Baltimore Riots and the Importance of Fathers

 

Lee Culpepper asks, “Do Baltimore Fathers Matter?” This is such an important question for all of us. Problems in our society always can be traced backward to root causes. He makes two striking observations that centers our attention on one of the critical facts of the situation. First he notes that “we haven’t heard much about the father of Freddie Gray,” and “we also haven’t heard much about other Baltimore fathers parenting their children in the midst of the chaos.” He identifies what has been the focus of the media,  “Instead, we have seen government agencies trying to police the youth through a show of force while still allowing juvenile delinquents to commit crimes. We see complete strangers trying to talk sense to the kids. We see criminal gangs masquerading as noble citizens and managing the chaos through a well-deserved reputation for vengeance. We have seen a desperate single mother trying to discipline her teenage son, but we haven’t seen fathers. Where are the fathers? This is the uncomfortable questions liberals refuse to ask.”

The breakdown of fatherhood is a critical matter, not just in the black community, but it is the source of heartbreak in every community. Culpepper is right to ask, “How much of the violence and rebellion in Baltimore is simply a consequence of the destruction of families?”

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NCFIC Declaration: Article VII – The Church and the Family Are Complementary in Role and Function

We affirm that the church and the family were designed to be complementary, compatible, and harmonious because the family is commanded to raise “godly  seed,” for the next generation, and is the proving ground for church leaders, while the church is responsible to give the family her instruction, discipline, protection, fellowship, and worship (Mal. 2:15; Acts 2:42; Eph. 6:1-4; 1 Tim. 3:1-13; Titus 1:6-9).

We deny/reject that the church and the family have competing purposes; and that the church or family may disregard God’s commands for the church and the family in worship, instruction, discipline, fellowship, or missions.

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3 Reasons to Register Your Church on the NCFIC Network

My hope is that every Biblically-ordered, Christ-exalting, family-integrated church will register themselves on our network. Why? When you register your church on the NCFIC network, people will most likely come to your church to check it out. When that happens, one of three things will take place. They will either be: saved, driven away, or enfolded.

1. They will be saved

They will come and hear the true Gospel, be convicted of their unconverted state, and turn to Christ. In our church, we have had some of the nicest, well-washed, homeschooler, family-integrated families come to our church and be saved. They looked so good on the outside, but were dead on the inside.  They didn’t even realize it when they came. They realized they were never saved in the first place.  They are like millions of evangelicals today. There is a vast ocean of the unconverted who are in churches today as a result of false gospels and a revivalistic evangelistic technique that reduces salvation to praying a prayer, walking an aisle, or embracing principles. After hearing the preaching and relating to the believers, they realize that they were only involved in a lifestyle. (more…)

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The Signs of True Repentance

 

At The Church Discipline Conference, which will be taking place in Wake Forest July 9-11, we will be talking about repentance and how it relates to church discipline. Here is a helpful article by Jared Wilson explaining the signs of true repentance:

How do you know when someone is repentant? In his helpful little book Church Discipline, Jonathan Leeman offers some guidance:

“A few verses before Jesus’ instruction in Matthew 18 about church discipline, he provides us with help for determining whether an individual is characteristically repentant: would the person be willing to cut off a hand or tear out an eye rather than repeat the sin (Matt. 18:8-9)? That is to say, is he or she willing to do whatever it takes to fight against the sin? Repenting people, typically, are zealous about casting off their sin. That’s what God’s Spirit does inside of them. When this happens, one can expect to see a willingness to accept outside counsel. A willingness to inconvenience their schedules. A willingness to confess embarrassing things. A willingness to make financial sacrifices or lose friends or end relationships.” (p. 72)  (more…)

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Logic on Fire – A Film to Fuel Reformation

 

I sat down with my family to watch Logic on Fire, a documentary on Martyn Lloyd-Jones. I highly recommend it. I feel it will be used of the Lord to fuel reformation and refreshment in the church. We need more and more pastors like Lloyd-Jones who are inspired to preach the Word, as well as for church members to grow up and cease their addiction to various narcissistic entertainments and antics that keep them coming. Lloyd-Jones’ only attraction was the glory of God through the preached Word of God. May his tribe increase.

You can get more details and purchase the film on the Logic on Fire website. You can watch the trailer for the movie above.

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Free Download of Family Foundations in Sound Doctrine – Chapter 3

 

God’s Sovereignty and man’s responsibility – this theme has been the subject of much debate throughout church history. If God’s sovereign, then why do we need to evangelize? Why do we need to pray? Doesn’t man have a free will?

Questions like these and many others show just how critical it is that we have a biblical understanding of the doctrine of the decrees of God. Those who have had a wrong understanding of this doctrine have advocated destructive practices, such as: evangelism is not necessary; and, on the other side, man is completely sovereign, so we ought to do everything we can to make them make a decision for God.

This week we are giving away a free download of the third lecture from Family Foundations in Sound Doctrine on chapter 3, “Of God’s Decree.” Ground your family in a biblical view of the doctrine of the decrees of God.

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NCFIC Declaration: Article VI – Families May Be Divided by the Gospel

We affirm that the gospel may divide families, because the gospel can “set a man at variance against his father,” that “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me,” and that we ought to obey God rather than man if there be any conflict between the commands of a husband or parent and the commands of God (Matt. 10:35-37; Acts 4:19-21; 5:21).

We deny/reject that loyalty to the family should ever supersede obedience to God as set forth in His Word, and making the family into an idol.

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I’m Preaching at Grace Fellowship Church on Sunday

 

I am really looking forward to being with the saints at Grace Fellowship Church in Grayville, Illinois. I very much resonate with the way they frame the distinctives of the church.

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Family Worship – Advice for Busy Fathers

 

Fathers are busy, they’ve got a full-time job, they’ve got all kinds of responsibilities, a lot of the fathers here are elders or deacons or ministers as well. I think the best preparation to really be effective at family worship is to be prayerful yourself, and to have a secret life of communion with God and feel the burden of the souls of your children.

The second most important thing is be widely read, read as much as you can about all kinds of spiritual matters and practical matters, and be well-versed about your children’s needs just through reading. And let the family worship flow out of the spontaneity and the overflow of that kind of preparation.

Now ideally, of course, a father should get up 20 minutes early every morning and look at the chapter he’s going to do for family worship that evening, and spend some time thinking about it, maybe checking a commentary or two. I mean that would be wonderful, praise God for fathers that do that. But most father find that difficult to do and so I think the overall preparation is important as well.

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Come to The Highway of Holiness Conference

 

Consider joining us at our national conference, “The Highway of Holiness” at the Ridgecrest Christian Conference Center in Asheville, NC, Oct. 29-31.

 

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Robert Murray McCheyne on the “Vast Importance of Church Discipline”

Robert Murray McCheyne speaks of his early avoidance and abhorrence of church discipline, as well as the change that took place:

“When I first entered the work of the ministry among you, I was exceedingly ignorant of the vast importance of church discipline. I thought that my great and almost only work was to pray and preach. I saw your souls to be so precious, and the time so short, that I devoted all my time, and care, and strength, to labor in word and doctrine. When cases of discipline were brought before me and the elders, I regarded them with something like abhorrence. It was a duty I shrank from; and I may truly say it nearly drove me from the work of the ministry among you all altogether. But it pleased God, who teaches his servants in another way than man teaches, to bless some of the cases of discipline to the manifest and undeniable conversion of the souls of those under our care; and from that hour a new light broke in upon my mind, and I saw that if preaching be an ordinance of Christ, so is church discipline. I now feel very deeply persuaded that both are of God-that two keys are committed to us by Christ: the one the key of doctrine, by means of which we unlock the treasures of the Bible; the other the key of discipline, by which we open or shut the way to the sealing ordinances of the faith. Both are Christ’s gift, and neither is to be resigned without sin.”1

1Andrew A. Bonar, Memoir and Remains of R.M. McCheyne (Great Britain: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1966), 73.

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Free Download of Family Foundations in Sound Doctrine – Chapter 2

 

It is critical that our churches and families have a biblical understanding of the doctrine of God. Our view of God affects every aspect of our lives: our response to the trials of life, how we interpret Scripture, our view on current issues, and many other situations. 

This week, we are giving away a digital download of the second lecture from Family Foundations in Sound Doctrine. This lecture is on Chapter 2 of the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith, “Of God and of the Holy Trinity.” You can stream it or download it here.  

In the NCFIC store, you can buy the whole set for $129.95. The set includes: 32 DVD video lectures on all 32 chapters of the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith, the accompanying study guide, a paperback edition of the SLBC, as well as an audiobook version to listen to.  

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NCFIC Declaration: Article V – The Church is Eternal While the Family is Temporal

We affirm that the church is the bride of Christ and the family of God, and that in heaven people ‘neither marry nor are given in marriage,’ indicating that the family, which is part of the creation order, established for the fulfillment of the dominion mandate here on earth, ceases to exist in heaven, but that on earth and in Christ, the family becomes a vehicle for the demonstration of the relationship between Christ and His church and for raising children in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Gen. 1:26-28; 18:19; Mal. 2:15; Matt. 22:29-32; Eph. 5:22-33; 6:1-4).

We deny/reject the notion that the family supersedes the church in time, function, or in the strategic and eternal place the church holds in the plan of redemption, the kingdom of Christ, and the fulfillment of the Great Commission.

 

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5 Tips for Corporate Prayer Meetings

Here are a few things to consider regarding corporate prayer meetings. There is much to say about the Godward focus of our prayer, which is the very most important matter. This most important matter in all prayer is the heartfelt acknowledgment of the majesty of God, expressing our love and gratitude to Him. Further, we bring our requests before Him. However, there are some mechanics that can help us as we pray in a corporate setting:

1. Pray All – to fulfill the command to pray.
Often a few end up praying and it’s the same old people.

2. Pray Short – so more can pray.
Long prayers should be avoided in order to allow all to pray.

3. Pray Sequentially – to redeem the time.
Often there are gaps in the prayers with long silences. The church should avoid these, and take up the time for more glory given to God.

4. Pray Together – to be unified
When we pray we should be praying the same thing together with heartfelt affirmation of the prayer.

5. Pray Responsively and say “Amen” – to share the joy
Letting a prayer fall to the ground without explicit agreement and saying “amen” either in your heart or with your mouth diminishes the weight of the prayer in your heart.

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A Call to Battle 2015 – Recap

We (Carlton McLeod, Voddie Baucham, B. Courtney McBath, and I) had a great time preaching on Friday and Saturday last week at Carlton McLeod’s, “A Call to Battle 2015: Taking Back the Family” conference.  The messages from the conference will be available sometime in the next couple of weeks. Check out Carlton McLeod’s blog later, as well as the D6 Reformation web site.

 

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