The Gospel

The Gospel

Monday, September 20, 2010

Christ Centered Music

I love great music. I especially love music that elevates and exalts the person and work of Jesus Christ in new and refreshing ways. The album highlights the work of the all three persons of the Trinity, which is something that is often missing from much modern "Christian" music. The variety of styles is refreshing. There is something on there for any music love. And if you love Jesus Christ your heart will be enriched as you listen to this CD. You can find the album here.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Our Dating Children?

I was directed to the video below by a church friend.  The question that is asked is an important one and Pastor Mark's answer is sure to generate some discussion.  This, however, is an important issue.  For Christians, when do we allow our children to date.  What is proper dating?  Much of the dating that goes on by Christian teens does little to prepare them for a healthy, committed marriage relationship.  Are we doing our children a disservice by telling them when they are young to act like the world in dating and then changing course and telling them not to marry like the world.

The Bible tells us to train up a child in the way he should go.  Notice it doesn't say let them experience everything and learn from failing.  There is a time to learn through failure.  But seeing the problem with marriage and divorce in the culture and in the church I think we should finally recognize that the date/break up philosophy of the world is failing the church and it is time for a change.

What kind we do?  We need to be like the Boy Scouts and Be prepared.  Good dating practices don't just happen, they are learned.  1) encourage your children at an early age to develop friendships with all kinds of people.  Isolation with one relationship is not always healthy.  2) Teach them to focus on their school work, family and friends instead of pushing them to dating relationships.  3) Dads, take out your nearly ready to date daughter and show her what a date should look like.  Treat her well, open her door, do more than just sit mindlessly in front of a movie screen in the dark.  Help her to have high expectations for both the date and the datee.  If you have a son, let him see you on a date with your spouse or maybe even double date.  4) Dads, insist that you get to meet the dates.  My father in-law insisted that I call him and ask for permission to take his daughter out.  Wise practice in deed.  I would imagine a low character boy would run from that.  Make the first date a family experience.  You learn what your boy/girl friend will be like in the future by seeing how they interact with mom and dad and siblings.  4)  Prayer NOW - don't wait till you kids are 15 and hormones are raging. Pray and ask God to bring into their life godly relationships.  Pray for their future spouse.  Pray for wisdom when they are older.  5)  Establish Clear boundaries and hold to them.  Dating is not a right.  It comes with maturity and wisdom.  Some of your kids will mature faster than others.  If your teen can't handle the freedom or make wise choices you may have to make some adjustments.  Curfews are not meant to be broken.  6) Trust God - God is sovereign even over your child's dating practices.  If you have been wise and you taught them well, don't fear. 

I am not looking forward to those days of dating.  But they are coming.  Are you prepared.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Burning of the Koran?

Rev. Terry Jones has boldly proclaimed that he will be burn the Koran on September 11. You can read his full story here.

In recent days politicians, generals and various religious leaders have all come out against this action. The Vatican has announced its displeasure towards this action and many churches in the United States have decided to hold joint-religious services on that day in protest of Rev. Jones actions.

There are two errors I see here.

First, those trying to counteract this action in the church by reading from the Koran in their services or having joint services across religious lines are acting foolishly. The Koran has nothing to offer followers of Jesus Christ. John, in his letter to the churches, reminds us not to participate with those who promote false teaching. Reading the Koran, in a church service, is unwise and un-biblical. Holding services with other groups further confuses the gospel. Islam (or other groups) are not one bad theology from being orthodox. They are not worshipping the same God - Allah is not YHWH.

But second, Rev. Jones actions are foolish and un-Christlike. He is not loving his neighbor as himself. He is not showing compassion to the un-learned. He is simply being provocative, perhaps trying to advance his own ministry.

Should we respond to Islam the way they have treated others, specifically the Christian church? No. We should not return evil for evil.

Should we become provocative by burning their "holy" book? This would be foolish and un-loving.

What should we do? We should show our Muslim neighbors what the gospel is and how it has changed us. How we no longer respond in our flesh through anger and petty political moves, but in love, compassion and grace to those who are lost. We should pray for them and share with them the gospel. No the gospel of the American dream. The gospel of salvation from sins through faith in Jesus Christ. That is what they need. That is what we should offer.

The Outpost - Bible Preaching (Brooke Taylor)