Romanian Blog Post on Divided

Our Romanian friend, Marius Cruceru, who has driven a few of us all over Romania to preach, has posted his thoughts on Divided with lots of comments. Here is another post. Marius is a local church pastor and Dean of the School of Theology at Emmanuel University in Oradea, Romania.


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Talkin Bout My Generation

It is a sign of apostasy when someone takes lightly or neglects the local expression of the church of Jesus Christ. Lack of love for the church seems to be so rampant among those who call them Christians. Last year, I organized a large conference, Love the Church, in order to speak of her glory and beauty. George Barna documents the demise of my generation, commonly called the Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964. My generation is on a church rejection path, which will do it no good. Barna reports: (more…)

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What Dulls Our Appetite for Heaven?

Yesterday, I preached on fasting from Matthew 6:16-18.

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I dealt with the question, “If Jesus assumes His disciples fast, then why don’t we?” There are several answers, (more…)

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Free E-book Giveaway

If you sign up for the NCFIC newsletter, we are giving away a free e-book.

***Sign up for the newsletter and download the free e-book of A Weed in the Church.***

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Philip Leclerc’s Journey Explained

Divided’s host, Philip Leclerc, is not acting a scripted role in the film. He is actually narrating through his own real story. The film opens with Philip explaining that (while he didn’t like it at the time) when he was thirteen, his parents took him out of the youth ministry programs because of problems they identified. When Philip began the Divided film project, he was open and sympathetic to many of the conclusions he finally came to and communicates in the film. However, Philip began undecided, frustrated, and compelled to find answers. The conclusions he came to in the film were as a result of the research, interviewing, and filmmaking process he went through on the documentary journey. At the end of the film, Philip genuinely expresses a new found gratitude toward his father in retrospect for his wisdom in pulling him out of the youth ministry programs years ago. Philip Leclerc is not pretending or a paid actor. He is himself in the film.

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Deborah Sent Me This from Her Iphone – It Is My Granddaughter Iona Swinging in the Barn

Nine Lessons Concerning Sickness from J.C. Ryle

J.C. Ryle provides an excellent list of things that can be learned from sickness. He concludes with this:

Regard your sickness as a blessing in disguise—a good and not an evil—a friend and not an enemy. No doubt we should all prefer to learn spiritual lessons in the school of ease and not under the rod. But rest assured that God knows better than we do how to teach us. The light of the last day will show you that there was a meaning and a “need be” in all your bodily ailments. The lessons that we learn on a sick-bed, when we are shut out from the world, are often lessons which we should never learn elsewhere.

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Paul Washer on Reforming Youth Evangelism

Hear Paul Washer on, Reforming Modern Youth Evangelism. This message was delivered at NCFIC’s Love the Church Conference in 2010.

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Tim Challies’ Harsh Review of

Tim Challies has just launched a provocative review of our film, Divided. I thought it would be helpful to supply some clarifying information that may not have been represented in the review. I have appreciated reading Tim Challies’ blog for many years,  and I consider his ministry to me a blessing. I will continue to glean from him.

Tim made an unfounded remark when he said that the NCFIC is “making family integration the pivotal and central doctrine for the church. It identifies a genuine problem but attempts to solve it in a way that elevates methodology instead of the gospel message.” This is completely false and contrary to what we have always maintained rather publicly. In the FAQ section of the NCFIC web site, we make this statement under the heading, What is the NCFIC’s Purpose:

…We do not believe that family-integration is the only—or even the primary—issue in selecting or establishing a local church. But it is unquestionably a defining issue of our day as the modern church has lost the essential familistic culture that we see modeled in the New Testament.

Another statement I made in my book A Weed in the Church makes this even clearer.

Tim also referenced Andraes Kostenberger’s chapter on the Family-Integrated Church Movement. In a two part review, we point out some of the inaccuracies made here in A Review of and A Response to Andreas Kostenberger’s Critique of the Family-Integrated Approach to Church Ministry. There are a number of misrepresentations that are recorded in that chapter, in the midst of a very fine book on God Marriage and Family.

Here are some Answers for Critics that debunk many of the often claimed falsehoods of the NCFIC.

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Family Integration is not Central but…

The issue of age-integrated discipleship and how it relates to every ministry in church life is not of central importance. However, what makes the issue extremely important is that it drives a discussion about something that is central – the authority of Jesus Christ in His Church. It causes us to ask a most important question: "Are the words of Christ sufficient?" "Has he spoken enough to us in order to govern ministry to youth and families and the lost?"

This divisive issue raises hackles that must be tamed by Scripture alone.

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It’s Prayer Night

Tonight, our church will gather at my house to recognize the open door between God and His children. We gather weekly to obey the Lord as He said, “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me” (Psalm 50:15). Octavius Winslow comments about the beauty of prayer from the words of a newly converted heathen, who said, “I open my bible and God talks to me; I close my bible and then I walk with God” (p90).

He marks the centrality of prayer when he wrote, “As prayer is the first evidence of spiritual life in the soul, and its growth in spirituality and vigor marks the healthy and advancing state of that life, so the declension of prayer in its spirit, exercise, and enjoyment is strongly indicative of the decay of real grace in the child or God” (p90).

Let’s take our pulse today so that it is back-strong in the evening for, as Winslow has observed, “a prayer is the spiritual pulse of the renewed soul; its beat indicates the healthy or unhealthy state of the believer. Just as the physician would decide upon the health of the body from the action or the pulse, so would we decide upon the spiritual health of the soul before God, by the estimation in which prayer is held by the believer” (p94).

Octavius Winslow quotes from his book, Personal Declension and Revival of Religion in the Soul, Banner of Truth Trust.

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R.C. Sproul Jr. on What is a Family-Integrated Church?

Highlands Ministry

Our friend RC Sproul Jr. has written an issue of his “Kingdom Notes” on, “What is a Family-Integrated Church?” I always look forward to getting the “Kingdom Notes” newsletter, which comes weekly. It is always a refreshing read. It is full of insight and powerful observations. You can sign up for it by clicking here.

Though it sounds rather complicated and perhaps a smidge experimental, the concept is both simple and ancient. A family integrated church is one that encourages keeping families together by keeping them together. It is a church where families together study the Bible, where families together worship the living God, where families together serve both the church and the world in the name of Jesus Christ.

We fight against a Devil that desperately fights against the family. (more…)

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What Jesus Says It Means to Be an Unforgiving Servant

In Matthew 18:21-35, Jesus speaks of an unforgiving servant. Here are the numbers that stand behind the story:

  • 10,000 talents forgiven by the master
  • 100 denarii owed by the fellow servant
  • 1 talent = 6,000 denarii
  • 10,000 talents = 60M denarii

Implication from Matthew 20:2, where a denarius was a day’s wage for a laborer: working 6 days a week, the fellow servant owed 4 months of labor, while the master had forgiven 200,000 years of labor.

Ratio; 600,000:1

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Where are the Titus 2 Women?

There are very few older women teaching the younger women the way Titus 2 commands. There are so few of them for at least two reasons. First, the church has departed from trust in Scripture and, as a result, women have not been taught that this should be their role. Second, we have gutted the generational culture of the church and segregated it by age. The result is that the older are functionally separated from the younger. My heart breaks for younger women who do not have older women to help them love their husbands and their children. Elizabeth Eliot speaks profoundly on this matter: 

It would help younger women to know there are a few listening ears when they don’t know what to do with an uncommunicative husband (more…)

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Gather the Family

Gather the Family

Ted Baehr of Movieguide, says, "The Family is the First Line of Defense in the Culture War." He says, "I recently watched an interesting documentary, GATHER THE FAMILY, that examines several families, including a very successful doctor, a single mother and other families from different social strata showing that, when they gather for Bible reading and worship…[their] lives are enhanced in many measurable and immeasurable ways. One Harlem family notes that children love to pray."

Gather the Family features many of our friends as well as some of the people who go to our church, Hope Baptist Church.

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