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A Day of Honor: Memorial Day – Part 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Day of Honor: Memorial Day

Blogging the NCFIC Confession: Article V

Church’s Leadership and Ministry?

 

We affirm God’s revealed pattern in Scripture that the church be led and fed by a plurality of biblically qualified elders whom the Holy Spirit raises up from within the local church, who equip all the saints to do the work of ministry, and who may or may not be remunerated (Acts 14:23; 20:28; Eph. 4:11-12; 1 Tim. 5:17-18).

?We deny/reject the two unbiblical extremes of our day: authoritarian, one-man leadership/one-man ministry that impedes the biblical functioning of the body, and leaderless house churches that disregard the biblical necessity of elders

View the full NCFIC Confession HERE.

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What does NCFIC think about Christian creeds and confessions?

We agree with the historic position on the sufficiency of Scripture which views the various creeds and confessions as invaluable (though not infallible) summaries of the Word of God. A creed (meaning “I believe”) is inevitable—even the anti-creedal statement, “No creed but Christ,” is a creed! The Christian creeds and confessions affirm the authority of God’s Word and provide the hermeneutical framework (the Holy Spirit working through His whole church) to help us rightly interpret it. All the cults profess simple “belief in the Bible,” yet they reject the creeds and confessions. We recognize the Nicene Creed as a standard of basic Christian orthodoxy.

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Blogging the NCFIC Confession: Article IV

Church’s Head is Christ

 

We affirm our Lord Jesus Christ as the Head of His church, having purchased it with His own blood and having instructed it through His Word in order to make known the manifold wisdom of God and bring glory to Himself (Col. 1:18).

We deny/reject the self-importance and pride of man to usurp Christ’s headship of His church by introducing man made programs and rules that disregard the Law of Christ.

View the full NCFIC Confession HERE.

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J.I. Packer on Age Segregation in the Church

J.I. Packer says, “generations should be mixed up in the church for the glory of God”.

In an interview with Modern Reformation Magazine, J.I. Packer was asked the question:

“What do you think about a niche marketing approach that has by virtue of the different worship styles – teen pop, alternative, and adult boomer – created generational segregation?”

 

Packer replies,

 

We have separated the ages, very much to the loss of each age. In the New Testament, the Christian church is an all-age community, and in real life the experience of the family to look no further should convince us that the interaction of the ages is enriching. The principle is that generations should be mixed up in the church for the glory of God. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t disciple groups of people of the same age or the same sex separately from time to time. That’s a good thing to do. But for the most part, the right thing is the mixed community in which everybody is making the effort to understand and empathize with all the other people in the other age groups. Make the effort is the key phrase here. Older people tend not to make the effort to understand younger people, and younger people are actually encouraged not to make the effort to understand older people. That’s a loss of a crucial Christian value in my judgment. If worship styles are so fixed that what’s being offered fits the expectations, the hopes, even the prejudices, of any one of these groups as opposed to the others, I don’t believe the worship style glorifies God, and some change, some reformation, some adjustment, and some enlargement of spiritual vision is really called for.


Modern Reformation–July/August, 2008. Vol. 17, No. 4

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Anatomy of Collapse

 

“I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” –I Tim 3:15

 

The continuing fluctuation of the financial markets as well as the unending uncertainty in the economy should serve as a warning for the modern church. Mortgaging the future for the present is a common activity among men. The collapse of businesses and the condition of the markets recently is due in part to this tendency to lose our way and be swept along with worldly wisdom by amassing debt to secure rapid growth. These companies had the growth. They had thousands of employees. They were flush with cash. But their business model required dangerously high amounts of debt and insanely high valuations in order to carry their debt structure and operating model. So far we have seen numerous large companies go bust because they did not build a solid financial foundation. I believe that we will most likely see additional company failures in the future because of the lust for worldly success at the expense of substance.

This is a common tendency among men. Men tend to be posers. We want things to look good even though we know they are bankrupt. This is nothing new. Jesus referred to the posers of His day as “whitewashed tombs”.

This tendency has affected our churches. We have large buildings and growing churches with programs that target every conceivable demographic slice. We appear to be reaching people. So, I must say that it is a good looking collapse. But, this is a facade. “Whitewash” too often disguises an inwardly decrepit building. The appearance looks good enough, but underneath there has been a breakdown of basic Biblical order, practice and authority.

In the process, we gained more church members, but sustained fewer long term disciples. We can boast of a full portfolio of programs, but we neglect the basic order and authority of the church and the family.

In our postmodern, relativistic culture, it is important to understand, when it comes to the church, there is a right way and a wrong way. There is a way that “you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God.” (I Tim 3:15) One of the “wrong ways” that is commonly accepted in the church is the diminished role of the father in the spiritual training of children. This has collapsed the Biblical order. Fathers don’t do this work anymore as it has been distributed to others.

My view is that we have come by the economic downturn honestly. We did not intend to reject the Biblical order. We got where we are through a mix of creativity and good old American pragmatism. We even prayed about it. And, in our creativity, we have amassed so many non biblical structures, and have become so busy with them, that they have forced us to push the Biblical things to the periphery. It was a poor swap that has caused the mortgaging of the future for the present success.

What we gained is programmatic Christianity where everything is packaged in a professionally run program.

What we lost was the relational model of Hebrew discipleship where the father was the chief delivery system for scriptural truth.

We have gained youth groups, but lost our youth. We have gained our Sunday schools, but lost our fathers. Collapse!

It is time for reformation. It is time for a return to the Biblical order for the home and the church for the delivery of the message of the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ to the world, for the eternal joy of all who believe, to a thousand generations.

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Why did we create the NCFIC Church Directory?

As fathers turn their hearts toward home and return to the biblical culture of family life, it is only to be expected that such faithful men will desire a local church that supports rather than supplants the family. The NCFIC Church Directory has been established for the specific purpose of assisting the thousands of families and local church leaders who have contacted us expressing a desire to network with like-minded individuals and assemblies, to work for godly change within pre-existing local churches or to plant family-integrated local churches in their area.

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On Being Schismatic – Is it Right to Censure Parts of the Church of Jesus Christ?

Our position is that those who love the church must speak out when she is being defiled. George Gillespie, writing in 1649, affirms this perspective:

 

“One who censures the prostitution of the church, for its idolatries or false doctrines, and associations with the impious, is no heretic, is no schismatic, is not being ungrateful toward the mother church; otherwise, even Ezekiel, along with Jeremiah and the other prophets, would have been a heretic, a schismatic, or an ingrate.”

 

Amandus Polanus, commenting on Ezek. 16:26-28

Quoted taken from, Forbidden Alliances, Concerning Associations and Confederacies?with Idolaters, Infidels, Heretics, or Any Other Known Enemies of Truth and Godliness , by George Gillespie

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Blogging the NCFIC Confession: Article III

Satan is a Deceiver

 

We affirm the warning of Holy Scripture that Satan, the father of lies and deceiver of the brethren, has used his subtle trickery from the beginning to question God’s Word: “Yea, Hath God said…?” (Gen. 3:1).

We deny that the children of God should embrace and employ the philosophies, goals, and methods of this fallen world in our churches and families, and thus succumb to the Adversary’s deception.

View the full NCFIC Confession HERE.

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How does NCFIC relate to similar ministries?

NCFIC does not view itself as the “end all” solution to the culture-driven, age-segregated, peer-dominated modern church. Other similar ministries have proficiency beyond our own in various areas. So in addition to the resources we provide, it is our firm and constant goal to help these like-minded ministries succeed at what they do best. We also work with state and regional groups who wish to affiliate with us for local and national conferences and other purposes.

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Oh That Our Wills Would Be Lost in God’s Will

“We can imagine no higher degree of perfection than that which is here set before us. To take patiently whatever God sends—to wish nothing but what God approves—to prefer pain, if it pleases God to send it, to ease, if God does not think fit to bestow it—to lie passive under God’s hand, and know no will but His—this is the highest standard at which we can aim, and of this our Lord’s conduct in Gethsemane is a perfect pattern.

Let us strive and labor to have “the mind that was in Christ” in this matter. Let us daily pray and endeavor to be enabled to mortify our self-will. It is for our happiness to do so. Nothing brings us so much misery on earth as having our own way. It is the best proof of real grace to do so. Knowledge, and gifts, and convictions, and feelings, and wishes, are often to be found in unconverted persons. But a continually increasing disposition to submit our own wills to the will of God is a far more healthy symptom. It is a sign that we are really “growing in grace, and in the knowledge of Christ.”

 

 

Ryle, J.C. Expository Thoughts on the Gospels, Mathew and Mark. Volume one. Baker publishing Group, Grand Rapids, MI. Pg. 319

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Blogging the NCFIC Confession: Article II

God Created Church and Family

 

We affirm that Almighty God is the sovereign Creator and Preserver of His people and all the institutions that bring blessing to mankind—including the church and the family—and is thus deserving of our highest honor and humble obedience (Col. 1:16-17).

We deny that we, being mere creatures, have a right to refashion the church and family according to our vain imaginations by altering God’s prescribed government, worship, gender-based roles, or any other normative patterns revealed in Scripture.

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Is NCFIC a new denomination of churches?

No, absolutely not. NCFIC is not a new denomination or confederation of churches but rather a network and resource for family-integrated churches and families seeking them. It is a ministry to America’s churches by Christian leaders who see faithful fathers and mothers struggling to find a meaningful, family-affirming relationship with their local church. All the men who work with NCFIC believe in biblical church authority and are all under the oversight of their own local churches with regard to their moral life.

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Calvin on: The Superiority of God over Satan

“But God tries in one way, Satan in another. Satan tempts that he may destroy, condemn, confound, cast down, but God, that by proving his own children he may make trial of their sincerity, and establish their strength by exercising it; that he may mortify, purify, and cauterize their flesh, which unless it were forced under this restraint would play the wanton and vaunt itself beyond measure.”

 

 

John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, 3.20.46

 

This quotation was given to me by a young lady in our church, a self described “Calviness”

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