CONSERVATISM AND GODLINESS
In our current political environment people are constantly throwing around the tag “conservative”. Some embrace it others avoid it or bash it.
Every serious Bible believer should be considered “conservative” at least on Biblical issues. Yet here is where Satan’s most clever deceptions may happen. See Jesus on the Pharisees!
Some assume that political conservatism comes from Biblical conservatism. It should but it does not always. Worse yet by far, some church leaders assume that Biblical conservatism equates to godliness. Again, it should but it does not always. Far too many spiritual leaders have become deceived by their conservatism while worldliness, carnality, and slackness have crept into their lives and churches. We pat ourselves on our collective backs for holding cherished beliefs unaware that personal sanctification from walking in the Holy Spirit has diminished. Vance Havner said that you can be straight as a gun barrel and just as empty. The context of James 3:10 is appropriate and sobering, “…My brethren, these things ought not be so.”
I believe humility and honesty go a long way in helping us turn from and avoid this deception.
We all have a lot of opportunities to speak to people as we are going through each day. We should be ready, willing, and able to speak a word for the Lord using some words that bring God’s truth into the conversation even if it is briefly.
I have been convinced lately I need to take this to another level. I want Christ to empower me to give a witness to how BIG and GREAT our God is. I want Him distinguished and glorified. I desire for people to know the living God, the one true God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I am trying to use phrases like “the Lord Jesus” and I’ll pray to “the living God” about that, and “God knows everything, you can trust Him completely”.
As some of us were taught when we were little, “God is great and God is good”. Let’s speak of Him this way to those who may not know Him in a permanent righteous way.
A Survey on Where God Worked in Acts by Glenn Rogers
Borrowing the title phrase from Judges 6:13 allows me to share with you something that may be surprising but is even more profound. My study this spring lead me to look at Acts and see how many of the miracles recorded in this book occurred in a church service. NOT MANY!
I chose not to count individual conversions as miracles in this, but the multiple conversions I did include. We know and surely believe that God saving a soul is His most marvelous and eternal work!
How did it breakdown? Only ONE miracle actually happened in what we would call a church service. This was God raising Eutychus from the dead. To expand this, eight more occurred in a religious setting, like Pentecost, earthquake at an impromptu prayer meeting, etc. So where did the rest of the 45 miracles happen? You probably guessed it – as the believers were going about living Gospel-centered, Gospel-sharing lives, this is where God showed up and performed most of the miracles.
Of course, we should continue to seek the powerful presence of God in our church services. Yet it is not all about the Sunday service! Seeing how and where the Lord worked in the early church, should we not also be leading our people to look for and expect God to use them mightily apart from our regular assemblies. Look at Acts 3 and 4 to see a prime example.
We must equip our people for such a Gospel-centered, Christ-led experience that they will see Him work as they are going; and we must also be seeking and experiencing the same..
- This decision is one more evidence that our nation is under the judgment of God and that our churches are being chastened in this matter as it relates to sexual purity, children, and marriage fidelity and integrity. All these are areas where we have weakened in the last 100 years.
- The celebration of this decision, joined be some professing Christians (“Love Wins”, etc.), is further evidence that we have not presented and demonstrated God’s ideal of one man for one woman for life.
- Let’s take full advantage of the situation with holy zeal and loving compassion to present biblical marriage and to help our people live it out and share the truth.
- Let’s be compassionate with those caught in sin and be diligent to present redemption for all sinners through Christ our Lord.
Also, make sure your church is protected from lawsuits and misuse of church facilities for weddings and events. We have had multiple sessions at our Association Conferences to help prepare us in this matter and remain to equip you and stand with you in these matters.
Going to The Southern Baptist Convention Ethics and Religious Liberty Committee is a great resource from our Southern Baptist Convention. Click here for the ERLC web page.
Article by Glenn Rogers
As we begin to study any passage in God’s Word and prepare to present it, we should ask, “Where do I see the person and/or the work of Christ in this section of Scripture?”
After Jesus rose from the dead, He showed up on the Emmaus Road and gave us the greatest hermeneutical lesson we could have: “And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” (Luke 24:27) The verse DOES NOT say that He showed them all the things concerning Him in the Scriptures BUT “in ALL THE SCRIPTURES the things concerning Himself”.
If the former were true, it would merely send us looking for the key passages about Jesus which our human minds could somewhat accomplish. However, since the later is what Jesus said, it requires us to let the Holy Spirit do one of His key works. Jesus said “He will testify of me. . . He will glorify me”. (John 15:26 – 16:15)
So, in every passage we should ask: where can we see the person of Christ, the attributes of Christ, the nature of God demonstrated and pointing us to Christ? Where do we see the redemptive and justifying work of Christ pictured? Where do we see God’s holiness in judgment on sin? Where do we see His mercy? Where do we see His eternal love? Where do we see the wages of sin paid out? Where do we see His grace given out? Where do we see His resurrection power? In ALL THE SCRIPTURES we may see Him. Of course then, the applications to the lives of our listeners will be rich and abundant. The attendant doctrines will be clear, connected, and life altering.
For the glory of God, the good of our hearers, and our own joy, let’s look for where we see Jesus presented, explained, referenced, paralleled, foreshadowed, prophesied, typified, and exemplified. He is everywhere in the Scriptures. This He clearly taught!
As we follow the Holy Spirit’s lead, we will make much of Jesus; how can we not? Then He will draw people to Himself as well as sanctify those that come.
The late Adrian Rogers often said, “If you read the Bible and don’t see Jesus, reread it because you misread it!”
My prayer for our churches is that in small groups and in large meetings, “We would see Jesus.”
By Glenn Rogers
The idea in the New Testament and even now when we think of the Pharisees is “legalist”. Indeed that is correct as to their actions and ministry.
Beneath is something more deadly. They wanted a Messiah who was coming but never really came! When Jesus the Messiah showed up, they would not receive Him.
Underneath that was a greater subtlety: The Pharisees did not welcome or seek Outside Voices. This is seen not only in their rejection of Christ and His redemptive work but also in their rejection of John the Baptist and the attempts to shut out the Apostles.
DO NOT FALL PREY TO THIS AS A LEADER! Modern “apostolic” (small “a”) voices from the outside are still necessary. I speak here of people beyond your local church from the wider Kingdom of God. Why would a pastor not want any outside voices to speak into his life and that of his church? Reasons I have seen and heard confessed are insecurity, pride in methodology or theology, laziness, racial bias, social bias, finances, distrust of others, and more. This is not a good list for sure, nor one that sounds like humility. The danger here is that a pastoral staff, lay leaders, and the church as a whole can become very “ingrown”. That was a big, yet hidden problem with the Pharisees of old. It did not work out well for them.
Yes, we have the whole counsel of God, and the “we” is important as well. Learn to seek and hear the godly outside voices, the “apostles” that the Lord might enlighten us on our way. Let God use the wisdom of others to expand us to be all He called us to be..
by Bonnie Rogers
William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, said, “The chief danger of the 20th century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, and Heaven without Hell.” We continue to experience Booth’s fulfilled prediction today. Though we can’t know the exact day of the Lord’s return, Jesus did expect us to “discern the time” as the day approaches (Luke 12:56).
Nehemiah “sat…wept…mourned…fasted…and prayed before the God of heaven.” (Neh. 1:4) Have we no time to SIT before God? Are there no serious situations in our homes, churches, nation, and world that cause us to WEEP? Are solemn gatherings of MOURNING before the Lord a thing of the past? How has FASTING become so foreign to God’s people? Do we really PRAY??? (Notice that prayer came after humility was shown.) Serious living in these last days is no longer an option. Let’s prepare our hearts to seek the Lord (II Chron. 12:14) and fight the battle to which we’ve been called.
Joe White a nationally renowned speaker, author and, the current CEO of Kanakuk Ministries along with Trip Lee an American Southern rapper, singer, poet and author were featured at the beginning of a major weekend evangelistic event on the Stetson University Campus. Normally this event called “After Dark” is only put on at major college campuses. This past Thursday a crowd that was estimated to be over one fourth the size of the entire Stetson student body attended this kickoff to a weekend of solid biblical teaching and outreach. The concert was followed by the “G1”(God First) Conference, which was two days of discipleship meetings. I am overjoyed to report that this is only part of an outpouring we are seeing at Stetson. In the past year we have seen an explosion of solid Christian fellowship forming and growing on campus. Fellowship of Christian Athletes is now meeting weekly with well over 70 students attending. Another well founded group by the name of Renown is also building in size. God has answered their prayers and their many hard hours of work with this amazing culmination of events. Please keep these students in your prayers as well as our Missions Partner FCA that God will continue to use them to reach others for Christ..
Some words have made a comeback and MORE NEED TO! Specifically, “Merry Christmas” came back strong this year. It was very nice to have store clerks and other workers (including the Post Office) to initiate hello and goodbye with this classic greeting. We were celebrating the birth of CHRIST after all. This, along with the general nicer attitude in public gives me a small glimpse of what revival might be like.
There are some other words and phrases that need to make a comeback in church vocabulary. The word “justification” in any form would be a good start. “Just, justify, justified” are used in the New Testament nearly 80 times. If you add to that the same root word when translated “righteousness” or similar forms the total nearly doubles. This is basically equals the New Testament uses of “saved” or similar words. Yet our common usage does not reflect this balance.
Of course any major word used in our messages needs to have context, meaning, and application. I fear we have almost immunized people with the “saved” words. Worse yet, we have substituted “connected” for it.
Justification by faith was the cry of the reformers and we should not abandon it. “Justified” is a strong word that naturally lends itself to teachings on condemnation and conviction of sin, clear conversion testimonies, the eternal nature of salvation and more. I am working at bringing back “justified” into the mix of church vocabulary. Please join me! We will see more “fruit that remains” when we use and explain the Gospel by a balanced use of the key words from God’s Word.
By Glenn Rogers.