Wednesday, March 30, 2016

****Resurrection Day Heresy


Easter Sunday has been deemed the "Superbowl of Sundays." It is the one Sunday of the year when millions of heathens attend a church service in hopes that God (if there really is one) will be pleased with their "annual sacrifices."

Will you attend a sunrise service or go to church on Easter morning? I believe that most of my readers will. And, if so, I trust you will hear a great gospel message about how the Lord Jesus Christ, was crucified for our sins, buried, sealed in a tomb, and then rose triumphantly from the dead according to the Scriptures.

I hope that is the message your pastor will preach because there are so many people who need to hear it. I hope he will handle the Word of God respectfully and responsibly. And I hope he tells you the truth that “He (Jesus) is not in the tomb. He is risen, just as He said. Hallelujah!”

Well, there is, at least, one poor soul who was severely cheated and misguided a few years ago. He was a guest on a radio talk show in Riverside, California. He shared, with his host and his radio audience, how uplifted and encouraged he was after attending a church service on Easter Sunday. Here is a brief, edited paraphrase of his synopsis of the enlightening sermon he heard: 
"The message of death and resurrection was very encouraging and uplifting. The take-a-way was that we are all dying; in fact, we all die a little bit at a time every day. The message of the resurrection is that, in spite of how badly things are going and how low we feel, we can, and we all need to rise up. That’s what I got from the sermon."

Did you catch that? I'm sorry to have to say this but, the resurrection has nothing to do with our ability to rise up when things are difficult or when our feelings are hurt. Other than “holy happycrap," I’m not sure what other adjectives I might use to describe that horrible sermon and the heretic who delivered it, without using some potty mouth expletives.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

What's In Your Easter Basket?

"Among the people from Eastern Europe, the Easter basket had nothing to do with candy and rabbits. 

Baskets were filled with symbolic things and taken to church to be blessed. 

There was bread in the basket to recall how Israel relied on God in the wilderness and to symbolize life. 

Horseradish was there to suggest the bitterness of Egyptian bondage and the bitterness of Jesus' death. 

Salt was there as a symbol of our common humanity. 

Ham was there as a reminder that we are not under the old law, which forbade so much, but under the new. 

Eggs were in the basket, too. They stood for hope, resurrection, and life! 

Whatever our customs, whatever our symbols, Easter always stands for new life, for resurrection, for hope!"

West Greeley Baptist Church
March 31st 2002
“Does the resurrection of Jesus really matter?”
1st Corinthians 15:16-20
Pastor Mark Hensley

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Ten Truisms of Calvinism

Ten Calvinism Truisms (according to me).

1.              John Calvin didn’t start Calvinism.
2.              John Calvin didn’t invent the TULIP acronym.
3.              The five points of Calvinism as stated in the TULIP acronym are stupid, confusing, divisive, and overly simplified summaries of the biblical doctrine of God’s election.  A better summation would be The Doctrines of Grace.
4.              Calvinism is not a religion or a denomination.
5.              Calvinism is not a complete theological system.
6.              Calvinism is NOT synonymous with “reformed.”
7.              All protestant churches are reformed churches but not all reformed churches are protestant churches.
8.              John Calvin was not theologically sound or doctrinally correct on everything.
9.              All TRUE Christians are Calvinists (many of them just don’t know it yet).

10.          I am a Calvinistic Baptist so, by definition, I am not a protestant.  I am reformed in the sense that I believe the biblical doctrines of the sufficiency of scripture, salvation of the elect by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. and all to the Glory of God alone.   

Monday, March 21, 2016

****On Profanity


Is Your Faith Real?

The definition of a hypocrite is "one who puts on a mask and pretends to be what he is not."

Years ago, in Germany, there was a devout Jewish family.  Faith was important in their family life; they carefully observed everything their faith required.  The father was zealous in his attendance to worship and he faithfully ensured that his son was properly instructed.  The son loved his father and had an unusual devotion to him.

When the boy was a teenager, the family moved to another town in Germany where there was no synagogue.  Most of the community leaders were members of the Lutheran Church.   One day the father unexpectedly announced to the family that they were all going to abandon their Jewish traditions and join the Lutheran Church.  He explained that it was a necessary change to help him succeed in business.

The youngster was confused and disappointed.  His bewilderment soon gave way to anger and eventually, an intense bitterness began that plagued him throughout his life.

He left Germany to study in England where he started to formulate his own ideas.  He wrote a book in which he developed a whole life and world-view that gave birth to a movement that was designed to change the world.  In the book, he described religion as an "opiate for the masses" that could be explained totally in terms of economics.

Today, billions of people live under the religious system invented by this one embittered man.  His name was Karl Marx.  The influence of his father's hypocrisy is still being keenly felt around the world.

"When you fast, don't (do) as the hypocrites do, who try to look pale and disheveled so people will admire them.  I assure you, that is the only reward they will ever get.  Matt. 6:16

Friday, March 18, 2016

Introduction to My New Blog; Hymns That Preach

I am the song leader in my church. I am not very proficient as a musician or a choral director. One of these days, I pray God will send someone more capable, to take this ministry from me. But for the time being it is my responsibility to select the music and lead the congregation in the singing every week.

I take that responsibility seriously. The hymns and songs that I select must be doctrinally sound, they must be appropriate for worship with a God-centered worldview, and I try to select music that will reinforce and, support the text and subject of my pastor’s messages.

Some of us have been singing these great hymns for years; the words roll off our lips but the messages often don't engage our minds or penetrate our hearts. With the apostle Paul, I want the congregation to "sing with understanding."

So for the past couple years, it has been my practice to select one hymn each week, research it, and then highlight it with a short introductory commentary so that the congregation will be more informed regarding its origin, the author's testimony, or the doctrinal significance of the hymns we sing.

Today I have launched a new Blog, "Hymns that Preach."  At the top of this blog, is a page tab that will link directly to the new blog.  It is my intention, there, to archive these commentaries and make them freely available to other church song leaders.  I know that some of the comments contain a little of my edgy style, but please feel free to adapt them or use them any way you can for the edification of your congregation and to the glory of God.