A Church Controversy Solved

There is a protective influence in a local church when it embraces a historic confession of faith. This is why, for many years, we have been encouraging churches to adopt a confession of faith to lead them and to protect them.  We even produced a video resource for families to equip them in the Baptist Confession of 1689 called Family Foundations in Sound Doctrine.  One of the churches listed on the NCFIC network, which holds to the Second London Baptist Confession of 1689, recently experienced some controversy over the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints. Some men in the church were concerned about certain passages that seemed to say you could be truly saved and then lose your salvation, and began to discuss and defend this position with the church leaders. 

The leadership of the church was in full agreement with chapter 17 of the confession titled, “The Perseverance of the Saints.”  The elders asked the congregation to send them the passages that they struggled with that seemed to say a saved person could lose their salvation.  Then they spent several Sundays preaching through those difficult passages. Here is one of those messages focusing on: Hebrews 6:1-6, 2 Peter 2:21-22, and Galatians 5:4.  The sermon below, preached by Steve Grutzius, may be helpful to other Pastor’s facing a similar situation.

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NCFIC Declaration: Article IX – The Church and the Family Provide Overlapping Jurisdictions

We affirm that the local church and the family are separate, yet provide overlapping jurisdictions so that each member of the family who is a member of a local church is under the instruction and correction of that local body, where delegated divine authority is exercised for the equipping, maturation, admonition, and strengthening of the family and for the restraint of evil, while at the same time the local church must acknowledge and uphold the jurisdiction of the family (Matt. 16:18; 18:15-17; 28:19; 1 Cor. 4:15; 5:11-13; 7:3-5; Eph. 4:12; 5:22-33; 6:1-4; 1 Thess. 5:12-13; 1 Tim. 3:1, 14-15; 5:17; Titus 1:7, 9; Heb. 13:7, 17; 1 Peter 5:3).

We deny/reject as unscriptural the concept of the autonomous family in total isolation from or insubordinate to the church, as well as the tyrannical church that tramples on or belittles the legitimate exercise of authority within the family.

 

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Father-Daughter Retreat 2015

Our church recently had its annual Father-Daughter Retreat. It has been such a blessing to be able to do these. We have been hosting them for many years, and I am always very thankful for how they have shaped our families.

Over the course of the retreat, we had times of teaching and exhortation, fellowship, and on Saturday afternoon we went canoeing. Here are some pictures from the retreat. My favorite are the ones with my daughter Claudia, and my granddaughter Iona.

Here are the messages from the Father-Daughter retreat:
Beauty – Scott Brown (51:27)
Boldness – Dan Horn (50:16)
Contentment – Dan Horn (38:53)
Edification – Mike Davenport (35:29)
Industry – Jason Dohm (1:07:56)
Vision for Daughters – Scott Brown (04:34)

 

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Sin Affects Everything

Every person you pass by, every member of your family, and every little baby before its born and after have one thing in common: they are all affected by sin. All are conceived with a sin nature (Ps. 51:5), and are “by nature children of wrath” (Eph. 2:3).

Adam was, “by God’s appointment,” the representative head of all mankind. When he sinned, the guilt of it was imputed to all mankind, and the sin nature is passed on to all the generations after him. All men are conceived in sin (Ps. 51:5), meaning that all men have a sin nature from the moment of conception. We are, as the confession states, “utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil.”

This corruption does not cease to exist when God saves a sinner. It still remains! There is still that war that wages on in the soul of the regenerate. Although their sins have been pardoned and they have been declared righteous through Christ (justification), and by the power of the Holy Spirit are being made holy and mortifying their sins (sanctification), the corruption still remains. It will not be gone until we are glorified and in the presence of God (1 John 3:2).

This doctrine has major implications for our personal lives and the lives of our families. This week, we are making the sixth lecture available from Family Foundations in Sound Doctrine available to you to download. Follow this link to be taken to the download page for the lecture on chapter 6 of the confession.

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Memorial Day – Remembering Important Lessons from Iwo Jima

It is good for us to examine history and learn from the events that God, by His sovereignty, has chosen to bring to pass. As we approach Memorial Day, there is one event that I want to focus on: Iwo Jima. During this season of history, there are many lessons on trials, manhood and courage that we ought to be teaching our families.

The reality is: we are in a battle. The battle may not always be a physical battle, such as WWII, but we are always in a spiritual battle, and our young men need to be aware of that. We need to be encouraging our young men to be thinking multi-generationally, and not just for the moment.

We have three books in our store that highlight important lessons to be learned from Iwo Jima. They need real stories of real men displaying real courage and manhood, not the pseudo-heroes that our culture glorifies. 

In Preparing Boys for Battle, Scott Brown looks at the battle on Iwo Jima and draws 16 essential lessons that fathers ought to be teaching their sons to prepare them for the battle that lies ahead. Order Here

In Moment of Courage, Scott Brown highlights the stories of courage of Iwo Jima’s medal of honor recipients. It is important that we put real stories of courageous men in front of our boys, to teach them what true courage and manhood is all about. Order Here

In Coming In on a Wing and a Prayer, Kelly Bradrick tells the story of her grandfather, William Brown. She tells his story in the form of a letter to the next generation, reminding of the importance to refuse to live for the moment, but to think multi-generationally. Order Here

The WWII bundle is the best value offer. It includes all three books, and the price per book is cheaper than if you were to buy them individually. Order Here

Go to the NCFIC store to order, or click on the order buttons above to be taken to the store page for that particular product.

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Church Leader’s Meeting in Port Orchard, WA

Craig Houston and I will be hosting a church leader’s luncheon in Port Orchard, WA on Saturday, May 30. This will be a time of prayer, mutual encouragement, fellowship, and Craig and I will be giving some exhortations. All church leaders, and aspiring church leaders, are welcome to attend.

Our prayer is that the church leaders in this region will get to know one another and in turn work together for the advancement of the Gospel and the beautification of the church. I hope that you will be able to join us! If you are unable to attend, please keep us in prayer! If it is too far, please let us know and we might be able to arrange a meeting closer to you.

For more information, or to register, please go the the events page for the luncheon.

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Church Leader’s Luncheon – Phoenix, AZ

Several pastors in the Southwest surrounding Phoenix, and I will be hosting a church leader’s luncheon in Phoenix, AZ on Friday, May 29. All church leaders (pastors, elders, and deacons), as well as aspiring church leaders, are invited to attend.

Our prayer is that the church leaders in this region will get to know one another and in turn work together for the advancement of the Gospel and the beautification of the church. This event will be a time of prayer, mutual encouragement, fellowship, and there will be some exhortations given by Jason Young and I.

I hope that you will be able to join us! If you are unable to come, please keep us in prayer! If it is too far for you to travel, please contact the regional facilitator for your region, Greg Thornberg, and he might be able to schedule a luncheon closer to you.

For more information, or to register, please go to the events page for the meeting.

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Does Your Family Understand Divine Providence?

It is important that our families are grounded in a biblical view of the doctrine of God’s providence. This week, we are making the fifth lecture, which is discussing the chapter on God’s providence from the 1689 London Baptist Confession, available to you to download for free.

There is not a single thing that is outside of God’s providence. God is in control of all things. He works out all things for His glory and the good of His people.

If you are just hearing about these free downloads, don’t worry. Here are the links to the previous chapters for you to download:

Chapter 1 – Of the Holy Scriptures
Chapter 2 – Of God and the Holy Trinity
Chapter 3 – Of God’s Decree
Chapter 4 – Of Creation

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Happy Birthday to J.C. Ryle!

Yesterday marked the birthday of a man who had a tremendous impact on the church then, and still does today: J.C. Ryle. To commemorate his birthday, we are announcing the release and a sale on his most well-known book: Holiness.

We are offering the book at a 15% off discount. That means the total for the book is: $16.96 (cheaper than Amazon), and it is a nice hardcover edition (see the picture).

This book has been a tremendous blessing to many people. I have found it personally helpful as I have been preparing for our national conference this year on holiness.

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NCFIC Declaration: Article VIII – Elders Managing Their Households Well

We affirm that a biblically ordered home, including the way an elder loves his wife and raises his children, is of great importance to the church because elders are qualified and tested partly by how they manage their households as well as how the household responds to his rule. “For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the Church of God” (1 Tim. 3:4-5; Titus 1:5-9).

We deny/reject that the biblical qualifications for the home life of an elder or potential elder should be dismissed or minimized or that churches can ignore the equipping of fathers to lead their own houses according to the Word of God, bringing up their children “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord,” and having their “children in subjection with all gravity” (Ephesians 6:1-4; 1 Tim. 3:4).

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Church Leader’s Meeting in Boise, ID

 

Church leaders and aspiring church leaders in the northwestern region of the United States are invited to a church leader’s luncheon in Boise, ID on May 28. This luncheon will be a time of prayer, mutual encouragement, fellowship, and exhortation.

It has been a real joy to travel around the country and spend time with the church leaders in the different regions. It has been such a blessing to see the Lord working in the different churches around the country. I praise the Lord for the reformation that is taking place! And I pray that God would be glorified and the church beautified through the relationships that are built at these meetings.

The cost of the luncheon is $5, and that includes lunch. I hope that you will be able to join us for this meeting!

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Biblical Headship – Building a God-Saturated Home

 

When God appoints a man to be the head it’s to be the husband of his wife and to love her as Christ loved the church. That’s an astonishing requirement. Who’s sufficient for these things? And to try to get the modern American male to understand what it means to live as a self-sacrificing head of a wife is still a great challenge.

I am thankful to see that the men that the Lord has given enough light to, to really begin to do these things. But what we have been so brainwashed, we’ve been so in-culturated that to even some of the men who, “Catch the vision,” really still struggle.

Many fathers say, “Yes, I don’t want my children in public schools, and I don’t want them exposed to so many of these things,” but they don’t give them a God-saturated world. They’re pretty good sometimes at saying, “No, don’t do this,” and “we don’t want you to do that,” but they don’t know how to make a big Christ-centered life to bring their children up in.

They don’t often seem to understand the eternal value of family worship and taking those children every night, even if it’s just for a few moments, and holding them  and etching into their brains, by the power of the Holy Spirit, “Daddy holding me and reading the Scriptures to me,” “Daddy holding me and praying that Jesus would open my heart.” I mean children ought to go to their last breath remembering that daddy wanted them to walk with Jesus.

So it’s one thing to on board and say, “Yeah, we want to be a homeschooling family, and we want our children not to be exposed to all this wicked stuff,” but this is missing the central point.

The point is we want to bring our children up in a home where Christ is honored, where our children know and understand that day by day daddy’s going to read the Scriptures to me, mommy is going to pray with me.

So dads, they are important. And I see signs that some of them are growing, but I don’t see enough, even in some of the age-integrated circles. So that’s a very real concern for me.

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Free Download – Chapter 4 of Family Foundations in Sound Doctrine

 

When someone says “Creation” or “Evolution,” we often think of it in terms of its impact on science; but this issue also affects other area of our thinking. It impacts our views on the environment, the complementary roles of man and woman, work, and other areas.

Most importantly, if God is the Creator of all things, then He owns all things. It puts man in a completely different category, an infinitely inferior category, since man is God’s creation and He is the Creator. We are the clay, He is the potter, and He can mold us and use us as He pleases.

This week, we are giving away the fourth lecture of the Family Foundations in Sound Doctrine series. In this lecture, Scott Brown, Dan Horn, and Jason Dohm, discuss chapter 4 of the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith titled, “Of God’s Creation.” It is important that we are grounded in a right view of the doctrine of God’s Creation.

We are making this resource available to you for free. You can download the lecture on chapter 4 here. In case you missed them, you can still download the lectures on the first, second, and third chaptersof the confession.

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4 Reasons Why Family Worship is Required

 

In his article, “What God Is to Families,” Thomas Doolittle presents a compelling and biblical case for the necessity of family worship. Why is it required? He offers four reasons and then his conclusion: “if God be the Founder, Owner, Governor,and Benefactor of families, then families are jointly to worship God and pray unto Him.”1 He explains his arguments further in the article:


What God Is to Families

THOMAS DOOLITTLE (C.1632-1707)

Proposition 1

God is the Founder of all families: therefore families should pray unto Him— The household society usually is of these three combinations: husband and wife, parents and children, masters or servants: though there may be a family where all these are not, yet take it in its latitude,and all these combinations are from God. The institution of husband and wife is from God (Gen. 2:21- 24), and of parents and children, and masters and servants. And the authority of one over the other and the subjection of the one to the other is instituted by God and founded in the law of nature, which is God’s law. The persons, singly considered, have not their beings only from God, but the very being of this society is also from Him. And as a single person is therefore bound to devote himself to the service of God and pray unto Him, so a household society is therefore bound jointly to do the same because a society is from God. And hath God appointed this society only for the mutual comfort of the members thereof or of the whole, and not also for His own glory, even from the whole? And doth that household society live to God’s glory that does not serve Him and pray unto Him? Hath God given authority to the one to command and rule and the other a charge to obey only in reference to worldly things and not at all to spiritual? Can the comfort of the creature be God’s ultimate end? No: it is His own glory. Is one, by authority from God and order of nature, paterfamilias,“the master of the family,” so called in reference to his servants, as well as to his children, because of the care he should take of the souls of servants and of their worshipping God with him as well as of his children? And should he not improve this power that God hath given him over them all, for God and the welfare of all their souls in calling them jointly to worship God and pray unto Him? Let reason and religion judge.

Proposition 2

God is the Owner of our families; therefore they should pray unto Him— God being our absolute Owner and Proprietor, not only by reason of the supereminencyof His nature, but also through the right of creation giving us our being and all we have, we ourselves and all that is ours (we and ours being more His than our own) are unquestionably bound to lay out ourselves for God, wherein we might be most useful for our Owner’s interest and glory. Whose are your families, if not God’s then? Will you disclaim God as your Owner? If you should, yet in some sense, you are His still, though not by resignation and wholly devoting of yourselves to Him. Whose would you have your families to be—God’s own or the devil’s own? Hath the devil any title to your families? And shall your families serve the devil, that hath no title to you either of creation, preservation, or redemption? And will you not serve God, that by all this hath a title to you and an absolute, full propriety in you? If you will say your families are the devil’s, then serve him. But if you say they are God’s, then serve Him. Or will you say, “We are God’s, but we will serve the devil?” If you do not say so, yet if you do so, is it not as bad? Why are you not ashamed to do that, which you are ashamed to speak out and tell the world what you do? Speak, then, in the fear of God. If your families, as such, be God’s own, is it not reasonable that you should serve Him and pray unto Him?

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Baltimore Riots and the Importance of Fathers

 

Lee Culpepper asks, “Do Baltimore Fathers Matter?” This is such an important question for all of us. Problems in our society always can be traced backward to root causes. He makes two striking observations that centers our attention on one of the critical facts of the situation. First he notes that “we haven’t heard much about the father of Freddie Gray,” and “we also haven’t heard much about other Baltimore fathers parenting their children in the midst of the chaos.” He identifies what has been the focus of the media,  “Instead, we have seen government agencies trying to police the youth through a show of force while still allowing juvenile delinquents to commit crimes. We see complete strangers trying to talk sense to the kids. We see criminal gangs masquerading as noble citizens and managing the chaos through a well-deserved reputation for vengeance. We have seen a desperate single mother trying to discipline her teenage son, but we haven’t seen fathers. Where are the fathers? This is the uncomfortable questions liberals refuse to ask.”

The breakdown of fatherhood is a critical matter, not just in the black community, but it is the source of heartbreak in every community. Culpepper is right to ask, “How much of the violence and rebellion in Baltimore is simply a consequence of the destruction of families?”

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