Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Southern Baptists Are Stuck In The South

I was challenged by an article on the SBC OUTPOST blog. The article dealt with the growth or lack of growth of the Southern Baptist Convention in America. When I talk about lack of growth I don't mean numerically, although that point can be made, but I mean geographically. I now understand why the proposal failed at the Convention to change the name of the Southern Baptist Convention. Most Southern Baptists are in the South. I wonder if our methods as Southern Baptist have become so mixed with southern culture that we are ineffective in our pursuit to evangelize the rest of America. We can't be promoters of culture, but we must be preachers of Christ. People don't have to accept southern culture to accept Christ. For Southern Baptists to be successful we must move beyond being southern.

Monday, April 24, 2006

OKpreacher’s Book Review: “The Da Vinci Code”

Best quote from the book:

”This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.”-From the Copyright page in “The Da Vinci Code”

Let me start by saying that I had no plan to read Dan Brown’s, “The Da Vinci Code”. Then one of the church members brought up the subject and suggested that I read the book. What has surprised me about this book is how many people take this work of fiction and try to find truth from it. I remember something similar happening with, “This Present Darkness” and spiritual warfare. “This Present Darkness” was so engaging that if you didn’t have a good understanding of what the Bible teaches about spiritual warfare you would believe the book was true. So I figured that the same must be true about, “The Da Vinci Code”, but after reading it I don’t understand why it became so popular.

I was bored out of my mind for the first hundred and fifty pages of the book. A famous art curator name Jacques Sauniere is murdered. The last three hundred pages are about Jacques’ grand-daughter and Robert Langdon, professor of Religious Symbology at Harvard, seeking to uncover the hiding place of the Holy Grail. Jacques was the leader of a secret group and was the last one who knew the hiding place. He left a clue for his granddaughter to find and follow to make sure the secret of the grail was safe. The secret is that the Holy Grail wasn’t a thing, but a person. Where is Indiana Jones when you need him?

The idea of the novel is that Jesus really isn’t God, but just a man that taught morals. He married Mary Magdalene and had a kid. Jesus wanted Mary to be the head of his church, but Peter wouldn’t let her because she was a woman. To cover this up there was a Council in Nicea, where the leaders developed this false theology about Jesus being God which the church has promoted and protected every since. Since the council there have been people through the Arts and Sciences that have been trying to tell the truth about Jesus and Mary. Da Vinci is the main dude in this. His painting, “The Last Supper” is a picture of Mary and Jesus in the center instead of John and Jesus. Therefore, Da Vinci was painting us the truth. This probably explains why all of Jesus’ disciples were white Europeans since Da Vinci painted them that way as well. In the end, the reason to find the Holy Grail is so that everyone can return to worshipping Mother Earth through secret sex rituals which was God’s plan all along.

I have never read a more pagan and historically wrong book. As I read the book, I knew Mr. Brown was writing fiction, but most of his stuff didn’t even make sense. So here are some facts 1. Jesus is the Lord and we know this because He claimed to and He was resurrected from the dead. 2. Jesus wasn’t married to Mary Magdalene, because the Bible tells us that Christ will marry another. Who will Jesus marry you may ask? The bride of Christ is the church. Christ will be united with His church. 3. The council of Nicea, dealt with the heresy of Gnosticism. Also scripture was already canonized by Christians. The council of Nicea, just made it official. 4. God doesn’t accept worship of women or men. God shares His Glory with no one. Dan Brown would do well to read the Ten Commandments. 5. In the book the claim is made that the church has made sex bad, the truth is that the Bible teaches us that sex is good inside of marriage. That is the proper place because it is between two people that God has united.

In conclusion, I would give “The Da Vinci Code” an F because it is fiction and didn’t live up to billing. If you want to see a story line that is similar, but much better written, go see, “National Treasure”. About “The Da Vinci Code” movie, I encourage you all to skip it. For a better critique go to The Baptist Messenger of Oklahoma: Articles on the Da Vinci Code

Thursday, April 20, 2006

"Change the SBC Convention Meeting"

By: OKpreacher

This year I am planning on going to the Southern Baptist Convention in North Carolina. I have been a pastor for over eight years and a Southern Baptist for over twenty-five years. This is my first trip to the annual meeting. The reason is the churches I have pastored in the past couldn't afford to send me to the Convention meeting and as a pastor I didn't have the funds to go on my own. Last year I watched much of the convention online, but I didn't get to participate.

So I started thinking to myself and decided to write this post to challenge our thinking. If churches can have multiple sites and still have one worship service, then why can't our convention have one meeting, but in several different locations? I know I would be more likely to go the convention meeting if it was closer and I imagine that most people would as well.

My proposal is that we still have the convention in one main city, but then each state has two or three churches that will host a live feed to the meeting. Of course each person at the extension site must be a messenger sent from their church. Each extension site would be hooked up live to the main meeting. In my thinking this would take care of the distance problem. Instead of the annual convention impacting one city, the messengers could evangelize and impact hundreds of cities.

I realize that there are obstacles to overcome with this idea. How do you take a vote with people in multiple sites? How do you give a messenger at an extension site the opportunity to speak to the people at the main site? I'm sure there are other things that I haven't thought of, but I believe that we have the ability to overcome all these obstacles.

Let's use the technology that we have available and try to include as many messengers as possible. If we stick with only one location, the most we will probably see is ten to twenty thousand attend the convention, but with multiple sites we could see tens or even hundreds of thousands of messengers participate in the annual convention. So let’s change the SBC convention meeting from one site to multiple sites.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Access To Our Baby Information

We don't mean to make it difficult, but there was some concern by some of our family members for the safety of our pictures and baby information. I can understand because there are people that use the computer to prey on others. So I have created a blog containing everything about Rebekah. I will be posting new pictures and telling stories everyday. All you need to get to the blog is a password. You can request our own account or you can leave your email in the comments section of this post and I'll email a password to you and then delete your email address. For those who have my number, you can call and I'll give you the code. Thanks for understanding. OKpreacher

Levis: More than Jeans.

By: OKpreacher

"But to the tribe of Levi, Moses had given no inheritance; the Lord God of Israel was their inheritance, as He had said to them." Joshua 13:33

"you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 2:5

In Joshua, we see the fulfillment of God's promise. Each tribe received their God promised land. Each tribe received an inheritance of land that was to be passed down from generation to generation. Every tribe received an inheritance of land except for one. The Levis were different. They were the priests. Their inheritance was God Himself. The world had no claim on the Levi. The Levi didn't expect anything from the world. Everything a Levi had came from God. God was his inheritance. Instead of passing land down from generation to generation, the Levis were responsible for teaching about God to the next generation.

In 1 Peter, Peter tells us that as believers in Christ we have become Levis. We have not an inheritance related to this world, but our inheritance is God Himself. The world has no claim on believers and there is no claim the believer can put on the world. Our claim is God. He has claimed us and we claim Him. He is our reward. We are to have a deep burden to share Christ and to pass Christ on to the next generation. We are faithful not so we will gain a material possession, but our reward is God. Let us realize the truth that the world has nothing for us and our lives are all about serving and receiving the Lord.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Unashamed Of What I Say

Philippians 1:20 & Romans 1:16

By OKpreacher

As I was reading in my daily Bible study I came across an idea that I hadn’t really mediated on much. The idea comes from Paul. Paul’s view was that you either were sharing the gospel or you are ashamed of the gospel. Paul in Philippians asks for prayer that he will be bold and not ashamed of the gospel so that Christ may be exalted in his situation. In Romans 1:16, Paul declares that the gospel is the power of God in changing lives. I’m convinced that we as Christians have offered up every excuse of why we don’t witness except the real one. We are ashamed of the gospel.
There is a way to change from being ashamed of the gospel to sharing the gospel. First is found in Philippians 1:20, the desire to magnify Christ. Christ isn’t going to be lifted high in my life if I never think enough of Christ to share Him with others. The second way is to become bold. Paul prayed for boldness, because boldness only comes from God. When we start praying for boldness and trusting in the power of the message of the gospel then we will become unashamed of sharing Christ.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Creeds Make Great Theology

Creeds are a great way of learning theology. The ecumenical creeds are some of the earlies forms of Christian doctrine. By reading The Ecumenical Creeds I hope that your faith is strengthened. I have posted the Apostles' Creed to give an example of what is found on the Ecumenical Creeds site.

"The Apostles' Creed"
English text from the Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church (Philadelphia, 1917), p. 17.

"I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Where is God's Glory

  • Ron Owen's, "When The Glory Is Gone"

  • I was reminded last night that what the world needs to see and what I need to experience is God's Glory. In John 1:14, we are told of Jesus, "The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth." Many churches are offering the world lots of fun and entertainment. Other churches offer the world religious tradition and "Hell-Fire" preaching. This morning, I want to see a church offer to the world the glory of God. Lost people need to see Christ. Christians need to see Christ. We need a fresh touch from Him. Only His presence will do. Ron Owen's song, "When the Glory is Gone" is a wonderful song challenging the church to seek God's Glory. My prayer this morning is that we may experience the glory of God again.

    Thursday, April 06, 2006

    Sing Like A Frog

    I wrote this awhile ago and thought it would be helpful for today. -OKpreacher

    “TRY ME”
    This morning as I was eating breakfast I look over at my wife’s desk and saw the stuffed frog that I got her this past Valentine’s Day. She collects frogs and this frog was special. It came with a sign that said, “Try Me! I sing and dance.” The hand of the frog has a button and once it is pushed the frog sings, “Everlasting Love” and dances to the music. The thought that struck me was, “What comes out of me when my buttons get pushed.” The frog’s sign said to try him because that is the only way to see what is inside. So I questioned myself with the thought, “When God, my wife, my job, and my situation pushes my buttons do I sing a song of love or of frustration and bitterness? I realize that my trials are opportunities for me to sing of God’s faithfulness and grace. So when the buttons in your life are pushed what is your song?

    Wednesday, April 05, 2006

    Prayer for the International Mission Board and Trustees

    Prayer and the Ministry of the Word site is a great place to spend some time. Jeff Young's Prayer for the IMB is very powerful and I hope it will be a challenge for all of us when it comes to praying for the International Mission Board. Prayer and the Ministry of the Word

    Prayer for the International Mission Board

    Father, thank You for the trustees who have been called to manage the affairs of the International Mission Board.
    Please keep them safe as they travel to and from the meeting.
    Please bless their meeting this week.
    Please lead the men who have been in conflict with each other to be reconciled.
    Please lead every member to speak the truth in a loving, Christ-like manner.
    Please lead the board to repeal the new policies they passed in November, if that is what would honor You.
    Please remove all partisan politics or sectarian agendas from the board's deliberations.
    Please give each one wisdom to make good decisions for the IMB.
    Father, thank You for calling new missionaries into Your service.
    Please bless those who are in the application process, and especially those who will be commissioned this week.
    In the name of Jesus, amen.