Thursday, February 28, 2008

Global Warming?

I'm no meteorologist, but I ran across a couple of articles today that I wanted to share concerning Global Warming, or as I like to call it, the church of climate change (since it appears that many people are so enthralled with global warming they have made it their religion). A 2006 National Geographic article declared that Arctic Ice Isn't Refreezing, and went so far as to report some predictions that there would be no arctic ice left by 2070. Of course, that would bring about the doomsday scenario that the CCC (Church of Climate Change) has used as a scare tactic to push their agenda for the past several years involving the flooding of NYC and other coastal cities. It is reports such as this one that have led to an increase in awareness of this issue and the public fear. Of course, the problem is that this is only one report covering a very short span of time.

Interestingly, an article from December of last year reported by The Daily Green, reports Arctic Sea Ice Refreezes at Record Pace. According to this article, arctic sea ice refroze at an unprecedented pace in late October and Early November 2007. Citing the article directly:

Some 58,000 square miles of ice formed per day for 10 days in late October and early November, a new record.

"Sure, Craig," you may say, "but you're a pastor not a scientist." Right you are, but the data reported by The Daily Green was not recorded by a novice, no, the data and included pictures are direct from NASA.

Why in the world am I taking time to write on this issue? Simply, because I believe God is in total control of his creation and that he alone is worthy of our worship. Some evangelicals have reported on the move of many Christians from Worship and Evangelism to Social or Environmental Activism as evidence of their faith. This is idolatry. God alone is worthy of our worship, and no measure of environmental activism will effectively communicate and spread the gospel message.

Is climate change a reality? A balanced look at the research seems to suggest that it is, but that it is not a man-made change. The earth seems to go through many climate cycles, but the fact of the matter is that we just do not know all of the answers. After all, meteorologic data has only been recorded for about a hundred years (and much less in some areas), considering the age of the earth, that is a very small control for any experiment or prediction.

Regardless, before we sell full bore into anything, we need to examine all sides. I encourage non-Christians to put my faith to the test before selling out. Why? Because when they put Jesus to the test, he will always come out on top. Proponents of the CCC bash anyone who would question their findings. Maybe they are concerned that they won't come out on top. Who knows, I just thought someone might be interested in this.
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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

As an ADHD sufferer (actually, sufferer is probably a bad word, its usually pretty fun), this article from Al Mohler really sparked my attention. I do admit to struggling with ADHD, but this is an issue that I am often able to control without medication (though I do strongly suggest lots of coffee to help). I was not diagnosed until later in life, but I do know that it is a real disorder. I do share the concerns with Mohler and many others, however, that too many little boys are medicated for ADHD simply because parents and teachers are looking for the easy way out.

Trust me, its much easier to medicate a kid than to teach him discipline. Further, many little boys would do better sitting still if they were given opportunities to do "little boy" activities. You know, they are hyper. Maybe they need to climb trees and wrestle, and run.

Regardless, I got a kick out of this and I hope you do too. And, for all of you who saw that adorable picture of Wyatt from yesterday, do not be fooled, he can't sit still either.

When thinking of signs of our times, consider this advertisement from a Nebraska newspaper.

The ad was brought to my attention by a helpful listener to the radio program.
Now, let's think carefully about this. Can't sit still? Can't play quietly? Loses things? Does not seem to listen? Has difficulty paying attention? Is fidgety? Honestly, do you know any 6 to 12-year-old children who do not fit this description?

The number of children -- especially boys -- diagnosed with ADHD has skyrocketed in recent years. While some boys may well have some kind of genuine problem, the vast majority appear to be diagnosed as, well . . . boys. As physician Leonard Sax, author of Boys Adrift, explains, a diagnosis of ADHD lets everyone off the hook, so to speak. The boy is told he is not responsible for his behavioral problems, the parents are relieved of anxiety over inadequate parenting, teachers and bureaucrats have a new pathological slot into which boys can be filed, and drug companies get to sell pills. Everybody wins.

But, as Dr. Sax argues, the diagnosis and the drugs can have far-reaching consequences for the boy. I am not a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a pharmacologist, or a medical professional of any sort. I am a former boy, however, and I know very well that every boy I have ever known would fit the categories described in this advertisement.

I would write more about this, but I just can't sit still. Now, what were we talking about?

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Pray For Your Children

God has given us as parents a special task and responsibility. Namely, that of raising his children to be Spiritual champions. We are to raise our children in the "fear and admonition of the Lord." Outside of maintaining my personal relationship with God, there is no other task more important in my life than leading a godly family. That means that I have the God-given responsibility to be a godly husband (first) and a godly father to my son. Even my responsibilities as pastor do not come before my responsibilities as husband and father. After all, as a pastor setting an example to my people, how better can I do that than by loving my wife and child as God has commanded?

I prayed for and with Wyatt this morning. You know, he has no idea what that is all about...yet. But, God hears my prayers and he will hear yours. Are you trusting God to care for your family? I encourage you to do so! Just as I praise God everyday for Wyatt, I also pray to him for guidance in parenting and I pray for Wyatt's salvation at an early age. I also pray for his future wife, and even for her parents as they raise her. So, I may not know who you are yet, but for those parents out there raising a godly daughter that will one day be my daughter-in-law, you were prayed for this morning. I believe God hears and honors these prayers.

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Unaborted Baby Surpasses Doctor's Expectations

In an age where a "normal" child is the only acceptable baby that shoud be allowed to be born, doctors in in the UK must surely feels some remorse at the suggestion to abort a child who was subsequently born healthy and is not teething and attempting to talk. Click here to read the full story of a child who has surpassed all expectations. Because a set of parents chose life for their child, they have been blessed to discover that doctors were wrong.

This story should serve as a wake-up for anyone who favors aborting "abnormal" or "unhealthy" children. Doctors can and sometimes are wrong. All life is valuable and every child should be given the opportunity to enter this world. Not only is the phenomenon sweeping western culture to abort unhealthy babies terrible because it devalues human life that does not fit the prescribed patterns, it is also terrifying because we are losing healthy children to abortion based on probability of birth-defects.

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

My iPod

I haven't dedicated a blog to my iPod yet, but today is a perfect day to do that. I got my iPod for Christmas and, considering I had bordered on coveting iPods for a few years now, I was very excited. It is loaded with music that many people do not enjoy, podcasts, sermons, and even lectures from universities and seminaries around the country. My iPod is just that, MY iPOD. I listen to what I want to listen when I want to listen.

Thats great for an iPod, but unfortunately, many people want a church just like that. You put into it what you think it should have and expect to push a button and get what you want. You show up at church expecting the church to bow down to meet you. The big problem with this view is that it does not fit with what the Bible says the church is supposed to do. The church exists to glorify God and reach people with the gospel. The church is not your weekly therapy session, or your tyrannical domain, or the last great democracy where your voice can be heard loud and clear. It is the church of the Living God.

How different would our world be if God's church were more interested in what God wants than in what each individual wants. Imagine the liberation for pastors who never had to hear, "well, thats not the way we usually do it (For the record, if you keep hearing that, come to Malvern Hill and let our people love on you)." God is the one with the play button and he is choosing the play list, we are responsible to act with him, not to DJ the show!

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Where Has God Sent You Today?

"So it was not you who sent me here, but God." This quote from Joseph in Genesis 45:8 to his brothers concerning his arrival in Egypt via sale into slavery sparked my attention this morning in my reading. Joseph realized that God was ultimately in charge of his destiny, and that even though his brothers meant him harm, God was the one who actually sent him to Egypt. His brothers were, unwittingly, working as agents of God to bring about his good for Joseph's life.

I believe the same thing still happens in our lives today. I heard a pastor say sometime back that there are no such things as coincidences, only God-incidences. Where is God sending you or what has God sent to you so that you can be a part of his activity in the world. Whether its here in Camden or around the world, God desires to use his people to impact his creation.

Rather than bemoaning your situation, why not look with positive eyes as Joseph did. God sent me here, now, "God, what do you want me to do?" Joseph worked to feed the hungry in a time of famine, what can you do? Get to work, somebody needs you!

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Are Christians Wrong About Heaven?

In his new book (which I have not read), N.T. Wright apparently makes the accusation that the vision of heaven offered by many professing Christians is not the picture painted by Holy Scripture. TIME Magazine's David Van Biema interviewed Wright about his new book and the seemingly scandalous claims (The interview can be read here).

Because I have not read the book, I can only comment on the article, but I do believe that the article is worthwhile reading for any Christian who wants to consider seriously the truths of the Bible about heaven and the afterlife. For the most part, Wright seems to be hitting a strong point. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:8 and Philippians 1:23 that to be separated from the body is to be present with the Lord. Further, even Wright himself quotes Christ in his promise to the thief on the cross, "today, you will be with me in paradise." Jesus surely did not lie, but the thief surely did not experience immediate bodily resurrection. I believe this is probably the intermediate state to which Wright is referring.

Colloquially, we refer to this as heaven, but it is absolutely not the final destination for Christians. The Book of Revelation shows that the bride (the church) will be united with Christ as the New Jerusalem comes down and there will be a new heaven and a new earth where Christ will reign supreme. Further, the Bible explicitly points to a bodily resurrection (refer to Jesus discussion with the Sadducees regarding marriage), and it is obvious that the bodily resurrection has not yet taken place. So, what does that say of the time right now? Those who are dead (asleep to use Bible language) are indeed present with the Lord, but in some sort of Spiritual sense, you might say that their soul is with the Lord, but there will come a time when all will be united at the resurrection.

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Has God Called You To Preach?

Another Mohler Post...

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Thursday, February 07, 2008

The God Focused Life

In some final preparations for Sunday's Sermon I just read this statement by Mark Dever, "Biblical spirituality is never centered on people and the help that God can give us to achieve our ends. Rather, biblical spirituality is always focused on God." For some people, this may come as a shock, but the Bible does not exist to provide a roadmap to success and Christianity is not a guarantee to have your best life now. Instead, Bible-inspired Christian spirituality is focused on God and giving him glory.

In a world packed full of health and wealth preaching, escape from hell evangelists, and self-help sermons, voices of theoloically sound prophets of God seem to stand out as odd and out-dated. However, the Bible shows us over and over again that God's primary goal in all the world is bringing glory to himself, and his grace extended to us through his word and ultimately salvation is one more means by which he adds fame to his great name. Christianity is a call to die. Biblical spirituality is unashamedly God-centered; it has God as its starting point and its ultimate goal.

Dever continues, the government of the United States may legitimately be of the people, "by the people, for the people", to use Abraham Lincoln's eloquent formulation. But biblical religion is not fundamentally of the people; its origin is of God. It is not fundamentally by the people; it works by God's grace. And it is not fundamentally for the people; it is for the glory of God.

The time is ripe for men of God to stand up and declare the truths of God. I praise God for men like Mark Dever who stand firm on the truths of Scripture and pray that God will raise up many more to bring glory to his great name.

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