If the pastor is young, they say he lacks experience. If his hair is gray, he is too old for the young people. If he has five or six children, he is irresponsible; if he has no children, he is setting a bad example. If he uses a lot of illustrations, he neglects the Bible; if he does not use enough, he is not relevant. If he condemns wrong deeds, he’s cranky; if he does not, he’s compromising. If he drives an old car, he shames his congregation; if he drives a new one, he’s setting his affection on earthly things. -Richard DeHann / Men Sent From God
On a dangerous seacoast where shipwrecks often occur stood a lifesaving station. The building was just a hut, and there was only one boat, but the few devoted members kept a constant watch over the sea and with no thought for themselves went out day and night tirelessly searching for the lost. Many of those who were rescued and also others from the surrounding area wished to become associated with the station and to give their time, money, and effort for the support of its work. New boats were bought and new crews trained. The lifesaving station grew.
In time some of the crew became concerned that the station was so crude and poorly equipped. They felt that a more commodious place should be provided as the first refuge of those snatched from the sea. The emergency cots were replaced with beds, and better furniture was purchased for the enlarged building. The station became a popular gathering place for its members, and they decorated it beautifully and furnished it exquisitely. Fewer members were now interested in leaving the plush station to go to sea on lifesaving missions. So they hired surrogates to do that work. However, they retained the lifesaving motif in the club’s decorations, and a ceremonial lifeboat lay in the room where club initiations were held.
One dark stormy night a large ship was wrecked off the coast, and the hired crews brought in boatloads of cold, wet, half-drowned people. They were dirty and sick and obviously from distant shores. The station was in chaos. The event was so traumatic that the people contracted for outbuildings to be constructed so future shipwrecks could be processed with less disruption.
Eventually a rift developed in the station. Most of the members wanted to discontinue the station’s lifesaving activities as being unpleasant and a hindrance to their normal social life. Some insisted, however, that rescue was their primary purpose and pointed out that they were still called a lifesaving station. But the latter were ignored and told that if they wanted to keep lifesaving as their primary purpose, they could begin their own station down the coast, which they did. Over time those individuals fell prey to the same temptations as the first group, coming to care more about comforting one another than rescuing the perishing. After a while a few, remembering their real purpose, split off to establish yet another lifesaving station. And on and on it went. Today if you visit that seacoast, you will find a number of impressive lifesaving stations along the shore. Sadly, shipwrecks still occur in those waters, but most people are lost.
-R. Kent Hughes (Adapted from “The Life Saving Station by Theodore Wedel)
There is only one longing of the heart of man that will be satisfied in the future: that of the Christian’s longing for Jesus and the revelation of His righteous kingdom. For the sinner, who rejects Jesus and the offer of salvation, there will remain the lust of the flesh, possibly intensifying, yet without the physical ability to satisfy that same longing. Gone will be the myth of the “party in hell”, replaced by the eternal reality apart from the goodness of God.
“…Behold, now is “THE ACCEPTABLE TIME,” behold, now is “THE DAY OF SALVATION” -2 Corinthians 6:2
Who is responsible for the current political situation the United States of America?
Who is responsible when our elected officials lie, spin, and cover-up wrongdoing?
Who is responsible to hold them accountable?
Who is responsible for the current political situation in the church?
Who is responsible when pastors and leaders in the church lie, spin, and cover up wrongdoing?
Who is responsible to hold them accountable?
Responsibility in leadership is an interesting thing.
Leaders are responsible for their own wrongdoing.
Those who follow them bear their own responsibility.
We have a responsibility to vote.
We vote for politicians with the ballot.
We vote for pastors and church leaders with our wallets and our feet.
I know that many of my friends and colleagues will be unhappy that I am reblogging this. However, I think it is one of the most instructional things I have read in a long time. There are many, many, statements made that are tweetable, quotable, etc. If you have ever questioned the status quo of your pastor, church, elders group, etc. and been shut down, shut out, or kicked out, you will understand. Take your time and digest this personal testimony. -Jim
Originally posted on ronwheelerjr:
Dear Mark Driscoll:
You were once one of my closest friends.
You were once my trusted mentor and benefactor.
You were once someone who preached the Gospel with a fierce and captivating passion and purity.
You were the one who inspired me to be a preacher… a church planter.
In 1996 I was working as a missionary in West Africa when my mom sent me a recording of you speaking at the Northwest Christian Education conference. I was intrigued, captivated, and a bit disturbed by what I heard. You deconstructed my tidy neat little worldview and described the church as a mission outpost that exists between the gospel message and various cultures. That message convinced me that I could be a missionary at home, and so I returned.
I started attending Mars Hill with my family, driving an hour each way from Mount Vernon down to Seattle. Mars Hill was…
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The recently popularized term “frenemy”, is the seamless blending of the words friend and enemy, referring to someone who pretends to be a friend but actually is an enemy -kind of like a wolf in sheep’s clothing in the world of friendships.
Sometimes I wonder about people who call themselves Christians, but actually seem to be less identifiable as people of faith than those without it. People in the church oftentimes have very little in common with the examples of believers that we have in scripture.
Jesus called us to follow Him, and He also called us to deny ourselves in that process. Today, in the church, it’s possible to be a friend of God, but still be a friend of the world. How we live, how we dress, what entertains us, how we spend our time and money, -those things can tell us where our true friendship lies, and they are worth examining.
Here are some verses to think about as we assess the conduct of our lives:
You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God?
Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. -James 4:4
“choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin,
considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward. -Hebrews 11:25-26
“He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters. -Matthew 12:30
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and wealth. -Matthew 6:24
It is not how a man begins his Christian life, but How he ends it, that counts. It is one thing to come forward at a meeting in answer to the appeal of an evangelist, with 10,000 people looking on, or to hold your hand up, and to sign a card. If it is real, the Lord bless you! But the thing that matters is whether, following that decision, you press into the land of blessing! Do you go on with God, do you persistently, patiently, and in the face of every opposition and every testing, go right through? And if you slip and fall down, do you pick yourself up again and go on, or do you go back into indulgence and sin?
I remember in childhood days, during the first world war, on a certain lovely summer afternoon I was walking with my father along the pier at Tynemouth, near Newcastle, England. We noticed a crowd of people around and many ships in the harbor. Presently a cloud of smoke appeared in the distance, grew larger, and soon a convoy of battleships came into the river Tyne, in the center of them was one battleship healing over -I wondered how it had remained afloat. It was the HMS Lyon, coming back from the battle of Jutland, a naval battle which turned the attack of Germany on our country at that time. As the ship got nearer the harbor, I saw great holes in her deck. She had no mast, no funnel, no turrets; the bridge had gone; the deck was just a shambles. Water was pouring in and out of her and she was being gently nursed home by tugs and an escort of ships. Shall I ever forget the sight of twenty-five sailors and one officer standing rigidly at attention on a part of the deck, with a tattered bit of the royal ensign flying from a piece of wreckage? Every throat that could cheer, cheered, and every ship that had a siren blew it. These twenty-six were all that were left, a tragic remnant of 1,100 men. But the ship had held on, and she fought through to the end, and she came into harbor victorious, holed and wounded, with hundreds of men killed -but still afloat and undaunted!
In the course of the Christian life we suffer many wounds from Satan, and sometimes from friends. If one day, however, when we get into the heavenly harbor, we get a welcome like that ship received, and hear the Lord Jesus say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of thy Lord,” we will care for nothing else, for it will have been worth it all when we see Jesus.
- Alan Redpath / “Victorious Christian Living Studies In The Book Of Joshua”
I just don’t think it can be said any more beautifully than this. What a magnificent picture.