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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Responsibilities For Fathers


Responsibilities for Fathers
Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.
First Baptist Church of Oak Creek Wisconsin

Responsibilities of Fathers.06152013
Text: Proverbs 4

“Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. 2 For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. 3  For I was my father's son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. 4 He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.” Proverbs 4:1-4 

Introduction

Twenty-four times the phrase "my son" occurs in Proverbs. In all but one instance it is a father (David or Solomon) giving instruction to their sons. Here are just a just a few verses to give you a flavor of the advice given –

Proverbs 1:8 “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:”

Proverbs 1:10 “My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.”

Proverbs 3:11 “My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:”

Proverbs 5:1 “My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding:”

Proverbs 23:26 “My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.”

Proverbs 24:21 “My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change:”


There are many good things that a father should teach his children from Proverbs.

Proverbs 4 points out some basic responsibilities for fathers.

·        A Father is Responsible to Provide Instruction To His Children
·        A Father Is Responsible To Require Obedience
·        A Father Is Responsible To Motivate The Child
·        A Father Is Responsible To Teach Right Direction
·        A Father Is Responsible To Teach Right Speech
·        A Father Is Responsible To Teach The Child To Think

Focus

·        The father is responsible to provide instruction to his children

“Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father…” v.1

Since children are directed to “hear” their father’s instruction, it should go without saying the father IS to guide and teach them. The Apostle Paul says, “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4

A.    What Is To Be The Basis of guiding and teaching them?

The answer is found in verse 2 – “For I give you good doctrine….” Dads have the key responsibility for teaching their children doctrine, that is the Christian belief system. You need to teach them what you believe and tell them why your believe it and then live it in front of them!

It is NOT enough to just sent them to church or even take them to church. They MUST see faith in practice in your life!

Dad’s do your children see and hear you praying. Have you taught them to pray? Do they see you reading and studying the Bible? Do they hear you pray for lost souls or heard you tell of witnessing to someone?

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of you feeding your children the Scriptures and then encouraging them to be in the Scriptures themselves.

Turn to 2 Timothy 3:15-17 “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”

If you are in the Word of God and you see that your children are in the Word of God their moral compass will be programmed by the Word of God.

A father is responsible to instruct his children. The cornerstone of the instruction is to be biblical Doctrine.

·        The Father Is Responsible to Require Obedience

Proverbs 4:4 “He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.”

It is not enough to give commandments. You must require obedience and if obedience is not forthcoming, there needs to be consequences.

Proverbs 3:1 “My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:

It has been said that a Country that does not enforce its laws breeds lawlessness. Likewise, a father that does not enforce his laws breed rebellion. Certainly the command is “Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.” Colossians 3:20 And if they do obey, “Chasten thy son while there is hope…” Proverbs 19:18

Children who are left to themselves bring reproach and shame on their parents! Proverbs 29:15 “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.”

·        The Father Is Responsible To Motivate The Child

Proverbs 4:5-7Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. 6 Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. 7  Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.”

A father is to be a teacher! It takes time to be a teacher, but you need to teach your children practical things about life and living! Manners, personal hygiene, how to behave in different situations. The “how to” list: How to ride a bike. How to use tools. How to swim, hunt, fish, how to treat others, etc. Guys need to learn how to treat a lady and what to look for in a wife. Girls need to learn how to behave properly and what to look for in a husband.

Further, a father promotes right education! When my granddad was young 8th grade was enough. When my dad graduated, high school was enough. I am here to tell you, you need training beyond high school in either a trade or college.

·        The Father Is Responsible To Teach Right Direction

Proverbs 4:14-19 “Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. 15 Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. 16 For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall. 17 For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence. 18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. 19 The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.”

Mrs. Brown and I would use life examples to teach righteousness and to illustrate the end of wickedness.

·        A Father Is Responsible To Teach Right Speech

Proverbs 4:24 “Put away from thee a forward [deceitful; distorted] mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.”

“What is in the well of the heart will come up through the bucket of the mouth.” A dad must be sure he speaks with integrity, not deceitfully or in a foul, slanderous way.

·        A Father Is Responsible To Teach The Child To Think

Proverbs 4:26-27 “Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. 27 Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.”

You need to teach your children common sense! Teach them NOT to make decisions based on emotions. Teach them to think through situations. What are the positives? What are the negatives? What are the long range implications? Far too many people are impulsive and make wrong decisions because they have no idea how to reason properly.

I am praying for you dads! Your children need you. Take these responsibilities seriously.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Untold Story of The Persecution of Christians


A History Untold

The Untold Story of The Persecution of Christians

by Jaclyn Miller

04-18-13

 

 

Did you know hundreds of thousands of people have been murdered for their faith in the God of the Bible?  These peaceable people had two main ties that bound them together: their belief that Jesus Christ came to save the world from sin and that the Bible is God’s Word and sole authority in their lives.  Many generations of religions and/or governments attacked, tortured, molested, and slaughtered these people simply because they held to the Bible.  From as early as the Jews of Jesus day, to the Roman Catholic Church during the Dark Ages, to the Protestant Reformers in Europe and even in the American colonies, to today, there has been unending persecution of Bible believers throughout the world.  Most people understand the Inquisition to be the height of religious persecution that occurred for only a few hundred years in Europe, but, in fact, religious persecution has continued for two millennia across the borders of many countries including the American colonies.

In America and most other free countries today, we take our religious freedoms for granted; to the point, we have all but forgotten why we wanted those freedoms.  Society calls out cries out for tolerance of everyone’s beliefs because, they claim, we all serve the “same God”.  Particularly, many of the churches that separated from the Roman Catholic Church during of the Reformation have begun talking with the Roman Catholic Church about becoming one church again.  Dr. David Cloud, founder of Way of Life Literature website (www.wayoflife.org), wrote, “The lie that Catholicism is becoming more evangelical, more biblical, and more spiritual…is being used to encourage ecumenical relationships between Catholics and Protestants” (290).  Ever since the Roman Catholic Church lost the great power she had before the Reformation, Rome has been seeking to regain her glory years again.  Lutherans, Presbyterians, Anglicans, and etc. today do not fully understand why they separated in the first place.  If the churches that came out of the Reformation do not remember the history of the persecutions and vicious Inquisition against themselves, do Bible-believers even recall the persecutions they have endured for so long from the Jews, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Protestant Reformers?

To begin with, Religious persecution against Christians started with Jesus Christ Himself  being persecuted.  The Jews were looking for their Messiah to save them from the rule of the Romans, but when Jesus died, as He said, to save them from their sins instead. The Jews rejected Jesus and His followers as a result.  Dr. Phil Stringer, who is an author and active Bible conference speaker, says “The leaders of the Jewish Sanhedrin began the first persecution of Christians” (49).  Harold Chadwick, Editorial Director of Bridge-Logos Publishers, wrote in the updated version of “Foxe’s Book of Martyrs” that because He claimed to be the Son of God, “The first to suffer for the Church was Jesus Himself—not a martyr, of course, but the inspiration and source of all martyrdom” (4).  Because Christ was willing to suffer and die as He did on the cross, His disciples believed that He taught the truth and followed Him, even unto death.  Peter, one of the more famous disciples, “requested that he be crucified in an upside down position because he did not consider himself worthy to be crucified in the same manner as his Lord(Chadwick 7).  “[Paul] was taken to the execution block and beheaded.” (Chadwick 8).  All but one of the twelve Disciples of Christ died violent deaths along with many other followers of Christ.   These men, guilty only of preaching in the name of Christ, were murdered by the Jews, who did not want to hear the truth.

In 70 A.D., the Roman Army under the leadership of Titus sacked Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple, but Christians were still persecuted, now by the Romans.  Contrary to popular belief today, Constantine, who came to power in 306 A.D., was not a Christian in the same way as the Bible teaches a Christian ought to be.  “Like many during his time, Constantine’s life and conduct were a mixture of Christianity and paganism.” (Chadwick 42).  Romans of Constantine’s day just added the God of the Bible to their other gods, instead of making the God of the Bible his sole authority.  This Christianity resembled that of the RCC, not of the Bible.  Constantine created the union between “church” and state though it still took some two hundred years for the RCC to gain its full power.  Additionally, Constantine approved the famous Edict of Milan, supposedly giving Christians the freedom to live out their faith.  In Chadwick’s book, he writes “During the thousand years of general peace Christians still suffered martyrdom for their faith in Christ” (46).  Despite the edict, true Bible-believers still suffered for their faith because the edict only approved the Roman Catholic version of Christianity.  However, the more they were persecuted, the more the Bible-believers spread the gospel around the world.

As the Roman Catholic Church gained greater power over the people’s lives, she tightened her grip not only on the populace but also on the governments of that day.  The reign of the Roman Catholic Church across Europe was the second worst time of persecution for the Bible-believers because the Roman Catholic Church refused to allow the people to read the Bible in the vulgar (common) language (Cloud 61).  Yet, the people thirsted for the truth that can only be found in the Scriptures.  J. M. Cramp, college professor and college president in the 1800s, wrote that because the populace was “Shocked at the frauds and crimes which were daily perpetrated, they panted for something better than Rome proffered [offered].  The Gospel of Christ, as preached by the persecuted sects, satisfied their souls” (Cramp 87)  The Popes hated anyone who opposed their authority, but most of all those who insisted the Bible was the only authority by which a man should live.  “Cursing was first thought of, because it was easy, and the Church was expert at it…they said ‘all manner of evil against them falsely,’ hurled anathemas [permanent condemnation] at their heads, and called upon the people to ‘hate them with a perfect hatred’” (Cramp 88).  During this time, the Popes began issuing Papal bulls to threaten Christians with eternal separation from God.  When this was not enough, the Popes gathered armies to go on crusades by promising to those who served in them salvation from their sins.  “The human bloodhounds were at work in all directions” (Cramp 90).  These armies would either wipe out whole towns, as in the case of the town of Beziers, France.  Contingents would harass families; they did not always care that there might be Roman Catholics among those they slaughtered.  Male or female from the infant to the elderly, all were mistreated in the most horrific manner.  John T. Christian, professor of history in the Baptist Bible Institute, wrote “Mary [Bloody Mary] sought to burn all who were opposed to Romanism, Baptists and Reformers alike” (A History of the Baptists Volume 1 203)  It was not uncommon for these believers, while they were yet alive, to have their limbs cut off, stabbed many times, roasted in a fire like a pig, raped, have private parts cut off, their entrails torn out, and then be paraded around the town.  Oftentimes, the great crime that warranted such treatment was reciting Scripture in their mother tongue or denying that infant baptism had saving merit.  “Only when Rome lacked the power to accomplish its true intention did she countenance the distribution of the Bible in the vernacular languages, and even then she attempted to control such distribution and to force the people to read only those Bibles that contain Catholic notes approved by its hierarchy” (Cloud 44).  As the Roman Catholic Church began to lose power during the Reformation, it changed tactics.  Rome is now significantly destroying the foundation from which the Scriptures were translated. 

There is a common misconception that the Reformation finally brought peace among religions; however, true Christians continued in the “suffering, inflicted, not only by the Papists…but by their fellow-Protestants.  The Episcopalians and Presbyterians of England, the Lutherans of Germany, and the reformed in Switzerland…agreed in persecuting the Baptists” (Cramp 232).  The Reformers fought long and hard to gain their own religious freedom, but then turned around and persecuted those same Bible-Believers that Rome had.  Reformers treated these people no better than the Roman Catholic Church.  “Swiss Presbyterians had won freedom for themselves, but they were determined not to grant it to others” (Cramp 239).  “[John Calvin] was responsible in a large measure for the demon of hate and fierce hostility which the Baptists of England had to encounter” (Christian, A History of the Baptists Volume 1 198).  The leaders of these infant religions were just as harsh as Rome.  Protestants took away believer’s property, banished naked persons to the wilderness, and many other horrific punishments, just like Rome.  While popes issued papal bulls of condemnation of Bible-Believers, Protestant rulers issued laws against them.  “These warrants are substantially alike… word for word. Mary, the Papist, dooming to death the Protestant, and Elizabeth, the Protestant, ordering the execution of the Baptist” (Cramp 245).  Baptists had no relief from their persecutions during or after the Reformation.  There was no peace anywhere they moved in Europe; for if Rome was not attacking them, Reformists were.

This harassment continued even on the North American continent.  History books cast the colonies as a place of religious bliss from the start.   However, “As the Puritans settled around the Pilgrims, they brought their ideas of a state church with them, and they soon began to harass the Baptists and other non-conformists” (Stringer 184).  Religious freedom was a major reason for the emigration to America, yet leaving Europe and starting over completely was not enough.  Protestants wanted freedom for themselves, but not for others.  “Most colonial governments treated Baptists with hostility or outright persecution” (Stringer 187).  Though it is touted as representative of all the colonies at the time, Providence, Rhode Island was an anomaly of religious liberty among the colonies.  Even as late as “1768, three Baptists were arrested for witnessing in Virginia, and they continued to preach through the window of the Culpepper County jail” (Stringer 188).  These three were eventually let go, but others were whipped viciously or banished to the wilderness for similar acts of faith.  Part of a law passed in Massachusetts against Baptists reads, “It is ordered and agreed, that if any person or persons… shall either openly [condemn] or oppose the baptizing of infants…every such person or persons shall be sentenced to banishment” (qtd. in Christian, A History of the Baptists volume 2 54).  It was not until after the colonies won the War for Independence that Baptists finally had relief from their persecutions, but even then, it was only in the United States of America.

In the United States of America, we live a life bathed in freedom.  We have forgotten the price that was paid for this freedom and the lack of freedom that other countries suffer.  “During this century alone, more Christians have been killed for their faith than in all previous centuries combined” (Chadwick 323).  This persecution has only worsened in the last one hundred years.  The media does not report on these controversially religious massacres occurring around the world.  “Communists persecuted Christians, destroyed their churches, imprisoned them, tortured them, and killed them.  During the height of Communism worldwide, an average of 330,000 Christians were killed every year” (Chadwick 326).  This is just in the last 40 years.  While the USSR has been dissolved, there are still other Communist countries persecuting more than 150,000 Christians a year.  In China in 1990, Mother and daughter were imprisoned for the mother’s beliefs (Chadwick 348-349).  China does not want the people to have freedom to worship God as they believe He ought to be worshipped.  Over the last year, China has been clamping down harder on its people by not allowing them free reign of the internet.  Additionally, Islamic countries do not want any other religion but that of Islam.  Muslims have even burned their own Koran and blamed it on the Christians falsely (Chadwick 365).  There is still widespread persecution of Bible-Believers around the world today.  Even in America, Christians are told to be tolerant of others’ beliefs, to be non-judgmental, which is contrary to what the Bible teaches.  While we don’t have the physical persecution like that of other countries, we still are looked down upon for our beliefs.  We, American Christians, face the least amount of persecution, but are the most afraid to stand up for the Bible because we might offend someone else.

Bible-believing Christians have continuously been persecuted from the time of Christ until the present.  The Jews were the first to reject the Disciples and other Christians.  While Constantine is considered the first Christian to rule Rome, he also discriminated against the Bible-believers; furthermore, he started the “state-church” of the Roman Catholic Church.  When Rome held sway over all Europe, she viciously attacked anyone who opposed her.  Once the Protestant Reformers gained their own freedom, they began to persecute Bible-Believers just as much as the RCC even in the colonies of the New World.  Religious liberty did not exist for Baptists until the United States had gained its independence, but even then, this freedom is found only in certain countries.  Many have heard of the Inquisition, but have not been told about any of the other intense persecutions that have happened for the last two-thousand years.  As time rolls on, the story of the discrimination of Bible-Believers is lost in the past.  These important, yet often neglected, accounts must be taught lest history repeats itself, and in ten years, the Roman Catholic Church regain her glory years, once again leaving no safe haven for those that oppose her.

Works Cited


Chadwick, Harold J. The New Foxe's Book of Martyrs. North Brunswick: Bridge-Logos Publishers, 1997. Print.

Christian, John T. A History of the Baptists Volume 1. Texarkana: Bogard Press, 1922. Print.

—. A History of the Baptists Volume 2. Texarkana: Bogard Press, 1926. Print.

Cloud, David. Rome and The Bible. Port Huron: Way of Life Literature, 2009. Print.

Cramp, J. M. Baptist History: From the Foundation of the Christian Church to the Present Time. London: Baptist Heritage Publications, 1987. Print.

Stringer, Phil. The Faithful Baptist Witness. Chicago: Lightning Source, Inc., 2011. Print.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

America Is Heading Back to The Practices of Pagan Rome: Homosexuality & Same-Sex Marriage


America Is Heading Back To
The Practices of Pagan Rome!
Homosexuality and Same-Sex Marriage
by Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.
First Baptist Church of Oak Creek Wisconsin
SameSexMarriage.04072013
Eric Arthur Blair, better known by his pen name George Orwell, wrote - “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” It seems our culture is at this point today.

Dr. Don Boys writes – “The efforts of the media, academia, Hollywood, and politicians have accomplished an amazing feat: they have changed the culture in a generation by being deceptive, disingenuous, and dishonest. Most people now believe right is now wrong and wrong is now right. Godly living is considered divisive, derisive, and deranged while perversion is no longer reprehensible, repugnant, and repulsive, but is thought (by non-thinkers) to be commendable, courageous, and even cultured!”(http://donboys.cstnews.com/homosexuals-want-special-rights-not-equal-rights)

We see Isaish 5:20-21 being lived out before our eyes – “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! 21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!”

The little word “woe” indicates judgment, God’s judgment. Let me ask you two questions.

·       Do you have any doubt in your mind that the hand of judgment is on our country?

·       Do you have any doubt why God’s hand of judgment is on our nation today?

Here is the forthright truth why we are in the predicament our culture is in today. We are moving quickly away from an absolute standard of truth in this nation! As I have often told you, our nations legal system was founded upon the Judeo-Christian Ethic, that is the principles of Old Testament New Testament.  

By and large our nation is given over to relativism! Right and wrong are being decided by “the powers that be” or by majority vote. Or, you make up your own values! But this is an ever changing standards and bring instability! It ultimately leads to cultural breakdown, anarchy and chaos.

I want to focus upon one Key Biblical ethic today and that is Marriage! We read in Genesis 1:27-28a “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it…”

From the very beginning marriage was between a man and a woman!

Genesis 2:18-25 “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. 19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. 20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.   21  And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23  And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. 25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”

God made Eve for Adam and brought her to him. Moses, the Lord Jesus Christ and the Apostle Paul affirm this.

·       Moses - Genesis 2:24 “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”

·       Christ - Mark 10:7 “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;”

·       Paul - Ephesians 5:31 “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.”

The Biblical family has always been, is and will continue to be the backbone of society! When the family, as biblically defined, is destroyed the culture is doomed. In fact, this was a key contributing factor in the demise of Rome. The Roman culture had become morally reprobate.

The first-century A.D. catechetical manual, the Didache, makes refreshingly clear what pagans will have to give up, in regard to Roman sexuality, once they joined the Church. It begins with the ominous words –

“There are two ways: one of life and one of death—and there is a great difference between the two ways.”

The pagan converts are then confronted with a list of commands. Some of which would have been quite familiar and reasonable to Romans, such as, “You will not murder” and, “You will not commit adultery” (although for Romans, abortion wasn’t murder, and a husband having sex with slaves or prostitutes was not considered adulterous).

But then followed strange commands (at least to the Romans), “You will not corrupt boys”; “You will not have illicit sex” (ou porneuseis); “You will not murder offspring by means of abortion [and] you will not kill one having been born.”

Against the norm in Rome, Christians must reject pedophilia, fornication and homosexuality, abortion, and infanticide. The list also commands, “You will not make potions” (ou pharmakeuseis), a prohibition against widespread practices in the Roman Empire which included potions that stopped conception or caused abortion.

I include the prohibitions against sexual practices heartily affirmed by the Romans alongside prohibitions against contraception, abortion, and infanticide for a very important reason. Christians defined the goal of sexuality in terms of the natural ability to procreate. What was different, again, was not recognizing the obvious need for a man and a woman to make a child—Stoics argued along the same lines. What was peculiar to Christianity was removing all other expressions of sexuality from legitimacy (many Stoic men had male paramours). The Roman elevation of sexual pleasure above procreation, and hence outside this tightly-defined area of sexual legitimacy defined by Christianity, led to the desire for contraceptive potions, abortifacients, and infanticide.” (From: Gay marriage and homosexuality were part of the moral landscape in Ancient Rome by Benjamin Wiker; June 26, 2012; CatholicWorldReport.com - www.lifesitenews.com/news/gay-marriage-and-homosexuality-were-part-of-moral-landscape-in-ancient-rome)

Our culture is in trouble today. We are going BACK TO THE PRACTICES OF PAGAN ROME! What is even more alarming is what I read in an article written by Julaine Appling, Director of Wisconsin Family Action this week. Below are some of the comments she is hearing from Christians!

“I just don’t think the Bible condemns homosexuality. As long as two people love each other, I think they should be able to get married. Same-sex marriage is going to happen. There’s nothing we can do to stop it.”

“In the early days of the Bible, God needed everyone to populate the earth; we don’t need that anymore. Children just aren’t the issue. Plus the Bible isn’t meant to be taken literally. So, I see nothing wrong with people of the same sex who love each other and are committed to each getting married. Who are we to tell people who they can love?”

“Well, even if the government legalizes same-sex marriage—which is pretty much inevitable—so deal with it, that doesn’t mean pastors will be forced to marry anyone they don’t want to.”

Appling writes, and I fully agree – “Tragically I have heard all of these and more very recently from people who say they are Christians—some from people I personally know to be born-again, Bible-believing saints of God and even from some recent Bible-college graduates.”

She goes on to say, “This commentary is an urgent appeal to all Christians to get back to the Bible—and not some liberal translation or paraphrase. Use a version that is considered by conservative scholars to be a solid word-for-word translation.”

Why is she saying that? Because many of the modern translations are changing words and phraseology that addresses the issue of sodomy!

While I can excuse biblical illiteracy among the unsaved, biblical illiteracy is rapidly becoming a serious problem among true believers. If it isn’t illiteracy among believers, then it is an even more serious problem—an unwillingness to believe what we read in the Bible and to obey its clear teachings about what marriage is and God’s clear teaching about men with men and women with women.

Homosexuality is SIN. So called “same sex marriage” is NOT marriage and saying so does not make it so!

In fact, God destroyed Sodom & Gomorrah because of their sin. We read the account in Genesis 19:1-29.

Consider what the Apostle Paul said about it in Romans 1:25-28 & 32. In fact in verse 26 homosexuality is called “vile affections” and “against nature.” Verse 27 says men “burned in their lust one toward another” and their acts were “unseemly.” In verse 28 they do things that are not convenient. The word used in the Greek means not fit; unbecoming; hence abominable. In point of fact, because they chose to reject God’s principle of man+woman, verse 18 says “God gave them over to a reprobate mind,” that is, a depraved mind.

Verse 32 explains why there is such a push by homosexuals for same sex marriage. Romans 1:32 “Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in [approve of; are pleased with] them that do them.” They know it is perversion. They this lifestyle is under the judgment of God but they “have pleasure” in it themselves, they are pleased with others being involved, and rejoice when others are forced to accept it!

This is the spirit of Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert’s lesbian cousin Jean Podrasky. She says that perversion should be legal because “society is becoming more accepting of the humanity of same-sex couples and the simple truth that we deserve to be treated with dignity, respect and equality under the law.”

Ohio Republican Senator has recently endorsed same-sex marriage after his son will “came out of the closet” revealing that he is a homosexual!

My Christian friends: Homosexuality is perversion. It is sin. It is wrong!  Same-sex marriage is perversion, sin and wrong. It has always been sin, and always will be sin no matter what anyone, any politician, any activist, or any court decides. Why? Because God says it is sin!

These sinful perverts want formal acceptability. They want so to speak “The Good Housekeeping Seal of approval on their evil activities. Why, because they want their vile affection treated normal. They want to be accepted, applauded and they want to advocate their lifestyles because they, as Romans 1:32 says, “take pleasure” in every single person who they can convince what they are doing is normal, natural and loving when it is not. As Dr. Boys says, “It is incredible that homosexuals, with a straight face, can demand respect and recognition for their dignity.” Homosexuality is debauched, filthy, degenerate and under the judgment of God.

Shame on any Christian who does not stand against this vile perversion. We must stand for Biblical truth! I see my more and more who claim to be Christians caving in to accepting homosexuality and same-sex marriage under the cover of “love.” When your compromise God’s Word you commit Treason against Christ!

If you love the Lord and care about homosexual, you will tell him or her the truth. Homosexuality is SIN. But there is forgiveness in Christ if they will turn from their sins and turn to Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 6:9 talks of “effeminate” and “asbusers of themselves with manking,” which refer to homosexuals as being able to be saved and free from their filthy lifestyle. We see that in 1 Corinthians 6:11  “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”

The most loving thing you can do for a homosexual it to share the Gospel with them.

Saturday, March 9, 2013


Three Characteristics Christ Expects
In Ministers and All Christians
Characteristic #1 Faithfulness
By Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.
First Baptist Church of Oak Creek Wisconsin
1Corinthians19.03102013
Text: 1 Corinthians 4:1-6 “Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. 3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. 4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. 5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God. 6  And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.”

Cheap Crosses

I have a two volume commentary of the New Testament, by Warren Wiersbe, in my office titled The Bible Exposition Commentary: An Exposition of the New Testament Comprising the Entire “Be” Series. In the section on Philippians the author tells the story of a missionary attending a religious festival in Brazil. As he went from booth to booth checking out the wares he, observed a sign above one booth: "Cheap Crosses." The missionary thought, that’s what many Christian are looking for today…cheap crosses.

I rather think that many who profess to know Christ do want a cheap cross and discount discipleship. We claim the name “Christian” but we do not want to pay the price required for living for Christ. I am reminded of what our Lord said in Luke 9:23 “…If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Willing sacrifice is a part of being a follower of Christ!

Outline

In 1 Corinthians 4, the Apostle Paul points out - Three Characteristics That Are To Be Present In Ministers of Christ & All Christians. He explains each point by using a different picture for each -  

        The Characteristic – The Picture

·        Faithfulness – The Steward (vs. 1-6)

·        Humbleness – The Spetacle (vs. 7-13)

·        Tenderness – The Father (vs. 14-21)

Today’s Focus

·        Faithfulness – The Steward (vs. 1-6)

“Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.

ü Ministers of Christ (v.1a)

I want to begin by looking at two words that we find in verse 1. The first is ministers. What comes into your mind when you hear that word? I dare say, unless you already know what the underlying Greek word is, your thoughts will not even be close to what the word really means. The word ministers is a translation of the Greek word υπηρετας (huperetas). It literally means “an under-rower.” That is a slave who rowed on the lower level the huge Roman galleys (ships).

So what I Paul saying? As the preacher, I am not the captain of the ship (my life or this church)! As a Christian, you are NOT the captain of the ship (your life for this church)! We are ALL under-rowers of the Captain of our Salvation [Hebrews 2:10], Jesus Christ! He is the Head of the Church (Colossians 1:18) and is to be the King of our lives (Romans 12:1-2).

That is exactly what Paul is saying in verse 1 – “Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers (under-rowers) of Christ….” Christ is the one who calls out the orders and we are the ones who put forth the effort to carry out those orders as we have received them in the Old & New Testament.

To serve Christ is to serve His Word, which is the revelation of His will. A servant of Christ then is a servant or galley slave of the Scripture. His function is to obey the commands of God that are revealed in His Word!

This is equally true for all believers, NOT just the pastor! We are not captains of our ship (our life), but galley slaves who are under orders of our Master, Jesus Christ who bought us! (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 & 1 Corinthians 7:23).

A Pastor must first, above all else, be a servant of Christ. Christ sets the agenda. In everything he is to be subject to the Chief Shepherd. While pastors are called to serve men, they are NOT called to be servants of men or men-pleasers but serve men according to Christ’s directives. Galatians 1:10 says, “For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.”

All believers are called to serve others but they do that through the grid of the Scriptures.

Let’s move on to the second word -

ü Stewards Of The Mysteries of God (v.1b)

The word stewards is a translation of the Greek word οἰκονόμος oikonómos which literally means “house manager.” A steward is a servant who manages everything for his master, but who himself owns nothing.

The best illustration of what a steward does is Joseph of old. He  was a chief steward in Potiphar’s household (Genesis 39:1-23 – key vs. 4-6).

Let’s zero in on how this stewardship applies today. The church is the “household of faith” (Galatians 6:10), and the ministers are stewards who share God’s wealth with the family. Paul called this spiritual wealth “the mysteries of God.” The “mysteries of God” refer to those things that were hidden from the understanding of those who lived in the Old Testament, that is the Gospel message and the teaching of the New Testament (see 1 Corinthians 2:7-10). As ministers we are entrusted with the Gospel and it is our duty to –

1) Expound It –Preach it and teach it (2 Timothy 4:2).

2) Apply It – Make know the pardon and forgiveness available to those who will repent and be saved (Acts 20:20-21) .

3) Defend It – Expose the false gospels and false teaching (Jude 1:3)

That brings us to the FIRST characteristic that God expects will be present in each Pastor and also each Christisan - FAITHFULNESS! 1 Corinthians 4:2 “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.”

A steward is expected to act in the interest of the master, not his own interest. A steward is not always closely supervised, but he is always expected to work diligently. The key responsibility of the steward is to be faithful to his master. A steward may not please the members of the household; he may not even please some of the other servants; but if he pleases his own master, he is a good steward. This same idea is expressed in Romans 14:4 “Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.”

Faithfulness is to be the characteristic of not only the Pastor but also the people, believers. How does your life stack up in that area? Are you looking for a “cheap cross” and “discount discipleship?” Or are you taking up your cross daily and following Christ?