Last Sunday a new attender of our church approached me and asked me about the charismatic gifts, and if they exist. I of course answered. And I believe unequivocally that the gifts have ceased. That said I am not a committed partisan warrior in this discussion, and I wholeheartedly believe that anyone’s position of the gifts is not the litmus test of orthodoxy (but let me be clear, I’m not saying it is unimportant either). What follows while not a recreation of the conversation, follows the contours of that discussion. I offer it in a generous spirit and for the edification of the church.… Continue reading
Have you ever felt inadequate or unworthy to be a useful worker in God’s kingdom? If you have, join the club. Many of us aren’t nearly as self confident as we would like to project. Truthfully, many of us regularly feel like we are not up to the job. I have been reading a book on missions called, Send Me, I’ll Go! I particularly liked one quote: “You may not be able to imagine yourself as a missionary, but that might just mean you have a sorry imagination” (loc 1179). I think we could say this about many things. Paul said we have a treasure in clay pots (2 Cor 4:7).… Continue reading
Part 1 on St. Patrick looks into his early life, specifically his salvation and captivity into slavery. Growing up in Oklahoma, St. Patrick was some dude a celebration was named after. St. Patrick’s day was really about green clothing, Irish food, and when old enough, pub specials. After I got saved, St. Patrick was a Catholic church holiday I wanted nothing to do with. Thankfully men like Shawn (the author of this blog) and Dr. Haykin (check out his book) revealed the real Patrick, a missionary similar to the missionaries we support in our church. He is really an orthodox, early patristic Christian with a heart for the Gospel.… Continue reading
An old pastors’ adage says, “Those who can’t, go; those who can’t go, teach”—the shortened aphorism for “Those who can’t preach, go to the mission field; those who can’t go to the mission field, teach.” Whoever created this useless and unbiblical proverb deserves appointment as minister of sanitation over church restrooms. This adage contradicts the following truths:
- Every man going to the mission field must be able to preach the Word.
- No one should go to the mission field as their second or third option for ministry.
- Every man who / must be able to preach the Word.
Missions is something that happens overseas. That’s why missionaries need to be sent, missionaries need to be supported, and short term mission trips are taken. That is the common wisdom anyway. Let me be clear, I wholeheartedly agree that missionaries need to be supported and that overseas missions are vitally important. But I think too often we focus on overseas missions and neglect the mission field all around us.
I am not talking about simple evangelism of our neighbors (which we absolutely must do), rather I am talking about reaching out to the non-American people groups that surround us. When I think of missions, I start my thinking with the great commission as recorded in Matthew 28:18-20.… Continue reading