Ministerial Meanderings

God centered theology in a man centered world.

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Location: Springfield, Missouri, United States

I was born in Washington D.C. and raised in Laurel, Maryland. I served in the United States Air Force for 20 years then retired. Then God led me to become a pastor. I was converted to Christ in the summer of 1966. I enjoy the company of my wife, children and grandchildren. I live with my three cats Hobbs, Taz, and Chloe.

Monday, October 13, 2008

"My conscience is captive to the word of God..."

I was watching the newer version of the movie "Luther" tonight. It is a good movie. Who among us can help but be moved during Luther's great defense of himself at the Diet of Worms? Luther stood against every pressure to recant what he had written and go back to confessing the doctrines of Rome as his accepted truth.

Our time in history, our churches, our souls have turned decadent. Christians, by and large today, look just like the unsaved world around us. Theology used to be the queen of the sciences, because it was once thought that the highest knowledge was the knowledge of God. But no more. Churches were granted tax exempt status in their communities because it was believed that the preaching and teaching of Christ produced better citizens and therefore, benefited the community. Now, local and state governments are wondering if that is true anymore. The gospel preached today is all about me ... man centered ... self glorifying. It is all about what God can do for me or what God owes me. The god most people pray to is a cosmic candy man who grants wishes just like the genie in the story of Aladdin's Lamp. Except among a remnant, the God of scripture seems to be unknown (or certainly unprofessed) among Christians today. Instead of finding men like the prophets of old, today we have preachers who want to be relational, nonconfrontational, happy, and as much like the people they preach to as they can be. Holy living is considered judgmental. Grace is an excuse for lawlessness. It is like seeing the worst traits of all seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3 all rolled into one.

But what would a family look like, or a church, or a community, or a denomination, if Christians were to be like Luther, whose conscience was captive to the word of God? How would things in your life be changed if you knew such a person? How about if YOU were such a person?

O Lord, send us Christians whose consciences are captive to the word of God! Send us Christians again like Luther, Knox, Whitefield and Spurgeon. Let the word of God be proclaimed from sea to sea in the United States from the lips and the lives of fearless Christians who are slaves to the Sovereign Lord of Glory! O Lord, show us our sin, individually and collectively, and let us taste the bitter cup of your discipline. But after our brokenness and repentance, let us taste the sweet taste of your grace and mercy once again. And do it all O God, for the glory of Your Holy Name.

Spurgeon once asked, "Here is the day for the man, but where is the man for the day?" Are you one whose "conscience is captive to the word of God"? If not, why not? How much longer will we have to wait until Christians emerge who are hopelessly, fearlessly, faithfully, zealously, passionately sold out to the word of God and to the God of the word? With all my heart, I hope it is not too long.

4 Comments:

Blogger mark said...

Wow John, I really don't know how else to respond to that....wow, and amen.I feel i fall so short of what you layed out, but it is my prayer for God to use me any way He sees fit and to give me the streangth to stand, and the words to say in those times He enables me to stand. I feel i have not stood strong enough in my convictions, thank God for His forgiveness.

1:06 PM  
Blogger 'Blick TX' said...

It is a shame when Christians focus on their own and other's inadequacy in responding to God's promise: For with God nothing shall be impossible. (Luke 1:37 KJV)

Assuredly, we are aware of our shotcoming, but our focus should be on achieving, as was Paul's: Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14 KJV)

3:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Babcock said ''Give us men''. If ever the Church needed men, it is now.

The crisis of the moment, the lateness of the hour, calls for God-called, Holy Spirit anointed men.
Men who live a holy, exemplary life;
Men who have sold out to The Lord, and to His cause.

Men with a God-given Backbone, willing to stand for Christ and His Cause, even at the expense of their physical lives.

God give us men.

Paul W. Foltz DD

8:28 AM  
Blogger Greg Alford said...

John,

This Sunday night five Baptist Churches in the Panhandle of Florida will be gathering for an evening of “Reformed Worship”. Bill Bricker, a retired Baptist Pastor who has over the years been an encouragement to many young Reformed Pastors in our area will be bringing the message so I will not be preaching. I have however, been looking for the right words to open this meeting with… and I think you have given them to me.

Thank you Brother!

5:00 AM  

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