Tag Archives: Bible
I recently came across an article sharing the “Ten Crucial Lessons Every Father Should Teach,” from John MacArthur’s book Brave Dad. This list is not only biblically based it’s practical. Furthermore, it’s counter-cultural.
Look, the bottom line is that we live in a society that is upside down. The things that are valued in our culture go against the biblical values that we want to teach. And, in order to combat that anti-biblical teaching our kids are bombarded with in culture we must be diligent in teaching them, clearly, what the Bible says. It won’t happen by accident. And while we should expect our church to reinforce what we are teaching our kids at home, we should not expect our church to be the primary biblical teacher of our kids.
Look at how practical, and counter-cultural, these lessons we need to be teaching our kids are:
Finally, the secret to growing a church has been discovered, and revealed.
Like me, if you have spent time in leadership at your church you have wondered, and discussed, ways to grow the church. You’ve tried to figure out what the “secret” is and how you can see church growth in your church. You’ve looked at programs, discussed strategies, and planned campaigns designed to see exponential and permanent growth. And you are still wondering: what is the key?
Personally, I’ve been concerned that the secret to church growth is having a full head of hair and a Ph.D.; because I have neither. I’ve also been concerned that the secret to quick growth is in cool glasses and skinny jeans and soy-non-fat-mocha-vegan-gluten-free-useless warm brown water. Because, if that’s it…I’m in trouble.
There is much confusion and misinformation in our world about what the Gospel is. Some people think the Gospel is doing good things, living “right” (whatever that means), or going to church once in a while. Many Americans believe that being born in America or in a particular part of the country is enough “Gospel” to save someone. And other, well meaning “church people” would say that the Gospel is doing good deeds as a form of “servant evangelism.”
Still, there’s those pesky mega-preachers that claim to know Jesus and say that the Gospel is loving people. All you gotta do is flash a perfectly white smile, say some fluffy, inspiring cliché’s and, voila, Jesus.
None of this is the Gospel. So the question remains, what is the Gospel?
I find that my greatest struggle in parenting my kids is consistency. Playing loudly in the basement is okay at noon, but at 7:30 in the morning? Seeking to consistently apply the rules of our household each and every day is no small feat. But, one thing is for sure; demanding that our kid’s obey is essential.
You probably saw the article a couple of weeks ago decrying the fact that Chip and Joanna Gaines attend a church where they teach that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. The now infamous hit piece by BuzzFeed lamented that this very popular TV couple are conservative, Christian Americans that believe in traditional marriage.
This personal attack on the Gaines has much to teach us about the new reality we live in as part of the sexual and moral revolution.
If you’re not familiar with the story, here’s a short recap from a recent article:
One of the things I’ve appreciated about reformed churches and theology is their willingness to keep “the main things the main thing.” They do not argue over non-essentials. They focus on the Gospel and its power to change people’s lives and allow freedom on non-essentials. That’s precisely what the scriptures call us to. We are not to tout “the traditions of man as though they are doctrine” (Matt. 7:7-13) as the Pharisees did. And this group, unlike any other I’ve known, emphasizes and lives this out. The Baptist churches I’ve known are so legalistic that if you disagree on a non-essential you are labeled a heretic of sorts. “How dare you not adhere to a pre-millennial, pre-tribulation view of the rapture. You’re wrong!” Well, the truth is that regardless of what you believe about the rapture, it doesn’t change whether you are a Christian. So, in truth, it doesn’t matter. Sure, it’s good to know what you believe and understand it. But having a “proper” view of the rapture doesn’t save you, or un-save you. So if someone wants to believe that there’s no literal 7-year tribulation, that’s ok, we are still brothers in Christ and can fellowship and worship under the same roof.
The articles I read criticizing reformed theology badly misrepresents those that adhere to this biblically based theological understanding. There is so much misinformation, and disinformation that it shows a clear lack of understanding of reformed theology and the people that claim it. It also does nothing to further the Gospel. It propagates false myths about Calvinism and creates division rather than unity around Christ. As Christians, we must be about creating unity around Christ and the Gospel over our personal differences over non-essential issues. It’s interesting to me that there is an abundance of articles by Baptists that “warn” people about Calvinism/Reformed Theology but you would be hard pressed to find a single article by a Calvinist warning people about Baptists. I find this curious as I consider keeping the main thing the main thing. Do I believe Baptists are wrong on some things, even important things? Yes. Am I going to denigrate them or warn people about them? Nope. Because I know that Baptists get the Gospel right, and that’s the main thing. So I can let go of the non-essentials and support Baptists in sharing the Gospel.
I’ve grown up in the Baptist church my entire life. I spent my entire ministry in Baptist churches. I have a Master’s degree in theology from a Baptist school. I know Baptist theology more than most due to my life-long desire to study and grow in my theological understanding. And I can say without reservation that I have found more Gospel focus, theological depth, mission’s emphasis, and Great-Commission minded people within reformed theology in the last several years than I have in the Baptist church in my entire life.
This reality of my experience makes the mischaracterization of reformed theology troubling as it reveals most people don’t know enough about reformed theology to make an accurate objection. It also reveals that the persistent myths and false accusations perpetrated against reformed theology are done in error.
Some of the myths and false accusations around reformed theology are:
Recently, LifeWay Research and Ligonier Ministries surveyed 3000 adults concerning the state of theology in America. The results are a glaring red flag that proves how uninformed and uneducated Americans are concerning theological issues. The researchers only identified about 20% of those they surveyed as evangelicals; many other respondents identified themselves as evangelical. That in itself is a problem.
(See the chart below to view the top 12 questions and answers from the survey.)
As a parent that is deeply committee to imparting my faith to my children, I am always looking for resources to help. I am often overwhelmed by the task of sharing my faith with my kids, teaching them, and training them. I fail daily and need the wise counsel of those who have gone before me.
With that in mind, the following list is some helpful resources for everything from praying for your kids to taking them to church. There’s insight on answering kids’ biblical questions and tips for raising Godly kids. And, at the end is a list of books and other resources that can provide further support in your task as a parent of bringing the Gospel to your children. I hope this is a helpful list of resources that provide encouragement and support for you, mom and dad.
Why Require Unregenerate Children to Act Like They’re Good?
“Here are at least three reasons why Christian parents should require their small children (regenerate or unregenerate) to behave in ways that conform externally to God’s revealed will. I say “small children” because as a child gets older, there are certain external conformities to God’s revealed will that should be required and others that should not. It seems to me, for example, while parents should require drug-free, respectful decency from a 15-year-old, it would do little good to require an unbelieving and indifferent 15-year-old to read his Bible every day. But it would be wise to require that of a 6-year-old, while doing all we can to help him enjoy it and see the benefit in it.”