Paul Washer to Pastors: Stop Tweaking Traditional Unbiblical Practices

Last December, Tim Challies and David Murray interviewed Paul Washer. After conversing about family life and various personal matters of interest, David Murray asked one final question: “Paul, if you had two minutes of time with, with pastors, what would you say to them in terms of building positively for the future?” Paul then gave a threefold answer that identified the following issues: first, the importance of the sufficiency of Scripture; second, that simply reforming soteriology is not enough, but all of life must also be reformed according to Scripture; third, that we should simply quit trying to tweak unbiblical practices, and just quit doing them. Here is his answer:

Washer: I would say one of the most important things is this. If you believe in the inspiration, the inerrancy of Scripture, I applaud you for that. But that is only half the battle. If you do not believe the doctrine, the twin doctrine of the sufficiency of Scripture, then what you believe about its inerrancy will do you no good, and that is one of the great problems I see in the reformed movement and all these different hopes of reviving the Church. You see, we must not only recognize the Bible is inspired; we must recognize that it is sufficient – that we do not have to go outside of Scripture to know how to preach the Gospel, present the Gospel, build a, build a Gospel-centered Church. To do counseling or any other thing, I need the Scriptures. (more…)

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Mankiller Chronicles: Most Workers Hate Their Jobs Or Have “Checked Out,” Gallup Says

recent study reveals another aspect of the demise of manhood: disengagement from work. The Gallup polling organization has reported the results of a survey indicating that American workers have gone over the edge. In their words, “Seven out of 10 workers have ‘checked out’ at work or are ‘actively disengaged.'” This mentality is, of course, antithetical to the Christian work ethic which calls workers to work for the glory of God, as if for Christ HImself, and who are charged to take dominion through their work.

Hatred for work always reflects a number of things: First, it is a breakdown of honor which is due employers (Eph. 6:5-8). Second, it is a breakdown of purpose, for man is created to take dominion which means he rises up and takes rulership over his circumstances and makes changes for the better in his work – he is not “checked out” (Gen. 1:28).  Third, it is a breakdown of covenant relationship with God where man is designed to give glory to God through all his work (1 Cor. 10:31). All of these are contrary to the worker who is “not engaged” in his work. In Christianity, work is sacred. It is designed for the glory of God and when you have 50 million workers who are “not engaged” in their work you have the demise of a culture. The mankiller of dishonor and purposelessness seems to have overtaken the American worker. (more…)

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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 Cor. 15:1-4; Rev. 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; Tit. 1:3, 9; Heb. 4:12; 1 Pet. 1:22-2:3).

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

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Education Choices Are Not Neutral

Doug Phillips posted an excellent counterpoint to those who feel that education is neutral and that parental involvement overcomes the negatives of public education.

Doug also gave a message on this subject, entitled How Important are Educational Choices? Several years ago, I also delivered a message, What the Bible Says about Education. You might also check out the upcoming film, Indoctrination.

Here is the whole article:

Education Choices are Not Neutral: The Implications of Islamic Madrasahs and Government Schools for Our Christian Children

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. Psalm 1: 1-2

By Doug Phillips

Education is inescapably a religious discipline. (more…)

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He’s Not Just Trying to Patch You Up

Matthew 9:14-26 contains one of the great glories of the gospel in this passage: You get newness of life – new wine, new wineskins, and completely new clothing. Here is a sermon I preached on this passage:

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People often want to put a patch of religion on their unshrunk cloth. They want to make themselves better. It seems easier than newness of life. This mindset is contradicted in Matthew 9:14-26, which presents us with a question from the disciples of John and the healings of two people, whose hopes were shattered. One was a girl who was well for 12 years and then died, and the other was a woman who had been sick for 12 years and had spent her livelihood on physicians.

Our text opens with a question from the disciples of John. They ask,  (more…)

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The “Coldness” and “Self-Indulgence” of Those Who Don’t Want to Trouble Themselves with Children

Today, the idea of having lots of children is looked upon with disdain, as if you hate the planet or have become one of those parasites of nature that needs to be restrained. Here is a blast from the past from a speech Teddy Roosevelt gave on motherhood in 1905:

There are many good people who are denied the supreme blessing of children, and for these we have the respect and sympathy always due to those who, from no fault of their own, are denied any of the other great blessings of life.

But the man or woman who deliberately foregoes these blessings, whether from viciousness, coldness, shallow-heartedness, self-indulgence, or mere failure to appreciate aright the difference between the all-important and the unimportant–why such a creature merits contempt as hearty as any visited upon the soldier who runs away in battle, or upon the man who refuses to work for the support of those dependent upon him, and who though able-bodied is yet content to eat in idleness the bread which others provide. (Quoted in What to Expect When No One’s Expecting, 174-75)

Theodore Roosevelt, “On American Motherhood,” National Congress of Mothers, Washington, 17 July 2013, Speech.

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The Woes of Children Born to Negligent Parents

Family Origins

There is no doubt that the educational life of a Puritan began in the home. In keeping with an ideal covenant household, the salvation of the children and their spiritual well being was at first place in the heart of every godly parent. They universally understood, as Milton illustrates above, that education was a means to that end. Therefore, they believed that the education of their children in religion was their premier duty. They would often imagine the horrors of what their children might say of them if they went to hell on account of their negligence in education:

They will follow thee up and down in that ever-burning lake with direful curses and hideous outcries, crying out continually, “Woe unto us, that ever we served such a wicked wretched master, that had no care of the salvation of our souls, took no course to save us out of these fiery torments!” Even thine own dear children, in this case, will yell in thine ears, world without end, “Woe and alas, that ever we were born of such accursed parents, who had not the grace to teach us betimes the ways of God, to keep us from our youthful vanities, and to train us up in the paths of godliness! Had they done so, we might have lived in the endless joys of heaven; whereas now we must lie irrecoverably in these everlasting flames. Oh! it was the fault of our own parents’ unconscionable and cruel negligence, that all our life long struck full deep in our souls, and hath now strangled them with everlasting horror.[1]

[1] Robert Bolton, General Directions for a Comfortable Walking with God, Morgan, PA: Soli Deo Gloria Publications, 1995, (published earlier in London: F. Kyngston, 1625), p.276

Thus, they sought to catechize their children as soon as possible and instruct them in the Scriptures. This included daily devotions, either in the morning or around the dinner table, and sermon discussion/application.

(compiled by David Herring for 7/10/03)

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Father/Daughter Retreat Messages

Each year, our church puts on a father/daughter retreat for the fathers and daughters that attend Hope Baptist Church.

This year, we studied profiles of godly women in the Bible and cast a vision for biblical womanhood by examining how Scripture calls fathers and daughters to work together while daughters are in their father’s houses.

Fathers and daughters were meant to be united together under a powerful bond, fulfilling an uncompromising role, and engaging in an effective labor. (more…)

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Mankiller Chronicles: Couples Who Put Off Parenthood Is at an All Time High

A fearful people – that’s who we are as Americans. We are afraid of almost everything – the terrorists, the social security, the food, the economy, and even having children. We have become a very fearful people. Allison Linn, a CNBC reporter in USA Today, declares, “The early years of adulthood are supposed to be a time of optimism and hope, but for many Americans now in their 20s it has instead been a period of uncertainty and frustration.”

What is the cause of all this?

Hobbled by student loan debt, frustrated by careers that have been stymied by a weak job market — and frightened by watching their own parents suffer financial setbacks — many say they feel like they are getting off to a slow start. Even as the economy improves, that’s left some Millennials wondering if they’ll ever feel financially comfortable enough to have kids of their own.

The American Dream is … OK, we go to school, we graduate, we get good jobs, we buy a house, we have kids,” said Daniel Flores, 27. “And it’s just like none of that has happened.

So what happens is that fear takes over and parenthood is delayed. (more…)

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Top 10 Tips for Being Clearer in Preaching

Here is a good checklist giving greater clarity for those who preach the Word of God:

  1. The more you say, the less people will remember. . . . “Biscuits and sermons are improved by shortening”. . . .
  2. Make the ‘big idea’ shape everything you say. . . . That’s one of the best reasons to preach from a full script—you get to edit before you speak. . . . [From p. 64: “[I]t’s easier for your listeners to catch a baseball than a handful of sand.”]
  3. Choose the shortest, most ordinary words you can. . . . The more complex your subject, the more helpful it is to describe it in ordinary words. . . .
  4. Use shorter sentences. . . . This isn’t about ‘dumbing down’ your content. It’s about communicating complex content clearly. (But keep in mind that alliteration is no longer considered tasteful.) More importantly, it’s about sounding like a normal, conversational you. . . .
  5. Forget everything your English teacher taught you. . . . [I]f you’re scripting a sermon you should expect it to read badly. It should break almost all the norms of good written expression and follow the rules of informal speech instead. . . .
  6. Am I repeating myself? . . . [A]s you’re introducing a new idea, it’s incredibly helpful to restate the first sentence three times, rephrasing it each time but adding no new information. . . . Avoid giving too much information and learn the difference between the pace of your speech (in ‘words per minute’) and the pace of information (in ‘ideas per minute’).
  7. Translate narratives into the present tense. . . . [This] makes a story seem real and immediate—it’s just like being there. . . .
  8. The six-million-dollar secret of illustrating. . . . Don’t sweat over illustrating the complicated stuff—just illustrate the obvious! . . . Illustrate the obvious, and the complex ideas will take care of themselves, because your listeners will be fresh and focused enough to stay with you. . . .
  9. People love to hear about people. . . . The journalist’s rule is this: if there are no people, there’s no story. . . .
  10. Work towards your key text. . . . When you’re quoting a verse, help out the listener by setting it up before you read it, rather than after. . . .

[M]ost natural communicators—whether scripted or not—tend to do most of these things by instinct.

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A Call for Discernment

Please join me and other speakers on July 20th in Tulsa, OK for A Call to Discernment. This conference will immediately follow the NCFIC The Master’s Plan for Fatherhood conference in Tulsa, and, according to their website, will present “a Biblical critique on the key doctrines of the ‘word of faith’ movement and ‘prosperity gospel’ sweeping through the modern church.”

Other speakers include:

  • Justin Peters of Justin Peters Ministries
  • Frank Turk from Team Pyro has accepted our invitation to come back to Tulsa to speak again, with the specific discernment-related topic to be determined later.
  • Phil Johnson on Executive Director of Grace to You ( and an Elder at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, CA.
  • Don Currin Coordinator for Eastern Europe for Heartcry Missionary Society.

Learn more about this conference and register here.

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Intern Training: How To Dress

How should a man dress? I gathered my interns together around Erik Weir, of Weir Capital Management,  and asked him a number of questions on this subject. He gives very practical tips regarding various realities that exist as a result of your clothing choices as well as details about shirts, shoes and pants.  My favorite line, “The net present value of hip clothing is zero.”   There are several articles on this subject on The Art of Manliness web site, where you might find the requirements a little hard on the budget, but there are some helpful suggestions.  Also, consider Don Whitney on “Clothing Tips for Ministers.”  One insightful article on the Art of Manliness site addresses the basic concept of appearance, “Perhaps you’ve heard the following: “The days of wearing a suit are gone.” “Casual Friday? It’s casual week around here. No one cares how you dress.” “Appearances are irrelevant, only results matter.”  All of these statements ignore the fact that people have and will continue to judge you by your appearance.The harsh reality is that we make decisions about people within the first 3 seconds of meeting them; we then spend the next 90 seconds trying to confirm our first impressions.This means that before you even open your mouth you’ve been sized up and profiled. Knowing this, a person should always dress neatly, professionally, and appropriately.The fact is you never know who you are going to meet; at anytime you may run into a potential client, a future employer, or for those singles out there, the love of your life. And like it or not, they are going to form their initial impression of you based off of how you look.”

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Bush on Homosexuality: ‘I Shouldn’t Take Speck Out of Someone’s Eye When I Have Log in My Own’

Christian News Network entered my comments on former President George Bush on his recent comment in Zambia on homosexuality:

During a recent trip to Africa to help renovate a cancer screening clinic in Zambia, former president George W. Bush used Scripture to outline his belief that the world should not be “overly critical” of homosexuality.

A Zambian reporter had asked Bush how he feels about the issue of same-sex “marriage,” and whether it is compatible with Christianity.

“I shouldn’t be taking a speck out of someone else’s eye when I have a log in my own,” he said, referring to the words of Christ in Matthew 7:3.

Later, ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl asked Bush about his comments, but he declined to elaborate further, stating that he was no longer involved in politics.

“I meant that I’m not going to answer the question then and I’m not going to answer it now in terms of the political question about whether or not [it’s compatible with Christianity]. I just don’t want to weigh back in the debate,” he responded. “I’m out of politics.”

“But, I meant it’s very important for people not to be overly critical of someone else until you’ve examined your own heart,” Bush added.

When Karl then asked whether Bush’s views had “evolved” on homosexuality, he again refused to explain.

“Jon, you didn’t hear my answer,” he replied. “I’m not going to weigh back into those kinds of issues. I’m out of politics. The only way I can really make news is either criticize the president, which I don’t want to do, criticize my own party, or weigh in on a controversial issue. And I’m off the stage.”

“Unless I’m promoting something I strongly believe in — I believe that what we’re doing in Africa is incredibly important. And will continue to do so, so long as I’m ambulatory,” Bush continued.

However, some are disappointed with Bush’s response and state that he used Scripture out of context in providing an answer.

“Mr. Bush has actually misinterpreted the verse and applied it wrongly, most likely because he is unaware of the whole counsel of God on the matter of judgment,” Pastor Scott Brown, the director of the National Center for Family-Integrated Churches and elder at Hope Baptist Church in Wake Forest, North Carolina, told Christian News Network. “The Bible speaks abundantly and clearly on matters of judgment and Mr. Bush has taken one single verse out of context and ignored the many other things the Bible says about it.”

“From the first prophet in the Old Testament to the first prophet of the New Testament we learn that men of God ought to pass judgment on matters of morality,” he added. “This has little to do with taking the log out of your own eye.”

Brown explained that while Jesus warned against being a hypocrite, He never said that men should dispense with His moral law. He also outlined 12 ways in which Christians are to make judgments, including the judgment of false doctrines and false teachers, and judging the state of civil affairs.

“The very nature of preaching requires making [moral] judgments,” Brown said.

The ministry leader himself taught about homosexuality in Africa during his visit in 2012, which was during the same time that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was visiting the continent.

“I was invited to Malawi to speak to a group of men from various churches that included government officials and high level executives,” he explained. “They requested that I deliver a message on the issue of homosexuality.”

In addition to addressing topics such as “What Do The Scriptures Say?” and “What Is The Solution?” Brown outlined that homosexuality comes as a result of the fallen nature that Jesus died to redeem.

“It is the result of The Fall,” Brown told the people. “The desire arises exclusively from sin, not heredity. … There are many sexual sins that people are attracted to and sodomy is only one of them.”

Discussion begins at 6:13

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Voice Obedience on the First Command

At Doug Phillips’ History of America conference, I was listening to Paul Jehle speaking about the pilgrim church in Plymouth and their child raising practices. He said it this way,

“The pilgrim church was a holy commonwealth. They trained their children by voice obedience in a soft voice on the first command. Parents were put in stocks if a child disobeyed in public.”

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Leaders Weigh in on the NCFIC

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