Category: Christian Living

Awakening to the End of the SBC

By Dr. James Willingham

All that has taken place on the nation level, the approval of homosexual unions as marriage, political correctness (which means no more free speech, etc.), the fines and law suits against Christians for their views on marriage, is but the precursor of things to come.  The end of jobs by computerization, automation, and robotics along with their removal to other nations for cheaper labor is also the indicator of a planned effort to bring down religion as a key factor in this land, any religion, except that which approves of the present PC views and practices.  And then there are the efforts of SBC leaders (so-called) who are supposedly trying to save the SBC mission programs by getting rid of the DOMs on the local level, followed by the state conventions, and after that the SBC (an expense, you know).  The result will be and is on the way to becoming the end of the programs for missionaries, the largest in history. Continue reading

Awakening to Corporate Enmity

By Dr. James Willingham

It is obvious that the  corporations are behind or a significant factor in the PC movement.  Just consider their opposition to any law, local, state, or otherwise that seeks to restore the moral standards concerning marriage and other concerns (i.e. the ten commandments, the Bible in public schools, etc.). The opposition of corporations to the laws for marriage of man to a woman, etc., as in Indiana and Ohio must be noted.  The same happened in North Carolina.  One of the officials of IBM had a front page article in the local Durham paper opposing some law that affirmed the religious rights of believers and opposing the marriage of homosexuals along with other forms of the sexual revolution.  I dare say IBM hardly has room to talk on such venue.

Just consider the book, IBM and the Holocaust by Edwin Black, documents the 12 years in which IBM provided their punch card  computers to the Nazis in Germany which enabled the latter to identify, round-up, imprison, and exterminate a vast multitude of Jews and other people in the various countries of Europe. Continue reading

Awakening to Second Class Citizenship

By Dr. James Willingham

Awakening to Second Class Citizenship will come as a shock to Christians and members of other faiths which do not buy the current requirements of political correctness.  Having studied Black History for many years, I can say that segregation and slavery were at their best feeble representations of little good and at their worst were horrors likened unto the place of eternal torment.  Years ago Blacks were required to walk out  into the streets, giving Whites the sidewalks.  And then there were executions of Blacks without a trial or, if there was one, it was a farce in many cases.  A White lady in Orangeburg, South Carolina summed it up as follows, “Mr. Willingham, when I knew that integration was going to occur, I chose to go teach in a Black primary school.  When I found out what segregation had done to the personalities of those little Black children, I cried.”

If the Supreme Court of the U.S. makes the decisions that favor the gay community they will come after all of our churches, our jobs, etc.  Consider what happened to the man in Oregon who owned a bakery and had children.  His bakery is closed.  At last account he was working as garbage collector, and the state was still hounding for the rest of the fine, while the people for whom he refused to do their wedding (due to their homosexuality) are also seeking the money which the court ruled he must pay them. Continue reading

Awakening to Helps

By Dr. James Willingham

One of the items that the Puritans found to be of value was that of “helps.” By this they meant the writings of other ministers which could provide them with a wealth of insight in a text or a subject.  Such helps provided them with an amount of materials that they might be hard pressed to find and develop; they also gave them something on which to exercise their minds.

Recently, I received a book by Dr. Ed Wallen bearing the title, Leaving Darkland, published by Solid Ground Christian Books of Vestavia, Ala., January 2o16 ){Phone number: 205-443-0311). A foreword to the work was written by Dr. Timothy George, founding dean of Beeson Divinity School of Samford University and General Editor of the Reformation Commentary on Scripture.  The book is of great value, and the foreword really adds insight and understanding to what the author has written. Continue reading

Awakening To The Theology

by Dr. James Willingham

The ground work or foundation for awakening prayer as well as for the visitation that we call an awakening is to be found in the theology we find linked to the First and Second Great Awakenings and the Launching of the Great Century of Missions as the late historian, Kenneth Scott Latourette called it or the Modern Missionary Movement as it is called today.  That theology with few exceptions must be described as Sovereign Grace or Calvinism.  The latter term actually diverts attention from the reality that Sovereign Grace is taught in Holy Scripture, and the very term is predicated on the use of the word, “reign,” used in Romans 5:21: “That as sin has reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.”  Reign or rule, of course, suggests the very idea of sovereignty, the authority and power to demand that things be done with a certainty.  Sin abounds.  Grace superabounds.  The enemy comes in like a flood, and God raises up a standard against him, a counter flood, a greater flood.  Like Noah’s flood of old which covered the whole earth, the deluge of grace shall fill the whole earth with His knowledge and glory.  The stone becomes a great mountain and fills the whole earth.

Interestingly enough, all of this is to be accomplished not by force but by persuasion  Which brings us to the statement from a work which began my journey toward this understanding of God’s design.  In his Introduction to his translation of William Ames’ Marrow of Divinity (the first textbook in theology used at Harvard, so I understand), Dr. John Eusden stated; “Predestination is an invitation to begin one’s spiritual pilgrimage,….”  That statement was like a light turned on in my mind and heart. Continue reading

Religion and Politics by Russell Moore | Reformed Theology Articles at Ligonier.org

Russell Mooreby Russell Moore

Tabletalk: How did you come to pursue a career as a systematic theologian and Christian ethicist?

Russell Moore: I felt a call to ministry early on and preached my first sermon at my home church in Biloxi, Miss., when I was twelve. I then drifted from that calling toward a career in politics. When I was working on Capitol Hill as a very young man, I picked up in the Library of Congress a copy of a Free Will Baptist manual on weddings, funerals, and so forth. After I returned home I wondered, “Why did I want this?” The Lord used that to rekindle my sense of His call to ministry. I never imagined how God would merge these callings together.

via Religion and Politics by Russell Moore | Reformed Theology Articles at Ligonier.org.

Discipleship Beyond the Mommy Blogosphere | The Gospel Centered Woman

Gospel Centered WomanIn one of our most widely read and discussed articles yet, Hannah Anderson laid out ways the “mommy blogosphere” has become a vehicle for driving how Christian women think and talk about practical matters of the faith. She concluded the piece by arguing that in recognizing this reality, there is a necessity for local churches to consider how some of what’s encountered in that world may be generating a lack of balance or perspective in how a woman considers seasons like marriage or motherhood in the context of her identity as a child of God. She also argued that one way for churches to address this dynamic is not necessarily to dissuade women from reading or writing blogs entirely, but to encourage women in those churches who are gifted in teaching and writing, to apply those gifts to the Christian blogosphere as a whole.

The argument that women should be encouraged to engage in “digital discipleship” at a deeper and more gospel-oriented level is by no means an argument that women’s discipleship should happen exclusively online. Quite the opposite.

via Discipleship Beyond the Mommy Blogosphere | The Gospel Centered Woman.

Leadership and Spiritual Maturity

Grace to Youby Jeremiah Johnson

New believers, and especially young men, are often very passionate for the truth. The joy of new life in Christ goes hand in hand with the desire to proclaim God’s truth to others and see them come to repentance and faith in Him.

But that passion usually exceeds the new believer’s preparedness to preach. Without a tested and proven faith, and without a strong understanding of Scripture—or any training in how to study and understand it—new believers should not assume leadership positions in the church.

Nor should they launch into ministry simply because “God told me to.” To the undiscerning, that might be a persuasive argument. But God’s people have a responsibility not to blithely believe everyone who claims to speak for Him. Moreover, they need to hold the leaders they follow to biblical standards (which gets back to the original reason for this series).

via Leadership and Spiritual Maturity.

3 Decisions a Pastor Can Make That Will Help His Family | Ronnie Floyd

Ronnie FloydMy wife Jeana grew up in the home of a Pastor, and we have always worked hard together to ensure our family is our #1 priority following our personal commitment to Jesus Christ. To God’s glory, my wife did not ever resent the church as the wife of a pastor, and as our children grew, they did not ever resent the church. In fact, our church was our life!

The four of us loved the church and we still love the church! Our boys’ spouses love the church and they are now raising children who love the church!

How did we escape the testimony I often hear of pastor’s families resenting the church? By God’s grace and prayer. I also believe we made several decisions that moved us along toward a positive experience. I will note three of these decisions.

via 3 Decisions a Pastor Can Make That Will Help His Family | Ronnie Floyd.

Thursday is for Thinkers: How to Love a Loved One with Mental Illness | The Exchange | A Blog by Ed Stetzer

Ed StetzerHeather Palacios and her husband Raul share about mental illness in their marriage and how Raul has loved Heather faithfully throughout their marriage. | Ed Stetzer

The following is a guest post by Heather (and Raul) Palacios. Heather has stopped by for a guest post before, and I find her words on living with mental illness to be helpful and encouraging. I hope her post today encourages you, especially if you’re faithfully loving a family member with a mental illness.

When Raul watched me walk down the aisle on February 6, 1999, he knew it was the beginning of a new journey. However, he had no idea it wouldn’t be an easy one. On July 30, 2000, less than two years married, he would find me in a parking lot, inebriated and in the middle of a suicide. The two years that ensued would require tireless hours of counseling, doctor visits, medication tweaks and lifestyle adjustments to get us restored and moving forward again.

via Thursday is for Thinkers: How to Love a Loved One with Mental Illness | The Exchange | A Blog by Ed Stetzer.

I’m a Christian. But I’ve Forgotten How to Belong to the Church. | Christianity Today

Christianity TodayA millennial diagnoses her generation’s complicated relationship to the body of Christ.

Interview by Laura Turner/ January 29, 2015

Sometimes, to borrow a phrase, we long to be in the church but not of it. We love Christ, but the church is full of people—and problems—we’d rather avoid. In Lessons in Belonging from a Church-Going Commitment Phobe, Erin Lane, a divinity school graduate and pastor’s wife, explores her difficulty (and that of her millennial generation) in feeling fully devoted to the body of Christ. Laura Turner, a contributor to Her.meneutics, talked with Lane, a program director at the Center for Courage & Renewal, about the paradox of belonging and the practices that help to sustain commitments to others.

via I’m a Christian. But I’ve Forgotten How to Belong to the Church. | Christianity Today.

CALL TO PRAYER: More than conquerors in 2015 & beyond | Baptist Press | Frank Page

Frank Page

Frank Page

EDITOR’S NOTE: This column by Frank S. Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee, is part of his ongoing call to prayer for revival and spiritual awakening for our churches, our nation and our world.

NASHVILLE (BP) — Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this year was the year during which we live as “more than conquerors”? The Lord gives us the key to see how this may be accomplished in our lives — it can only be done “through Him who loved us.”

These words from Romans 8:37–39 shine as one of God’s brightest promises to His children. The passage says: “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Continue reading →

Religious Liberty vs. Erotic Liberty — Religious Liberty is Losing | AlbertMohler.com

Albert Mohler

Albert Mohler

Barely five days after The New York Times ran a major news article on the firing of Atlanta’s fire chief for his views on homosexuality, a major Times opinion writer declared that religious liberty is a fine thing, so long as it is restricted to “pews, homes, and hearts” — far from public consequence.

The firing of Kelvin Cochran as chief of Atlanta’s Fire Rescue Department came after the city’s major, Kasim Reed, determined that the chief could not effectively manage the department after he had written a book in which he cited Scripture in defining homosexuality as a sin. Continue reading →

What to Do When Someone Is Wrong on the Internet | Borrowed Light

If you spent any amount of time engaging folks online you likely chuckled (or wept) at the comic above. You’ve likely watched in horror (or engaged to your dismay) a flurry of ridiculous comments on an online thread.

Yes, someone is wrong on the internet today. And they are probably wrong about very significant things. Things like God, the Bible, and all branches of theology. So what is a person to do?

As a fan of John Newton—and since we are doing a year with John Newton—I find it helpful to ask this question of Newton. Continue reading →

Teach the Uncompromised Truth of Genesis in Church | Answers in Genesis

answers-in-genesis-logoThis month, the pastor of one of the largest churches in Northern Kentucky (and close to our Creation Museum) is conducting a teaching series going through Genesis 1–11 for the congregation. This is the same church that will be hosting our annual Mega Conference, June 24–27. I was present at the service when Pastor Corey Abney1 (the lead pastor) introduced the Genesis series to the congregation. I thought his introduction was excellent (watch it at the video link below), and it could be used to challenge pastors, Bible teachers, and others to consider teaching through Genesis 1–11. We live in an age when the authority of God’s Word has come under attack, particularly the first book of the Bible. We also need to equip this current generation of young people to defend the Christian faith against the secular attacks of our day.

I encourage you to watch Pastor Abney’s short but powerful introduction to his teaching series on Genesis 1–11. I pray many more Christian leaders will be challenged and inspired to stand on God’s Word beginning in Genesis. Continue reading →

Arguments on TX abortion regulations bill heard | Baptist Press

Baptist PressNEW ORLEANS (BP) — In what could be a precedent-setting case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit heard arguments in Whole Woman’s Health v. Lakey, Jan. 7, part of the ongoing legal challenges contesting the 2013 Texas abortion regulations law, which observers agree will end up at the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Texas, in many cases, will be a case of first impressions,” Denise Burke, vice president of legal affairs for Americans United for Life, said.

But it wasn’t the first time the appellate court heard arguments against House Bill 2, an omnibus piece of legislation establishing strict standards of operation for Texas abortion providers. In 2013 the court overturned a ruling by federal court Judge Lee Yeakel. But in this latest lawsuit — in which two provisions, again, were declared unconstitutional by Yeakel — Stephanie Toti, senior counsel for the Center for Reproductive Rights, argued HB 2 simply targets abortion clinics for closure with the “imposition of burdensome requirements.” Continue reading →

America awaits justices’ action on same-sex marriage | Baptist Press

Baptist PressWASHINGTON (BP) — The wait for the U.S. Supreme Court to announce it is ready to provide a verdict on same-sex marriage may be near an end.

Then again, it may not.

The justices are scheduled to meet in a private conference Jan. 9, when they will consider appeals of lower-court decisions in favor of states’ rights to limit marriage to heterosexual couples. The high court could decide to grant review in one or both cases in this term.

If the Supreme Court rules on the issue this term, gay marriage could be legal throughout the country by the time it adjourns this summer. Or states could maintain their authority historically to define marriage as only between a man and a woman. Continue reading →

What online classes are really like | SBC Voices

SBC VoicesAt the end of January I start my fifteenth class towards my M.Div at Southern Seminary. I’ve done everything from Systematic Theology, Introductions to the Old and New Testaments, Church History, Greek, and Hebrew. A few classes were considered “on campus” because, apart from the online portion, I had to travel to Louisville for a week of lectures.

Pay the SBC rate, which is half tuition. I also pay a $250 internet course fee per class. I don’t have to pay the fee for on campus classes, and depending on where I sleep and what I eat, the cost isn’t must different either way. It’s just a matter of deciding whether or not I can afford to take that much time off work for something other than a relaxing vacation. Continue reading →

Decency, Pluralism, and the Christian Response to Charlie Hebdo | Andrew T. Walker

Andrew WalkerLast night, The Weekly Standard tweeted “Print Free or Die” with a picture of the prophet Muhammed, whose physical iconography is the purported reason that the terrorist attacks were carried out in the first place.

Always willing to play the part of social media provocateur, I readied myself to re-tweet that image myself, ready to join in the chorus of those wishing to thumb their nose in an act of First Amendment defiance toward the offended party. As a liberty-loving conservative, I believe one hundred percent in the free exchange of offense. The condition of freedom enlists the possibility, and perhaps requires, that all shall be ready to be offended. Continue reading →

A Fuller taste | Reformation21 Blog

jeremy walkerThis year is the 200th anniversary of the death of the Baptist pastor-theologian Andrew Fuller, so expect a few bits and pieces coming your way.

Here is your starter for ten …

You may be in the sad condition of not really knowing what you are missing by not knowing Fuller Continue reading →