Originally posted on Mike Livingstone:
The great heresy of the church today is that we think we’re in the entertainment business. A.W. Tozer believed this to be true back in the 1950s and 60s. Church members “want to be entertained while they are edified.” He said that in 1962. Tozer grieved, even then, that it was “scarcely possible in most places to get anyone to attend a meeting where the only attraction was God.”*
More recently, David Platt has asked: “What if we take away the cool music and the cushioned chairs? What if the screens are gone and the stage is no longer decorated? What if the air conditioning is off and the comforts are removed? Would His Word still be enough for his people to come together?” (Radical)
Would it be enough?
Tozer got it right: “Heresy of method may be as deadly as heresy of message.”
HALLOWEDNESS, NOT SHALLOWNESS
Like Tozer, we…
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The Town Talk has just published a new story, via Leigh Guidry, on the ongoing issues with the Louisiana Baptist Convention. I will only post my comments on the matter with a relay link to Guidry’s actual article.
Contrary to popular belief, the problems have nothing to do with theology. If you have read the documents closely, provided by Timothy Johnson, Dr. Charles Quarles, and others, it’s clearly known that the issues reported are due to a lack of integrity because our state convention leaders either want to sweep said items under the rug and ignore them or they either lie by pulling the cover over our eyes.
But Johnson is not asking churches to send their funds to his organization. Johnson wants them to keep what they would normally give to the LBC and use it for missions and evangelism at home.
“We believe the strongest form of missions and ministry is in the church,” he said. – The Town Talk
The focus, as Timothy Johnson pointed out in the above quote, should be on missions and evangelism, local and internationally.
No one want to leave the convention. We are just concerned with the direction that it is going in. Most of us have no ill-will towards our leaders. We are just frustrated with how things are being handled.
I hope and pray that are state convention leaders will see the truth in what they are doing.
You can read the rest of the article, here.
As of today, there are three less board members of Louisiana College’s trustee board. The board met this morning in response to the SACS letter that was received this past June. The letter wasn’t made public until the college posted it on their website.
You can view it here; lacollege.edu
As Leigh Guidry reported for The Town Talk, “Jay Adkins, Lonnie Scarborough and Roxane West resigned after the vote to keep Tommy French as chairman of the board of the private Baptist school in Pineville.”
Adkins reported to Guidry that he resigned (early) and left the meeting because of the board’s decision to not change anything in regards to the SACS letter.
One can only speculate if the accrediting agency will send a letter of response back to the college. I assume they will but then again, it is just an assumption. I have no clue what will happen now for our Baptist school. This is truly unfortunate. Many LC students have chosen to keep quiet about this issue, to the media, and that’s understandable.
Even though I am a student at Louisiana State University of Alexandria, I feel great sorrow for LC as a Louisiana Baptist. My church ministers and serves the students there. I have many friends who go there and I love them dearly. I feel for them and they don’t deserve this kind of leadership that the school has.
I write this blog out of love. Out of love for our Baptist school and for my friends. We, as Louisiana Baptists, should not remain blind to what is going on at the LC. This is serious. We need to continue to remain in prayer for our school.
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 1 Timothy 2:1-2 (ESV)
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) has sent another letter to Louisiana College about the previous issues that have plagued the college for the last few years.
This letter was made public this week but it is dated back in July. One source has said that it has been received before this week and yes, even before “Joe Day” that was held during chapel last week.
SACSCOC points out nothing new in this letter, just continually reminding the college of a few items on their agenda.
You can read the letter, in it’s entirety, by clicking on the link below;
An excerpt from Trip Lee’s book, The Good Life.
…Jesus took Paul, who was an enemy of the gospel and persecutor of Christians, and turned him into a servant of the gospel. And God has taken sinners like you and me, who spurned the gospel, and has made us ministers of the gospel as well. That is a testimony to God’s one-of-a-kind, unique grace and transforming power.
God doesn’t need us, yet He has allowed us to participate in His sovereign plan to reconcile sinners to Himself. We get to be a part of His grand plan of redemption, and that is a privilege. Not because we deserve to, but because He is gracious. (The Good Life; p162-163)
A proposed resolution calls on the denomination’s Lifeway bookstores to stop selling “Heaven is for Real,” the best-selling book and film about a child’s description of meeting Jesus, angels and deceased relatives while he underwent surgery. The resolution’s sponsor cites theological objections.
A related resolution that passed Tuesday didn’t specifically mention “Heaven is for Real,” but stated that people can be led astray by popular books and movies that contain “personal testimonies that cannot be corroborated” and often conflict with what the Bible teaches.
The broader resolution reaffirms what it calls “the sufficiency of biblical revelation over subjective experiential explanations” about heaven and hell. - One News Now
There has been reports over the last couple of days that someone made a motion, during one of the sessions, asking for a proposed ban on the popular “Heaven is for Real” books at all Lifeway stores. A pastor, who was there at the convention, made a comment (on social media) that according to the Convention’s bylaws, no such proposal would stand a chance.
Here are the bylaws that support this;
- A messenger may speak in debate for longer than three minutes only with the permission of the Convention granted by a two-thirds vote.
- A messenger may introduce a second motion during a business session only if no other messenger is seeking the floor who has not made a motion during that session.
- Presentation of Outside Causes: Causes other than those provided for in the regular work of the Convention may be presented to the Convention upon authority of officers of the Convention in conference with the Committee on Order of Business in such ways and at such times as may be dictated by the courtesies of the case and the necessities of the program.
Regardless of sidesteps our leaders took on this issue, the adopted resolution does call for us to be careful with these accounts of people that deal with the afterlife.
Paul makes this clear in 2 Corinthians in dealing with false prophets;
For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily. Indeed, I consider that I am not in the least inferior to these super-apostles. Even if I am unskilled in speaking, I am not so in knowledge; indeed, in every way we have made this plain to you in all things.
And what I do I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false prophets, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds. (2 Corithians 11:4-6, 12-15 ESV)
This goes for everything that comes to us through the entertainment industry and even from the pulpit; movies like Heaven is for Real, Son of God, and Noah; we have to come at these ready in defense of our faith. The Bible is the authoritative and inerrant Word of God. That is our guide in life. We have questions? Let’s go to the Scriptures for those answers.
This is one of the many prayers that Bonhoeffer wrote while in prison at Tegel to encourage other prisoners;
Early in the morning do I cry unto thee.
Help me to pray,
And to think only of thee.
I cannot pray alone.
In me there is darkness,
But with thee there is light.
I am lonely, but thou leavest me not.
I am feeble in heart, but thou leavest me not.
I am restless, but with thee there is peace.
In me there is bitterness, but with thee there is patience;
Thou knowest the way for me.
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer