Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wonka Camp Pics and Vids

The first thing I noticed when I got to Smyrna last Friday was the wonderful stage set-up.  It was so beautiful.  It reminded me of the backdrops my mom used to make. 

When we got to the cabins, we were given pool noodles, tape, ribbon, and cellophane to make candy canes and help decorate the stage.

Later, at our first worship time, Oompa Loompas joined us, and we danced to the camp classic, "Star Trekkin.'"

Early the next morning, the girls get their exercise.  They weren't all out of energy yet.  In fact, they never were.

Some of my girls are piled on each other in the dining hall at breakfast

Some point before my talk, I gave the camera to another, and he filmed me dancing to this song.

Then, I gave my speech.  I hope you can hear it.  I simply don't like watching myself on video, so I can't tell, but turn the volume up just the same.

Later we played not one but TWO messy games.  Feedback later said we'd only do one next year.  I completely agree.  It is nice to get some laughs at the expense of your kids, though.

This first one is OMC, Organized Mass Chaos.

These were from Willy Wonka's Messy Olympics.  Kids would say "messy Olympics" and I'd hear "Messianic Olympics" for some reason.

Ultimately, they were all supposed to look like Oompa Loompas.  The green wigs that followed helped complete the set.

Finally, I've got to share some songs from Ty Rumble accompanied by his cute 2-year-old daughter, Natalie.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


I'm on this group on Facebook called "Calvinism: the Group that Chooses You."  It provides some interesting fodder for this blog and I think I'll use them for topics more.

One guy wrote, "What is your view as a Calvinist on Israel?"  There are many that answered that they are lost forever and their disbelief is a bigger enemy than Islam.  I am disheartened by this because it's so lacking in Christ-like love that we should have for all people, elect or reprobate, especially Israel.

Now, I'm not like John MacArthur who believes that the biological Israel will have a different eschatology than us.  I believe as a Christian that I am grafted into the family of Israel through faith in Christ as Abraham's promised seed.  I believe that Jews and Gentiles will have the same opportunities to reject Christ and to accept him until all the elect finally believe and then Christ comes back. 

I do find some kind of truth in MacA's dispensationalism.  The biological Jews rejected Christ for the most part and the majority of Christians from Christ until now are Gentiles.  I'm a Gentile.  But I am a Jew because of Christ's blood that has atoned me.  Maybe there will be a time when Jews come back to Jesus toward the for real end of time.  It's not going to be after the rapture because there is only one church. 

As for Israel now, it's continued existence is one of the biggest proofs for God's existence.  From the Holocaust to the Inquisition to the KKK to the Crusades, throughout all history they have been attacked ruthlessly, but God has saved a remnant.  They are mostly reprobates, but God still loves them and keeps their genes alive.  I see it as an abomination to want to take their land and give it to the Palestinian pirates who will take more than the inch given to them by the UN.  As Christians, we had better stand by Israel, especially as Americans because they have been our allies.  I remember a time when George W. Bush tried to compromise with the PLO and give them some Israeli land.  Weeks later, Katrina destroyed Louisiana.  That state still suffers the effects.  God will protect Israel no matter who attacks them, and we had better be on God's side.

As for the Calvinists on the Facebook page, this is the kind of cavalier Calvinism that John MacA warns against.  We're so proud of our knowledge of soteriology that we become hateful toward anyone who thinks differently.  We are to be humblest of humble because God saved his enemies and made them Christians apart from any will of ours.  We did not choose God and deserve hell.  How dare we act proudly toward other people and use our grace as a license to worship beer and crude jokes, and especially as a license against those who are different from us.  We should be mourning the reprobate deeply, not rubbing it in their faces.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Camp this weekend

I still have not loaded pictures from Kids' Camp onto my computer.  I'll do it soon enough.  I have class tonight, so I'll hopefully get around to it tomorrow.

All I can say is I'm worn out.  I got the 5th grade girls cabin.  Last year I had 4th grade.  Since 4th graders turn into 5th graders in a year, I had the same girls as last year except maybe 2 new ones.  I remember most of them being very sweet, spiritual, and eager to answer questions and read from the Bible.  I had only one girl who suffered from either ADD, bipolar disorder, or plain BAD.  She needs much prayer, but I hope that I was a shining light to her and an example of positive love.

Smyrna did a great job in getting Ty Rumble to do the music.  His dad is a Reformed Baptist pastor in town, and Ty himself is quite reformed, so his songs were full of Jesus and good theology.  For a camp theme mostly based on morals, God's mercy still showed.

Friday night's message was from Lisa Grizzel.  She focused on Matthew 7:12, the Golden Rule, especially the word "Do."  She gave reasons why we should treat others as we want to be treated, mostly because Jesus loves us all, we are created in his image, and we need to treat each other like we would treat him.  For cabin time afterward, the girls seemed to answer the questions before I asked them.  How can we treat others kindly?  Have you ever been treated kindly?  How did you feel? 

Saturday morning, we ate breakfast, then Keith Gray gave a brief devotional in the swimming pool which is one of his best illustrations yet.  He took a bottle named Bob.  Bob still had his lid on.  Bob joined a church and tried to dive into the water/Jesus, but he kept floating to the top.  Finally Bob opened up his heart/lid, letting the water/Jesus in, letting him float deeper.  While we're still alive, we won't be completely submerged, because sanctification -- the process of becoming more like Jesus -- is a lifelong process.

Saturday morning, I gave my talk.  I hope one of the other cabin leaders caught it on camera for me.  I gave him my camera to film me.

After that we did two messy games, one was Organized Mass Chaos, a game put out by LifeWay I believe, and the other was Willy Wonka's Messy Olympics.  We also had hours of swimming.

Then, Denise Martin gave a talk.  It was about being rude.  It was also about what we put into our heads.  It comes out as unclean words.  Her Scripture passage was the passage where Jesus declares that nothing going in makes you unclean but what comes out.  She gave a good illustration through a skit from some of the teenagers.  One kid was the dad and the other two were his kids who wanted to go to an R movie.  They thought it was alright because it only had a "little" cussing, a "little" violence.  Dad said no.  Then, while they were gone, he made brownies with only a "little" dog doo-doo.  The kids would not eat the brownies, even if it was from their dog, a dog they liked. 

The cabin discussion afterward sparked some good conversation.  They would ask questions about what was rude and what wasn't rude.  One girl said, "I don't know where rudeness comes from."  I explained that all sin comes from when Eve ate from a tree that God told her not to eat from.  They had so many questions, some I had trouble answering.  Is war rude?  It can be.  Sometimes it's completely okay because we're self-defending or because we're fighting against people who have taken other people's rights to live.  That was a huge discussion. 

Later on, we re-wrote a section of the Lord's prayer in our own words.  First I explained that rude is not necessarily a sin.  I can sit down and belch real loud.  It would be rude, but not a sin.  I shouldn't do it because it's also unattractive.  But real sin is when we do anything that God tells us not to do or don't do anything he wants us to do.  Then, since our section of the Prayer was "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven," we had a huge discussion on heaven.  Hopefully they went away from that knowing that they won't be angels in heaven, that we'll see God, and that there will be no anger or killing in heaven, and that once we're there, we can't leave.  I also hope they realize that Justin Bieber may or may not be in heaven some day.

Finally, Amy Gray gave a talk.  She showed the clip from the old Willy Wonka movie where Charlie almost doesn't win because he and his grandpa drank from the Fizzy Lifting drink.  Charlie humbly gave up his Gobstopper, so Wonka gave him the factory.  She explained that Jesus also will forgive our sins if we give them up to him. 

Sunday came.  We held worship service with the parents and the rest of Smyrna Presbyterian Church, and we went home.  I could not remember what day it was though I knew it was Sunday.  And now I'm in a classroom at Clayton State feeling sunburned, arms achy, and feeling like it was one of our better camps.  God can move through anything.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Off to camp

I'm off to Kids' camp at Smyrna Presbyterian Church for the weekend.  Since the theme is Willy Wonka, I thought I'd post from Cake Wrecks a timely post about the East Coast Earthquakes.  I don't know anybody funnier than Jen Yates, and some people take her posts so personally, but she's not poking fun at property damage or even lost lives, just cakes that look like they were decorated in an earthquake, thus looking on the bright side of any natural disaster.  Also, I pray for the East Coast upon the impending Hurricane Irene (which is not a good name for a hurricane).  I hope nothing serious happens so that Mary can fly up to see her daughter.

As promised, here is The Day the Earth Wouldn't Stand Still.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Metamorph-o Man

I studied a bug in a lab one night
Looking for proof of it's change,
For some common ancestry 'tween him and me.
Belief in a maker seemed strange.


Then Ken Ham walked in with a microscope.
He told me that though they mutate,
It's within their own kind, not evolution design,
And for me that settled the debate.

So pin me a moth, metamorpho-man,
Pin me a moth tonight.
Hang it up in a frame on your sterile wall.
God designed this thing just right.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Rich Young Salt

This weekend I won't be at Trinity EPC.  I'll be at my old church's kids' camp.  I'll be giving a talk Saturday morning.  The camp's theme is Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory + Jesus is our Golden Ticket.  The goal is for kids to study the Golden Rule.  In my topic I was given the theme of Veruca Salt, the bratty girl who got dumped down the garbage chute.  The following is my plan.

In the movie, there is a girl named Veruca Salt.  She is so spoiled that she demands that her father find her a Golden Ticket.  Once she gets that, it’s not enough, she demands a pony or some other thing.  It seems like young Veruca has everything she could ever want, but something is missing in her life.  Her life is not complete, but why?

Jesus once met a man who had the same problem.  You will find his story in Matthew 19:16-30.

Points :
I.  I open up the passage to read when Amy Gray comes up on stage and asks, “Good Meghan, what must I do to have eternal life?” 
Me: One, I’m in the middle of giving these kids a lesson and you just interrupted me.
Amy: Sorry
Meghan: Two, why do you call me good?  There was only one person who was good and it certainly wasn’t me.  It was Jesus.
Amy: Oh, I was just wondering because I have so much stuff.  I have an Ipod, a TV, Netflix, a Wii, yearly trips to Hawaii, I’m going to Africa in the fall.  But I would like to know how I can live forever.
Meghan: Well, what are the Ten Commandments?
Amy:  Let’s see, don’t kill, don’t steal, don’t lie, honor my parents, hey Daddy, love people like I love myself.  I’ve done all that stuff.  I do what I will as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody.
Meghan: You must do one thing, then.  You must give away all your toys and things and then follow Jesus. 
Amy:  But I thought Jesus would take me as I am.  I’m going to ask someone else if they can help me live forever.

Poor Amy.  She doesn’t realize that although Jesus does love her as she is, he also loves her too much to keep her as she is.  The man that Jesus met had the same problem, he had so many possessions that when Jesus asked him to give them up, he could not do it.

II. Is there anything wrong with having toys and games and sports and friends?  No.  When is it wrong to have all that stuff?  It’s wrong when you start to love it more than you love Jesus. 

When the rich man left Jesus, Jesus told his disciples, “It’s easier for a camel to enter the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven.”  I guess that…

At this moment, Amy comes back on stage with a stuffed camel.
Amy: Can I bring this to heaven with me?
I hold up a needle: Can you get it through this?
Amy:  Aw, that’s not fair.  I can’t even get through that.
Meghan: Amy, it seems you have so much stuff that you think that you are already in heaven.  But tell me this, if heaven is God’s kingdom, and you’re already in heaven, then where is God?
Amy: God is in my heart!
Meghan: If God is in your heart, then why would you rather live with your things that can’t talk to you and not give them up to follow Jesus?  You can’t have a kingdom without a king.
Amy:  Okay, let me think this through.
She leaves.

III. The disciples saw all this happening between the rich man and Jesus, and they asked, “How can anybody be saved?”  They still didn’t understand that they could not do good things to get to heaven.  All those commandments Jesus told to the man are good, but all people have broken at least one commandment, which means nobody can go to heaven doing good things.  But the good news is that although with man, this is impossible, with God all things are possible.  Only God can save you and he does that by sending Jesus to die the death you deserve due to breaking the commandments and then bringing him back to life so that you can follow him.
All God demands of you is that you worship Jesus.  This means you have to love him more than anything.  This means that you should be willing to follow him even if it means you have to give up all your clothes, toys, friends, things, etc.
Amy comes back: I figured it out.  I noticed how I have so many toys, but nobody to talk to.  I take trips to Hawaii, but I’m all alone.  It’s like I can’t go anywhere because I have a house full of things.  I can’t even invite people over because they have nowhere to sit.  I decided to sell all my things in an auction, and when I go to Africa, I’ll give all the money to the children there.
Meghan: I’m telling you Amy, when Jesus comes back to rule this earth, all the people who followed him will have thrones and judge those who did not give up their lives for Him.  Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for Christ’s sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.

Cabin Leader Questions:
1. If we can’t get to heaven by being good and following the Ten Commandments, then why does Jesus say to give up our possessions to follow him?

2. Is getting to heaven easy?  Why or why not?  See Matthew 19:23-26

3. So many people, including those who go to church, miss out on heaven because there is so much that they love more than Jesus.  How is this possible?  Do you know any examples of this in your life?

4. Read John 10:10.  Jesus didn’t simply mean that he allows you to breathe and wake up every day, though that is true.  He means that he makes life fun, happy, and worth living.  What are some thieves that look like they are fun and cool but really do not give your life meaning?

5. Some people say that you can find heaven by just being kind to people.  Read John 14:6.  According to this verse, is that statement true or false?  Why?  If false, how can you make it true?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Continuing what?

More on the continuationism issue.  Since I have a Thursday night class I can no longer go to my 20-something Bible study.  So I decided to go back to Grace Fellowship's 5:15 service and join their young folks group afterward.

Now, the preacher is an okay guy.  He's never shown a Rob Bell video, so I keep showing up at his church.  He has Kingdom Now beliefs that get on my nerves, which is why I haven't gone in a while.  But I need fellowship with people my age and I know this church has it.

He must have heard some of Mark Driscoll's continuation rants.  His text was Acts 8, one of my favorite passages.  While preaching it, he told the crowd that some people call him too charismatic, and some people say he's not charismatic enough.  Many Christians say that God performed many miracles during the apostles' time, and miracles will happen when Jesus starts to come back, but there are no miracles now.  He believes that there are miracles now because the Holy Spirit works today in many people bringing revival and changing lives.

I agree with the latter part.  If the Holy Spirit did not work among us today, nobody would come to know Christ, poor people would not be reached, and there would be not church.  But that does not prove that there are miracles today.  Are people raised from the dead?  Are blind people healed apart from medical science?  There may be wonders in tribal areas of the planet where less people have heard of Jesus, but for the most part, we have a church that believes in Jesus because of the Word of God which is complete.  It is sufficient for everything we need to know and it awakens us to be able to accept the Gospel.  To believe that signs and wonders have stopped does not mean disbelief in the Holy Spirit's action today.  Since that's the member of the Trinity that we interact with most on this planet, he is the whole reason we have a visible church in the first place.

Later on, there was a point in Acts 8 where believers accepted Jesus but then Peter had to come and lay hands on them to receive the Holy Spirit.  So he took that to mean that people have to receive the Spirit after they become a Christian and said "Get over it."  So, not only does he have theology that may or may not be right, but he's arrogant about it.  But I know for a fact that all Christians receive the Holy Spirit when they accept Christ.  It may take them some time to grow in holiness.  It may take their whole lives, but if you're a Christian, you have the Holy Spirit.  I don't know why in this one case Peter had to come lay hands on the people, but it's not because they didn't receive the Holy Spirit.  It might be like baptism where you need to be baptized in the name of all three members of the Trinity for it to count.

Leading me to my final point.  There's a point where we read, "they baptized men and women."  He said, "It says nothing about infants."  I thought, why are you making this an issue?  It's a denominational difference.  It should not be in your sermon but simply in your practice.  Maybe if you do a sermon specifically about baptism and children, then you can mention that your church does not baptize infants but don't go all dogmatic about it.  Now, I understand many of my readers don't agree with infant baptism.  I'm actually in a minority with my beliefs, and so far I have not persuaded people to my side, but if you don't agree with it that's fine.  I just wish people would not so appalled at the fact that Presbyterians baptize infants and don't rebaptize people.

So I will explain my paedobaptist beliefs briefly then close this post.  I'm don't believe that baptism erases your original sin.  I don't believe baptism saves or is a sign that you are saved.  Baptism is a sign that you have entered God's covenant community.  Just like 8-day-old Jewish boys underwent circumcision so they could be considered part of the Israelite family, all Christians should get baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to show that they are in God's new covenant family.  Many people in Acts were already adults when they accepted Christ, so they had to have a Trinitarian baptism.  But also in Acts, when one head of a household accepted Christ, his whole family got baptized whether they understood or not.  So no, there are no explicit instances where we see some apostle baptizing a baby, but being a Calvinist, and knowing that God works through his own choosing and likes to use covenant communities, paedobaptism is quite alright theologically, and it's not unbiblical.

One last idea.  If a baby is born, are you going to leave him on your front porch until he decides he's in the family?  No, you take him in and raise him, welcoming him into the family.  Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me."  Children need to be fully immersed into church life by parents who know what they are doing.  We've failed so much in not letting parents know that they are the main Christian educators, not me the youth pastor.  I cringed every time I would see some unwed couple come to get their child baptized at my old church.  We need to let the parents know what raising a child in the Christian faith means.  Baptism and baby dedication aren't just some cute excuse to show off your baby.  It's a very serious commitment.  If you aren't living as a Christian, you're not going to be able to raise your child as a Christian whether Baptist or Presbyterian.  I hope the Lord leads me to know how to better equip my children's parents or at least the adults that bring kids to lead their children in devotions at home.

Monday, August 22, 2011

God's Covenant

I had Aubrie again for Sunday School.  We did the cola taste testing game, reviewed the lesson on God's covenant and then watched David Murray's Angel of the Lord video about Hagar at the Well. 

In church, our two-year-old, Jacob graduated from babies, to toddlers.  I don't a know a prettier little boy.  He knows how to steal the show and be so cute.

Children's church went really well.  Austin played Abraham, Alexis played God, and Autumn and Madison were the animal (they wanted to be deer) that Abraham sacrificed and split in two.  I made two girls play the animal so that they could be split in two.  Alexis took a plastic-cup lighthouse that was the craft for later and walked between the two animals. 

Then I briefly mentioned that Abraham and Sarah in their impatience, got another wife for Abraham and she had Ishmael. 

Then Austin and Alexis acted out Genesis 17.  (I did not explain to them circumcision, though I did mention it some to Aubrie as surgery for boys.)  Then we read Genesis 18, reader's theater style.  This time Madison played Sarah.  Autumn was still the deer though she had not words. 

Then, I made them make this lighthouse:

Hopefully, this will remind them that God walked through animal pieces as a lit torch and a smoking pot.  Instead of a tea light, I had a yellow cup for the top cup to make the lighthouse look lit. 

Things I learned from my lesson:  Hagar was an outcast.  David Murray compared her to the woman at the well.  They pretty much have the same story.  They are known for their sexual past, yet Jesus shows up and treats them with dignity, the first to treat them as human beings in forever.  This caused the Samaritan woman to be the first missionary to Sychar, and Hagar to believe in in God and give him the name Elroy, er, I mean El Roi.  Even though God told her that Ishmael would be a wild donkey of a man, she still greatly treasured the fact that he saw and heard her and cared about her. 

The second thing I learned is that God gives us what is appropriate for us at the right time.  Often, his timing makes no sense at all.  I'm thinking of my three Au kids (who's names start with Au).  They are sisters and brother who go back and forth between their godly dad and step-mom, but live with their mom during the week and only see their dad two weekends a month.  Their real mom does drugs and uses the kids.  This past week was really bad.  I sit and wonder why the judge of Putnam county things this situation is perfectly alright for these kids.  I heard excuses, but they are beyond pathetic, and I know God is in control of the outcome but why does he still let this happen?  It makes me angry to an extent, but then I also know that he loves those kids way more than I could.  I know he has a plan for them that will be for his glory, but it's torture knowing that they are in such danger.  That's a musing and a prayer request.  I wish justice would be done fast and permanently. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

My Heart Is Filled with Thankfulness 8/20/11

I'm still thankful that Mary lives with us and helps watch Andrew.  Not only does she do that, but she also watches nursery at church.  She gets important information that I don't get.  She's the one that caught on that one of my kids had lice.  She also found out that all of my kids had lice.  Finally, we checked and found out I had lice.  Not only did I have lice, I had lots of lice.  Now we've done the treatment, and I have no lice but my head sure itches. 

I'm thankful that I can't feel the lice when they bite my scalp.  I must be a numbskull.

I'm not a dog person.  I'm actually a cat person.  But I love Mary's dog Bella.  I'm thankful for that dog.

I'm thankful that I'm about to get two weeks of from church.  I have Kids' Camp at my old church next week, then the next I'm going to see long-time friends in North Carolina.

I'm thankful that Grace Fellowship started another 20s and 30s group on Sundays.  I have class and now I can't go to my normal Thursday group, so I think I'll try out this Sunday group.

and I'm thankful for humor, and for Gregg for posting this video.  I needed a video idea for this week.

Friday, August 19, 2011

But seriously: more on MacArthur and Driscoll

I finally feel compelled to write this after watching a 45 minute radio spot with Phil Johnson and another guy at Grace to You defending John MacArthur to young reformed guys who should know better. 

I have not read much of John MacArthur's posts on the YRR movement, nor do I necessarily agree with everything he says, but from what I understand, he's absolutely right.  I could consider myself young, reformed, and restless, but MacA warns us to not take so much pride in what we know and our eternal security.  God did not have to give anybody salvation.  He would have been just to send us all to hell.  How dare we take pride in our unearned salvation as if it makes us better than anybody else!  Even more appalling, how dare we take that as a license to drink, smoke, gamble, and get tattoos. 

It's true that because we are saved, we don't have to worry about being good to get to heaven.  However, if we are saved, we're not going to see how worldly we can be without sinning.  You're already sinning with that attitude.  Smoking, according to John Frame, falls under the murder category.  You're slowly killing yourself willfully every time you light up, and it's worse for secondhand smokers.  This is murder and not treating holy the temple of your body the Lord gave you. 

Granted, I do like a glass of wine from time to time.  However, pretty much all the kids in my youth group come from families with histories of addictions.  I would not be acting in love if I was caught with a drink around them.  I would not be acting in love if they walked in my home and saw beers in my fridge.  I most certainly will not parade my love for wine around for all to see.  I never talk about it on Facebook, and I never talk about it around my kids, sometimes not even around my friends.  I want people to know me for my devotion for the Lord, not for my enjoyment of alcohol. 

And also, I'm not as against tattoos as I used to be.  It's an argument I won't start.  But I still think they are wrong, not because of Leviticus 19:28, but because of the scenes in 1 Kings where the Baal worshipers would cut themselves to try to appease Baal.  This is nothing short of emo culture, and after watching 5 seconds of Miami Ink, I'm convinced that tattoos are still idol worship.  You will never see a tattoo on my body.

Why the ranting?  Because I know too many people who think they can to whatever they want because they are saved.  Whether they have sex outside of marriage, have abortions, or brag about their drinking and tell crude jokes, they make a mockery of God's mercy that's supposed to save them from the world to be a light to the world, not try it match it in every respect.

People need to start taking seriously Ephesians 4, to live as children of the light and to not live in the ways of darkness that enslaved them when they were still dead in sin.

So, I thank John MacArthur for his fatherly advice.  He's experienced and almost always right, and he's has almost 50 years of faithful ministry to both his church and to America. 

Which brings me to Mark Driscoll.  His recent rantings make me sad, because when he's not trying to prove to Seattle that you can be a Christian and still have fun, he's actually an amazing preacher.  I watched his most recent sermon since his Resurgence foot-in-mouth disorder, and it was amazing.  If he really examined himself, he'd realize that he and MacA actually teach the same things.  They're both Calvinists, Baptists, always railing against religion when people could have freedom believe in Christ, and really have more in common than not.  Both speak out against Rob Bell and the emergent church.  They may disagree in end times, the extent of Sola Scriptura, and I disagree with them both on baptism and women in ministry, they should reach out to each other.

Maybe John MacA could invite Mark over for dinner.  Mark should definitely apologize for his remarks about us cessationists being deists.  It's far from the truth and actually dangerous.  Do you know how many cults began because people thought God's word continued?  All of them.  Mormons, Moonies, PCUSA, pretty much all of them thought God still gave new revelation, would not consult their Bibles, would not take advice, and they turned away from the Lord to follow religion and slavery, not freedom in Christ's salvation that can change you. 

And I can understand.  When I was a young seminarian at a super-Reformed seminary coming out of a Super-arminian college, I was appalled when my first church history teacher claimed that God does not give new revelation outside the Bible.  It was James McGoldrick who is a semi-famous author.  He would rail against folks who had prophesies, visions, and miracles, and I'd get so angry because those people seemed to match Scripture.  I thought he was denying the work of the Holy Spirit.  But when I started crusading against Rob Bell and really understanding cults, they all claimed new revelation that nobody had but them.  They all had new works by the Holy Spirit and led people astray.  I finally believe it too.  I still believe in miracles, but more like it's a miracle that people are saved, that there's still good in the world.  I can see God's hand working in so much of my life, and that's a miracle.  But no, I no longer believe in the prevalence of tongues (especially not without someone to interpret), spirit slayings, and especially not prophesies and trips to heaven and hell.  These things are making money and people are expecting so many magic gifts from God that when it doesn't come true, then they lose their faith.  We don't want to perpetuate that.  We need to listen to John MacArthur and rely on the sufficiency of Scripture to give us all we need.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The farmer and the cowman

Oh, MacArthur and Mark Driscoll should be friends.
John MacArthur and Mark Driscoll should be friends.
One man things God's signs did end.
The other thinks that's deism,
But that's no reason why they can't be friends.

West coast preacher men should stick together.
West coast preacher men should all be pals.
Talk out their eschatolagies
And work out all their rows.

I'd like to say a word for MacArthur
He preaches God's Bible the way he should.
He may be dispensational but he preaches what is true
He goes on Larry King and says what's so.

Mark Driscoll normally preaches sound theology
He preaches hell, the Trinity, and grace.
It's one thing to disagree with another,
But calling them names won't get you any place.

John MacArthur and Mark Driscoll should be friends
For they preach against religion and the end.
Mark, please get over your pride,
Have lunch with John Mac, take his side
Because you preach the same thing.  Be his friend.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


My teen lesson this week will focus on the covenant God made with Abraham in Chapters 15 and 17 of Genesis.  I'll spend some time over the aspects of a covenant.

"On the Way" highlights 8 ingredients to a covenant.

1. Historical situation: Abraham and Sarah are childless and waiting for God to give them a child.

2. Requirements/stipulations: All Jewish boys are to be circumcised.  We still remember this when we baptize people.  Baptism is an entrance into the earthly covenant family and not a sign that you are saved, nor does it save you.  This is why the Presbyterians baptize infants.

3. Response: Sarah and Abraham finally have a son. 

4. Witnesses: God calls on the stars of the sky and the dust of the earth as witnesses because that's how many descendants Abraham will have.

5. Blessings if the covenant was kept: Abraham and Sarah would have a son and become a blessing.

6. Curses if the covenant was broken: division, war, separation from God.  This is why only God stepped between the animal pieces.  Jesus took the curse for us.  If we don’t accept his gift, we will still receive the curse.

This part is the reason God walked between the animal pieces and not Abraham.  He knew that Abraham and people would break the agreement, but he also knew that mere humans could not pay the ultimate sacrifice for sin.  Only Jesus could live a perfect life and keep the covenant to save all people from hell.
7. Public ratification with a meal: Abraham and God ate a meal together.  We still do this when we celebrate Communion.  We actually eat with Jesus as his grace pours over us.

8. Renewal: God gives constant reminders of his promise.  Soon we’ll read Genesis 22 for the first renewal.  The 10 commandments are another renewal.  Actually, communion is a renewal.

I still get chill bumps every time I read of  God passing through the pieces to take the punishment we deserved.  God always planned on sending Jesus to die for our sins and to be our savior.  And everything he shows us in the Old Testament is a play-by-play of his plan to send Jesus.

When I start this lesson, I will have the kid(s) read magazine ads and write down things the ads promise.  Are they true or not?  We'll show how God keeps his promises.

After that, since my kid will not likely be there the next weeks when we talk of Hagar, I will show a video by David Murray about the Angel of the Lord (Jesus in the Old Testament) appearing to Hagar in the desert.  When Tim Challies first advertised these videos, I bought them immediately and they are wonderful.