• March 9, 2009 /  Uncategorized

    Acts 2:32 sets forth the claim of the apostles and disciples — they had seen Jesus Christ (Y’shua ha’mushiach — pardon my poor transliteration of the Hebrew) risen from the dead in a physical bodily form.  This witness is a major key of Christianity.

    Many, perhaps most of these men and women would go to their deaths concerning this witness.  Thus, most of the usual tales of why the Bible is not accurate fall flat.  People don’t go to their deaths to defend something they know is not true.

    Those listening to Peter preaching at Pentecost (Feast of Weeks / Shavuot) could go and talk to the apostles/disciples and see if a consistent story was told.  They could listen to the prophecies that were fullfilled from Psalms 16 and 110, and Joel 2.  Three thousand were converted that day.  The story circulated by the authorities that the disciples stole the body of Jesus could not stand up to the miraculous signs and wonders of the day, and the witness of those that had seen the risen Jesus Christ, of which there were at least five hundred.

    What could make despondent followers of a dead teacher react with fervor?  The truth that the teacher was alive, and was ruling from heaven.  After the death of Jesus the disciples and apostles hid.  They did not want to be killed as well.  The resurrection of Jesus Christ and the empowering of the Holy Spirit overcame their fears, and the taught the truth of the risen Messiah, Jesus Christ.

  • March 2, 2009 /  Uncategorized

    My congregation, Trinity RPC, has tried planting churches over the last seven years without much success.  We ran into difficulties, but one of the main ones was households where the wife or children ran the show.  The husband/father might be in favor of a more Biblical type of church, like ours, but the wife would whine and moan (I am not exaggerating) about how the small congregation would not meet the needs of their children.  We would need to have extensive ministries that were children-specific within their exact age groups to qualify with the wife, and/or the kids.

    That is an example of a very American family that wants church on its own terms, rather than on Biblical terms.  Americans are culturally individualistic, rather than Biblical in their beliefs.  The Bible stresses that families are the predominant form of social order, and secondarily, the Church.  Wives and children should submit to their husbands/fathers, and if the congregation he deems best isn’t the most fun, well, learn to love it.

    Church is not about fun, it is about faith in Christ.  It is about learning to please God, and please your neighbor in all ways consistent with the Bible.  Anyone who chases their own personal pleasure implicitly or explicitly runs away from Christ, who asks us to take up our cross (regard ourselves as dead to the pleasures of the world) and follow him.

    Congregations are built through sacrifice.  Someone has to be the first family there, with children happy to worship God, even if they have no peers as friends.  Is that less pleasant than a large well-established church?  Of course, but I have seen men abdicate their responsibilities to the truth in order to make their wives and children happy at a larger church where the gospel is not faithfully taught, but there are extras that tantalize the wife and children.

    Men, if you do not rule your wives, if you do not rule your children, your families are useless to the kingdom of God.  You must put first things first in your lives, and put the church of God first, where the word is ministered faithfully, even if that church is small.  Look to the teaching of the Word first.  It is that that changes lives, not optional youth programs.

    Husbands and Fathers, choose what is best for your wives and children.  Seek the pure teaching of the Word of God, and do not settle for something that pacifies their desires for religion that is fun.