Friday, October 31, 2008

Bashed by another pastor! (again!)

I was recently asked to be a clergy leader for a Weekend experience (used to be called Chrysalis). My talk was supposed to be on "God Accepted." Those of you who have followed me for some time now can probably guess how my sermon went. It lasted 20 minutes.

Here is a copy of the outline I was supposed to follow.

Talk #8 God Accepted Clergy

This talk will help the participants understand how one accepts or rejects the love that is being offered by God. Just as a person is able to choose whether or not to relate with others, they can choose whether or not to relate with God. Out and out denial is easy to recognize, but the subtleties of partial acceptance (partial denial) sometimes eludes us. A person finds fulfillment when one fully accepts the relationship offered by God.

Saturday, 6:00-6:20 p.m. (20 minutes)

Suggested Themes:
Your talk should follow the overview while still being your own story. You may use some of the suggested themes, your own ideas, or a mixture of the two as God leads you. You don’t need to follow the suggested themes in order. Remember that your talk should be about 20 minutes long.

· Remind participants of what is being offered to them.
· God offers forgiveness.
· God offers us a love relationship with Jesus Christ.
· God offers fulfillment and happiness.
· Discuss how a person can accept or reject a relationship with Christ. Remind candidates that this must be done of your own free will; parents or friends cannot accept Christ for you.
· We are persons of freewill, not puppets.
· Discuss the consequences of denying the relationship that God offers us. We will be cut off from God as describe in the vine and the branches in John 15:1-17.
· Discuss the benefits of accepting a relationship with Christ. We will hunger for God; we will find reconciliation, security and the peace that passes all understanding.
· Explain what can be hoped for when we say “yes” to a relationship with God.
· Explain what faith is and how a relationship with Christ is an expression of faith.
· Tell how faith is the foundation of the relationship with Christ.
· What does it mean to deny self? How does that affect my relationship with Jesus?
· Close with the 4 Spiritual Laws and pray the prayer of acceptance. Let the candidates know that they can pray silently. Let them know that if they prayed the prayer of acceptance and meant in their hearts what they prayed that they should seek out an adult on the team sometime this evening and confess with their mouths.

Suggested Scripture:
Spend time with God in prayer and in your Bible as you write and develop your talk. Some suggested scriptures are given below but God may also lead you to other verses and passages.

John 10:10 Jesus came so we may have life and have it to the full.
John 15:1 – 17 Jesus is the vine and we are the branches.
Acts 4:12 There is no other name by which we can be saved.
Romans 3:21 – 26 All have sinned and fallen short.
Romans 10:9 Confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord.
So with that in mind, here is what I told the group in our practice session.

I started off asking everyone there this question...
How many people here have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior?
(every hand went up)
I then asked this next question and it was silent!
How many people here have been accepted by God?

I had their attention! Now they were ready to listen.
I quoted John 3:16 and told them what the word "Believe" really means. I told them it was an action word based less on the intellect on more on the obedience of the believer.
I talked about sin and the need to repent. I talked about how Jesus' first words in ministry were, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

Basically, I gave them the whole gospel message.

I told them about repentance, obedience, faith and trust. I gave them the example of putting the Lord Jesus on as told in the bible. An airplane is going to crash and you are told there is a parachute under the seat. What are you going to do with that parachute? Will you just believe that it will save you? NO! You will put it on. For without it, you will die! The same way with Jesus. Just believing is not good enough. Not if it is only an intellectual belief, for even the Devil believes and trembles. I followed all of that up with the Love of God in sending His Son to die on the cross for us. We do not have the right to make up our own set of rules on how to get into heaven. God has given us His Word and His Word tells us what we must do.

Repent of our sins, for without repentance, there is no salvation!
Put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ alone to save you!
Be obedient to His Word.
Be holy just as He is holy! Without holiness, no one will enter heaven!

I talked about the choice that each person must make. Their decision will have eternal consequences.

When the talk was over with, I went into another room with one other pastor and one of the team leaders of the Weekend. The team leader was all smiles and just said, WOW! You really hit it right on the head with that talk!!

The other pastor (a woman pastor of a methodist church)...
She scolded me in front of the other man. She said that she did not like the message. She kept repeating, "Where is the hope? Where is the hope? Had she listened to the sermon she would have heard me say that the only hope we have is in Jesus Christ. Otherwise, we are all destined for hell. She said I shouldn't have talked about the Law of God and about sin. She said that many people who will be listening on the Weekend will be atheist and they don't want to hear about sin. They want to hear about hope.

As far as she was concerned, the Holy Spirit had no chance of saving those people with my sermon. I had mentioned in the sermon how many people just sit in church and do not take their faith out into the streets where it belongs. She said I was attacking churches and she did not like that.

After we prayed we went back into the room of other people (a mix of adult leaders and high school boys who are acting as leaders too)
They all gave their reviews of my sermon.
They loved it! They all had that WOW statement.

It's as if they had never heard a sermon about repentance and how important it is to their walk with Christ. I pray that the lady pastor is convicted within her heart. She seems to be another one of those entertainment valued pastors. Tell a couple of jokes and then tell nothing but "feel good" messages. Mustn't offend anyone!!

I want to encourage all people reading this today.
You will all have opportunities to talk to someone about Christ. It might be the only opportunity you get. Will you give them a soft gospel filled with God's love and nothing else? Or, will you give them the whole gospel message of sin and the need to repent followed by God's love? If you do the first one, if they die without repenting of their sins, you have done them no favors by talking to them. Without repentance there is no salvation! Period!

I pray that you give them what they need to hear. If they are offended by God's Word (much like this lady pastor), then do not worry. It is not our job to do the "saving," we leave that up to God! Our job is to present the whole gospel message. Will you do it?

by the way, the lady pastor told me next time to be sure to follow the outline. What outline will you follow when talking to people? The best outline available is found in the Bible. Just do as Jesus and the Disciples did! Law to the Proud, Grace to the Humble!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Don't Pray Too Hard For Me! And, I am a Baptist, I can do what ever I want and just repent!

Can you imagine hearing these comments?

Aside from the fact that both comments are so far removed from being Biblical, there is just something eerily and strangely connected with both comments.

The rest of the story...
The first comment comes from a pastor's kid.
The second comment comes from the PK's "lover."

The first comment comes from a girl who has found that sex "feels so good." She says she cannot stop. She has slept with a few different boys in her home while her parents have been gone. She is 19 and she knows what the Bible says. She has been told that she will not be allowed to join our Feed Your Spirit Ministries due to her complete disregard for the Word of God. Her parents were given a gift to go out of town to a beautiful town up north. She stayed behind. We offered to take her with us to the scenic drive and she was going to come but at the last minute she said she had an appointment she had to keep. Her appointment was to have a guy come over to her parents house so they could have sex.

As for her "lover" here is what he says.

I am a Baptist, I can do what ever I want to do so long as I repent.

This same boy has plans of becoming a pastor!

And people wonder why I get so upset with people who "claim" to be Christians. I hate to see the way they defile the name of Christ with their worldly lusts.

Jude 3-4 says

3Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. 4For certain men whose condemnation was written about[a] long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.

It is for this very reason that this girl will not be allowed to be a part of our ministry. She laughs when talking about her sin. There is absolutely no contrition, no sorrow for the sin that she commits. In fact, she does just the opposite and laughs about it. It feels so good is what she says. It is almost as if she is proud of what she is doing.

When will todays contemporary church learn to start dealing with sin the way the Bible says we should?

They have let sin creep into their walls and have let leaders unashamedly promote ungodly living. People will be quick to say that I should not judge this girl, that it is not my place. But Scripture clearly teaches us that we are to make righteous judgments. The thought of sin being allowed in a church setting is appalling at best.

The new leaders (not all) have forgotten "why" they need a Savior. Too many of them think it is just a way of getting something from God. "If you ask for it, He will give it to you!" That seems to be the logic many people use in bringing people to Christ. And yet, there is not mention of the need to repent of sin. There is no mention of the need to be obedient to His Word. There is no mention of the need to by Holy, just as He is holy. No, it is all about "what can God do for ME?"

Today's leaders are quick to tell you that He has plans to prosper you. That you might have life to the full. They teach that it means you can be rich, you just need to ask for it! And yet, Jesus Himself, said that it is harder for a rich man to inherit the Kingdom of God than it is for others. Why? Because money becomes their god. Why would God want to make every believer rich when He knows how much money controls people? We will prosper and we will have a full abundant life. But look at the Apostle Paul...

He had a full abundant life. He was shipwrecked, abandoned, beaten and persecuted. Not exactly a rich life. But it was a fulfilling life given to serving God. That is what we should be doing!

I pray that you all realize the need to repent of your sins! May God's blessings be with you all.