Thank you all for visiting this site. I have decided to shut this site down, due to time management. I will blogging jointly with Tyris at www.blackandreformedministries.com please redirect and update your links to this site to reflect the change. Sorry for the inconvenience. God bless.
I write this post reluctantly but with a clear conscience. I also write this post to draw a line in the sand and to clearly define the purpose of why I originally started blogging and what the Lord has done to my heart since the very first post back on the Black and Reformed that I shut down a few months ago. So I want to be honest. I originally started blogging due to my frustration with the Health and Wealth movement. I was utterly abused by Legalism, Word of Faith teaching, and a slew of false doctrine. I used to spend all of my time as a lion looking to pounce on the first lonely sheep that disagreed with me. I would love to get into debates at barbershops, with family, and love to tell my wife how much I disagreed with Jakes, Olsteen, Meyers, Price, Dollar and their affiliates. I enjoyed destroying their doctrinal positions and anyone who would side with them. Okay I really, really enjoyed it. I would take my arguments to church and debate with anyone who would defend even an ounce of this doctrine. I would even argue with myself if I had to. I just wanted to expose false teaching regardless of the bridges I knocked down, the relationships I sabotaged, and the feelings I hurt along the way. I left a trail of destruction wherever I would go. The crazy part is, I justified all of this by saying “I am standing for truth”.
I would hear all of the time, from those closest to me, that I was being to harsh, maybe I should be more gentle, but I put them in the same bucket I did the expected wolves. I called them “wolf sympathizers” and quickly turned on them. I just wanted to kill everyone in the path, regardless of our relationship. If you were caught on the same side as the foe, you were considered a foe. This continued on until I practically burned every bridge in sight. I then turned to the Internet, where I found others just like me. I later found blogs that thought the way I thought and they were even more tenacious than I was at exposing these wolves. That is when I figured out how to start my own blog. My motive was to “stand for truth at all costs”. Encompassed in that all cost were those who were theologically untrained who would come and defend these “false teachers”.
So after being ignored by my wife, church family (some anyway), friends who belonged to these types of churches, and even old church members, I finally had a voice on the web. People started to come and I sent my blog out to everyone on my email list. I loved every minute of it. I finally found people who agreed with me. I would have a field day attempting to destroy every doctrinal position that, those I considered, false teachers had. If I caught someone affiliating with them, they were just as guilty. If Jakes spoke at your engagement, you were just as guilty as Jakes. If Rick Warren was at a conference that someone I respected was at, I considered them just as guilty. Then…….
Something weird happened. As I looked back over all of the dead bodies, and the body count report came back, I realized that there were friendlies in the count. Not just a couple, but just as many friendlies as there were enemies. I started to look at the bridges I burned, the relationships that I sacrificed in the name of truth, and the hearts I broke standing for “God’s truth” and my heart became heavy. I read Respectable Sins and things such as: patience, gentleness, and forgiveness were areas I was seriously lacking in. I thought of all of the people that were in the crowd when I sent the mortar on an enemy camp! The babies (young in the faith) the elderly (those who were helpless), and even friendlies (those who agreed with me, but were not ready to split but would rather be patient seeking prayer over division). So I tried to cover it up by starting a new blog, but the Lord would not let me rest. Repentance was and is necessary for such sins.
So I want to say to anyone offended again, that I am sorry if I included you in anything that did not bring God glory. Father, if I have written anything with “selfish motives”, or vain conceit, I repent and I pray that you would fix my mess. We have way too many friendlies in the crowd to send atomic bombs or mortars into enemy territory. My heart and goal now is to send special agents in (the Truth) to rescue our friends from enemy territory. Every innocent bystander is important and I refuse to shoot in the crowd again. That means that some blogs that I would visit quite frequently I will not visit again. I thought that I could go on there and infuse truth, but I would find myself falling back into sarcasm and condescending remarks. I enjoyed being a “Heresy Hunter” because it made me feel better about myself, by expressing my disdain for them (I guess). As long as I got one enemy I didn’t mind taking out 5 allies!
So going forward I pray that this blog will proclaim the Glory of Christ above anything else. I pray that as you read this blog, your heart is warmed and you want to proclaim the excellencies of Christ even more. Finally I hope to engage in critical (but ultimately loving) dialogue with those who disagree. Thanks for those who visit here and if you are what I was then I pray that God will give you the same conviction. Lets proclaim the truth of God in love.
Your Not So Humble Brother,
As I watched the news here in America, the different news stations were talking about the inevitable recession, tax cuts, presidential candidates, and the Super Bowl. Many are worried that they will lose jobs or at the least the value of their investment portfolio will decline. Others are worried about the lowest level of new homes being built will cause more frenzy in the market not to mention a multibillion dollor write off by one of the worlds leading banking institutions.
Some are worried about Brady’s ankle as he was caught wearing a boot and others are asking who is going to fill the Atlanta Falcons or Redskins coaching vacancies. Colts fans were excited to see Dungy return for another year, while Giants fans are preparing to do whatever it takes to get to Arizona to see their beloved (this is a joke) Manning number 2 compete for the world’s most coveted trophy in Superbowl 42!
I watched TBN this past Sunday and I saw the same ol same ol. Duplantis, Dollar, and other such false teachers were spewing their weekly dose of heresy cloaked in the ever so popular “Health, Wealth and Prosperity” foolishness. And I was taking all of this in I read this article here.
The article is about Congo which is in Africa, sub-Sahara I think. In the last 10 years roughly 5.4 million have died due to Civil War, and sicknesses such as pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria and other small health issues that we don’t even blink over. The war is being fought by children as young as 8 or 9. They are forced to fight or die and watch their families die also. They are given Amphetamines, and Marijuana to keep them high while they rape, mutilate, burn, and perform other such ruthless acts on men, women, and other children their same age.
It is estimated that Congo spends roughly $15 dollars on medical care while Americans spend roughly $6,ooo per year. No dentist, emergency rooms, or pediatricians and the scariest thing is that almost half of the people who are dying due to a lack of medical care are children which only make up 19% of the total population. So as we complain to the waiter that are fries are not hot, poverty and malnutrition is destroying a generation of Congoians.
The scripture “be thankful at all times” is ingrained in my mind as I read the article and watched the multimedia video here (please, please, please, please, watch this and listen to the audio that narrates it). We are truly blessed to be born in the great land of America, the land of milk and honey. And while many complain about much here in America, for most of these people there is no hope. Especially if you were were born in the last 15 years.
I wrote this to smack us back into reality. We need a wake up call here in America. While we have luxuries at our disposal they don’t have the basic necessities to even survive. It is estimated that about 1,000 people die a day due to the conditions in Congo. I often wonder why you would even attempt to reproduce in such circumstances and I see the hand of God sustaining life even amongst turmoil.
So lets pray that God would intervene in the lives of the inhabitants of Congo, and lets repent if their is even a hint of discontentment in our lives. How dare we complain when some of our lower class citizens would be considered rich in Congo. Lets also pray that God would open a door for the Gospel. What great hope we can infuse with the truth of eternal life, even in the midst of extreme poverty, and calamity. Our God is an awesome God and he loves those of Congo just as much as He loves us here in this great nation.
My sister in Christ Jenn has done us Christians a great favor by writing her latest post. It is simply outrageous and gut wrenching convicting. I literally had to stop and repent after reading it and really check my heart and theology. As I thought about the beautiful and liberating doctrine of “Justification by Grace through Faith” I literally shuttered as I thought over the last few weeks and how judgemental I had become. I would say they can’t be of the faith because they: listened to that, or watched this, or wore that, or talked like that or did this, or acted like that. I so easily forgot that we are not moralist and our salvation nor righteousness can, will, or ever has rested in ourselves. Our righteousness is found in another man. His name is Jesus Christ and He lived the life, died the death, and beared the sin, that I could not and maybe would not even if I could. God became a man and took on the wrath that was stored up for us.
I forget sometimes that my salvation is in a person. As long as He stands I stand and since it is impossible for Him to fall, then my standing is secure and so is the person stuggling with lying, stealing, sexual immorality, lust, impatience, rudeness, self-righteousness, selfishness and other such sins. We are all guilty ourselves and as Jennifer says “what about the tree in my eye”. I would add the tree that I am busy hitting people over the head with trying to help them get the splinter out of their eyes.
Please contribute to conversation as we grow in this critical area of our relationship with Christ.
Here is an excerpt:
Yesterday, during a conversation with a sister in Christ, I was checked on something that has been on my mind for the past few days. In the past, up til now, I have been too quick to use snapshots to determine the authenticity of a person’s relationship with Jesus Christ. This sister and I were discussing a coworker who has a penchant for filthy language.
Her - You know, he cusses a lot. I don’t like that.
Me – I KNEW there was something that made me think he wasn’t a Christian.
Her – That doesn’t mean he isn’t a Christian. There ARE Christians who cuss.
It made me think – Yes, all believers are in different levels of their sanctification, and while we are called to be perfect and holy, we’re not, and we very much so fall short. And what if someone were to look at snapshots of MY life ? There are many moments where my behaviors don’t reflect the Lord Jesus. I am in no way proud of it, but it’s true. I have had moments of anger and various other sinful behaviors, where if someone were to see me in those moments, they’d probably assume I was one who didn’t know the Lord! In this, I’m convicted, especially in light of the Matthew 7 Scripture I referenced above.
Check out why Chruch Membership is not only beneficial but biblical. Pastor Thabati gives one of the clearest and biblically centered approaches here!
Vision for your Family
Check out my man Quicy at Truth in the Innermost as he discusses a biblical vision for your children. This is simply amazing. You have to also read Tony Carter’s response as he adds a point of making that vision rest on the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Read it here
The Primary Purpose of the Church
Check out John MacArthur over at Pulpit Magazine as he discusses what people look for in a church and what the primary goal of the church is here.
I think you will be edified by each of these. Why reinvent the wheel when you can just help it roll faster?
I had a very good conversation with someone today and wanted to share some afterthoughts on this. Amongst Urban Evangelicals the conviction for community outreach, has become a growing concern. As young Christians move from the ministry philosophy of many of their parents which they feel was the “if you want to know Jesus come to my church” philosophy to the “church without walls” philosophy I wonder if some things have been lost in the transition.
We first have to understand that the human race is always and I do mean always in danger of going from one extreme to the other. For example a person who thinks that reaching the lost is critical, will employ any and all methods to reach the lost or the unchurched thus the birth of the “Seeker Sensitive” model. Or the person who may have a Calvinistic evangelistic mindset may never do any type of invitation and thus miss opportunities to “biblically” evangelize. Another example is the fact of holiness and how legalism becomes the compass of “true Christianity” while on the other hand liberty takes the form of a lack of biblical church discipline. I can think of many instances in my life from everything from cessasionism to other positions that I took as I left the Charismatic arena in which my pendulum swung so far that I almost couldn’t identify the Holy Spirit if He sat next to me at lunch. So once again extremes lurksin the shadows for many of us.
I want to focus on the perspective of outreach in this short exhortation. I am not a pastor, nor do I understand (practically, not theoretically) the life of a Shepherd. So I am not throwing stones just engaging. As we wrestle with reaching the community that we worship in Corporately what should be the health of the church before such an exploration takes place. If marriages are crumbling, congregants are involved in all types of sin, the majority of the congregation has a low view of God and a high view of man, and if the church doesn’t understand the high calling of biblical church membership (which some people disagree with) should we be attempting to “reach out” without first reaching in? Is God displeased if we took a year or two off to help build the local fellowship and invest in families and biblical faithfulness and then go out to try to help others?
A picture came to my mind as I was talking with the individual. It would be like you pulling people into a ship that is sinking. Is our witness before the community and the world primarily how we live out the Gospel in our lives or reaching out to the community abroad with programs? What is funny is that as I read through Acts and the Epistles and even the Gospels, Jesus, nor the Apostles main focus was not holistic outreach but holistic in-reach. I think we are challenged to provide for the widow and orphan, but I think the primary widow and orphan are those within the Body of Christ. We can see that as Paul addresses widow care in his epistle to Timothy. I think we can do more harm than damage to the body if we focus our energy, time and resources in building the community abroad without first using the resources to build the community within.
That may seem “four wallish” but I think I can make a biblical case for it. As Paul is raising funds for the poor in Jerusalem it was for the poor believers, as people sold their goods in Acts it wasn’t so that the community abroad could have “all things in common” but that the believers could have “all things in common”. The Apostle Paul did not exhort the Churches he wrote to to reach out, but to love each other within. I think we can easily lose focus on what and for whom Christ died. It wasn’t for holistic ministry but for reconciliation. I am not saying churches should not reach out and if the resources are available, especially for mega-churches, then go for it. But I don’t think that the local body should get the scraps from the table while we invest in schools and community outreach programs. I don’t think we should charge those who give frequently for a marriage conference when we take those same dollars to help buy books for the community. That is only my opinion but I think there is some validity there.
If we spend our time rebuilding the city while simultaneously ignoring those within our local fellowship, I think we will continue the trend of nominal Christianity. People aren’t being properly discipled because they are busy painting houses and not being ministered to. Many pastors and leaders aren’t even equipped to deal with the major problems many Christians face within their congregtions Christ has granted them charge over, so we substitute keeping busy for biblical ministry. Many of our brothers are struggling with pornography, don’t have a clue how to disciple their families (I wrestle with this in my own life greatly) and have no clue about biblical manhood, but they are busy working within the body. Many of our women don’t understand their roles as women in a Christian marriage, can’t really reproduce other Godly women and are struggling relating to their teenage daughters, but they are busy organizing outreach events.
This isn’t the case for all churches but I know what I have seen across many ethnic and socioeconomic ministries. We are failing at succeeding at what God calls us to do, in the name of reaching the community, which I can’t find biblical where God spends a bunch of time discussing in the scriptures. I think if we want holistic ministries they must start from within. As the brother I talked to said “Get the families inside healthy, then they can aid in getting those outside healthy”. God bless.
As I read the Between Two Worlds blog, my heart was moved to write this blog. This specific post was about Tim Challies and his new book. Follow the thread and you will see what I mean. Phrases such as “what qualifies him” and other such phrases were cast at will. I started to wonder about the spirit of the pre-reformation and there wasn’t much difference here. One quote from someone was “does a man need a doctorate degree to write a book, it isn’t like he is an accountant writing on biology”. This is my sentiments exactly. When did we lose the doctrine of the “Priesthood of ALL Believers”? I thought the veil was torn about 2000 years ago and I also thought the heart and soul of the Reformation was for “every man to have a bible in his/her hand”. Has what our forefathers of the faith died become vain?
“Yet it is a strange contradiction that those who identity most closely with the Protestant Reformation seem often to be those who are most prone to forgetting about the priesthood of all believers. This idea, that God offers His truth to all believers through His Word, is a defining characteristic of Protestantism but one that continues to make Christians uncomfortable. Though many give it verbal assent, it is still easier to simply find and trust certain teachers, always giving them the benefit of the doubt. “I am of Paul! I am of Apollos!” can become “I am of MacArthur! I am of McLaren!” We can take comfort in another person’s position, believing that only a truly godly man could rise to become the Senior Pastor of a large church, or we can take comfort in another person’s credentials, assuming that a man with so many degrees and accolades must be right. Yet all the while the Bible commands each of us to do the hard work of discernment and to realize that we are all called to pursue and obey the truth.”
We must ask ourselves some serious questions if this isn’t our heart! Are we not able to question those in “authority” anymore, can a laymen write a book , start a church, or do we need 10 years of Seminary and another 2 in church planting? Is Tim not qualified to write a book but qualified to start a bible study, lead a home group, or even disciple his family? Which has greater weight? Listen very carefully, if we don’t stop this hogwash, we will soon find ourselves in the same position of those who were oppressed by Rome!
Now what I am not saying is that seminary isn’t important. I think there are tools gained (especially the languages and hermeneutics) that are invaluable to any pastor on the planet. However, they are not, BY ANY BIBLICAL STANDARD, prerequisites. It really chaps my hide when I hear the same individuals screaming “Sola Scriptura” from the rooftops but in the same breath they are saying “Westminster plus your bible, or Fuller plus your bible, or Southern plus your bible, or DTS plus your bible”. For me this flies in the face of the 5 Solas!
Peter says it very clearly in 1 Peter 2: 9
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Nowhere does it say “you need a formal education to proclaim these Excellencies”. So I wonder are churches not preparing their members to be dropped on an Island with their bible and start a movement. If every member (at least those who have been around for at least a year) can’t be in a plane crash on a remote Island and plant a church, that means there is something wrong with the leadership there. If that person has to wait until someone with a seminary degree comes along to plant a church there we are in serious trouble. This is why I think the book is important and not only that, even historical. A blogger writes a book! That should be a motivation for all bloggers (though, I don’t even know proper sentence structure half the time so don’t count me in).
But this isn’t about a book this is about, your right to question anything coming from anybody! This is about JV versus Varsity Christianity where now we are beginning to become top heavy again. Where laymen are overlooked and pastors are esteemed. Where education comes before wisdom and a passion for the “Glory of God in all things”. We have lost our footing along the way. We have begun to esteem the very things that Christ and the Apostles spoke against. We are doing it all in the name of “qualification”. Each member of the body is fully capable of starting a movement as long as their motive is pure and they have a good grasp of the scriptures and how they fit together and point to Christ. I am thoroughly upset that this isn’t the heart of the Church! I pray that this doesn’t continue because if it does, we may need another reformation in the near future!