Memorial Day Picnic – Monday May 31

It’s that time again… You are invited to an Old Fashioned Memorial Day Picnic at the Brown Farm where the food and the speeches and fellowship and the gospel are all free.
Click HERE to find out more.

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The Differences Between the Westminster Confession and the Second London Baptist Confession of 1689

The world has been blessed by the Westminster Confession of Faith. It has been a bulwark in the defense of biblical Christianity. Here is an amazing web site that shows the differences between it and the 1689 Second London Baptist Confession of Faith in a very helpful and illuminating format. It is called, A Tabular Comparison of the 1646 WCF and the 1689 LBCF.

The NCFIC is regularly exhorting church leaders to provide doctrinal clarity to the people in their churches by adopting a historical confession of the faith. Of course, we at the NCFIC heartily recommend the Second London Baptist Confession of 1689. We contend that a church without a detailed doctrinal confession is a vulnerable to ignorance, confusion, wolves and apostasy.

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Our Team With The Elders and Deacons at Immanuel Free Reformed Church

The weekend was filled with meetings with the church family and the elders and deacons at Immanuel Free Reformed Church in Stevens, Pa. If you live in this area, I recommend this as a sound church to attend.

We had a team of ten with us from Hope Baptist and were blessed by their hospitality and kindness towards us and receptivity to our teaching. It was such a happy time together.

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Fallout from the Sufficiency of Scripture Conference

Here is a note I received Thursday from a pastor who attended the SOS conference we had last December,

The Sufficiency of Scripture conference in December is still affecting my wife and I in so many ways. Never before has a conference so effectively brought the truth of God’s word into our daily living, into the very way we think and act. So many times a conference is very encouraging, but the euphoria dissipates quickly, and the net change in our lives is not that significant. Not this conference. The rubber really hit the road in the months that have followed, which I believe is a testimony to how much the Lord is using the NCFIC.” G.B.

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Here are the “Pillars” of Hope Baptist

 

The Centrality of the Gospel – All activities and messages of the church have their source in the gospel of Christ, that sinners are justified by faith alone, that the righteousness of Christ is imputed to believers by God’s decree alone, and that this righteousness is the only righteousness that justifies and that faith that is true faith is evidenced by works. (1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Revelation 14:6-7)

Expository Preaching – We believe that a steady diet of expositional preaching is the most effective way to build up the body of Christ. Preaching and teaching through books of the Bible will be the primary emphasis of this ministry (Deut 6:4-9; Ezra 7:10; Neh 8:1-12; Matt 4:4; 1 Tim 4:13; 2 Tim 3:14-4:5; Titus 1:3, 9; Heb 4:12; 1 Peter 1:22-2:3).

Fervent Prayer – Every aspect of the church’s life and ministry ought to be under girded with regular, fervent prayer. Elements of a godly prayer life (individually and corporately) include: adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and intercession (Neh 1; Psalm 51; Matt 6:5-15; Luke 19:46; Phil 1:3-11; Col 1:3-12; James 5:13-18).

Authentic Worship – Authentic worship of the living God is marked by biblical truth, personal and corporate genuineness and spiritual depth. Elements of worship include prayer, singing, Scripture reading and preaching and the Lord’s table (Psalm 24, 33, 42, 95; Isa 6:1-8; Matt 4:10; John 4:24; Rom 12:1-2; Heb 13:15; Rev 4-5; 1 Cor 11:23-34).

Loving Community – We will cultivate Christian love, rejoicing, unity and community in the family of God through mentoring relationships, benevolence and biblical instruction (Acts 2:44-47; 6:1-7; Eph 4:1-16; 1 Tim 5:3-8; 2 Tim 2:2; Titus 2:3-5; James 1:27).

Church Discipline – We will exercise biblical church discipline administered in a spirit of obedience and humility and believe that this practice protects the purity of the church and offers restoration to the wayward (Prov 28:13; Matt 5:23-24; 18:15-20; 1 Cor 5:6-8; 11:17-34; Gal 6:1-5; Eph 5:25-27).

Personal Evangelism – We will equip and send the church into the community to bring the message of the cross to our own households, neighborhoods, workplaces and the world (Matt 28:19-20; John 20:31; Acts 4:12; Rom 10:14-15; 1 Peter 3:15).

Church Planting – . We will make intentional efforts to reach the world for Christ by praying, giving, going and planting as we rejoice in God’s plan to be a blessing to the nations. (Matt 28:19-20; Acts 13-14, 16-21).

The Sufficiency of Scripture – We will regard scripture as sufficient for life and godliness, so it must be consulted for all things. We will use it for reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness to speak into the lives of those in the congregation.

The Regulative Principle – We will attempt to regulate church life by scripture alone recognizing that God has instituted in the Scriptures everything He requires for worship in the Church and that everything else is prohibited. Therefore, the only permissible elements of worship are those that are instituted by command, precept, or example or by good and necessary consequence and that whatever is not warranted by scripture is forbidden.

This is another way of saying that Christ has authority over His church through the Word of God (Matt 16:18; Romans 1:16; 10:17.)

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Manhood on Display – A Tale of Two Ships

Albert Mohler reports on recent analysis of the displays of manhood and their relation to the treatment of women aboard two ships – The Titanic and the Lusitania. He writes, “Aboard the Lusitania, young males acted out of a selfish survival instinct, and women and children were cast aside, left to the waves. Aboard the Titanic, there was time for men to consider what was at stake and to call themselves to a higher morality. There was time for conscience to raise its voice and authority, and for men, young and old, to know and to do their duty.”

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“Keeping” the Sabbath Day from the Barbarians Which Would Over Run It

 

Fear will overrun it
Greed will overturn it
Obsession will overwhelm it
Ungodliness will overthrow it
Antinomianism will nullify it

It has to be kept safe from the barbarians in the heart, the culture and even in the church which will trample on it until there is no one left on earth whose schedule is governed by God. What are we talking about? The Fourth Commandment requires that we, “keep” it, meaning that we guard and protect and build a fence around it so that it is not trampled on.

This is hard because there is a public war against the keeping  the Sabbath day.

As with all the commandments the devil is always waging war with the fourth commandment. He places many stumbling stones in our way and attempts to disfigure it and eliminate it or keep us from it. This is why we must “observe” or guard the Sabbath day.

The French revolutionaires abolished the Sabbath.

In Egypt the children of Israel had lost their computation of it and Pharoah did not allow the children of Israel to observe it.

The pagan enlightenment philosopher of the eighteenth century, Voltaire, wrote, “if you wish to destroy the Christian religion you must first destroy the Christian Sabbath.”

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Deacons as Shock Absorbers

9 Marks has just released a journal containing a half dozen articles on the ministry of deacons. Jonathan Leeman writes,

“The New Testament only mentions this unassuming office two, maybe three times (Phil. 1:1; 1 Tim. 3:8-13; cf. Rom. 16:1). But pay attention. It seems to direct the deacon’s attention to the church’s physical good, which in turn will serve the church’s spiritual good. The deacon is a unity builder—and shock absorber! There should be nothing unspiritual about a deacon.”

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Sincere and Affectionate Catechizing – John G. Paton

 

Family worship can become a resented drudgery or a longed for joy. This is powerfully illustrated by John G. Paton, the faithful missionary to the cannibals of the New Hebrides islands, in his autobiography “Missionary Patriarch.” Paton discusses radically different results from what was fundamentally the same activity:

It has been an amazing thing to me, occasionally to meet with men who blamed this “catechizing” for giving them a distaste to religion; every one in all our circle thinks and feels exactly the opposite. It laid the solid rock-foundations of our religious life. After-years have given to these questions and their answers a deeper or a modified meaning, but none of us have ever once even dreamed of wishing that we had been otherwise trained. Of course, if the parents are not devout, sincere, and affectionate, – if the whole affair on both sides is taskwork, or worse, hypocritical and false, – results must be very different indeed!

Consider coming to the Hope Baptist Child Training conference, “The Training and Admonition of the Lord.”

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A Biblical Analysis of Age Segregated Youth Ministry

The following will appear in my upcoming book on youth ministry:

“Do the methods for the evangelism and discipleship of youth matter? Does Scripture speak specifically to the issue of youth ministry? This book suggests that they matter greatly. Further, it shows that a tragic blindness exists in Christian culture regarding ministry to youth. While God has spoken clearly about how to minister to youth in His Word, that Word seems to be completely ignored in modern church life, and has been replaced with a cheap substitute. And, to make matters worse, youth are being destroyed through this modern method of discipleship. It is indisputably unbiblical in its method, inherently destructive in its effect, and undeniably unchristian in its origin. Even though this is true, most people will reject the message of this book. After all, age segregation is the biggest business in the church and its all we’ve ever done.

Believers are charged to take every thought and every practice captive by examining everything by the standard of scripture. Unfortunately, we live in an era where many churches have orthodox doctrinal statements, but not practices that are consistent with them. We have an intellectual orthodoxy without a biblical orthopraxy to match it. What is actually done week to week in our churches is very different from what is written in scripture.”

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NCFIC Book Blog — Principles for Helping Children Choose Marriage Partners

"The process of getting and staying married is severely malfuctioning in in our land. With the divorce rate in the church statisticially indistinguishable from the unbelieving world, it would not be be considered hyperbole to say that today’s marriages in the churches are a moral distaster.  As we have slowly adopted the ways of the world in nearly every area of life in order to maintin our respectability, at the same time, we have lost our ability to properly join our children in marriage.  Out chilren have been left with unworkable methods in a broken godless system.

This is why I hope these culturally acceptable practices would be abandoned by the church and replaced with more rational and intentionally biblical approaches."

Text quoted from Helping Them to Choose: The Duty of Christian Parents edited by Scott T. Brown. For more details about this book or to purchase click HERE.

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How Do you Love the Church and Continue in Pornography?

I just posted a piece on “Our Marriage blog” an article on pornography that appeared in National Review Magazine. We know that pornography destroys marriages and families. But there is more. The use of pornography defiles the church in more ways than one. First it destroys the individual. Second it destroys a vision of the gospel that marriage is designed to explain, “Husbands, love your wives as also Christ loved the church.” In December 9-11 we are holding our Love the Church conference in Asheville NC. No wonder there is so little love for the church in modern times. That love is being directed to other places.

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Love the Church Conference, Ridgecrest – Asheville NC, Dec 9-11

At this conference we will cast a vision for church life that is presented in scripture. Speakers such as Paul Washer, Joel Beeke, Doug Phillips, Scott Brown and many others will join together to define biblical church and family life. Our prayer is for a rising number of churches dedicated to the glory of God alone. We will communicate the biblical doctrine of the church, explain her importance, her calling and her destiny. We will show how you and your family fit in to the church of Jesus Christ and how He has called you to love and serve her. We will bring messages on evangelism, missions, church planting, and discipleship through local churches. We will be explaining particularly important church practices such as singing, scripture reading, the Lord’s table, baptism, Sabbath keeping and church discipline. We will explain the importance of the sufficiency of scripture for the government of the church and how to apply the “regulative principle” in church life. We will even bring messages regarding the way that churches should treat their elders and whether or not they should pay them.

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An excerpt from my upcoming book on youth ministry

Methodology, not Intentions

The good intentions of those involved present a difficult situation: How do you appeal to people who are honestly trying to do the right things in a wrong system? How do you appropriately point out to them that there is something they have adopted that is contrary to Scripture and that is destroying the body of Christ from within?

First, I hope to address our brothers with love, not condescension. Though God is direct with His expectations of us, He has also been gracious to lead us when we were in error. W should likewise be direct, yet gracious in our posture toward our brothers. My prayer is that the message of this book, though it is controversial, will be consistent with the words of the Apostle Paul:

But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” Ephesians 4:15-16

Second, I want to focus on the methodology, not on the motivations of good men who have gone off course. It is important that we do not impugn the character of those who are well-intentioned, yet misguided in their approach to youth ministry. The goal of this book is to address the methodology of modern youth ministry and not the intentions of those who operate within it.

The truth is that most youth ministers have simply adopted what the previous generation established. They have not carefully considered whether or not the approach of their mentors actually follows God’s directives for the training of youth. Many, in fact, have considered methodology to be neutral, “So long as we get positive results, our methods must be acceptable.”

Yet methodology matters: God has not only ordained the ends, but He has also ordained the means to those ends, and He expects us to follow those means.  God has specifically prescribed the way that we should disciple youth. It is not just what we say to youth that matters; how we structure our discipleship endeavors is also of vital importance. How we get from A to B is critical in God’s economy of things. The ends do not justify the means.

Thus, if we have abandoned, even unwittingly, biblical practices as we have sought to evangelize and disciple young men and women, then we must repent. That is what I needed to do. I am mortified when I think of what I promoted, and that it took hold. If we find that we have drifted away from biblical patterns, we are obligated to change directions and subordinate ourselves to the standards of the God we profess to represent and serve. If we love God, we will “keep [His] commandments” (John 14:15). We will not seek to please Him, and then try to advance His work in a way that is contrary to His word.

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NCFIC Book Blog — Family Reformation

"While the doctrine of salvation was reformed during the sixteenth century, so were marriage, manhood, womanhood, courtship, child raising, fertility, and many other areas of family life. John Calvin never wrote a book on the family, but he touched off a family reformation resulting in a massive restructuring of the most fundamental institution of society. Like no other reformer, Calvin provided the exegetical precision that defined the terms for a biblical vision of family life. Calvin teaches us that “sola Scriptura” is the gold standard for family life.  This principle, which ignited a family reformation in Geneva, can ignite a reformation in your family today. This book communicates the main themes of Calvin’s teaching on family life in his own words, using quotes from his books, sermons, letters, and other writings."

Text quoted from Family Reformation: The Legacy of Sola Scriptura in Calvin’s Geneva by Scott T. Brown. For more details about this book or to purchase click HERE.

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