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The Family at Church

Joel Beeke has written a wonderful book “The Family at Church” to help families in their participation in the meetings of the church. He says, “Teach your children that every sermon counts for eternity. Salvation comes through faith, and faith comes through hearing God’s Word (Rom. 10:13-16). So every sermon is a matter of life and death.” Each chapter either deals with listening to the preached word, or coming to prayer meetings. He says, “The church must maintain the divinely ordered role of the family to establish a godly heritage.’

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The End of Patriarchy?

Homosexual Anglican Bishop Gene Robinson Declares the End of Patriarchy

Last week Duke University’s Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Life invited the openly gay Anglican Bishop, Gene Robinson to speak to students. During his stay, he announced the root issue causing so much commotion around his life,

“At first look, it appears to be about homosexuality. Step back and it appears to be about Biblical authority… If we step back one step further and notice this has way more power and energy than it ought to, my own opinion is that this is actually about the end of patriarchy.”

It is a brilliant statement, because he shows where the fight is, but he is one hundred percent wrong. First, it is about scripture, for it is from scripture that we derive patriarchy. Second, it is not about the end of patriarchy, it is about the devil’s attempt to end patriarchy. Patriarchy does not end – ever – but those who hate it will. Robinson and the gay/feminist agenda will try to stomp out patriarchy, but they will find that they are raging against a holy Father – God – who will have His way.

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Genesis, The Beginning of the Gospel

Here is a sermon summary of the book of Genesis

The gospel begins here in Genesis. Can you explain the gospel? Genesis gives you the outline. The good news opens with the Creator God and His beneficial, eternal kingdom (creation Gen 1-2). It continues with God, the Father of His children in rebellion (fall – Gen 3); it unfolds with His acting as their Redeemer (salvation by faith alone – Gen 15:6) and their Governor (discipleship – Gen 12-50). The rest of the Bible is about one single thing: “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself.” As it is with Genesis, all of the redemptive acts of God in the Old Testament point to Christ. All things are fulfilled in Christ. All things are explained by Christ.

 

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Why are Evangelicals Applauding the Stay at Home Dad?

Olivia St. John has written a powerful piece identifying one of the truly disturbing aspects of the Palin candidacy. She asks,

“So is Todd Palin ready to be ‘first lady’?”

Mrs. St. John relates how this absurdity works out in the real life of Todd Palin by citing a Palin spokeswoman,

“Todd… is involved in fulfilling ‘the ceremonial duties of a first gentleman.’ In fact, he recently hosted a tea for former first ladies of the state at the governor’s mansion in Juneau. I wonder if he held his pinkie upright as he sipped from his demitasse cup.”

The reality is that those who vote for this ticket are also applauding the stay at home dad. St. John states this succinctly,

“Todd will become a stay-at-home househusband.”

It should take our breath away that Todd Palin will be the very first man in history to play this role reversal in the highest offices of the land. Why? There is a reason this is the first time in history for such a thing. The short answer is that we have completely rejected the biblical order for home, church and state. We have abandoned our theological moorings regarding manhood and womanhood, motherhood and fatherhood. These moorings have been constructed from explicit statements of scripture that are not valued much anymore.

The author names this for what it really is – “Gender bending.”

“The Palins have clearly bought into this concept of “gender bending” and are now modeling it for our nation and the world.”

She then acknowledges that many regard this distortion of gender roles as actually harmful,

“Bioethicist Leon Kass says the current bending of gender roles is ‘harmful, even dehumanizing, to man, to woman, and especially to children’…”

But all of this is understandable when you look for the origin of this idea. St. John notes that this masculinization of women has a particular philosophical root – Marxism. She cites Bryce J. Christensen, author of “Divided We Fall: Family Discord and the Fracturing of America,”

“Christensen also states, ‘Utopian designs for masculinizing women, marginalizing men and vaporizing family homes are far more than literary fantasies. At least two real-world political movements – Marxism and feminism – have devoted considerable effort to pursuing [such] utopian objectives.’”

Finally, Mrs. St John exposes the strange philosophical hypocrisy that would lead the Christian voter to endorse role reversals,

“How ironic that Christian conservatives rightly faulting Obama as a socialist so readily applaud Palin whose feminist views, whether realized or not, share much in common with Marxism.”

“While Sarah Palin may be the darling of the pro-life movement, she is no sweetheart of the pro-family community. Its leaders could be in for some unpleasant surprises.”

So why are evangelicals applauding the househusband? My perspective is that the real reason evangelicals are applauding the stay at home dad is because our brains have been pickled in feminist and Marxist ideology for too long and we don’t think biblically anymore – and our salt has lost its taste in society. What we need to recognize is that today, the Christian community is praising what has always been abhorrent to those who have read and understood their Bibles for the past 2000 years.

Here at the beginning of the 21st century, we have become like the Corinthians,

“For you put up with fools gladly.” 2 Corinthians 11:19

For Olivia St. John’s article on Worldnet Daily click here

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Helpmeet From a Different Era – Susanna Spurgeon

 

Susanna Spurgeon speaks glowingly of the focus of her life in their Nightingale Lane home,

“Our children grew apace in the sweet country air, and my whole time and strength were given to advance my dear husband’s welfare and happiness. I deemed it my joy and privilege to be ever at his side, accompanying him on many of his preaching journeys, nursing him in his occasional illnesses, his delighted companion during his holiday trips, always watching over and tending him with the enthusiasm and sympathy which my great love for him inspired. I mention this… simply that I may record my heartfelt gratitude to God that, for a period of ten blessed years, I was permitted to encircle him with all the comforting care and tender affection which it was in a wife’s power to bestow.”

Then, after these ten years, she fell ill and he cared for her.

From, “The Life of Susannah Spurgeon,” by Charles Ray, The Banner of Truth Trust, p173

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Is Sarah Palin the Right Role Model?

What does the Bible say about women’s roles? My new book “Feminine by Design ~ The Twelve Pillars of Biblical Womanhood” answers this question using scripture alone.

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Feminist to Feminist: Sarah Palin’s “Muscular American Feminism”

Camille Paglia, hard core feminist writing in Salon, identifies the new style feminism of Sarah Palin which she says, is “feminism’s greatest leap since Madonna,”

“Conservative though she may be, I felt that Palin represented an explosion of a brand new style of muscular American feminism. At her startling debut on that day, she was combining male and female qualities in ways that I have never seen before. And she was somehow able to seem simultaneously reassuringly traditional and gung-ho futurist. In terms of redefining the persona for female authority and leadership, Palin has made the biggest step forward in feminism since Madonna channeled the dominatrix persona of high-glam Marlene Dietrich and rammed pro-sex, pro-beauty feminism down the throats of the prissy, victim-mongering, philistine feminist establishment.”

So, what’s the difference between the old feminism and the new? It is more than just lipstick! You can put lipstick and other things on feminism but it is still feminism.

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Established by the Gospel Romans 9-16

As we summarize the last half of the letter to the Romans, we should not forget to whom this letter was written. It was written to freshly saved, storm tossed believers in the great pagan city of Rome. Rome was a city overcome by idolatry and debauchery, and this letter shows us that God always has something to say to His people living in pagan cities. We too are these kinds of people. We live in the midst of “a wicked and perverse generation.”

There are many struggles confronting people justified by faith living in these conditions. So Paul does what he always does so well. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he puts his finger in the wound. And in doing so he heals that same wound by applying the salve of the Gospel. The wound is festering because a great and tragic exchange has been made. The glory of God has been “exchanged for a lie.” This is the great temptation – the great liability of people living in the cities of the world . All of our problems and all of our sorrows can be traced there. This great wound is the cause of the bloodshed in the souls of men. But God is not content to leave sinners in their wounds and so He sends the gospel through the apostle Paul. Paul does a loving thing and puts the healing finger of the Lord Jesus Christ right into the center of the festering wound of mankind – the exchanged glory of God for a lie.

These wounds are with us because we are like heat seeking missiles that follow the heat to the bulls eye of a target. We are all like these missiles, but we are comfort seeking missiles. We are quickly headed in the direction of our own perceived comfort. We go for the heat. We exchange the glory. In our pursuits we exchange the true comforts of the kingdom of heaven for the false ones on this earth. The apostle is presenting to us the only true comfort – the Gospel of God. And, God is the gospel. He is the “God of patience and comfort.” There is only one comfort in life and death and it is the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Not to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ… for obedience to the faith– to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever, Amen. Romans 16:25

And so it is true that the gospel is our only continuing comfort in this life. The gospel is our only hope for stability during this life. The gospel is our only hope in death. I know that I am not my own; That I have been bought by the precious blood of Christ; That my sins have been fully paid for; That the power of the devil has been broken; That He will escort me and preserve me to my heavenly home. This is the precious gospel of Jesus Christ.

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Searing the Conscience of the Church

Will Christian young ladies find a role model in Sarah Palin? We should beware because she does not promote the biblical vision of womanhood. She is not keeper at home (Titus 2:5). She is not a helper to her husband ( Genesis 2:18). She is building the kingdom of another man not her husband (Prov 31). Her lifestyle proclaims, “you can have it all – wife, mother, executive.”

Exalting this role model praises things that are contrary to the express will of God. Consider how the Sarah Palin candidacy is working to further sear the consciences of American Christians against the explicit principles and commands of scripture regarding biblical manhood and womanhood. This is one of the most significant attacks against the Christian conscience in a long time. This candidacy, which is an apologetic for females in authority, destroys the biblical vision of motherhood and home life. It happily and flauntingly rejects the creation order.

Consider that men who are applauding this, are leading the church into more confusion and error. It is alarming to me that they sweep explicit commands and principles under the carpet and pretend they are not there. They seem to do this for some greater good like ending abortion or stopping Obama.

The conscience is a very precious asset. It is a personal and detectable influence. This is the blessing of a conscience – it keeps you from a purely theoretical understanding of scripture. The conscience works in your heart to make the work of Christ real and visible in the world. It produces repentance and leads you to make adjustments. The conscience is a safeguard against false Christianity because it keeps our faith true.

But the conscience can be compromised. In 1 Tim 1:5 we read of a “good conscience” and in 1 Tim 3:9 “a pure conscience.” But in 1 Tim 4:1-2 we learn that we can have “a seared conscience.” This means that you can mistreat it and desensitize it. You can kill it’s sensitivity and have no feelings against sin. This is a devastating condition for we also learn in 1 Tim 1:19 that this kind of conscience “can cause shipwreck.” Hebrews 5:14 teaches us about how the conscience can be trained and dulled, “But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” If our consciences have not been exercised by scripture, but activated and excited and influenced by the role models of our culture, our consciences will be seared as they seem to be now. The conscience is a precious tool in the hands of God. But when it is dulled, the glory of God is diminished in the world.

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The Centrality of the Gospel, Romans 1-8

The gospel is central to all of life –  summarizing the message

If you do not understand the gospel you cannot be saved, you cannot rightly interpret your feelings, govern your thoughts, raise your children, maintain relationships with friends, conduct your work life or maintain loving church life.”

Romans begins and ends with the gospel. In Romans 1,Paul says that he is separated to the Gospel of God and that he is “not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God to salvation,” Romans ends with a prayer that “Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ.”

Statements by great men on the importance of the gospel make this perfectly clear

C.H. Spurgeon

“Never lose heart in the power of the gospel. Do not believe that there exists any man, much less any race of men, for whom the gospel is not fitted.” (CHS)

“Let this be to you the mark of true gospel preaching – where Christ is everything, and the creature is nothing; where it is salvation all of grace, through the work of the Holy Spirit applying to the soul the precious blood of Jesus.” (CHS)

“On Christ, and what he has done, my soul hangs for time and eternity. And if your soul also hangs there, it will be saved as surely as mine shall be. And if you are lost trusting in Christ, I will be lost with you and will go to hell with you. I must do so, for I have nothing else to rely upon but the fact that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, lived, died, was buried, rose again, went to heaven, and still lives and pleads for sinners at the right hand of God.” (CHS)

“We have an unchanging gospel, which is not today green grass and tomorrow dry hay; but always the abiding truth of the immutable Jehovah.” (CHS)

“The gospel is not ‘God loves us,’ but ‘God loves us at the cost of his Son.'” (Derek Thomas)

“As there is only one God, so there can be only one gospel.” (James Denney)

“The gospel begins and ends with what God is, not what we want or think we need.” (Tom Houston)

“If you believe what you like in the gospel, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself.” (Augustine)

“Whenever the gospel is preached it is as if God himself came into the midst of us.” (John Calvin)

“There is nothing attractive about the gospel to the natural man; the only man who finds the gospel attractive is the man who is convicted of sin.” (Oswald Chambers)

“A gospel that elevates man and dethrones God is not the gospel.” (Will Metzger)

“The man who does not glory in the gospel can surely know little of the plague of sin that is within him. (J.C. Ryle)

“The revelation of the gospel is to a world that is already under indictment for its universal rejection of God the Father.” (R.C. Sproul)

“The heart of the gospel is redemption, and the essence of redemption is the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ.” (C.H. Spurgeon)

 

In summing up Romans 1-8, I spent about a half hour by reminding of the centrality of the gospel throughout the letter, then we read Romans 1-8 out loud in the congregation

.Quotes From Together for the Gospel web site, May 17 and 19, 2006, “About the Gospel,” by Ligon Duncan

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A Vote for a Curse?

Your_Vote_Counts

On Wednesday night I gathered my family around the TV to hear what I told them would be a superior delivery of a speech. We were not disappointed – candidate Palin was out Raygunning Reagan (“the great communicator”) with her amazing platform skills. We heard things that we have been waiting for politicians to say and it was indeed refreshing. While we can all easily praise many of the perspectives that the candidate holds, we must think beyond appearances. While evangelicalism is giddy to vote for this candidate (in spite of many very serious biblical reasons not to) it is appropriate to pause to consider what this really is. For many, it may be a vote against Obama. But this vote is also on many other critical family issues. Consider these,

Why would anyone want to vote for something that the Bible calls a curse? Isaiah 3:12, “As for My people, children are their oppressors, And women rule over them. O My people! Those who lead you cause you to err, And destroy the way of your paths.”

Why would anyone want to vote for something that would cause the Word of God to be blasphemed? Titus 2:5, “that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.”

Why would anyone want to encourage a mother of five to leave home? Titus 2:5, “that they admonish the young women to be… homemakers.”

Why would anyone want to encourage a wife to submit to another man? Ephesians 5:22-24, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.”

Why would anyone want to encourage a woman to defy the authority structure of the universe? 1 Corinthians 11:3 “But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.”

Why would anyone want to vote for a woman, when scripture always requires men for civil offices? Ex. 18:21-27; Deut. 1:13; 17:14-20; 2 Sam. 23:3; Neh. 7:2; Prov. 16:10; 20:8, 28; 29:14.

People say, “My vote is a vote against Obama.” But we must remember it is also a vote for a curse, for blaspheming, for mothers to leave home, for wives to submit to another man, for women to rebel against the authority structure of the universe, for positions scripture limits to men?

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The False Promises of Women’s Liberation

The Lord Jesus Christ leads the world in desire that women be liberated, for He has said, “You shall know the truth and truth shall make you free.” But there is a false liberation that many are experiencing. The feminists cry “liberation, liberation,” but there is no liberation except this kind,

  • Liberation from God’s order for manhood and womanhood
  • Liberation from femininity and modesty
  • Liberation from men and service
  • Liberation from submission and authority
  • Liberation from staying home and a quiet life
  • Liberation from childbearing and generational vision
  • Liberation from the bondage of teaching and personal discipleship of her children
  • Liberation from home centered work and production
  • Liberation from mentoring the younger in her old age

In short, she has been “liberated” but she has also been stripped from all that God has declared to be beautiful and good. The home life that God has ordained for her provides the elemental building blocks for her satisfaction and success that extends for many generations. Shalom!

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When Motherhood Causes the Word of God to be Blasphemed

The Bible says that when a woman refuses to be a keeper at home she causes the Word of God to be blasphemed. This means that she creates conditions that discredit the Word of God. It gives people reason to rail against God. Instead of glorifying God, they blaspheme. This is why it is so striking that there is little Christian resistance to the recent announcement of the Republican Vice Presidential Candidate, Sarah Palin. But God has established that women be keepers at home, “that the word of God may not be blasphemed,” (Titus 2:5). With something so important at stake (blasphemy) it is no wonder that home making is so viciously attacked, so casually undervalued and so easily dismissed. And it is no wonder that a biblically illiterate and historically ignorant Christian populace does not even know what the Bible says about motherhood, women’s roles and the creation order… (more…)

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Why Men Keep Their Mouths Shut

Reasons men keep their mouths shut on the issue of women in authority.

John Knox proposes three reasons why men shrink back and say nothing about women ruling over men, even when such an obvious biblical principle is being violated. The first reason men keep their mouths shut is for fear that “It may seem to tend to sedition.” Second it is “dangerous to the writer and the publisher.” And third, it won’t fix the problem because it may never come to the ears of those who need to hear it. (First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women, John Knox, Presbyterian Heritage Publications, 1993, p12)

I am glad some men are speaking out,

Doug Phillips

Voddie Baucham

Kevin Swanson

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Feminism’s Historic “Firsts” Defy 1 Cor. 11:3

We are seeing a rush of “firsts” in history in the area of gender roles. Each one of them subverts the creation order.

  • First Female Republican Vice Presidential Candidate, Sarah Palin – 9-29-08.
  • First Female President, Harvard University, Drew G. Faust – 10-12-07.
  • First Female President, Yale University, Sharon Kugler – 10-13-07.
  • First Female Presidential Candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton – 1-20-07.
  • First Female Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi – 1-4-07.
  • First Female Secretary of State in US history, Madeline Albright – 12-5-96.

Why is this? It is because the historic Christian understanding of womanhood has been shelved. For some historical perspective we should remember that a female vice presidential candidate would have been unthinkable for our founding fathers. They were not all believers but they had a biblical world view regarding men and women and authority. They believed that women should never be in authority over a man for “God is the head of Christ, and Christ is the head of man and man is the head of woman” (1 Cor 11:3). If you get any of these out of order you have insurrection against the divine order. But today, order and authority are despised and thrown off. And to make matters worse, most people in the Christian community do not understand that it is just as much a heresy to put a man as head of Christ as it is to put a woman over a man.

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