Thursday, September 25, 2008

In connection with our recent look at Ephesians 5:21-33, I want to make you aware of an important document known as the "Danver Statement" and also the organization from which it originated. Let me encourage you to spend some time looking through this site, their statements, and various articles.
As Christians we cannot afford to be ignorant of what is happening around us concerning this issue; there is simply too much at stake for us to remain passive in our thinking and complacent in our practical living in the area. What we think about this issue will demontrate itself in how we conduct our marriages.
Will the marriages of those who are members at Grace Baptist Church clearly illustrate and proclaim the truth of Christ and His relationship to the church or will our marriages detract and deface this holy picture and disgrace the name by which we have been called?Pray for one-another that we would each grow in this area so that our marriages would grow in conformity to the beautiful pattern seen and set in the relationship between Christ and His church.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Another Must Read Book

The discovery of a great book is somthing like happening upon an Indian arrowhead while searching in a 100 acre field, it is as rare as it is exhilarating. When that elusive arrowhead, or book, is finally found you instantly want to share your treasure and awe with others. “More Than Meets the Eye” is such a book for me and one I want you to share in as well.More than any other book I have read, “More Than Meets the Eye” highlights the genius, the power, sophistication and artistry of God from the smallest aspects of the creation (sub-atomic particles, atoms, systems, etc) to the largest (anti-matter, light, stars, black holes, planets, etc). The author, Richard Swenson, has compiled an impressive, mind-numbing array of medical and scientific data chronicling the works of God in the creation. Although not designed or written to be a biology or science textbook, it does contain much of both so as to force the reader come to grips with a God that is far bigger, greater, wiser, stronger, and faithful than you ever imagined. Let me give you a small taste of what you will find:“The human body is composed of ten thousand trillion trillion atoms – a number far greater than the stars in the universe. In each person, more than a trillion of these atoms are replaced every on-millioneth of a second. These atoms, in turn, are comprised of sub-atomic particles, some of which have life span of than a billion billioneth of a second. It is entirely possible that we have no sub-atomic bottom. As the technology becomes increasingly sophisticated, we discover yet smaller particles. We are, perhaps, infinite in the sub-atomic direction. pg 94Each human cell is made up of a trillion atoms. The body contains between 10 and 100 trillion atoms. We tear down and rebuild over a trillion cells every day. Each cell is remarkable in its own miniaturized way, with electric fields, protein factories, and hundreds of ATP energy motors 200 thousand times smaller than a pinhead. In a lifetime, the heart beats over two billion times and pumps sixty million gallons of blood through sixty thousand miles of blood vessels. pg 94The core temperature of the sun is fifteen million degrees centigrade. It is so hot that a pinhead heated to the temperature of the center of the sun “would emit enough heat to kill anyone who ventured within a thousand miles of it,” explained physicist Sir James Jean. “ pg 148And on and on he goes.I highly recommend this book and hope you will purchase a copy today. However big your view of God may be today, “More Than Meets the Eye” will cause you to realize that it is probably way too small.You can learn more here:

Friday, September 5, 2008

Why We Don’t Display A National Flag When Our Church Meets. (Part 4)

Displaying a State Flag is Antithetical to Our Baptist Convictions.
Displaying a state flag at our Christian assemblies undermines what our Baptist forefathers believed and sacrificed for at the beginning our great nation. It was because of early colonial Baptists like Roger Williams, Isaac Backus, and John Leland, who persistently and courageously fought for the freedom to worship God, attend, and support the church of one’s choice that we enjoy the freedom to worship as our conscience dictates today. Religious liberty was essentially a new concept even in early America; for many years the state regulated the church, even in colonial America. The two were intertwined each working to aid the other. Baptists argued that the church and state should not be so conjoined. These Baptist champions resented having to financially support the local church/state parish and in its state appointed pastor, they were unwilling to submit to having special state orders so as to be licensed and thus free to preach at will, and so they resisted and worked tirelessly to see that every man had the religious freedom to worship and support the church of his choice based solely upon the dictates of his conscience. The product of their ceaseless effort is the 1st amendment to the United States constitution which guarantees that the state has no authority to establish a state church or religion nor can the state prohibit the free exercise of religion.Reintroducing the state back into the church is unwittingly undoing and undermining a precious freedom we enjoy as Americans citizens. Why would we want to blur the distinct lines between the two God-ordained, unrelated spheres of church and state by displaying a state flag in our assemblies? What biblical connection is there between these two separate spheres? There are none.While we as Baptists certainly appreciate our freedoms afforded us as American citizens, it does not follow that we ought to display the flag or feel obligated to do so. Such freedoms are ultimately unrelated to the purposes and responsibilities of the church and her members, and so every effort should be made to preserve the blessings we freely enjoy in the church over what we have been blessed with by the 1st Amendment. After all that is what it was designed to secure for us. As shown previously we do the church no service by displaying a flag, and neither do we do our country a service when we naively and unwittingly undermine our rights as free citizens by reintroducing the state back into the realm sacred to Christ, His church.
(for more on Isaac Backus and other Baptist champions you can click here:

"The Slow Death of Congregational Singing"

I hope all of our members will read Michael Raiter's article entitled, "The Slow Death of Congregational Singing." Published in April 2008, it's simply one of the best explanations of why congregational singing "in many churches has been in its death throes for some years now." Here are a couple of excerpts that I hope will motivate you to click on the link at the bottom and read Raiter's article."People hear the word of God from the mouths of the pastors and the Bible expositors, but they also hear a sermon during the time of singing. Someone has said that a person's theology is no deeper than the songs they sing. I'm sure that's true, and it's quite an indictment on the modern evangelical church. There is, perhaps, no greater evidence of the theological illiteracy of this Christian generation than the songs we sing and write. Every song is a sermon, and it is critical that the God and the gospel that is proclaimed from the pulpit is the same God and the same gospel preached from the music team.""Whether you travel across the urban areas of Asia, Africa, North America or Australia, everywhere you go, increasingly, the singing in the church—both the songs that are sung and the style of music—is the same. It's the McDonaldization of our world. And in every church you visit across the world, the music is just the same. I'd describe it as the ‘Hillsongization’ of music except that it's such a clumsy word. Oh, the words of the songs might differ, but it's the same music team singing the same way. There's the obligatory leader with the obligatory two or three singers accompanying her, the obligatory drummer, the obligatory keyboard player and the obligatory two guitarists. You're allowed some freedom in your choice of a sax or a flute, depending on the resources available, but it's all exactly the same for every song in every place.Surely it's time to sit down and ask ourselves what is the best medium for actually promoting congregational singing? From my observation, our present approach has been weighed in the balances and found wanting.""As I travel around visiting churches, I've noticed again and again that, for all their good intentions (and the vast majority are, I believe, well-intentioned), the music teams are killing congregational singing. I know that sounds harsh, but I see it in case after case. I enjoy the sound of an electric piano, the beat of the drums, the rhythm of the guitars, and the backing of the saxes and flutes, but my favourite instrument is the human voice. Nothing lifts my soul like being a part of 50— 100—300 saints in full voice, singing the praises of God and the glories of the gospel. Unfortunately that's a disappointingly rare experience."Here's the link:

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Reading the Bible Together!

It is a pleasure it is to know that many of us are reading from the same passages of the New Testament together. Last night Connie, Allison, Dylan, and I sat down on our red living room sofas and read Luke 20.41-47 and Hebrews 1.10-14. Wasn't the contrast striking between our Jesus who is ever the same and whose years have no end [Hebrews1], and the scribes who make long prayers but devour widows' houses [Luke 20]? Jesus says they will receive the greater condemnation.I prayed for our family, asking God to strengthen us with his almighty power to live in a way that is consistent with our professed doctrine. Faithful is He who calls us who also will do it. I'm looking forward to tonight's prayer meeting.