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Check Out Our Marriage Blog

Deborah and I are starting a blog about marriage. For the first post, click here

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The Worldwide War Against Baby Girls – The Economist Reports

The Economist Magazine has released a stunning article on the war against girls entitled, The worldwide war on baby girls. This reality stands in sharp contrast with God’s disposition toward girls. God has built so many protections around them through representative heads (fathers and husbands and church elders and civil magistrates) and commanded men to nourish and cherish their wives and give their lives for them. Here God shows Himself to be the Supreme Benefactor of girls.

Albert Mohler gives a powerful analysis of the article. One of the startling elements of this article in the Economist is the story of a Chinese writer who witnessed the killing of a baby girl, “‘But that’s…murder…and you’re the police!’ The little foot was still now. The policemen held on to me for a few more minutes. ‘Doing a baby girl is not a big thing around here,’ [an] older woman said comfortingly. ‘That’s a living child,’ I said in a shaking voice, pointing at the slops pail. ‘It’s not a child,’ she corrected me. ‘It’s a girl baby, and we can’t keep it. Around these parts, you can’t get by without a son. Girl babies don’t count.’”

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What Is the Liberty We Have in Christ?

Last Lord’s Day, I preached on Galatians 5:1-13 where Paul begins to apply the doctrine of justification by faith. He has been saying that not one ounce of works can save you. As a result of this, many believe that the law has lost all its application in our era. In contrast, the Second London Baptist Confession of 1689 has clear answers for what Christian liberty means. We live in an era where people think Christian liberty means they can disregard what God has said in Scripture. Our Christian forefathers knew better.
CHAPTER 21: OF CHRISTIAN LIBERTY AND LIBERTY OF CONSCIENCE

Paragraph 1. The liberty which Christ has purchased for believers under the gospel, consists in their freedom from the guilt of sin, the condemning wrath of God, the severity and curse of the law,

Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: (Galatians 3:13)

and in their being delivered from this present evil world,

Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, (Galatians 1:3)

bondage to Satan,

To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. (Acts 26:18)

and dominion of sin,

For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: (Romans 8:3)

from the evil of afflictions,

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

the fear and sting of death, the victory of the grave,

So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:54-57)

and everlasting damnation:

When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. (2 Thessalonians 1:10)

as also in their free access to God, and their yielding obedience unto Him, not out of slavish fear,

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. (Romans 8:15)

but a child-like love and willing mind.

The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. (Luke 1:73-75)

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18)

All which were common also to believers under the law for the substance of them;

So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham…That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (Galatians 3:9,14)

but under the New Testament the liberty of Christians is further enlarged, in their freedom from the yoke of a ceremonial law, to which the Jewish church was subjected, and in greater boldness of access to the throne of grace, and in fuller communications of the free Spirit of God, than believers under the law did ordinarily partake of.

He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) (John 7:38-39)

Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; (Hebrews 10:19-21)

Paragraph 2. God alone is Lord of the conscience,

There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another? (James 4:12)

Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. (Romans 14:4)

and has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are in any thing contrary to his word, or not contained in it.

But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye… And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, (Acts 4:19, 29)

Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men. (1 Corinthians 7:23)

But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. (Matthew 15:9)

So that to believe such doctrines, or obey such commands out of conscience, is to betray true liberty of conscience;

Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, …Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh. (Colossians 2:20, 22-23)

and the requiring of an implicit faith, an absolute and blind obedience, is to destroy liberty of conscience and reason also.

Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? (1 Corinthians 3:5)

Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand. (2 Corinthians 1:24)

Paragraph 3. They who upon pretence of Christian liberty do practice any sin, or cherish any sinful lust, as they do thereby pervert the main design of the grace of the gospel to their own destruction,

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? (Romans 6:1-2)

so they wholly destroy the end of Christian liberty, which is, that being delivered out of the hands of all our enemies, we might serve the Lord without fear, in holiness and righeousness before Him, all the days of our lives.

For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. (Galatians 5:13)

For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error…For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. (2 Peter 2:18, 21)

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The Global Majority Vote is in – A Woman’s Place is NOT in the Home

74% of the people in the world believe a woman’s place is definitely NOT in the home.

“The survey of over 24,000 adults in 23 countries, conducted by Reuters/Ipsos and released on the eve of International Women’s Day, showed that people from India (54 percent), Turkey (52 percent), Japan (48 percent), China, Russia, Hungary (34 percent each) and South Korea (33 percent) were most likely to agree that women should not work.”

Over the last century and a half, we have undergone vast changes in the way we understand the purpose and activities of the family. This is seen most markedly in the nature of family education, economics and co-existence. Homes are startlingly mother and child free. The children have been sent to a government institution. Mothers have escaped to the cubicle. Fathers are catapulted to the corporation.

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California Megachurch Makes a Startling Statement about Age Segregation

 

Cornerstone Church, a multi-site church in Simi Valley Califorina headed by Francis Chan has a statement on the church web site that questions age and life stage segregation in the church. They say they no longer believe that the church should be segregated in this manner. They say,

“In looking for Adult Ministry, most people are looking to get connected to a men’s ministry, women’s ministry, young marrieds’ ministry, divorced ministry or other type of life-stage/age-stage ministry.”

This makes sense, and for years Cornerstone has been structured around reaching out to people based on their age, life-stage, and interestes. While we are excited about all that God has accomplished at Cornerstone through various life-stage ministries over the years, after much assessment, prayer, and studying of the Scriptures, we have come to strongly believe that the body of Christ is NOT supposed to be divided unnecessarily along age, gender, or life-stage lines.

We desire to meet you where you are, whether you are in need of counseling or if you are simply looking for fellowship with other believers. While we are absolutely committed to ministering to you for the glory of God, we believe that ministry should not be designed according to what fits us best. God has designed the body of Christ to be organized in such a way that relationships are built so that God’s mission is accomplished through His people. We have learned the hard way that the fact that a ministry fits you as an individual doesn’t mean that Cornerstone is necessarily accomplishing what God has called us to be about.

In fact, the key to understanding our mission is realizing that it doesn’t start with you. It starts with understanding God and His heart, plan, and purpose for this world. Only from there can we understand how you as an individual are called to be a part of God’s larger purposes.

We want to get you connected to what God is doing through believers here at Cornerstone by getting you in touch with people who live near you. Please visit your community page to find out how to connect with a community of believers in your neighborhood.”

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A Prayer for the Close of the Sabbath Day

“Most Merciful Father, we seek Thy presence at the close of the day. We might have that presence in fullness all day long; but we are so forgetful of Thee, and so carried away on the stream of passing things, or so drawn and hither and thither by the distractions of life, that we are glad when Thou dost spread the calm shadow of Thy presence, and invite us to come within its stillness and solemnity. Be a little sanctuary to us here to-night. May we hear the voice of the Lord God at the cool of the day. May our souls be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and our mouths shall praise Thee when we remember Thee upon our beds.

We thank Thee for the many and rich mercies of this day, for the goodness of Thy house, even of Thy holy place. How precious have been Thy thoughts to us-ward, and how great has been the sum of them! May the good seed of divine truth find in our hearts “good ground” in which to grow, and in our lives a field in which to ripen. Preserve in us every holy impression and helpful memory. Nourish us still by the bread of life; and take us from one Sabbath to another, “as from strength to strength,” until we appear in the heavenly Zion before Thee. Save us from hardness, and coldness, and spiritual indifference; and as Thou art ever about us in Thy tenderness, and Thy love in its many and merciful ministrations is preventing us on every side, O make us tender, and receptive, and contrite, and humble, that we may thus grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

We praise Thee for Him: for all He has told us of Thy fatherhood, for all He has done for us in His atonement, and for all He continues to be and do for us still, in Heaven as our High Priest, and here on earth as an ever-present friend, we praise Thee. Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift. May we rejoice in the Lord alway. May His blood cleanse us everyday from all sin. May His love be a conscious and homefelt reality in our hearts. May His suffering explain and sanctify ours, so that all things shall work together for our good.

We especially beseech Thee to grant unto us a deeper and more abiding loyalty to Him as our only rightful Lord, and a more fervent and steady zeal for the service of His kingdom. Ah, how slack have we been, how careless, how unprofitable! How timid our confession! How scanty our toils! Oftentimes we have almost betrayed our Master, and we have never given Him a full and undivided consecration. Help us now to yield ourselves unto God through Christ our Saviour, without reserve. May we now present the living sacrifice, and, overcoming by our faith and resolution the fear of the world and the reluctance of the flesh, may we follow and serve the Lord wholly, and unto the end. O grant us thy Holy Spirit as a Spirit of power, to vitalize our convictions and strengthen our principles, and to set our will more fixedly to the duty of each day, until the day of life shall come to its close, and the duty of life shall be all done, By His indwelling may we know the things of Christ in all their clearness and beauty, and be led so to come to Him not only in faith, but in daily consecration and active service, that we may find His yoke to be easy and His burden to be light.

Help us to bear our troubles and perplexities as those who know that they are appointed, and that they are swiftly passing away. Stay us so with grace that we may not weary of the chastening that is for our profit, that we may not fail of the far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory which all our suffering should work out. As our mortal days and nights come and go, may we look with a brightening hope to the everlasting and unclouded day of heaven; and when at length, in Thine own good time, we leave the earthly toil and sorrow behind, may we through grace enter into the city where already are gathered together the pilgrim people who have lived and died before us.

May all who are dear to us be of that pilgrim company. May none be left to set their affection on things on the earth. May none despise, or even neglect, the good part. May they hasten to be wise. May they seek the Lord while He is to be found, and call upon Him while He is near. May religion open to them its joys and adorn them with its beauty, and may they and we go, henceforth, in the ways which are pleasantness, and in the paths which are peace.

Bless our native land, and our most gracious sovereign, and all the royal family. Give peace in our times, and turn away Thy judgments. Make known thy truth, and let Thy glory shine over all the earth, and may Thy will, speedily, be done on earth, even as it is done in heaven.

We now humbly and trustfully commit ourselves to Thee for the night, and even for evermore, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

The Home Preacher or Church in the House edited by Rev Norman Macleod D.,D,.
William MacKenzie,Howard St.
22 Paternoster Row, London pages 240-241

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Upcoming Child Training Conference – May 7-8.

Friday evening will be at the Brown’s Barn for parents only (7-9:30pm); Saturday will be at the Tuxedo Junction (9am-4pm) for the whole family. This is sponsored by Hope Baptist church, but everyone is invited. Details coming soon.

Tuxedo Junction Inc.
405 South Brooks Street
Wake Forest, NC 27587

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NCFIC Internship Opportunity

One of the most exciting parts of our work at the NCFIC over the past year has been what God has done through our intern program. We have seen God work in a mighty way through daily discipleship, hard work, the camaraderie, opportunity, and sacrifice involved in being an NCFIC intern. We have seen men grow, stretched, convicted, and even transformed.

The NCFIC Internship is a men’s discipleship program consisting of personal study, local church involvement, and ministry to churches around the nation through conferences and internet communications. Interns will be involved in the daily work of the NCFIC offices, daily discipleship with Scott Brown and Peter Bradrick, weekly involvement in the activities and mentorship of Hope Baptist church as well as receive significant investment from the leaders of Hope Baptist Church.

We are excited to announce that there are still openings for the summer/fall 2010 internship which begins August 2nd and ends December 20th. The application deadline is March 31, 2010.

If you have any questions, contact Mr. Peter Bradrick | [email protected]

To apply, click here.

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NCFIC Book Blog — Pastoral Care for Singles in Geneva

"As a shepherd of a local flock, it is evident that Calvin had observed many of the tumultuous results of mishandling the single years. He seemed to have great compassion for the single people in his church for he provided much counsel to assist them in governing the critical years preceding marriage. He preached directly to the issues which they faced and dealt forthrightly with the concerns they had regarding marriage and everything leading up to it. He did not provide them with shallow platitudes. Rather, he gave incisive direction for handling a diverse range of complex issues. Through his expositions, letters, commentaries, and the Institutes, he dissected the issues of the single life."

Text quoted from Preparing for Marriage: The Premarital Counsel of John Calvin edited by Scott T. Brown.  For more details about this book or to purchase click HERE.

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Elder Discipleship

This month we are reading what is in my mind a very special and practical book – John MacArthur’s "Preaching: How to Preach Biblically." The introduction is worth the price of the book… It is a must read for anyone who desires to preach the Word in a local church. And, it demonstrates how important expository preaching is for the flock.

 

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German Homeschoolers Seek Asylum in the United States

Pressures against homeshoolers around the world have been in the news over the last couple of years. Here Albert Mohler reports on the recent flight of a German family to the United States for asylum after being fined $11,000 for their refusal to send their children to the government schools, while their children were taken from them and transported to school by the government.

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The Perpetuity of the Law of God

We have just loaded a powerful resource on the article section of our web site. Charles Spurgeon had some very crisp and powerful things to say about “The Perpetuity of the Law of God.” Below is his introduction. I highly recommend reading his whole article here.

“Very great mistakes have been made about the law. Not long ago there were those about us who affirmed that the law is utterly abrogated and abolished, and they openly taught that believers were not bound to make the moral law the rule of their lives. What would have been sin in other men they counted to be no sin in themselves. From such Antinomianism as that may God deliver us. We are not under the law as the method of salvation, but we delight to see the law in the hand of Christ, and desire to obey the Lord in all things. Others have been met with who have taught that Jesus mitigated and softened down the law, and they have in effect said that the perfect law of God was too hard for imperfect beings, and therefore God has given us a milder and easier rule. These tread dangerously upon the verge of terrible error, although we believe that they are little aware of it.

“Alas, we have met with authors who have gone much further than this, and have railed at the law. Oh, the hard words that I have sometimes read against the holy law of God! How very unlike to those which the apostle used when he said, “The law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” How different from the reverent spirit which made him say, “I delight in the law of God after the inward man.” You know how David loved the law of God, and sang its praises all through the longest of the Psalms. The heart of every real Christian is most reverent towards the law of the Lord. It is perfect, nay, it is perfection itself. We believe that we shall never have reached perfection till we are perfectly conformed to it. A sanctification which stops short of perfect conformity to the law cannot truthfully be called perfect sanctification, for every want of exact conformity to the perfect law is sin. May the Spirit of God help us while, in imitation of our Lord Jesus, we endeavor to magnify the law.”

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Here’s a Big Regulative Principle Violation

Kairos Journal has given us an article, “Christianity Gone to the Dogs” that explains how disconnected people can get from biblical patterns for church life. It reports that more that 500 churches in America have performed blessings for animals.

The article says, “Every Sunday at 5 p.m., Pilgrim Congregational Church in North Weymouth, Massachusetts, opens its doors for a special pet worship service called ‘Woof ‘n Worship.’ There, dog owners can attend church together with their four-legged companions and be led in prayers such as, ‘Dear Lord, please make me the person my dog thinks I am.’ In the event of any accidents during the service, the church equipped its sanctuary with ‘doggy clean-up stations.’ The initial Woof ‘n Worship included a special blessing of the animals. Pastor Rachel Bickford explained that she prayed about opening services to dogs before deciding that ‘it would be just so much fun.'”

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“Ama La Iglesia” Conference Dec. 9-11

Later this year, Dec. 9-11 at our Love the Church conference, we will also be providing “Ama la Iglesia” a mini-conference concurrent with our Love the Church conference with messages preached in Spanish (Paul Washer, Josue Raimundo) as well as with word-for-word simultaneous translation.

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A Child of the Movement – An excerpt from my upcoming book on Youth Ministry

I am a child of the modern youth ministry movement. I grew up in its heyday. I read the books and studied the programs and did my best to ensure that the techniques they espoused were done in our church. I have made bold statements such as, after you hire a senior pastor, ”youth” and “music” ministers are next. I have argued that you have to meet youth on their ground.

This perspective was driven by my own experience as a young man. I was profoundly impacted by the campus workers of Campus Crusade for Christ while I was in High School. They brought the gospel, and God saw to it that they would find me. Their ministry played a role in my conversion, and when I heard the news that Bill Bright died, I sat in my office and wept like a baby out of thankfulness for those missionaries who came to my high school campus. They preached the gospel, and it fell on sinful but fruitful ground, and I was converted. They loved the youth they sought to reach, they loved me, and I have great love for the youth ministers who came.

When it comes to modern youth ministry, I’ve done it all. I have been a youth minister, singles minister, senior minister, and everything in between. I have worked in the nursery, played guitar for the toddlers, and taught High School Sunday School class. I have been involved in hiring and firing youth ministers. I have said, along with the best of them, “It is a sin to bore a kid with the gospel.” I know crowd breakers and “chubby bunnies,” (a game of stuffing marshmallows in your mouth) I bought the literature of “Youth Specialties” and even started a “Campus Life” chapter under the leadership of “Youth for Christ.” In my twenties and early thirties I could have been a poster child for modern youth ministry techniques.

A Return to Sola Scriptura

Over time, however, my thinking regarding youth ministry has undergone a radical transformation. This process was fueled by a return to a cardinal tenet of the Protestant faith, Sola Scriptura. This principle argues that God’s Word alone is sufficient for faith and practice (2 Timothy 3:15-16; Deut 4:1-4). It makes the Bible the exclusive foundation for all that we do in the home, the church, the state, and every other realm of society. It is rooted in the belief that man’s notions for how to live must be set aside for God’s clear directives as found in His inspired, written revelation.

I have been humbled to learn that God’s vision for training young people is powerful, profound, and comprehensive, and that the man-centered model I once advocated is radically different.

What I have concluded is this: Modern Christian culture has set aside the Word of God on this matter. God has spoken clearly and beautifully about how to minister to youth. He has given us a detailed blueprint of how to train our children. Yet, largely speaking, we have failed to recognize and embrace it. Rather than follow His plan, we have invented our own devices of training instead. We’ve exalted the world’s methods over God’s Word, and the outcome has been disastrous.

As an active participant in this faulty approach to youth ministry, I believe it is imperative that we deconstruct it and then rebuild in light of the teaching of Scripture alone. In its stead there should be a biblical plan and a vision of victory for discipling the young people of the next generation. Such is the purpose of this book.

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