimed to change America one soul at a time, that is only part of the story. They also engaged the political arena, forcefully and directly. Simply put, Baptists were social reformers.
Relying on the ideas of rank-and-file Baptists found in the minutes of local churches and associations, as well as the popular, parochial newspapers of the day, Politics and Piety uncovers a theologically minded and controversial movement to improve the nation. Understanding where these Baptists united and divided is a key to unlocking the differences in evangelical political engagement today.
When it comes to ethnic diversity, one of the most common refrains in our culture is that 11AM to 12Noon on Sundays is the most segregated hour of the week. Such statements understandably raise important questions about our churches and ministries and whether they are focused enough on ethnic diversity.
However, African-American pastor Voddie Baucham, who leads Grace Family Baptist Church in Spring, Texas, is concerned about our culture’s incessant push for diversity–what he calls “cherished pluralism.” In a recent interview with Ministry and Leadership, the magazine of Reformed Theological Seminary, Voddie offered some very helpful insights:
Q: How does the church adapt to the multicultural, multiethnic world we now live in?
We are at a place of cherished pluralism in much of modern American Christianity, and it’s dangerous. For example, you see one church with two different ethnicities, and another church with four different ethnicities, and you think the one with four different ethnicities has to be doing a better job of church, right? It may be, though, that that’s the neighborhood they are in, and they are no more welcoming or loving to people different than them. Or those four different ethnicities are broken up in four different pockets and they are not sharing community like they ought.
So, I’m very cautious about the push for diversity. I desire that all people would hear the gospel and be saved, that God would bring to his church all those whom he would call. The minute I start playing the diversity game, I’m in danger of stepping over certain lost people in favor of other lost people because I need to ramp up my ethnic diversity quota. And that’s usually problematic.
Q: How is it problematic?
In a number of ways–first, because we change our priorities. Instead of being set on faithfulness, now we’ve added another category. Faithfully preaching the gospel and seeing God bring whoever he brings is no longer enough. Now we have too many white people being saved, or too many black people being saved. Now I’m a failure because as the gospel is being preached and as God is drawing people, they don’t look like what we think we ought to look like. It’s not a biblical category of measuring success.
If there’s a problem with our not being welcoming or with being prejudiced toward people, then that’s sin, and we need to deal with that. But our goal is faithfulness in the gospel.
Q: It has been said that 11Am to noon on Sundays is the most segregated hour in our country. How valid is that statement, and how much of a concern is it?
Is it a valid statement? Probably. Is it reason for alarm? No, because people tend to go to church with people who are like them, and that’s always been the case. I don’t think we are seeing today what we saw in the 40′s and 50′s, where people were segregated because they were refused entrance. That’s simply not the case. So is the statement true? Sure, it could be. But is it better in those other hours of the week when people are together because they are forced together?
Inherently, in that statement, we’re saying that the church is wrong and awful because we are not seeing the demographic breakdown that other institutions are seeing during the week…Now we’re thinking we’re inferior to an institution that is forcing diversity on people, and that is simply not the case. If there’s sinful separation, that’s a problem, but the fact that people tend to congregate with people who are like them in a variety of ways is not necessarily a problem.
Now that the new Noah movie is finally out I thought I’d see it for myself and see what all the fuss is about. Sure enough, liberties have been taken with the Biblical text that grossly distorts the truth from what we find in God’s word. The biggest problem with the movie is that there are so many problems, the BIG LIE is being overlooked by most reviewers. That is, it is essentially Luciferian in the primary point it is trying to make…
Instead of God providing the ark to save Noah and his family (and thus mankind) along with the animals, the movie would have us believe God provided the ark only for the animals. Noah and his family are presented as mere custodians. The salvation of mankind is presented as a choice God gives to Noah…
From Pastor Jeffrey T. Riddle’s blog, Stylos, May 12, 2011:
I had been thinking of creating an occasional commentary on theological, doctrinal, Biblical, and cultural issues. I finally sat down yesterday and recorded an initial episode of what I am calling “Word Magazine” (though on a listen back I realize I called it “Word Commentary” in the recording).
The commentary interacts with the cover article in the May 3-9, 2011 issue of C-ville that focused on the burgeoning “Christian” arts community in Charlottesville. Here are a few links that go along with the commentary:
Over at the Reformation21 blog, Jeremy Walker gives several examples of the normalisation of sin in our culture and concludes:
The task of the church, in this regard, is to call the world to its senses. When the Lord through Isaiah says to the people, “Come now, and let us reason together” (Is 1.18), he is not suggesting that he and the unrighteous set out to discover some mutually acceptable and impersonal standard by which they can chat through the issues, but rather calling men to the bar of divine truth to perceive and interpret things as they really are.
When we are exhorted to “Be still, and know that I am God” (Ps 46.10) it might be considered a charge to stop squawking and wriggling, and to submit to the truth of God as he makes himself known.
This is anathema to a world that does not know God, but there will be no transformation of hearts until God is in the thoughts of men, not as a mere notion but as the reigning Lord of all. True reason does not judge God, but submits to him. I am not saying that there is no place for apologetics, but it must be an unapologetic apologetic. Like the humbled Nebuchadnezzar, sinners like us must come to “praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and his ways justice. And those who walk in pride he is able to put down” (Dan 4.37).
If we are to see sinners saved and righteousness advanced, we must strike at the root. The church must proclaim God in all his glory, truth in all its clarity, sin in all its misery, judgement in all its severity, Christ in all his mercy, redemption in all its majesty, and holiness in all its liberty. We must confront sinners with the Almighty and call sinners to the All-merciful: God must be in their thoughts.
On the Alpha & Omega Ministries blog, James White wrote an article entitled Christians: You Must Deny the Lordship of Christ. It is the Price of Citizenship in this Secular Nation. It begins:
So says Richard C. Bosson, one of the justices of the New Mexico Supreme Court. Oh, he didn’t use exactly those words? True, but pretty close, to be sure, as we will see below…
We live in post revolutionary America. Not that revolution, the one that we slept through. Well, most of us anyway. Francis Schaeffer didn’t. A few others. But most of us did. Unquestionable evidence of this reality was offered by Richard C. Bosson of the New Mexico Supreme Court. His words should send chills down the spine of anyone who thinks the Constitution is a protection for Christians in the United States….
The primary problem with the New Mexico case (where Christian photographers have now been forced to photograph the profaning of a Christian ordinance, marriage itself, or face massive financial penalties) is the law of New Mexico itself, an immoral law. Yes, immoral. That is, not only does it violate Christian morality, it removes moral issues from the realm of morality itself. It says you cannot engage in “discrimination” regarding sexual orientation—and, of course, that is why it is immoral. We all must engage in “discrimination” in such areas. We all do! We discriminate against pedophiles and all sorts of people who engage in sexual perversity. Discrimination simply means making decisions, choosing one behavior over another. But in post-revolutionary America, homosexuality is morally good, unquestionable. No discussion, and if you even ask to have the discussion, even ask to talk about nature, what is life-producing, etc., you are dismissed as a bigot immediately. This is the new moral reality of post-revolutionary America.
Second, in this new immoral land, thought and action are now distinct. You can think what you want, but you cannot act upon your moral convictions. Well, this only goes one direction. It is for Christians, for people of morality. For those on the left, the sky is the limit. They can act on anything they can think of, and we are all simply to give them the space to act out their desires.
Religious liberties have been officially subjugated to homosexual liberties. You can be forced to violate your conscience so as to have to photograph the profaning of marriage, or face the consequences.
I have much more to say about this, but time is limited. Please, take the time to read the following material, drawn directly from the PDF of the New Mexico Supreme Court decision itself. Bold are mine…
Over at the Pure Church blog, Thabiti Anyabwile wrotes a post titled The Importance of Your Gag Reflex When Discussing Homosexuality and “Gay Marriage”. It concludes:
What we’re really talking about when we talk about “homosexuality” is not just sex gone wrong but wrong sexual behavior. Deep down we all–Christian and non-Christian, heterosexual and homosexual–know it’s wrong. The knowledge of that moral wrong repulses us because we’re moral beings, made that way by our Creator. In a Romans 1 “suppress the truth in unrighteousness” world, it becomes the Christian’s responsibility to help people acknowledge what they really know but are really suppressing. Our apologetic task is to bring to the surface what has been written on the conscience and cannot be not known. We need to do this with as much kindness, insight, warmth and fairness as the gay journalist in the private boardroom ten years ago. And we need to do this soon.
The pro-gay campaign has successfully duped many in the country and around the world into suppressing their conscience, turning the other way with the help of polite terms and phrases. And because we want to be “nice” and “liked” (who doesn’t?), we have ignored these things or willingly accepted the terms of the discussion presented by the other side. We’ve stopped gagging–at great cost.
I don’t know if the tide will wash out on so-called “gay marriage.” But if it does I suspect it’ll happen because our moral conscience is aroused by sober consideration of the behavior we’re now viewing on prime time television, celebrating on court house steps, and teaching in public schools. Time for us to wake up and shift the discussion back to what this has been about all along. The good news is our conscience will side with what we already know to be right–even the conscience of those who oppose the truth will testify against them.
Whether coming from a spirit of honest curiosity or agitated defensiveness, it’s a common question: How can homosexuality—and same-sex “marriage” in particular—be wrong if it doesn’t hurt anyone?
In a new video, Russell Moore, J. D. Greear, and Voddie Baucham tackle this complex and critical topic…
Baucham points out, the pressingly public nature of today’s marriage debate “explodes the myth” that the issue is really just about “what I do in my bedroom.”…
But why not let those outside the church redefine marriage so long as we maintain a Christian view inside? We tried that with the divorce culture, Moore recalls, and it was disastrous—not to mention unloving to our neighbors. Watch the full 10-minute video to see how they respond to the argument that the state should get out of the marriage business.
Reforming Baptist blog with a timely post that addresses three main points:
1. We are all sexually broken
…how do you argue from a book that these people don’t think is authoritative? How do you show them that their sexual preference is sinful and unnatural? First of all, the Spirit of God has to convince them of that, second of all, you need to frame the context in the gospel because it’s the power of God unto salvation. Quoting verses isn’t good enough, you need to give them the good news while you explain to them their own brokenness. Yes, the gospel has the power to save people from homosexuality, even if it doesn’t completely eradicate their same sex attraction.
2. What is love?
If love is a human right, then who granted that right? Rights are derived from someone or something with greater authority than the one with the right. Who or what is greater than humanity that has granted that right? If you’re honest with yourself, either all the talk about rights, love and marriage are totally meaningless or they get their meaning from God. 1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loves is born of God, and knows God.
Love is an attribute of God and therefore it finds its significance and rightful expressions as God dictates and demonstrates. God says of love that it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth (I Cor. 13:6). Jesus said that God’s Word is the truth (John 17:17). So, to say that you “love” someone of the same sex in a sexual way is not love as God defines it. It is a distortion of love.
3. What about my feelings?
What you practice reveals what controls you and who is your Master.
But the gay person might say: “I’m gay, I cant help it, I’m born that way!”
Our response should be: “I know, but you can be born again a different way!”
We were all “born that way” as Lady Gaga sings.She’s part right and yet tragically wrong. She doesn’t take into account of the fall and its effects and certainly offers no hope of salvation except to just embrace one’s fallen condition as the way God made us – which is a lie.