In the grand book of Deuteronomy, chapter twenty-eight, God continues to explain the judgment that will come to Israel if they are disobedient.  These curses include a nation that will be identified by its language: The Lord shall bring a nation against thee, from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand. (28:49) In a walled city, if you were to hear a strange tongue, you would be on guard; in this text, it was a warning of judgment.

The land I live in is filled with many languages.  Some of these tongues quickly identify the national background of the speaker.  Normally, for a nation to be united, the country has to have one major language.  It is misguided to think that all languages could be equal in one nation.  The growth of a language, other than the one that unites the people, could be a signal of disruption and a possible sign of judgment.  It would be unwise to demand that all languages but one be silenced.  When a new language threatens a coup, however, trouble is on the agenda.

Languages help us identify many things, good or bad.


Not only can our language identify our national backgrounds, it can also place us as being from a certain area of the country.  Our community here is a retirement development.  Some of our folks have had all the snow they want, so they come from New Jersey, New York, New England, and places like Boston.  Others have come from mid-America and the deep South.  When we have a community social, it becomes a plethora of accents.

When Peter tried to deny his relationship to Jesus, he was caught by his speech.  And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man. And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech betrayeth thee. (Matt. 26:72-73)

Words make up our vocabulary, so the speech of an educator, doctor, scientist, or engineer leaves you with a fairly good idea of what is his/her vocation.  Then there is the moral quality of conversation.  Tongues that freely take God’s name in vain, or are risqué, tell you a lot about the speaker’s background and moral perspective.  Before you ever ask someone a direct question about their spiritual condition, their language has already betrayed them.

Yes, I am going somewhere with this.  It applies to what has been happening in the circle of those who profess to be Christians as well as the phenomenon of the remaking of the American church.  The political atmosphere at this point in time only adds to what we need to know about those who attempt to identify with Christianity.


In every discipline there are popular words, and the “in crowd” is obligated to use them to prove they are current.  It is so obvious that it is humorous.  In education and in theological symposiums, it seems that every paper or presentation has to use these terms even if they aren’t relevant to the specific subject.  It is a strange way to try and prove you are a scholar.  The problem is that this use of pet words is passed along to those who don’t know what they mean.

This is one of the ways that Bible ignorance has infected the Christian conversation.  Some of my pet peeves include the word “kingdom”.  It is used by many who seem to think it is some kind of magic wand.  The truth is they have no idea what “kingdom” they are even talking about!  “Similarities are not equal”, and the Bible describes a number of kingdoms.  The use of cute little phrases is simply nonsense.  People talk about “building, growing, enhancing, or strengthening the kingdom”.  Which kingdom is that?  God has made it clear that He alone is in charge of His kingdoms.  God will build all of His kingdoms.  He may use us to help in some minute action, and we may act as servants, but we are not building His kingdoms.  When did God die and leave prideful man in charge?

To add insult to injury, in addition to taking credit for what God is doing, men have the gall to defend their views, ideas, opinions, and interpretations.  Those human conclusions are irrelevant.  There is only one true idea, the one that God has stated clearly in the Bible text before men began to insert their own ideas.   Our speech definitely betrays us.

One more illustration is the use of the word “holiness”.  Holiness is the sovereign possession of a holy God.  We have no holiness and cannot beg, borrow, or steal it.  God alone is holy, and if any of His holiness is in my life, it is because God dwells within each believer.  Any holiness that flows in or out of my life is totally God’s working through this earthly frame; I am not the source or the owner.

For the self-centered person, this looks like a matter of splitting hairs.  The truth is that this religious cancer is destroying many of the young bucks in ministry today.  The younger generation is enamored with false intellect.  The purveyors of error – often scholars – poison young minds by their use of words that hide real meaning.  What they are reading and following is obvious because “their speech betrays them”.  Watch for the “buzz words” that are used in order to make one sound so much like the “in crowd”.  In their youth and inexperience, they fail to ask about the theology behind the verbiage.  Their heads and hearts have been turned from the scriptures, where the answers really lie – turned instead to those who have hidden truth behind their terminology and speech.  But that is a topic for another day…

SOMEONE TELL ME Tuesday, Aug 2 2016 

These long days of illness have given me a good opportunity to triple my reading time. It has been very profitable, and I am reading more widely than ever. While it assists me in my research, I keep coming back to questions that are not found in any written text. Having spent a lifetime in ministry, education, and missions, my mind is full of questions.Some answers are clear; others are not. As you read my questions, you may have some wisdom to share. If so, I ask you to pass it on to me.

Some weeks ago, I had lunch with a dear friend who is the president of a well-known seminary in another country. We were considering the impact, or lack thereof,of theological education on every level. I could easily spend a month recording the positive effects of training on the lives of so many who have served the Lord so well. Many of these folks have gone on to their reward, and we are grateful for having known them. On the negative side, though, it has been painful to see men and women who appeared to have been well-trained but who have slid, or jumped, into theological systems and questionable moral practices of which they now seem to be proud. This type of errant direction was unusual in the past, but it has now become a rush with men and women who ought to know better. So my question to you is this: “Why has this departure from truth become so popular?”


There is no question in my mind that the American model of education is responsible for adding fuel to this fire.  The liberal mind-set has always been a part of that system. It is flawed and tends to hide behind intellectualism, philosophy, and so-called “science“. It is intellectually cruel with the capacity to turn truth into a lie, deluding people into thinking that it is indeed the truth. As time has passed, this “liberal mind-set” has become the majority and has now created a mental dictatorship.

The admission that something is a lie comes when you have to force others to think like you do. Ultimately, you are punished if you don’t think (or believe) like they do. If truth doesn’t stand on its own two feet, then it is a lie. This is exactly where our world is at this moment.

The liberal mind-set makes much to-do about “critical and analytical thinking”, the truth is that their approach forbids such serious consideration. The American educational model is really just indoctrination and brainwashing. If you don’t support the fairy tales of evolution, global warming (even they know that was dumb), and moral degradation such as sodomy or transgenderism, you are a danger – an enemy. You are not allowed to either think or speak on the subject.


Almost everyone we know today has been raised to think with a liberal mind-set. It might be understandable that this could happen in an academic world run by intellectual pagans. It is understandable that the present plight of this nation came about because the liberal mind-set is now the only one that is tolerated.

What troubles me is that this mind-set has become the standard for most so-called Christian institutions. Our crowd “longed for the leeks and garlic of Egypt”. They wanted to be like the “big boys” in education. Like all departures from error, some of that error was carried along.  Such is the sad story of Luther and Calvin.

That is not to say that some institutions are not battling to pass on a biblical mind-set. Of course most of them would say that they do “think biblically”, but where is the proof? They have bought into the world of “form” rather than the imperative of “content and meaning”. A good education will cover a lot of ground and disciplines, but it will never bow to human reason as the final authority. Everything ought to begin and end with the authority of the Word of God.


So how can it be that some who were trained with a high biblical standard, with professors or pastors who were loved and respected, could then move to flawed theology?  At this point, I am thinking of men who were educated beside me or in front of me. Some of this has to do with our own circle of education, where indoctrination or brain-washing was used. They were not taught critical and analytical thinking, and the truth as it was presented never became their own.

Pick up the catalog of an institution, any institution, and start asking questions about individual courses or sections. Where is that clear effort to lead the student in owning the theological truth? Course after course is full of good information, our truth. We even give them exams so that we can know they remembered our truth. Where is the emphasis of God’s truth as it is displayed in the text, in that the student knows how to own what he gleaned from that text?

Those who have moved on to theological error and the liberal mind-set didn’t get it. They have joined the great movement of “adding to the Bible” whatever they want it to say. Intellectual pride makes that so easy. Young men in particular are lured by theologians with twisted minds who a have made rewriting the Bible into an art form.

So here we are back at the beginning.The fact is that not all students will get it, but I would be satisfied if most of them did. I have a short list in front of me; how did these men get drawn into a historical theology that reads like “Alice in Wonderland”???

ARE YOU “HEPIN” THE DEVIL? Tuesday, Jun 28 2016 

After twenty-six years of living in North Carolina, I have learned some of the lingo. Down here, “hepin” is a quick way to say “helping”. So let’s get “rat” to it – and no, I don’t mean that mousy kind of rat! We expect unregenerate crowds to be on the devil’s side. Let’s face it – they are a majority. In our culture, the devil’s children (John 8:44) are bent on worshiping the enemy of our souls. We do not expect Christians, particularly true believers, to help Satan, yet we often do just that.

Paul explains this basic tenet in Romans 6:12,13: Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin; but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

We don’t have to help the devil, but we do so when we do advance his agenda. The member that we use to speed the work of the evil one is most often the tongue. (James 3:1-10) The tongue utters words, and words have meaning. Even names can serve the devil’s purposes: Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain. (Exodus 20:7)

When we use words that are misleading or patently untrue,we serve the enemy. Unfortunately, Christians today have bowed to “political correctness”. Our pagan society, along with the emerging and emergent church, persists in softening words that describe sin.The most heinous of sins is dressed up with fancy words that make wicked people feel


Let me begin with the most recent lie. There is no such thing as a “transgender”. God settled this issue at creation. The genders are man and woman, and that is all there is; there is nothing more. Sinners may try to cover up their wicked world, but believers are plainly disobedient if we join that stampede. “Transgender” is a lie from the pit of hell, and we should refuse to even use the word. If you do, you are “hepin” the devil. Wicked minds have invented this lie with “psycho-heresy” and humanistic psychology. The Bible is the final authority on anything it speaks to: …let God be true, but every man a liar…(Romans 3:4) A person’s response to this charge will tell you just how far that individual has moved from Scriptures that are authoritative and sufficient.


While I have dealt with this topic before, here it is again: there is no such thing as “same-sex marriage”. God settled this when He created marriage. It is one man, one woman, for one lifetime. Stop using the devil’s vocabulary. Stop using that term. To do so is “hepin” the devil. If you think God is dead, or that the Bible is not clear, then this discussion is not for you. “Same-sex marriage” is a lie, and even the denigrators know it is a lie. Don’t let them drag you down into their pit of lies.


There is nothing at all gay about this horrible wickedness. God has spoken clearly regarding this sin. I understand how those who use allegoricalinterpretation tend to treat Romans 1, but the clear, plain statement of the text is pointed. Those who practice sodomy (1:26-27) are condemned: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. Hang on to your hat; the plain, clear statement is that this is a capital crime.To support this evil in any way is to support a lie and is “hepin” the devil.

The term “homosexual” may be a true description, but it should never be used as an approval or recommendation. That kind of activity is better described by God as sodomy. That is why evil people hate that word so much and have bullied Christians into avoiding it. Those Christians are often so very fearful that they even bully those who use plain speech.


Pulpits used to be very clear about such activity; now some have willingly followed the “dumbing down” of sin. They went from that terminology to “shacking up” to “living together” to “relationship”. By using these terms, they are “hepin” the devil and promoting a lie. Stop using words that are clearly lies and give support to the “god of this world”. And then there is the topic of abortion where, sadly, silence reigns among most Christians.


So why do (professing) Christians today so often support sin and the devil with their vocabulary? Some appeal to love, but you neither love someone that you help with a lienor should you feel comfortable about sin. Love doesn’t blind sinners to righteousness, knowing they are headed for hell. Some persist in believing that all sin is bad, and that is true; but God is clear about the fact that some sins are worthy of death. Using sin to protect sin is “hepin” the devil. Others insist that plain talk (truth) will turn people away, and that is why hell and judgment have disappeared from their message. If that ploy doesn’t work, they then attack the messengers, the truth-tellers’ character.

Remember this: Holiness is God’s primary characteristic; truth rises from holiness, and love rises from truth. Telling lies is not true, righteous, or holy. Telling lies is “hepin” the devil, and it grieves the heart of God.

THE INVITATION Wednesday, May 11 2016 

Let me begin with a warning: this monthly article is meant to incite discussion.  If you read it only until you are offended, you have missed the point.  This issue takes aim at the extremes surrounding the “invitation”.  We use this term almost every day in some way or other.  In the end, I want us to consider what has been termed the “altar call”.  Invitations are not bad.  Jesus often gave invitations, beginning with one to His disciples.  (Matthew 4:18-22)  Andrew followed that example.  (John 1:41-43)

An open invitation at the end of a meeting is a relatively new thing in church circles. During the great periods of revival, it was used in evangelism.  It then became a popular tool in conservative churches.  Even if some did not like the idea, at its heart it was, and is, effective.


Among churches headed toward the flawed “emerging church” trend, there is a growing disdain of the practice, some of which is encouraged by certain historical theological elements.  There are also churches that have become discouraged with this tool because of its excesses and misguided use.  There are even some churches that ought to forget about giving an invitation, since they have nothing to invite people to, anyway!

The danger in excluding it completely is that its rejection derives from cultural arguments rather than from scripture.  The mob mentality dictates that as soon as they are able, everyone has to follow the “change culture” that scraps all old things.  We are told that the “millennials” can’t be reached with anything other than what they demand.  It is sad that people have forgotten that all generations, including this one, have the same need.  We are all sinners and need the God of the Word and the Word of God.

A good number of conservative churches continue the practice.  The problem is that we so seldom evaluate ministry.  If we do, it offends some folks who think they are more important than the work of God.  Rather than searching for the value of this practice, they go on tripping over all kinds of obstacles.  That may be one of the reasons why there so few churches anymore who are seeing real conversions over the period of a year, rather than seeing people saved “daily” as God intended.  (Acts 2:47)  Now that I have made everyone mad, let me add some constructive advice.


One of the major traps of “culture authority” is that you are obligated to follow the methods that everyone else is using.  To be considered relevant, you have to use all the “stuff” that others are using.  What the devil could not accomplish outside the church he has now done inside the church.  This is not a new problem; among conservative churches, the same mentality has existed for a long time.  The idea is that if I want to have the largest church in the area, I will have to use the same tools others use, whether good or bad.

With that in place, all of us need to take a good look at the use of an open invitation in order to see what and why adjustments may be helpful.  We are not, and should not feel obligated to do what others do in their churches.  Any adjustments, however, need to make sense in order to be effective.

If you dare, take a look at the extremes.  We should indeed present the gospel clearly, and we should offer a way for further explanation and reception of the message.  A carefully crafted invitation can do that.  Our task is to sow the seed, but it is God who gives the increase.  High-pressure invitations are highly questionable.  Giving an opportunity to come forward is not the question, but extending an invitation until everyone is “down front” is questionable.  The invitation is often confusing rather than being pointed and clear.  By the time an invitation is given, things should have been made so clear that long explanations are not necessary.  The Holy Spirit can and will work when God’s message has been presented clearly.


There are some excellent illustrations of how to use an effective invitation.  I will refrain from recommending certain names because that gets in the way, but there are some speakers who do get it right.  A well-ordered message will tell the listeners what is going to be said, and it can be summarized quickly afterward.  This comes from the old country preacher who said, “I tells them what I is going to tell them, then I tells them, then I tells them what I told them”.  So from the very beginning the listener should know what to expect and what is expected of her/him.  At the end, all that remains is to quickly open the door and invite them to respond down a clear path.

A well-ordered message flows swiftly into the conclusion and the opportunity to respond.  It should not become an obstacle, but should remain an opportunity.  One of the keys is to never refer to time.  The listener ought not to be able to anticipate the transition; this way the attention of the lost person is never broken.  His mind is on his need and the answer the preacher has given, and one question remains: What will I do with Jesus?  Distractions spell disaster when it comes to closing a message.  There is no law saying that we have to sing, even if it is helpful at times.  Singing a dozen verses of a hymn is most often a distraction.  If you haven’t made the message clear at this point, a last-minute explanation can be a distraction.

When you get over being mad about this, take some time to think it over.  Most people aren’t opposed to an invitation; actually, they are opposed to distractions.

WHO IS A CONSERVATIVE? Tuesday, Mar 1 2016 

These days, designations and tags are flying around like bumblebees. The problem is that these categories only represent the user’s point of view. “A conservative is someone who agrees with me!” There is no static view in any of them. Conservatives come in many colors. Because of this, all of these groups change meaning over the years. Designations alone are like trying to pick up mercury.

The only way to get to the root of this problem is to ask, “How did they come to that conclusion?” rather than “What is their conclusion?” Your mindset, your system of thinking is really the issue, because that is where your conclusions, points of view, and beliefs come from. We face this every day in theology. It is why people contentiously debate doctrinal positions. One needs to ask, “How did you come to that belief; what system did you use?” The reason there are so many differing doctrines is that people use different systems of thinking. If they all faithfully used the same system with its rules, they could readily come to the same conclusions.

In the early days of American education, there was a strong emphasis on “critical and analytical thinking”. This can be demonstrated in the founding documents of our nation, and it is the reason why certain people are trying to destroy them. What we have in state education today is not “critical and analytical thinking”, even though they claim that it is. What is going on in this rapidly deteriorating system is “brain washing and indoctrination”. Sadly, this same approach has sunk its teeth deep into what is called Christian education. That is why we look, think, act, and smell like the American education failure.


To illustrate this problem, I am forced to use some current designations; but hang on – I will explain later. We seem to be dealing with “liberals, moderates, and conservatives”. I know there are other fringe tags, but I will let you have that discussion among yourselves. Liberalism has a hundred threads, and they are not necessarily similar. What is common about all those tangents is that they use the same system of thinking. Human reason is their authority, and they have a disdain for truth. In fact, many of them do not even believe there is such a thing as truth. Their final authority is man, culture, intellect, etc. No matter how illogical their conclusions may be, they will defend them to “your” death. Liberalism is not wrong about everything; but as I often say, “It doesn’t have answers, but only creates problems and then blames them on someone else”. So liberalism (as an illustration) is about how they think and not so much what they think.

Conservatism (bear with me here) at its heart is interested in truth that can be demonstrated, unlike the so-called science of liberalism that is based on faith or what one believes based on man’s authority. Early conservatism leaned heavily on “analytical and critical thinking”. Sad to say, most people we know in this category love to argue but are not able to answer the “why” of their position. In these days, I fear that thinkers are in the minority. We must remember, however, that even in this group the views are not unanimous.

When people declare a position, or the importance of that position, they create questions that allow us to discover their systems of thinking. That is why you have conservatives championing liberal positions. The left might hold views that the right holds, and vise-versa. That is where moderates come in. They are neither one nor the other, but the problem is that moderates always move left and not right.


So in this present atmosphere, we ask “How can you tell who is what?” It is not about what they say, but how they arrived at what they say. If one thinks like a liberal, he divides things up; he is a moral conservative, a liberal in economics, and so on. That is the problem. This is not about the leaves; it is about the root. It is how they think, and so many people who claim to be conservative simply tend to think like liberals. How you think determines what you believe and what you are.

Perhaps you can explain why I have never met a person who is liberal in politics who is not also liberal in religion. This is not about whether they got something right; it is a system of thinking as to how they view everything in life. So, if you are thinking about who is a conservative, you should be asking how that person thinks.

There are some positions that quickly identify with liberal thinking. Abortion and sodomy are two of them, and you have to think like a liberal to support such heinous acts. These, though, only allow you to ask the right questions. Any person who is soft on any major issue of any kind is giving you a message. As believers, we should be reminded that for us there is no such thing as a separation of the religious and the secular. The Bible is clear; every thought, deed, and position is subject to the will of God.


Since we are on the subject, consider pulling out the rifle and looking down the barrel. Let me talk about “us” – those who claim to be conservative and profess salvation. In theology, you have all three of these categories. Call them what you wish; it is right, middle, and left. There are those who are completely committed to the Word and will of God. We may not always practice it right, but we trust a Holy God and believe the Book is God’s Word.

Then how did we get to the “theological error of the month”? It is because we have been taught to think like liberals. Look at how quickly our “professed” fundamental friends run to defend and buddy up to the moderates. By their very nature, moderates think with a liberal mind-set; so the truth is that our own brothers have been duped by that humanistic way of thinking.

I want you to remember this: “Moderates, those in the middle, are far more dangerous than the worst heretic among liberals”.

That is where we are today. In the present atmosphere, our own brothers and sisters are running to cast their lots with a system of thinking that opposes God at every step. That system of thinking is not conservative, and neither are they. Just saying!


The scriptures are clear concerning the man who is pastor, shepherd, elder, bishop, and overseer.  His qualifications, role, responsibility, and limitation are plainly stated.  In my book, “The Weeping Church; Confronting the Crisis of Church Polity”, all of this is carefully outlined.  The book has been in constant publication since 1985.

I am amazed at how often people take the liberty of ignoring or rewriting the Bible text, particularly on this subject.  Almost every local church problem goes back to this issue.  Of course, the roots of those problems are sin and pride; but God blesses only what He orders.  If a church is organized in such a way as to create and feed conflict, one should not be surprised when it breaks out.  Everything man touches is flawed, but the closer we can stay to the plain, clear statements of the Word, the more likely we are to have peace.

Right now in our country we are living out the tragedy of this kind of ignorance.  Creditable historians know that this country is a republic, not a democracy.  Democracies always end in tragedy, and there are clear historical reasons as to why that is true.  A republic has the rule of law, and people are meant to be treated in that way.  So I have often asked, “Where did the concept of democracy in a local church come from?”  If you found it in the text, it is only because you inserted it there.


God always makes things simple for us; we are the ones who make them complicated.  We often do that on purpose in order to confuse people so that we can get away with making the Bible agree with us.  This is the problem with the average concept of the pastor in our churches.  Pastors are often installed in local churches as errand boys or merely someone to fill the pulpit.  A local church is a flock, and it needs a qualified under-shepherd.  Christ is the Chief Shepherd, and He is the one who appoints these under-shepherds.  The prayerful task of the local church is to find out who Christ has appointed for them.  The church should be seeking the will of God rather than the will of the people or a flawed majority.  Churches languish because, in the flesh, they think they have a better idea.

The selection process of a congregation often follows the pattern of the nation of Israel in its choice of King Saul.  They thought they needed a man who was tall, dark, and handsome.  Who cares about the heart of the man, let alone what is in his mind?  That is why people are so easily fooled – you don’t always get exactly what you see.  Sad to say, candidates are not always truthful.  More than one prospect has hidden his questionable theology; then, when his error comes to the surface, he is so firmly settled in that the people are not willing to stand up and be counted.  On the other hand, they would fight over the color of the carpet at the drop of a hat!  What percentage of local churches has leaders with enough knowledge of the scripture to ask the kinds of questions that would smoke out a theological “wolf in sheep’s clothing”?  That’s the problem: they only think they do.

We would have to add to this mix the intention of a candidate to change the flavor and format of church function.  All these changes may not actually be a biblical question, but hiding the intent to do so is.  If the prospect had been honest and had outlined his prospective changes that would scatter the sheep, the door would have closed – and he knows that.  Christ is fully aware of, and has not forgotten, these questionable and sinful assaults on the local church.


On the other hand, the local church often practices bad habits in order to control conflict and protect itself.  The clear answers to unrest in church polity are clearly stated in God’s Word, and they are the only way a church can solve difficulty in its fellowship.  Some have chosen simply to do away with the real shepherd of the sheep.  If you don’t have a pastor, then fifty percent of your problem is gone – right?  They forget this: But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.  (Matthew 9:36)

A flock without a true shepherd will falter and eventually be destroyed.  The function of a shepherd cannot be fulfilled by a false shepherd or a hireling. (John 10:12)  Only the qualified (I Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-10), a Christ-appointed shepherd (I Peter 5:1-4), can fully carry out that ministry of the pastor, elder, and bishop.  The Chief Shepherd appoints, qualifies, empowers, and approves true shepherds.

Be careful with your human response to this, but if a man does some shepherding, it does not mean he is a shepherd.  This is a simple concept.  When my wife was in the hospital, I had to do some mothering; but that didn’t make me a mother.  Humans can put any title they wish on a man, but only Christ can designate one of His under-shepherds.  Then there is the “Hagar Syndrome”.  They think they can solve the problem by multiplying the number of men they choose as pastor, elder.  The text clearly states that churches had, and have, multiple pastors; and that is true if they are appointed by the Chief Shepherd. Often this is used as a smoke screen to build an oligarchy.  This concept is in direct conflict with nature and the Bible standard.  Leadership and headship are always singular.


So why are churches so quick to join theological bandwagons when they know that the wheels are coming off?  Basically, it has to do with the humanly devised hermeneutic that is raging in the new church culture.  Intellectuals have provided a plan whereby churches can “have it their way”.  Churches follow unbiblical polity because there is so little knowledge of the Bible.  They know about the Bible, but have found a way to “fill in the blanks” in order to get their own way.  This is often done by means of the abuse of language, the ignoring of context, or the twisting of historical information.

Theological smart-alecks may have lot of information, but they are short on wisdom.  Intellectualism draws young novices because it is important for them to “run with the big boys”.  They fall into error willingly, but seldom find their way out of the theological slime pit.

The wise man will let the text speak for itself.  The strong man will be willing to stand up for truth even where error has been practiced for generations.  A holy God will bless what He orders, and that is how we protect the biblical pastorate

WORDS HAVE MEANING Friday, Jan 29 2016 

STOP IT; KNOCK IT OFF!  Stop supporting evil, that is.  We may not have meant to do it, but when our words give credence to wickedness, we need to stop using them.  Let me give you an example.  Why do intelligent, spiritual persons use the term “same-sex marriage”?  There is no such thing.  The only marriage that exists is the one that God instituted and which He controls.  The term “same-sex marriage” is a lie.  Every time it is used, it gives credibility to something that God has judged and condemned.  To give encouragement to anything so heinous is an offence to a Holy God.

The offence grows more egregious when politically correct Evangelicals try to defend the use of nice words to describe bad things.  It is moral insanity to argue that we must say nice things about sin in order not to offend sinners.  To ignore sin of any kind is not being a “friend of sinners”.  No one ever comes to Christ for salvation without first dealing with his or her sin.  Those who practice “sloppy agape” argue that we all sin and that we need to deal with gossip, etc., before we deal with sodomy.  We do need to deal with all our sin, but covering the sin of others is particularly offensive.  The biblical doctrine of God’s holiness has all but disappeared in today’s culture-driven church, and God has written “Ichabod” over all those churches.  The Word of God is nothing more than a fetish in the emerging/emergent church, and it continues to find ways to ignore the plain, clear teaching of scripture.  When sin is a forbidden teaching, it provides a hothouse for the very thing that God commands us to forsake.


When I was a small child, the word “darn” would get a bar of soap put into my mouth, and I had to bite down on it.  “Christianity astray” would consider that to be cruel punishment, but today’s practice of letting Christian teens run free with foul mouths is real cruelty.  Those who love to defend sin would say my mother was a legalist.  What they do not know is that my mother was a spiritual giant beside those spiritual pigmies who misuse the word “legalism”.  It appears that the majority of people who use the term have no idea what it means.  To them it is just another way to make man comfortable about sin.

Normally people would limit swearing to “taking the Lord’s name in vain”.  Even that has become acceptable verbiage among professing Christians.  Posts on social media as a habit include vulgar words and gutter talk.  The sad thing is that no one says anything about it.  This is not just a teen thing; adults who ought to know better spit out crude and vile words in their posts as well.  They would be wise not to claim relationship to Christ, since unsaved people see no difference between their conversations and those of any worldling. Who needs a Christianity that sounds like a conversation from the damned?


This is the month that the abortion holocaust is remembered.  Even now we have become numb to the brutal way unborn children are being dismembered every day.  The silence in the midst of this terrible practice reminds us of the reason why people were silent while the Nazis slaughtered thousands of people daily.  Fear was the main reason for a lack of response, but most of the Germans felt that there was nothing they could do.  After all, it was the government, and so it was legal.  In our guilt, we’ve had to find nice words for the killing of babies in the womb, so the real word “murder” is unacceptable.

Let me remind you that a thing is not legal if God has condemned it.  Then why do professed believers line up to defend heinous practices?  If we obey God and speak clearly to identify such evil, those who claim Christ line up to defend the crime.  To speak strongly about some pseudo-law is viewed as being anti-government; but to side with the others and use nice words about evil is in fact anti-God.

It is no wonder that a holy God is obligated to judge any nation that embraces the murder of children.  It is mind-boggling to know that people who claim to be Christians side with those who hate God.  Words have meaning, and words need to reflect the view of a God who hates and always judges all sin.


These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imagination, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord.  (Proverbs 6:16-19)

If God hates all sins and prescribes capital punishment for some, why do some people spend so much time opposing what God has said?  Why such effort to prove God wrong?  Holiness is meant to be an affront to those who love sin.  For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.  (I Corinthians 1:18)

It appears that some folks don’t want to offend those who sin, but they don’t mind offending God.  We need to be careful about deliberate personal offence to others.  There is far too much meanness in our own circles, but it isn’t mean to make sin clear to the sinner.  The truth is that real meanness is failing to tell the truth about sin, thus letting people plunge into hell or stand empty-handed at the Judgment Seat.  It is dreadful to allow people to feel good here about sin and then let them discover in eternity that you really didn’t care.


It would help if people would take time to study the entire Bible on any subject, but then perhaps they don’t really want to know what God has said.  One of the favorite mantras used by today’s “sin protectors” is to say that what God has said about sin is “judging”.  It is obvious that they don’t want someone else asking questions about the sin in their own lives.  Another defense is “love”, but love does not hide the truth from people.  If there is danger, the loving person will say so.  If that attack doesn’t work, then any old proof text will do.  “Judge not lest ye be judged” is a favorite parley.  Ignorance of Scripture is little different from deliberately denying what is the “plain, clear statement of the Bible text”.  Remember this: a proof text without a context is a pretext.

Words do have meaning, and that meaning had better be what God has said and not what you have inserted into the text!


The Bible speaks to everything in one way or another. Where it does speak directly, it is correct even if the pagan culture in which we live disagrees or thinks that God’s way is too simplistic or idealistic. The criminal justice system in our country is seriously flawed and corrupt, and this is because the system does not represent the basic model presented in God’s Word.

The fact is that during the establishment of our nation much of the foundational law represented the Judeo-Christian principles. It wasn’t perfect, but the years of judicial, administrative, and legislative adjustments have stripped our law of its value. A majority of these changes were in violation of the original documents, without the permission of the people.

The end result of pagan intellectualism has given us a prison system that multiplies the criminal element and moral perversity. The present practice celebrates and rewards the violator and punishes the victims, who are the core of our society. The rejection of capital punishment mocks a holy God and encourages murderers, rapists, and other evildoers to continue committing their crimes. The unequal application of the law ends up punishing the little guy while the elite go free and even run for high office. In the courtroom, the defense is expected to get the guilty off. While the family of the victim lives with the grief of the crime, our legal system bankrupts a nation, encouraging a violent society.

The end of this spiral comes when those in charge do away with real punishment because they say that “the system is flawed”, but then go on spreading evil by moving further away from the answer God has given. This pagan philosophy is based on folly – the idea that man is basically good and society has the power to change the criminal into a good citizen through re-education. How has that worked out? The bottom line is that evil things are made good and good things are made evil. This nonsensical system murders the innocent child in the womb, but rewards those who are guilty and sets them free.


God’s plan is clear and simple. Cities of refuge and temporary confinement were only for the purpose of making sure that judgment was served honestly and with alacrity. The goals were restitution and retribution. For the criminal, there was always an end to the dealing with evil. The pagan mind tells us that capital punishment doesn’t work, but the truth is that no murderer who died for his crime has ever murdered again. The liberal mind complains that capital punishment is “cruel and unusual punishment”. The record, however, makes it clear that prison is a cruel and unusual punishment, while execution is actually merciful and quick. God’s plan shuts the door on the manufacture of the criminal element. The growth and respectability given to sodomy at this hour is a by-product of a useless prison system. The answer to crime from frustrated leaders is simply to make things legal, no matter how evil the practice is in God’s sight. The problem is that making things legal doesn’t make them right, but it does reveal the serious lack of wisdom in the present system. Pagan philosophy counters with the argument that moral people want to establish a “theocracy”. The truth is that God’s plan works; it is what is needed, no matter what you may choose to call it.


The saddest point in all of this is that some of those who name the name of Christ are siding with the seared mind of the unregenerate. There are several reasons for this. One reason is the philosophy of the state educational system in our nation, which has been adopted by so-called Christian institutions. The liberal mindset has no valid authority base. That mindset has taught a whole generation to use human reason as the highest authority. God gave us the ability to reason, and that ability, when properly used, will end up in agreement with God’s wisdom. Man’s wisdom ends up working full-time to prove that God is wrong.


Yesterday a friend of mine was sentenced to jail time for lying to the IRS. None of us would approve of any deliberate and clear violation of the law. In this case, however, he did not owe anyone anything, so restitution had taken place and there was no evidence of deliberate violation. It was not a capital crime, so retribution was not an issue. In God’s plan, the issue was settled. So, what is going on here with the imposition of jail time? Most of us have taken deductions that were disallowed, and many have not included so-called income that was questionable. It would be very easy for the current vacillating system to put us behind bars; in fact, this system has been used many times by a vengeful administration to punish those who disagree with them.


Corruption is a very strong word, but it is true and is the point of this discussion. When the little guy is punished for something, he is judged harshly. At the same time, those at the top use power and money to avoid justice. Some of the most public figures owe huge amounts of taxes and have avoided paying them. This is corruption. If lying to the IRS is a crime – and it is – then why are major leaders so often shielded from responsibility? If lying is a crime, then half of Washington should be indicted given the fact that liberalism lives on lies.

The argument used to protect the elite is that nothing has been proven, and they are innocent until proven guilty. That may be true of the court, but it isn’t true in the real world. If someone murders and a corrupt defense attorney gets them off, they are still guilty. It seems, however, that if you have enough power, influence, and money, you can get away with murder. It may all be legal, but it still is corrupt. So, while the average citizen has no “real” protection, he can be incarcerated for questionable charges. Meanwhile, the guilty run for the highest offices in the land and may never even be charged even if their crime was treasonable, such as rewriting the founding documents of our nation!


This is the real story of flawed justice. In the end, it doesn’t work because it flies in the face of what the sovereign creator God has given us. His way is perfect and always works. Man’s way is flawed and produces injustice. So who should be behind bars?


WARNING!!! To keep you from having a “hissy fit”, please keep this in mind. Most of the things on the following list are not bad in themselves. This is not a condemnation of change or of things that are new; rather, it is a list of things that almost always appear on the road to the Emerging Church and its denial of biblical authority and sufficiency.

My heart is grieved by the fact that many of my long-time friends have been fooled into replacing a theology that is biblical with “culture authority”. They do this by mocking things of the past and ridiculing those who press for biblical responsibility. Theology is a nasty word to them, but theology is actually a growing understanding of the God whom we serve.


Hymnals disappear. The Psalms are actually a hymnal. There is nothing wrong with a hymnal, even though there are things in some hymns that are errant. The Bible doesn’t command us to have hymnals in our churches. On the other hand, many people need to see the notes in order to be able to sing. Some churches have put the score on the screen to solve that problem. Without it, the blending of voices in harmony is nearly impossible.

The organ disappears. The Bible does not require that a church should have an organ, but trying to replace it with a tinny technical sound does not solve the issue. Nothing in our world can possibly replace the majestic sound of a pipe organ.

The platform is renovated. Anything that represents the past is bad and has to go. The choir loft and other furniture, including a communion table, are all replaced with new items designed to modify worship activity. Even the pulpit has to go, one way or another. It is certain that none of these things are commanded in Scripture, but their removal is the first hint that the Bible is no longer the center of worship.

The building is renovated. In this war on history, anything that speaks of the past has to go. When walking into some of the today’s new facilities, it’s hard to even know for sure that you’re in a church. We can worship anywhere, but that is not the question. The question should be, “Is real worship going on here at all”?

Music does a turnabout. There are many kinds of music, much of which can be used tactfully. This is not an easy area to discuss, but replacing beautiful harmony with discord, yelling, repetition, and songs written by low-talent writers is certainly not helpful. It’s not that all current music is by any means bad; but when lyrics fly in the face of Scripture, there is a problem. It seems that the great majority of “worship leaders” don’t really even have enough theology to know when they are offending God.

Sermonettes replace biblical preaching. This is the second thing that reveals a turn away from Scripture. Preaching of the text is derided. Certainly some truth is spoken, but there is so little solid teaching of what God has said that people are starving spiritually. This happens when the communicator only knows about the Bible and very little of what God has actually said in the Bible.

Services dry up and disappear. The assembly of the local church is necessary for the health of the fellowship. Even with three services a week, there is a dearth of Bible teaching. People should be doing studies personally and with their families, but it is probably less than ten percent of the congregation that actually does. The Bible gives no strict rule on this, but during the persecution in the first century, they met daily. After all, how could once a week possibly provide for the coming persecution?

Evangelism almost disappears. For most churches, this is long gone. The task of reaching the lost should not be relegated solely to the preacher. The first line of evangelism is each true believer living and sharing the gospel in a needy world. Some human theological inventions have removed this from the believer’s responsibility, but it is still there.

Altar calls are non-existent or non-effective. Invitations at the end of a service are a recent invention, but they do have value. The important issue is why they have disappeared. If no one ever responds, why should you even bother to have one? And why doesn’t anyone one respond? This has to be a topic for another discussion, but a lot of it has to do with poorly crafted messages.

Unregenerate membership. This is an old problem. We invented a church membership concept that allows professing Christians to be part of a local church. When attendees act and talk like pagans and confess that the Spirit of God does not dwell in them, they should not be part of a membership. The new approach today, however, is to welcome pagans into the church without any clear testimony of conversion. The percentage of unsaved people in today’s congregations is now staggering. This is a third major area identifying the departure from scripture.

Man-centered worship. Worship is about God, to God, and for God; but you wouldn’t know it in most of today’s “worship” meetings. Yes, there are lots of words about God, but it hard to actually find Him. How can you worship when the words being used are offensive to God and to His Word? Who in such a meeting can really worship? Unsaved Christ rejecters, as well as carnal, out-of-fellowship believers can’t truly worship. So, how many true believers who walk in the Spirit and who are able to worship are present? Man-centered entertainment “worship” is carnal and fleshly. One certain “worship leader” has confessed that “We do what we like”.

A hatred of history. This is the mantra of liberalism, socialism, and communism. Those on the road to the Emerging Church must shake the dust of history off their feet. The true believer rejoices in factual history, learns from it, and respects it, but does not live in the past. The road to “what we like” can have no historical markers.

A disdain for doctrine and scorn for theology. This is where it all ends. It is why churches often change their names, neuter their public doctrinal statements, and make fun of exegetical preaching. Their sick defense is that “We change our methods, but not our message”. Sorry, but that is an impossibility and, frankly, it is a lie.

WHOA!! Don’t waste one breath in trying to argue about any of the above. The fact is that we need change, and many new things do indeed have value. The standard, however, should ever be the Holy Word of God. The tragedy is that most people don’t know enough of a theology that is biblical to allow them to avoid the dead end. That dead end is the Emergent Church mob. How much of this has emerged in your world?

IGNORANCE AND APATHY Thursday, Oct 8 2015 

The story was told of a reporter who was taking a brief survey on a city street. He asked a passerby to comment on the biggest problems in our country, ignorance and apathy. The individual supposedly replied, “I don’t know and I don’t care”. That response reflects the attitude in the average church toward the Bible. I am amazed at the gross ignorance of the scriptures amongst those in our circles. The same is also true of the average church leadership and, unfortunately, of some pastors.

And now, if I have your attention, let me explain. Most people I know have knowledge about the Bible, but few actually have knowledge of the Bible. To know about Adam in the garden, Joseph’s coat of many colors, Daniel in the lions’ den, or David and Goliath is to know about the Bible. That is not the same as knowing what God is communicating to us. The Bible is a book about God. The scripture is there for us to understand who He is, what He has said about Himself, and what that means to us.

It doesn’t take an extended conversation to see that the average person in the church has surface information about the Book, nor does it take very long before they demonstrate a lack of understanding of what God has actually stated. They tend to repeat what other people have said or written, but they have never tested it with the text. A greater tragedy is that, when you ask them to explain their beliefs, they simply don’t care. Their ignorance is displayed when they say, “I think” or “I believe” or “my view is”. What is even worse is to hear them say, “That is what my pastor, or my church believes”. Apathy is evident when they say, “It’s not all that important”.


Over the past year, I have been grieved again and again by people from my past who don’t know or even care what God has said. As students or members of the church, they have all had the same basic teaching. Some have done very well in embracing “what the Bible says”, so at least there is some success. Others have no shame in rewriting the Bible anytime it doesn’t agree with them. Some of these folks who sat under biblical teaching have joined churches that are actually cultic. Most of them do not even have a clue about the doctrinal position of the church and have never asked. Many have moved to the “emerging church” because of its entertainment emphasis as opposed to true worship. They have no idea where the church is or where it is headed theologically, and they don’t seem to care. Even when God has written Ichabod over them and closed the doors, they just move on to another church tragedy filled with ignorance and apathy.

I have been tempted to use some of the names of those churches and the individuals who have turned their back on God’s word, but then ignorant people would call that “judging”. One thing that seems evident is that this curse is caused by the fact that so many people in those churches have never been born again, and so they have no ability to understand the text that is spiritually discerned.

Do you have any idea why so many so-called churches today have changed their names? There was a time when you could see a church name and at least know where to begin with your questions. With the “dishwater” types of names so many churches have now adopted, you have to begin at the beginning; there is no other obvious place to start with your questions. Church websites have deliberately watered down their statements of faith in order to prevent your realizing that they are a cult. They know that most folks don’t know what questions to ask, nor do they know why certain doctrines are a key for understanding.


This problem often begins with churches when they try to select a new pastor. To start with, it is Christ who calls pastors, not local churches. The church’s main task is to find out who it is that Christ has selected as His under-shepherd for that congregation. Countless hours are wasted in ignorance and apathy as those who are responsible discuss surface issues and miss the main focus. If Christ designates a man as local shepherd, you can be sure that person will be equipped and qualified. You can be sure that Christ would approve a man of the Book – not a man who knows just about the Bible, but one who actually knows what God is saying. We often end up with someone who is telling only what they think God is saying. God help us! When it comes to finding out what a man really believes, who in the average local church would be able to do that? Get off your high horse! Yes, it is true that all of us know some basic Bible facts, but who is going to protect the church from doctrinal error? Who in the church’s leadership has understanding that would root out false teaching in a candidate?

This is why so many churches have fallen prey to the “emerging church” movement and to entertainment in lieu of true worship. Pastors who know what God has said in His Book and who are called of Christ have backbone and will stand up to such nonsense. A man who is called by Christ will be a man who understands God’s holiness as being central to what we know about Him. He would be reviled by the worship of man and intolerant of having the filth of the world dragged into a congregation.


How do we deal with ignorance? There is no end to opportunities in this arena. Ask yourself, “How many minutes each week does the average church member spend in solid, serious study of God’s Word, including church meetings?” There you have the heart of ignorance. The first step is to make sure that any and all teaching and preaching are carefully crafted and filled to overflowing with who God is and what He says. Then ask in what ways we can increase valuable study of the Word by each member. It should begin by setting aside books written by humans and then moving to studies of the Book. How do we deal with apathy? Challenge people to search their own hearts. God will speak to them if they have not become His son by faith. A spirit of revival is needed in the church that is self-absorbed, and that includes the preaching of God’s word regarding sin. Because they love their sin, the “emerging church” hates preaching on wickedness. They breed immorality because to them God’s word is only a toy.

Only God can break through to the mind that has embraced ignorance. Only He can break the heart of someone who doesn’t care. I grieve for those who are comfortable in their trap, but there surely must be some of them who are still open to preaching about a holy God.

Next Page »


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 48 other followers