Monday, April 21, 2014

Preaching Again at Green Valley Church

This Sunday, April 27th, I'm preaching at the morning worship service at Green Valley Church of God.  The service begins at 10:30 A.M. 

Green Valley Church of God 
518 Green Valley Drive
St. Albans, WV  25177

From MacCorkle Avenue 
Exit onto  Kanawha Terrace.  Drive 0.6 of a mile then turn left onto Green Valley Drive.  Drive 0.8 of a mile and arrive at Green Valley on right.  The road leading to the parking lot is immediately before you get to the church building.

GPS Directions 
N 38°21.891'  
W 081°47.243'

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Kara Welker Sings in Kilkenny, Ireland


On YouTube Kara Welker explains:
Since the first time I set foot in a beautiful, old European church it has been a goal of mine to belt out Amazing Grace at the first opportunity I got in one alone. I finally had that chance in Kilkenny, Ireland. And it was just as amazing as I ever dreamed it would be. Please note that this was recorded on a phone and with absolutely no editing.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Royal Claim of the King (Matthew 1:1-17)

This is the first expositional sermon through the gospel of Matthew.  I recorded this message at Browns Creek Church of God in St. Albans, West Virginia.

Monday, March 31, 2014

A 7th Grader's Speech on Abortion

Call this 12-year-old The Bus Driver 'cause she just took everyone to school.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

R. C. Sproul on How to Convince a Person Sin is Real and He Needs a Savior

I don't endorse this action but it certainly gets the point across.  After all, what is "righteous indignation" but an acknowledgment that sin exists?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Ministry Wisdom

Over the years I've gained important insights about how church "works."  Here are a few principles that may not be on paper, and may even be unspoken, yet they are true from my experience.

1. There is no secret to church growth.  Most people begin attending a church because a family member or friend invites them.

2. People officially vote by ballot.  However, they also unofficially vote by checkbook and feet.  If people are unhappy they may withhold their money.  If a church has a Sunday evening worship service and few attend that means most have voted with their feet not to have one.

3. There are two types of leaders in the church: official ones with a title and unofficial ones that may, in fact, yield more power than official ones.  Figure out who the "real" leaders are—official or not—and convince them of needed change.  The congregation will follow.

4. Show me how Christians spend their time and money and I'll tell you what really is important to them, regardless of what they may say.

5. If a pulpit committee promises something to the pastor-elect, get it in writing.

6. Pick your fights; you will want to tweak/change many things.  Decide what issues are crucially important, pick those fights, and release the rest into the grace of God.

Friday, March 21, 2014

"How to Treat Your Pastor" Message

If you have a pastor, please watch this message I preached last year at Meade Station Church of God while their pastor was recovering from illness. It's entitled, "How to Treat Your Pastor." It's important for you to hear, not because I'm a great preacher but because it's straight from the Bible. Your minister won't preach this for fear you will question his motives. Let me preach it for him. 

This is from my YouTube channel called The Wesleyan Pulpit.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Peanuts: Charlie Brown and Snoopy Will Come in 3D

I hope this is a clean picture with no innuendo or crass jokes.

Interesting trivia: Charles Schulz, the late creator of Peanuts, attended a Church of God (Anderson, Indiana) congregation for a while as a young man in Minnesota.  In fact, he even tried his hand at some preaching.  It was his pastor who encouraged him to shop his cartoons.  The rest is history.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

The "Jesus Never Said Anything About" Fallacy

You may run across people who want to justify homosexual behavior (or many other things) or by saying the following:

Jesus never said anything about _______.

Such a person may call himself a "red letter Christian."  That is, he wants to talk about what Jesus (didn't) say about the issue.  Such a conversation isn't recorded in the gospels?  Well, end of story for him.

There are many problems with this view.  Let me stream of consciousness some out:

1. It's presumptuous to demand that only the Christ of Christianity can prohibit it when God spoke not only through his Son but also through regular people.  It places an unwarranted wedge between God and his official leaders and is an anti-historical tone.  Moses spoke the the abomination of homosexual acts (as well as other sexually sinful ones).  Are there people today who would say that Moses isn't a recognized leader of God's Israeli community?  Try floating that one by a Jew today.  Paul spoke of the sin of homosexual behavior.  I am aware of no scholar (even a flamingly liberal one)  who denies the existence, the conversion and the apostolic ministry in the early church of the Rabbi Saul of Tarsus.  Whatever the scholar today may think of him personally, he will admit that Paul was an early and influential church leader and that Christians believed him then.  
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor passive nor active homosexual partners, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor extortioners will inherit the Kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
To say, "Moses and Paul have no authority to deliver binding revelation from God to me," is just arrogant.  And where did Jesus say his was the only voice to be used in establishing Christian doctrine?  Who are we to tell God how to write his Bible?

2. There was no foreseeable need for Jesus to be on the record about the issue.  He preached primarily to a first century Jewish audience (that is to say, Second Temple Judaism).  The Jews of the day wouldn't have remotely thought that homosexual behavior was legitimate.  Even though some Jewish authorities denied Jesus they did not deny Moses.  Hence, they would've taken Moses' Torah instruction to heart and condemned homosexual behavior.  

It would be like me getting up in the pulpit Sunday and declaring that incest is sinful.  I have no need to preach that Sunday because everybody in the audience would already know that.  (Give it a few years and, given this society, it might not be a truth just taken for granted.)

The New Testament writers tended to write about things that needed correction.  That is, we get Paul's views on things that people were messing up.  I wish Paul said a lot more about everything but he didn't.  He crafted his letters to fit the occasion of writing.

Jesus didn't have to talk about homosexuality because it wasn't a problem.  He did have to address heterosexual divorce and remarriage because that was a problem in the Jewish community.

3. Besides, how do we know that Jesus never said anything about it?  Maybe he did.  Maybe he spoke about gentile sexual sins in passing but it just wasn't recorded in the Bible because the Holy Spirit didn't direct the gospel writers to write it.  As John himself says,
Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. (John 21:25 ESV)
There it is.