The Post Election Road Ahead

It certainly is a disappointing thing to consider another four years of Barack Obama. We have had a front row seat to the theater of the absurd yet astonishing progress of evil under his leadership. Now, there is more to come.

Our confidence
But, we of all people can be confident in the face of this because we are assured by God that the battle has already been won and our hopes rest in the perfect King whose victory is sure, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalm 46:10).  God alone will have the victory, “All nations before Him are as nothing, And they are counted by Him less than nothing and worthless,” (Isaiah 40:17). Do you believe that?  I do!

The opportunity ahead
This is not the time to whine. For me, it is the time to focus on the two formative institutions for the raising of a new generation: the church and the family. Thats what we need! We can powerfully engage this war by reforming these two by centering them on the gospel and the Word of God and recovering their biblical functionality. These are the places where the healing begins. This is the soil from which a new generation can emerge. Lets hunker down and focus on our churches and families and preach the gospel to the lost in our communities, and maybe in 100 years the voting block will be what Moses said, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ (Deut 4:6) and we will have candidates who walk in the fear of God and who are “wise, understanding, and knowledgeable men,” (Deut 1:13). I look forward to the day when we will be able to wholeheartedly celebrate the candidates put before us. Do you believe God is able to fulfill His desires in our nation? I do!

Our persistence
This past election has shown us that we have slipped so far that we can’t even produce a candidate that even remotely comes close to the kind of leaders God has explicitly declared would please Him. It has taken us a long time to glide down this far. Statism, the homosexual agenda and the culture of abortion didn’t happen overnight. The state has been slowly and progressively and systematically raising the generations in their pagan indoctrination centers (public education institutions). It took a long time to dig this hole, and it will probably take a long time to fill it in. Lets respond by going out and doing what we know is good: give ourselves, heart and soul to build strong God centered families and obedient Christ exalting churches.

Our delight
Fearing man and addiction to quick pragmatic fixes will not raise a mighty generation of leaders. Fearing God, trusting completely in His Word and having a long term vision of success is how cultures are won… how the world is won. And that is exactly what God has called us to do. The timing and the results are His. In the mean time, we smile on the future, praying, working, teaching, writing, preaching, mothering, fathering and delighting in drinking in the waters of life for the joy of following such a good Shepherd who is leading us to such a wonderful destination.

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Throwing Your Vote Away

We all agree that voting is a privilege and a blessing that God has given us as citizens of the United States. It is a good work. But based on our choice of candidates, should you vote this year?  Should you embrace the idea that, “Not voting for the front running candidates is throwing your vote away”?  Let me suggest that not voting can also be a proper exercise of three critical Christian duties: stewardship, worship, and faithfulness. Both voting and not voting can be actions that fulfill all of these responsibilities.

Stewardship

Voting is an act of stewardship because it is a positive exercise of a power we are given as citizens to speak for God in the nation. Jesus made it clear that He desires that we be sources of righteousness in the world, “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world” (John 17:15-16).

Worship

Voting is also an act of worship because everything we do is an act of worship. We should vote as one of our reasonable services of worship (Romans 12:1-2). Worship is the positive exercise of one’s own conscience, and Scripture is clear that we are obligated to consult our consciences for the selection of civil leaders. Are we fixated on winning or worship? Has winning become the altar at which we sacrifice everything else? What does it mean to win anyway? Is it really a win to legitimize the promotion of a false gospel? (more…)

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Should We Vote for the Pastor in Chief?

One of the chief arguments we are hearing from pastors and theologians trying to mollify and modify the unprecedented shift to support a Mormon for president is to claim that “We are not voting for a pastor in chief, but a commander in chief!” So, is this even a true statement? Are we voting for the “pastor in chief, or something else?”  We are, in fact, voting for something else.

The biblical qualifications, that are so plainly stated in Scripture, do not require that a civil leader be “the pastor in chief.” When commentators say that “we are not voting for the ‘pastor in chief,’ but rather the ‘commander in chief,’” they are making a category mistake. They are mixing categories that should stay separate by applying one category (pastor) to a different category (civil leader). Here is why this is bad logic. First, there are specific requirements for pastors (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9).  Second, there are specific requirements for civil leaders (Exodus 18:21; Deuteronomy 1:9-17; Deuteronomy 17:14-20; and Romans 13:1-10). To require something that the Bible requires of a civil leader is not the same as “voting for the pastor in chief.”

As far as I know, no one is advocating that we vote for the “pastor in chief.”  If we are, we are misguided. We are, however, to vote for a biblically qualified civil ruler as Scripture has commanded.

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The Kind of Civil Leaders We Need Today

As we enter into the season of political races and decisions about who to vote for, the most important consideration is, “What does the Bible say about what qualifies a civil leader?” I saw an illustration of this while at Mt. Vernon at the grave of Bushrod Washington, the President’s nephew. He was a U.S. Supreme Court associate justice from 1798 to 1829. This is the kind of civil leader the Bible says we should promote. Here is what was written on his grave stone:

As a Judge, he was
Wise and Just.
“A man of Truth, hating
covetousness.”
Firm in every honour-
-able purpose and pursuit.
Yet gentle, humane and
condescending.
A sincere Christian.
Doing in all things the
will of his Master.
And resting his hope of
eternal happiness.
Alone on the righteousness
of Jesus Christ.

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My Politics

As all of us are now soberly considering our principles of politics, here is a helpful principle to consider from John Newton:

The whole system of my politics is summed up in this one verse, “The Lord reigns! Let the nations tremble!” Psalm 99:1

The times look awfully dark indeed; and as the clouds grow thicker–the stupidity of the nation seems proportionally to increase. If the Lord had not a remnant here, I would have very formidable apprehensions. But He loves His children; some are sighing and mourning before Him, and I am sure He hears their sighs, and sees their tears. I trust there is mercy in store for us at the bottom; but I expect a shaking time before things get into a right channel–before we are humbled, and are taught to give Him the glory.

The state of the nation, the state of the churches–both are deplorable! Those who should be praying–are disputing and fighting among themselves! Alas! how many professors are more concerned for the mistakes of government–than for their own sins!

– from the Letters of John Newton given by Grace Gems

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Voting for a Mormon – A 21st Century Mega-Shift

Although controversies abound in the church, pastors and Christian leaders have all agreed on one thing: Mormonism is a false religion. Since its founding almost two centuries ago, Mormonism has fought for legitimacy, billing itself as a conservative sect of the Protestant Church, and has eyed the White House as their golden ticket for acceptance. Founder of Mormonism Joseph Smith actually ran for president himself in 1844. However, from that time until now, the entire Protestant church has stood firm, unanimously agreeing that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is a bona fide cult and Christians should not endorse them. Not a single major Christian leader has publicly backed down from that position. That is, until now. All that has changed almost overnight. Now, the majority of Christian pastors across America are endorsing a devout Mormon for the highest office in the land. National leaders have even changed their previously stated position to endorse a presidential candidate whom they formerly condemned as a cult member. With this mega-shift, we have begun an unprecedented endorsement of the legitimacy of Mormonism, while the unified front of the church standing against this false religion has crumbled before our eyes. (more…)

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Vote According to the Word of God

Our friends, the Leclerc Brothers, made this short clip – Return – Vote according to the Word of God.

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Meet Me in Fredericksburg, Texas November 16-18

On November 16-18, I will be speaking in Fredericksburg, TX at several meetings that are designed to communicate the vision of God for churches, men, and families.

 

On Friday, November 16, I will speak at a church leadership mini-conference for men and church leaders.

 

On Friday evening, November 16,  there will be a soup/salad/dessert meal for all the single young people, 21 years and older. where I will be sharing with the group some of the more important issues of our day with this age group. If you would like to attend, you are welcome to sign up here by November 12.

 

On Saturday, November 17, I will be with the men’s prayer breakfast at 7:45am for a time of sharing and encouragement. We invite any fathers and their older sons to this time. You can sign up by November 15 as we anticipate this will be a larger crowd than normal.

 

On Sunday, November 18, I will bring the message in the main worship service. After the service, the church will have their second annual Thanksgiving celebration meal. If you plan to attend, you must sign up by the end of the day on November 1. 

 

I hope you can join me at these upcoming meetings.

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Mt. Zion Family Conference 2012

Join me next week in Pensacola, FL for a family conference at Mt. Zion Bible Church. Last year, it was such a blessing to be with Jeff Pollard and his congregation as we considered many aspects of family life, the relationship of the church and the family, and marriage. (You can listen to last year’s audio here.)

The dates for the conference are November 8-10, and there is no cost to attend.

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White Unto Harvest: Some Reflections

Now having some time to reflect on the White Unto Harvest conference I attended last weekend, I thought a few written thoughts were in order. But let me say that it was one of the best, most God-honoring, and motivating conferences I’ve ever attended. My friend Elder Scott Brown and the whole NCFIC team (www.ncfic.org) really outdid themselves to the glory of God.  My family and those with me all felt very welcomed.  And that is maybe an understatement; it felt like family! There was such a kindred spirit, a tender, holy, passionate feel to the whole thing…it was awesome!


Elder Scott Brown and Me at the Burnings in the Soul Luncheon

Anyhow…here are some random thoughts and reflections on the conference in no particular order…. (more…)

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Jeff Pollard: I Want to Be Like Jesus

We were all very grateful for what Jeff Pollard shared with us at the men’s luncheon regarding what was burning in his soul. He first quoted 1 John 3:2:

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

“In our congregation, we sing a great hymn that says, ‘I long to be like Jesus; meek, loving, lowly, mild; I long to be like Jesus, the Father’s holy child.’

This is what is burning in my soul: (more…)

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A Parent’s Fruit Bearing After They Are Dead

Parents should do all they can to give God what He desires, “Godly Seed.”

Here is Thomas Watson on how child training is so beneficial…even after the trainers have passed on:

A good piece of ground bears not only a fore-crop but an after-crop. He who is godly does not only bear God a good crop of obedience himself while he lives, but by training his child in the principles of religion, he bears God an after-crop when he is dead.

Thomas Watson, The Godly Man’s Picture, Drawn with a Scripture Pencil, Or, Some Characteristic Marks of a Man Who Is Going to Heaven, (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 2009), 187.

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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.”

J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels, Mathew and Mark. Volume 1. (Baker publishing Group, Grand Rapids, MI), 319.

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Why the Bible Is the Best Voter’s Guide

‘Tis the season for voting guides…the season we greet one another with “Who are you voting for?” With the air wafting with political cheer and punditry and our churches buzzing with candidate conversations, let’s not forget the weighty significance of our role as individuals and as a church in this matter. In November, the American people are called upon once again to elect one of the most powerful political leaders in the free world. The next President of the United States will help shape the economic, foreign, domestic, and military policy of our nation for the next four years. He will command the United States military as commander in chief; he will execute the laws passed by Congress; and he will appoint judges to maintain liberty and uphold justice. The decisions that he makes may have far reaching implications, not only for our nation, but also for the entire world. Thus, it is no small matter for us to think biblically in casting our vote, and our duty is to seek, first and foremost, to honor God with our act of voting.

As Christians, the most important question to ask during election season is: “Does God, in the Bible, give His people direction for how to identify worthy civil leaders?” We know there are requirements for pastors but what about civil leaders? Are there commands? Are there examples? Are there principles that would guide us? The answer is, Yes! God, in His kindness, has not left us alone, without revealing His thoughts and giving us His principles for the selection of civil leaders. In fact, God explicitly declares in Scripture the kinds of civil leaders you ought to vote for. (more…)

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The State of the Family-Integrated Church Movement

You Are Invited!


The Historic Menger Hotel

Vision Forum Ministries and the National Center for Family-Integrated Churches (NCFIC) invite the men and leadership in your church to a free event in San Antonio. Come join us and hear a strategic update on the work of the NCFIC across America. NCFIC Director Scott Brown will provide insights into what the NCFIC is working toward, share plans for the future, and provide ideas for encouragement in your local church. This free event is open to the public, but RSVP is required. Space is limited to the first 100 registrants.

Register to Attend — Attendance is Free!


Scott Brown & Doug Phillips

Join us on Thursday, November 15 at 7:00p.m. for a meeting with Scott Brown and Vision Forum Ministries President Doug Phillips at the historic Menger Hotel in San Antonio, Texas. Complimentary desserts and refreshments will be provided. Sponsored by Vision Forum Ministries.

Click here to register for this NCFIC Regional Event

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