Monday, May 30, 2022

Costi Hinn Gives 20 Ways We Are Glory Hogs

1. Believing ministry success is due to something other than God's bless

2. Over-relying on man-centered factors as essential to success

3. Lack of gratitude for others

4. "Key-man syndrome:" we can't survive without "him"

5. Prayerlessness

6. Manipulating people because we don't trust God

7. Viewing staff and leaders as "ours"

8. Falsely attributing things to God that we manipulated to happen

9. Ignoring the gifts of others given by the Spirit

10. Using others to build your platform

11. Partiality to the rich

12. False humility

13. Viewing your gifts above other gifts

14. Pompous language

15. Hiding the sins of leaders b/c you don't trust God's process

16. Making pastor's wives "First Lady"

17. Using church funds however you want without reporting

18. Keeping smarter men out of the elder/deacon room because they make us insecure

19. Unteachable spirit

20. Shunning those who innocently and/or genuinely question us out of love

 

*Costi Hinn serves as the Pastor of Preaching & Teaching at Shepherd's House Bible Church in Chandler, AZ. He is a graduate of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and the author of several books including, More Than a Healer (Zondervan, 2021), God, Greed, and the (Prosperity) Gospel (Zondervan, 2019), and Defining Deception (SCS Press, 2018).

 

God Weeps With the People of Uvalde Texas

We do not grieve as though without hope. One day, everything sad “will become untrue.” And because we do not weep as the world weeps.

How do we process and speak of the horrific events at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, as yet another evil attack on vulnerable children; evil so shocking, it’s impossible to fathom; and, at the same time, a story horrifyingly familiar.  

We struggle with so many raw emotions and uncomfortable questions. How could anyone be capable of such evil? How long until something like this happens again? 

Why does this keep happening? What is plaguing young men in our culture, who are far more likely to commit acts of evil like this? Younger generations seemingly are being conditioned to think that these events are normal occurrences, and that retreating to political corners and blaming others is the normal way to respond to them.

But, what hasn’t changed is that God has called us - His people - to be part of His redemptive work in the world in this time and this place. While the temptation to “just do something” at times like this is strong; it also quite often misleading. Thank God for the vast resources He has given us in Scripture, and how they apply even to times as confusing as these.  

First, the psalms of lament and the imprecatory psalms offer godly direction for our rage and sorrow. Not just once or twice, but repeatedly, God invites His people to weep before Him for the sorrows of the world AND to be angry at the injustices we experience. 

Second, God also gives us something to do at times like this: “Mourn with those who mourn.” May He give strength to His people in Uvalde, Texas, to be the Church there and to each of us where He has planted us.

And we can do this work, because of what we learn from the shortest verse in the Bible. In one of the most poignant moments in Scripture, we read that “Jesus wept" when joined in with a dead man’s sisters in their mourning for their loss. 

What makes this so astonishing is that Jesus knows that He will raise Lazarus to life again, and, by doing so, he is going to end the family’s suffering, even turn it into a party. Yet, He is not aloof or dismissive of their grief. Instead, He weeps with them—for the pain of a fallen world, for the unnaturalness of death, for the hopelessness people feel in the face of tragedy. Because Christ—who had the power of life and death at His command—can weep with those who weep, we can do the same.  

And finally, we have the gift of knowing that one day, death itself will be cast into Hell. So, we do not grieve as though without hope. One day, everything sad “will become untrue.” And because we do not weep as the world weeps, the Church has so much to offer when the world does weep. Like now.  

 

from John Stonestreet and Timothy Padgett
https://breakpoint.org/god-weeps-with-the-people-of-uvalde/?hss_channel=fbp-983273471714695

Authentic, Gospel Men Are Gentle and Humble

The Bible tells us that the heart is the center of our very being, our essence; it is who we are, our character, our disposition, aspirations, affections, what we love. The heart of Jesus should be our model and pattern of life. 

Dane Ortlund points out in his book Gentle and Lowly, (which was WACMM’s Men’s Book of 2020), that there’s only one place in all the Gospels where Jesus specifically describes his heart. It’s a brief, but stunningly profound statement: “I am gentle and lowly in heart.” (Matt 11:29).  

He tells us right there his heart is one of gentleness and humility – kindness and tenderness. He does NOT say he is “wild at heart.” Yet Matt 11:29 is the most ignored verse in ministries to men. If it were at center of our speaking, teaching, and discipling men and their local congregations, authentic manhood would be seen and experienced.

Why are gentleness and humility the linchpin of understanding what it means to be a man of God – to be like Jesus. Why should we strive to be men who are have and in live in light of those attributes?

We are new creations in Christ with new hearts with new desires for him, the things of God and the people of God, Consequently, we want to be like him in every possible way. 

Yet gentleness and humility are rare today. Men, even many in churches, think they’re supposed to be macho, even dangerous. Taking their cues from the crazed culture, they mimic its values and behaviors of being combative, harsh, aggressive, judgmental, independent and self-indulgent. The world, the flesh and Satan hate gentleness and humility because it is Jesus’ heart – the heart we’ve been given. If you are not under preaching and teaching that continually reminds you of Jesus’ heart and his gospel, find a church or ministry that does. 

When people saw Jesus, he was ignored or rejected. But many were attracted to him by his gentleness and humility, which was as rare then as it is today. When others see you marked by his gentleness and lowliness, they will take notice. Many will realize that what your heart is beautifully exuding is missing in the world and in their own lives. 

Gentleness is so important to God that he requires it of pastors of his Church (1 Timothy 3:2): An elder (pastor) must be gentle but “not a bully."

In Titus 1:7, God says an elder must also be “lowly” (not arrogant) and “gentle” (not a bully).  So to be in the pulpit, to be in church ministry, ministry to men, only those with the heart of Jesus are qualified.

So clearly what the SBC (Southern Baptist Convention) needs and every denomination and every church, and every men’s ministry are servant leaders who are not bullies, abusers, harsh, arrogant, platform celebrities, secular-styled motivators, or self-promoters but men of gentleness and kindness – who have the heart of Jesus that willingly, sacrificially give their lives to others for the sake of the gospel. 

So brothers as we boldly go out, let us be the radically different men we actually are in Christ. The world and Satan are no match for men who are authentically blood-bought, gentle, lowly, Spirit-empowered, gospel men.

Dave Brown
WACMM 

Saturday, April 30, 2022

A Fallacy in Men's Evangelism and Discipleship

 The following article “The Gospel Driven Life” was written in 2008 by Dr. Harry
Reeder, Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church.

In 1 Corinthians 2:2, the apostle Paul said, “For I resolve to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”

The Gospel message brings you to Christ as the sure foundation for eternal life. The Gospel message provides direction for the formation of your new life. The Gospel message provides the primary motivation for a maturing life. The importance of living a Gospel-driven life is why Paul reminded the Corinthian church that when he was “with them” he was determined to maintain their focus upon the Gospel, by preaching “Christ and Him crucified.” Adding emphasis, he declared, “I did not come to baptize, but to preach the Gospel” (see 1 Cor. 1:17). He was not demeaning baptism, but rather underscoring that the Gospel is essential to evangelism and disciple-making.

Early in my Christian life, I thought the Gospel was the message to win people to Christ, then, in disciple-making, one moved on to “deeper things.” What a fallacy! You never move beyond the Gospel. You go deeper and higher with the Gospel, but never beyond the Gospel. The Gospel is what defines how to be a Christian man…The Gospel brings the reign of Christ’s kingdom to our hearts and throughout the world. The Gospel blessings give joy to the Christian life and the ability to rejoice even in suffering. The Gospel imperatives direct our new desire to lovingly obey our Lord. The Gospel provides the foundation, the formation, and the motivation as it ignites our loving obedience to Christ as we discover the transforming truth that “He first loved us” (1 John 4:19)

Martin Luther said, “We need to hear the gospel every day because we forget it every day.”

When we think we have mastered the Gospel, we have only just begun in the faith or really do not understand it. It is not a sign of spiritual maturity but immaturity when we think we know the Gospel so well that we need to move beyond it into things that are practical, pragmatic and more relevant – like tips and techniques to be a better man, husband, father, friend, worker etc. However, everything in theology is centered on the Gospel of Grace. Any theology, any church, or any ministry to men simply crumbles like a house of cards if we remove the Gospel and its centrality and sufficiency from our daily considerations, especially during the times when we preach or teach the Word of God.

The world despises the Gospel in its simplicity and disdains the vessels entrusted to carry and proclaim it. But there is power under the hood. Live the Gospel, believe and preach the whole Gospel — the Gospel blessings that declare who you are in Christ, the Gospel imperatives that call you to your new life for Christ. This Gospel transforms the hearts, minds, and wills of sinners. Thankfully, it continues to transform mine. Preach it to yourself, to each other, and to the lost, and know the joys of the Gospel-driven life.

 

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Our Only Joy and Hope

 Blessed Easter!

I’m reminded this beautiful Easter day that it comes when new life is bursting forth all around us after a long, cold winter.

And yet we see that the world is a good thing gone bad in so many ways - ultimately in death. So much is not the way it’s supposed to be.

The Bible gives us genuine hope for each day and beyond that there’s something better that awaits anyone who trusts Christ. It’s never too late to repent of all our false allegiances and believe in Jesus Christ alone - who he is and what he has done for us.

Easter is a celebration of historic facts that God - the creator and upholder of all things - so loved  the world that he gave (gifted) his only Son, that whoever (anyone) believes (trusts) in Jesus should not perish but have eternal life with him.

I thought you might be interested in this short video below by Alistair Begg, senior pastor of Cleveland’s Parkside Church, called, “The Man on the Middle Cross Said I Can Come”

https://youtu.be/xk9wgJBoEd8

The Father planned it,

The prophets foretold it,

The disciples doubted it,

The soldiers denied it,

The empty tomb proved it,

The angels proclaimed it,

 JESUS IS RISEN! 

 by Dave Brown, Pastor and Director, Washington Area Coalition of Men's Ministries (WACMM)

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Twelve Unique Attributes of Christianity

1.     Christianity offers a contentment and joy not based on changing circumstances. Our bad things will turn out for good (Rom 8:28) our good things can't be taken from us (Eph 1:3) and the best things are yet to come (1 Jn 3:1-3).

2.     Christianity uniquely offers a non-performative identity--not constantly ebbing and flowing based on your accomplishment and conduct. (Phil 3:4-9; 1 Cor 4:3-4)

3.     Christianity offers a basis for morality and justice that avoids the twin dangers of relativism and oppression. (I freely admit that many Christians use secular moral foundations and themselves veer toward relativism or oppression).

4.     Christianity offers a kind of freedom (embracing the right restrictions) that, unlike the secular definition (the absence of restrictions), does not undermine love relationships.

5.     Christianity offers a unique hope for the world--not eventual nothingness (secularism) and not even mere spiritual paradise (other religions). It promises a renewed, perfect physical world--a new heavens and new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness.

6.     Christianity offers a resolution to guilt, shame, and self-laceration that avoids both minimizing your own failures and allowing other people to ultimately define you.

7.     Christianity offers a unique view of power. The incarnation, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus shows us power both voluntarily relinquished and yet deployed for service to others.

8.     Christianity offers a meaning and purpose in life that suffering not only cannot take away from you, but can only enhance. It can enable you to face death without any fear.

9.     Christianity offers a unique account of morality/truth. Not subjectivism grounded in culture or evolution (secularism) nor objectivism grounded in an impersonal transcendent norm (Greek-Roman; idealism). Rather it is grounded in an absolute Person--Jesus. See L.Ferry, H.Bavinck.

10.  Christianity offers a unique view of salvation. We are saved by sheer grace and Christ's work not ours. We cannot contribute to salvation with moral effort, religious observance, prayers, transformed consciousness, etc. A finished salvation is received, not achieved.

11.  Christianity offers a unique approach to repairing relationships. It neither privileges the forgiven (so that justice is not done) nor privileges the forgiver (so forgiveness is withheld). Without both we can't maintain human social relationships. (Writing a book on this now.)

12.  Christianity offers a unique view of uniqueness. The claim of uniqueness plays into the human need to feel superior. But Christianity's difference is the grace-claim: saved Christians are NOT better than anyone. That particular uniqueness can subvert the dangers of claiming it.

by Tim Keller