I was asked on Quora to answer how Christianity understands the book of Genesis. Here is what I wrote.
May 9, 2013 by Jeff
I was asked on Quora to answer how Christianity understands the book of Genesis. Here is what I wrote.
April 22, 2013 by Jeff
It is because we ourselves have made the church, and keep making it, into something which it is not. It is because we talk too much about false, trivial human things and ideas in the church and too little about God. It is because we make the church into a playground for all sorts of feelings of ours, instead of a place where God’s word is obediently received and believed. – Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Sermon: Ambassadors for Christ, 10/22/1933
April 10, 2013 by Jeff
One of the tracks on the album, named “Fal$e Teachers” (hear it below), has generated a fair amount of controversy because Linne chose to identify particular false teachers associated with the Word-Faith, Prosperity Gospel, or Name-It-And-Claim-It (my terms, not Linne’s) movements. Some may see this as unkind but I applaud the effort. First, it indicates that Linne understands that ideas have consequences. Second, Scripture records the Apostles and Christ Himself identifying by name dangerous people and groups by name. Third, public statements (or ministries) of falsehood warrant public responses by those who hold the truth.
I strongly commend the album to you for purchase, along with the rest of Linne’s catalog. I believe they will be rich and enjoyable nourishment to your souls.
Here’s a thoughtful blog post discussing the choice to call out false teachers by name:
Lisa Robinson @ Reclaiming the Mind: On Shai Linne and Judging False Teachers.
March 28, 2013 by Jeff
January 14, 2013 by Jeff
This is the most emotionally and spiritually devastating piece I’ve watched in memory. I’ve sobbed for the greater part of this 20 minute documentary. I don’t know when or if I’ll ever be able to get the images out of my mind.
I suggest you watch it immediately.
No doubts, Kermit Gosnell is a monster. So too are the government officials in local, state, and federal government who are tasked to supervise this “industry” and failed to do so. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking that much of what he did is not common practice in the abortion clinic nearest your neighborhood.
I live in Cookeville, TN. Here is the website for our local Crisis Pregnancy Center. This pro-life organization is a front-line effort to protect women and children from this predatory enterprise destroying women and children. Give them a call and see how you can help out. If you don’t live in our area here are links to the National Right to Life Committee and the Pro-Life Action League; either site should help you find out how to get involved in the pro-life movement.
December 16, 2012 by Jeff
In the same week as the tragic school shooting in Connecticut the music minister at the church I pastor was unexpectedly struck with a devastating health crisis. Here is my best attempt to present to our people what God’s Word says about suffering and tragedy. I share it here in the hopes it would be beneficial to a broader audience.
(Click on the link above to stream, right click and select Save As to download)
December 12, 2012 by Jeff
The latest buzz in government education is the trial run of a Federal Department of Education program that would add 300 hours to the educational year. Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and Tennessee are demoing the program but the aim is to move it into broader application. United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has said unambiguously that these 5 states represent “the kernels of a national movement.” 1
Just so we’re clear, 300 hours represents an additional 37.5 school days in the year; assuming the normal 5 day school that is an additional 7 weeks of school. For comparison, and an idea of what will be trimmed to make room for the additional time, summer break typically runs for 10 weeks. Granted, schools systems are considering longer school days, more days to the calendar, or both. Nonetheless, drastic schedule changes are in the making.
Sound extreme? Get used to it. Duncan has a bold vision of how education should be done in this country: “In all seriousness, I think schools should be open 12, 13, 14 hours a day, seven days a week, 11-12 months of the year.” 2 300 hours may very well be the tip of the iceberg.
At this point it would be prudent to consider the first chapter of the book of Daniel. If you aren’t fresh on the historical context for that book let me summarize: the pagan King of Babylon subjugated the nation of Israel. Afterwards he conscripted the most promising Israelite children into a program designed to craft them into ideal servants of his royal court. What steps did the king take to accomplish this goal? He removed the children from their families into the royal household and had them educated “in the literature and language of the Chaldeans” (vs. 1-5). Apparently this program was wildly successful; based on the Biblical record only four of the subjects failed to conform to the culture of their conqueror. 3
At this point it’s pretty clear where I’m going with this, isn’t it?
Make no mistake: the federal government is coming for your children – and they are doing so in the name of education.
Again, Arne Duncan, the man at the helm of the good ship Public School, cannot be accused of being unclear about what is driving his vision of public education in the United States. Our kids aren’t performing up to snuff and the solution is to put them in the government’s care for longer periods of time: “Schools in countries that are beating us are going to school 25-30 days more than us. If you practice basketball five times a week, you’re gonna be better than the people who practice three times a week.” 4
Of course, more time in government schools means less time in the hands of their parents. That’s okay with Duncan though; the government obviously knows best how to educate children and, after all, taking care of kids is a pain anyway, amiright?
“As you guys know, our world has changed, our economy has changed,” said Duncan. “The days of telling kids to go home at 2:30 and having mom there with a peanut butter sandwich, those days are gone. Whether it’s a single parent working one, two, three jobs or two parents working, the hours from 3 o’clock to 7 o’clock are a huge anxiety, and that’s why we have to keep our schools open longer.” 5
Taking care of your kids from late afternoon through dinner time and into bed time? “Huge anxiety”; got to keep the schools open longer so parents don’t have to deal with that mess.
It seems pertinent now to take us back to the text of Scripture and this time look at the game plan God has lain out for the training of children, specifically training children for life and the love of the Lord.
Deuteronomy 11:18-21 – You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth.
See the problem? Time in the home is key to training children in the ways of the Lord. Time in the home is also the specific thing the Federal Government wants to take away from parents and children in order to have more time to
learn the ways of the Chaldeans embrace the curriculum of the government school system.
It is truly amazing that the government continually proposes more of what has already failed as a remedy for that failure (rather than, you know, something different). That is, however,a different concern than we address here. In 2005 Al Mohler called for Christians to develop a strategy for exiting the public school system. 7 years later his words sound both prophetic and entirely timely.
I believe that now is the time for responsible [Christians] to develop an exit strategy from the public schools. This strategy would affirm the basic and ultimate responsibility of Christian parents to take charge of the education of their own children. The strategy would also affirm the responsibility of churches to equip parents, support families, and offer alternatives. At the same time, this strategy must acknowledge that [Christian] churches, families, and parents do not yet see the same realities, the same threats, and the same challenges in every context. Sadly, this is almost certainly just a matter of time.
It has long been time for an exit strategy. Arne Duncan and his agenda, driven by all the might of the Federal government, makes that truth ever more clear. Ironically, Duncan unintentionally makes a compelling argument for home and private Christian education. “This quiet revolution is driven by motivated parents who want better educational options for their children,” said Duncan. “They know how important education is to succeed and… they insist on the very best, and they are willing to sacrifice to make it happen.” 6
Indeed. Motivated parents, insisting on the very best for their children and willing to sacrifice to make it happen? That sounds like an exit strategy if I’ve ever heard one. Dad, mom – it’s time to get your kids out of Nebuchadnezzar’s hands.
November 19, 2012 by Jeff
I prepared the following for a short presentation at my church on the origins of modern Baptists and the Southern Baptist Convention. I post it here in the hope of benefiting someone else.
- – - – - – -
1. The Authority of Scripture
2. Regenerate Church Membership
3. Baptism by Immersion
4. Soul Competency/Priesthood of the Believer – “the right and ability of an individual to approach God directly without any human intermediary” (such as an earthly priest).
5. Religious Freedom – “the human, temporal realm [read: government] has no authority to coerce religious commitments. God alone is sovereign over human conscience… [this doctrine] guarantees the right of each individual to believe as he or she chooses without fear of [earthly] penalty.”
6. Believer’s Baptism
7. The Lordship of Christ
Four Dominant Theories on Baptist History
a. Landmarkism – aka “Baptist Bride” – began in 1851 largely by James Robinson Graves of Memphis; Only independent Baptist churches are truly churches; these Baptist churches trace back to the Apostolic church or John the Baptist; the members of these Baptist churches are the “Bride of Christ” – other believers will be either servants, guests, or family members in the Heavenly state; the Southern Baptist Convention distanced itself from Landmarkism through formal resolutions in 1859.
b. Trail of Blood – a lighter version of successionism than Landmarkism – takes it’s name from a pamphlet titled The Trail of Blood: Following the Christians Down through the Centuries – or, The History of Baptist Churches from the Time of Christ, Their Founder, to the Present Day by Dr. James Milton Carroll published in 1931 but the ideology is older than the publication (Charles Spurgeon apparently held a view very close to this one). This theory argues there has been an unbroken chain of churches since the days of Christ which have held beliefs similar to (though not always the name) of current Baptist churches. The inherent problem with this position is that it puts Baptists in direct descent from some not-so orthodox groups like such as the Montanists, Paulicians, Cathari, Waldenses, and Albigensess.
2. Anabaptist Kinship
“Anabaptist” –meaning Re-baptizer – is a catch-all term that refers to a broad collection of religious movements active in the Reformation, sometimes called The Radical Reformation. Advocates of this theory see modern Baptists as directly descended from the Anabaptists who emerged from Zwingli’s reformation in Zurich, Switzerland in the early sixteenth century, specifically 1525. This theory was more popular in days gone by but is still advocated by Page Paterson as well as Ergun and Emer Caner. This theory, if correct, establishes a link between modern Baptists and contemporary Anabaptist groups like the Mennonites and the Amish.
3. English Separatist Descent
This theory of Baptist origins also traces the modern Baptist movement back to the Reformation but rather than starting with Zwingli in Zurich it sees the story of Baptists begin in the Anglican, or Episcopalian, Church in England in 1609- moving from Anglicanism through the Puritans, into the Separatists, and eventually birthing a distinctive movement recognizable as modern Baptist theology.
a. Nettles’ Spilsbury Hypothesis – possibly the most respected Baptist historian of our day, Tom Nettles of Southern Seminary, has argued that modern Baptists emerged as a group contemporary to English Separatists in 1638 in the ministry of John Spilsbury.
This position argues that Anabaptism, English Separatists, and perhaps some medieval religious sects feed as streams into the river that is the modern Baptist movement.
But the earliest Baptists were aware that they were not the first baptistic Christians since the New Testament era. In fact, just like us they were aware that there had at least occasionally been free church movements in church history. Some of these groups likely immersed, though there is evidence that there were soteriological deficiencies and other shortcomings among the independent medieval sects. But Baptists knew that they were not taking a historically novel step in arguing for religious liberty, believer’s churches, and credobaptism.
The English Baptists represent the culmination of the reformation era, agreeing with the basic evangelical soteriology of the magisterial reformers and some Anabaptists and the radical ecclesiology of the orthodox Anabaptists and some English Separatists. They also recognized and appreciated that some medieval sects were correct in at least some aspects of their ecclesiology. But Baptists did not agree with these positions because they were affirmed by Waldenses, Lutherans, Reformed, or Anabaptists, but because Baptists believed an evangelical gospel and a free believers’ church represented the heart of New Testament Christianity.
Our study will approach the issue of Baptist history from the fourth perspective.
I. Ancient History
a. The early church quickly developed into a movement concentrated in major population centers.
- In 189, assertion of the primacy of the Church of Rome may be indicated in Irenaeus of Lyons’s Against Heresies (3:3:2): “With [the Church of Rome], because of its superior origin, all the churches must agree…and it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the apostolic tradition.”
- Stephen I is the first Pope to claim primacy (254-257)
- Pope Gelasius (492-496) stated:
“The see of blessed Peter the Apostle has the right to unbind what has been bound by sentences of any pontiffs whatever, in that it has the right to judge the whole church. Neither is it lawful for anyone to judge its judgment, seeing that canons have willed that it might be appealed to from any part of the world, but that no one may be allowed to appeal from it.”
b. Rome and Constantinople come into conflict, eventually exploding in The Great Schism in 1504, which separated the church into a Western & Latin Speaking Branch (Rome) and an Eastern & Greek Speaking Branch (Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandria, Jerusalem).
II. Reformation History
a. Ulrich or Huldrych Zwingli was born in modern day Switzerland in 1484. He was educated in Vienna and Basel, eventually coming to be influenced by the humanist Erasmus. He was ordained to the Priesthood in 1506 and begins his ministry in Glarus, moving to Einseldeln, and eventually to Zurich. During this time he begins to study the Bible in Greek and Hebrew. He also starts preaching through the New Testament and by 1520 began coming in to significant conflict with the Roman church. By 1525 he formally breaks with the Roman church through asserting:
(1) that the church is born of the Word of God and has Christ alone as its head;
(2) that its laws are binding only insofar as they agree with the Scripture;
(3) that Christ alone is man’s righteousness;
(4) that the Holy Scripture does not teach Christ’s corporeal presence in the bread and wine at the Lord’s Supper;
(5) that the mass is a gross affront to the sacrifice and death of Christ;
(6) that there is no biblical foundation for the mediation or intercession of the dead, for purgatory, or for images and pictures
(7) that marriage is lawful to all
b. In 1519 Zwingli began studying scriptures with a group of people who come to be called The Swiss Brethren. Their studies of the New Testament in Greek helps to solidify Zwingli’s thinking. The group also comes to (a) reject infant baptism and (b) embrace believer’s baptism. Notable names amongst the Swiss Brethren:
This created a crisis for Zwingli. He was the city preacher of Zurich and taxation was directly tied to infant baptism – when a child was born the parents brought him or her to church to be baptized; the state registered the child on the tax register and from there on the child is subject to taxation.
Zwingli began to separate from his students and public disputations between he and they begin to take place. On January 17, 1525 this breakdown came to a major point of division:
On January 21, 1525 George Blaurock asked Felix Manz to baptize him, which he did in the home of Conrad Grebel. This marks the beginning of Anabaptism as a movement. These gentlemen, their families, and other followers covenant together as what we would today recognize as a church. Their commitments:
c. Zwingli and the magistrate began a system of organized persecution against the Swiss Brethren. Zwingli accused his former friends of sedition; Grebel, Blaurock, and Manz are imprisoned numerous times but escape.
He began preaching throughout Switzerland until he was banished in April 1527. He then moved on to Tyrol in the Austrian Alps, where many believers were baptized & churches were started. He eventually died on September 6, 1529 by being burned at stake.
This marks the beginning of widespread persecution of the Anabaptist movement. They began to teach that persecution and Martyrdom is a sign of the true church. Anabaptists were eventually persecuted by both Catholics and Protestants, with the result that there were more Anabaptist martyrs in the 16th century than there were in the Christian church during the first three centuries under the Roman empire.
b. English Developments starting in the Anglican Church
In 1534 King Henry VIII separated the English church from the Roman Catholic church. As the Church of England developed reformers within the Anglican Church called Puritans worked for greater doctrinal purity. In 1662 the Uniformity Act expelled the Puritans, swelling the ranks of the Separatists who had already left the church because the believed reform from within wasn’t possible.
The story of modern Baptists picks up with 1609 with John Smyth, a Fellow of Christ’s College, Cambridge who began meeting in England with 60-70 Separatists. In this year he baptized himself and several others. He was supported by a layman named Thomas Helwys. Smyth and Helwys, in the face of significant danger, moved their people to Amsterdam. During this time Smyth published a tract where he argued that infants are not to be baptized and converts are to be admitted to the church through believer’s baptism. Eventually Smyth left the group and Helwys took over, moving the congregation back to England in 1611. In 1612 Helwys wrote a book, which he sent to the King, where he said “The King is a mortal man and not God, therefore he hath no power over the mortal soul of his subjects to make laws and ordinances for them and to set spiritual Lords over them”, bold declaration of his belief that church and state are to be kept separate. The King promptly had Helwys arrested and he died in prison in 1616 at approximately 40 years of age.
By 1644 there were 50 Baptist churches in England (including the important congregation of John Spilsbury, founded in 1638). From this group came Roger Williams and John Clarke who fled to the New World to escape religious persecution. In 1638 Williams founded a Baptist church in Providence, Rhode Island while Clarke founded one in Newport in 1644. Williams, founder also of the Rhode Island colony, argued for believer’s baptism and the separation of church and state. Rhode Island was the only colony where citizenship didn’t require membership in a particular church.
In the mid-eighteenth century America was taken by “a surprising work of God” in the first Great Awakening, associated primarily with Jonathan Edwards. Though Edwards wasn’t himself Baptist the Great Awakening was good to Baptist causes. A Baptist evangelist named Shubael Stearns saw great fruit in the area of North Carolina, establishing more than 40 churches. During this time Baptists began to divide into Separate Baptists in the South and Regular Baptists in the North. The difference between the two was largely a matter of belief in the number of ordinances - Separates recognized nine rites: baptism, the Lord’s supper, love feasts, laying on of hands, washing feet, anointing the sick, the right hand of fellowship, kiss of charity, and devoting children. The Regular Baptists held to two: baptism and the Lord’s supper.
c. The Rise of the Southern Baptist Convention
In 1814, Baptists unified nationally under what became known as the Triennial Convention (because it met every three years) based in Philadelphia. It allowed them to partner in support of international missions. The Home Mission Society, affiliated with the Triennial Convention, was established in 1832 to support missions in frontier territories of the United States. By the 1830′s tension cropped up between the Northern and Southern Baptists. The chief issue dividing the Baptists was slavery. Northern Baptists believed God would not allow for treating one race as superior to another while Southerners said that God intended for races to be separated. Soon southern state Baptists began complaining that they weren’t receiving money for mission work. The Home Mission Society decreed that a person could not be a missionary and wish to keep his slaves as property. As a result of this division, Baptists in the south met in May of 1845 and organized the Southern Baptist Convention. It took until 1995, for the Convention to formally acknowledge the failure of its founders to honor God on the issue of slavery. However, the SBC did so conclusively, voting to adopt a resolution renouncing its racist roots and apologizing for its past defense of slavery, segregation, and white supremacism. In 2012 the Southern Baptist Convention elected the first black president of the SBC, Fred Luter of New Orleans, LA.
Perhaps the greatest theological event in SBC history was what is known as the Conservative Resurgence. In July 1961, Prof. Ralph Elliott, an Old Testament scholar at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, published a book entitled The Message of Genesis containing his interpretation of the first book of the Bible in which he argued that Genesis 1-11 was purely mythological and his speculated that Melchizedek was a priest of Baal and not, as generally believed, of Yahweh.
This led into the 1963 re-working of the confessional standard of the denomination, The Baptist Faith and Message, to accommodate more liberal theology. Up until the late 1970s theological liberalism flourished in the institutions of the SBC (i.e. seminaries) while the people in the pulpit remained theologically conservative.
In 1976 Judge Paul Pressler and Paige Patterson, then of Criswell College in Dallas, began meeting with an eye to restoring the convention to its conservative theological roots. They were joined in 1978 by W.A. Criswell and Adrian Rogers and met with a group of determined pastors and laymen at a hotel near the Atlanta airport to launch the resurgence/takeover. They understood William Powell’s contention that electing the president of the Southern Baptist Convention was the key to redirecting the entirety of the denomination. The Atlanta group determined to elect Adrian Rogers, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee, as the first Conservative Resurgence president of the convention which they did in 1979. From there the Conservative Resurgence has grown to take the dominant position in Baptist life, making the SBC the only mainline Christian denomination to return to conservativism from a prevalent liberalism.
1. Comparison of the 1925, 1963, and 2000 Edition of The Baptist Faith and Message – http://www.sbc.net/bfm/bfmcomparison.asp
2. Baptists through the Centuries: A History of a Global People by D. W. Bebbington
3. The Baptist Reformation: The Conservative Resurgence in the Southern Baptist Convention by Jerry Sutton
4. Southern Baptist Beginnings - http://www.baptisthistory.org/sbaptistbeginnings.htm
5. The Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives – http://www.sbhla.org/
 Hence my calling it a “pastoral history.” My sources are frequently (and obviously) uncited. They include my own memory, blogs, Power Point presentations, Wikipedia, and The Encyclopedia Britannica. As a result you are welcome to distribute what I’ve written but I would strongly caution against any citation or use in something even resembling scholarship. I also welcome correction in anything I’ve gotten wrong.
 This list is sourced from R. Stanton Norman’s More Than Just A Name (Broadman & Homan, 2001), particularly chapter two “Formation of Doctrine”.
 Nathan Finn, http://betweenthetimes.com/index.php/2009/03/10/toward-a-convergent-view-of-baptist-origins-part-1 / http://betweenthetimes.com/index.php/2009/03/11/toward-a-convergent-view-of-baptist-origins-part-2
 Nathan Finn, Toward a Convergent View of Baptist Origins Part 2
 A graduate of Tennessee’s own Carson-Newman College and the recipient of their Distinguished Alumnus award for 2005-2006.
November 7, 2012 by Jeff
I awoke this morning to an evangelical climate more prepared than ever to consider the legitimacy of the claims of the Mayan calendar. Doom, gloom, and the collapse of the Republic!
I suppose events like our most recent presidential election are the reason that anyone would continue to have a blog. It’s your (or, in this case, my) vehicle to throw your voice into the great storm of noise. Interesting how thoroughly we are committed to instant analysis and conclusions, despite long experience with human history that says significant events can only be understood with any clarity – or even seen to be significant – from a distance of time. Nonetheless, yesterday felt very significant – yes, perhaps because we continue to hear (as we do every four years now) how THIS ELECTION IS THE MOST SIGNIFICANT IN YOUR LIFETIME! – and that justifies a bit of introspection at Ground Zero even as we acknowledge time will be the ultimate revelator of just what in the cacophony of last night really mattered over the long haul.
Two things, one mostly secular and the other mostly sacred.
1. The big question amongst conservatives today is how the GOP might go forward from this drubbing into a more successful future. Of course, I would be quite happy if the GOP went (along with the Democrats) into fragmentation. However, I don’t expect that – at least not yet. What I see is a party that will do it’s level best to reconfigure in such a way that they feel confident they will offer the career politicians in control of the party good reason to believe they will continue to enjoy the perks of elected office in this country. One of the chief points I heard bandied about this morning on Fox News was the need for the GOP to address changing demographics, to stop being a party of old white men and start being one that young, hispanic, and female voters feel comfortable in.
To that I say sure. And why did it take so long for you guys to figure that out?
It has long been obvious that Barak Obama’s strength is his appeal to young voters. Sure, it’s based largely on naivety and self-centeredness amongst that group but it accounts for a large number of the arrows in his quiver. That the GOP wouldn’t address this issue is astounding today, just as it was over the past four years.
Where, oh where, would the GOP be able to find an energized, multi-ethnic, young contingent of voters? Could they be found even in important swing states that delivered the electoral votes Obama grabbed to seal his victory in this election? Good news! You can find them in large numbers and in those states. Look for the Ron Paul bumper stickers. Dr. Paul has done a remarkable job, particularly as an aged white man from a Southern background, to energize and mobilize a passionate base of youthful and ethnically diverse voters. Think I’m wrong? Read the following links then spend some time on Google looking at how Dr. Paul polled in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Colorado.
The GOP spent the better part of the last election cycle trying to ignore Dr. Paul then, in this, actively opposing him. Not without irony do we look back and see that that strategy cost them the very constituency that they needed in this election but also drove off young people (like myself) previously aligned with their party.
Do they take a lesson an bring Dr. Paul into party leadership? Can’t expect so – career politicians like few things as little as acknowledging where they were grossly and negligently wrong. I expect that we’ll get a Hispanic candidate next election who, like Romney, is only “conservative” by comparison to whatever extreme leftist the Dems trot out. One can hope, however, right? Assuming that Jesus delays wrapping up the project of human history I believe that hope will become site in my lifetime – either in the GOP returning to authentic conservatism (less likely) or collapsing under the weight of their refusal to do anything other than guard the interests of party leadership.
2. The re-election of Barak Obama will be a net gain for the church if it serves to break the church’s ungodly fascination and faith in the secular political process to accomplish the ends of the Kingdom of Christ. As Al Mohler noted well, this election was a product of worldview commitments – a worldview decidedly unconcerned with the claims of Christ (a luxury only temporarily afforded the image bearers of God but one afforded nonetheless). Similarly, Greg Gilbert tweeted “…a representative government is representative of its people.” Said another way, this election delivered the President that the people of the United States desired.
Political wrangling and better ad campaigns won’t change this. Only a change of mind – or heart, if we prefer the Biblical term – will reverse this self-destructive desire in our neighbor. The good news is we have the very thing designed by God to change minds, hearts, and people – the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ. The danger is that we would continue to associate the gospel with political parties or stay the course of the Moral Majority that sought to leverage political power for the cultural interests of the church. Making disciples – both among the converted and unconverted – and healthy churches through the proclamation of the Gospel remains the only legitimate option for doing lasting good to our neighbor and, by extension, our culture.
If four more years of Barak Obama will help us to remember this truth I’ll take it. We Christians have the privilege of employing a long-term strategy. So many despondent Christians in my social media feed are reminding us (or themselves?) this morning that Jesus is Lord regardless of the state of affairs on this particular continent. Amen! It would be good to remember that calling Christ Lord assumes we’ll do what He says and He says to make disciples.
 Some online documentation of this point: http://www.ndtv.com/article/world/us-election-republicans-face-struggle-over-party-s-direction-289595 / http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-11-07/republicans-stung-by-loss-begin-debate-over-future / http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-07/the-future-of-romney-and-the-republican-party.html / http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/11/06/where-republican-party-goes-from-here/
October 16, 2012 by Jeff
“Masculine worship does not exclude women in the same way that feminine worship excludes men. Women flourish when men lead in the church. So the church is not a men’s club – men, women, children, and babies gather before the Lord together. Masculine worship is not worship for men; it is worship in which men fulfill their responsibilities to others. As a result of masculine leadership, women and children are free to contribute to worship rightly. But they do so because men have taken responsibility. In a scriptural worship service, both masculine and feminine elements will be present, but the masculine will be dominant, in a position of leadership. When the feminine element leads or dominates, the result is that those men who are masculine are encouraged to stay away.“