Reforming the Home, Restoring the Prophetic Voice of the Church
Dr. Carlton C. McLeod, Senior Pastor, Calvary Revival Church Chesapeake

Friends,

Below is a link to an article by Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr., the President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a link to the new, free E-book he and others recently wrote.  This book, God, the Gospel, and the Gay Challenge answers another new book by a man named Matthew Vines.  Vines is a Harvard educated "Christian" who has gained some notoriety in recent years in his advocacy of gay marriage and his position that homosexuality and the gay orientation fits within a biblical worldview and ethic.  He's even gone as far as saying that he is out to change the church and wants to send "undercover" members to infiltrate conservative churches to subtley shift the church from within.  Link

I STRONGLY recommend you download Dr. Mohler's book and read it.  Part of any pastor's job is equipping, and that is my motive here.  Friends, in this current hour the tide of homosexual perversity and its political, cultural, legislative and media pull is enormous.  Churches and Christians all over are wondering what to make of all this, and many are actually looking for a way to be "loving" and affirm this lifestyle as normative, if for no other reason than to avoid all the strife and being labeled a hateful bigot.

But the Bible is clear.  Homosexuality is sinful like adultery is sinful.  Both need to be repented of by believers...not advocated for!  Vine's work is deceptive and tricky and will lead many astray.  Be warned, be prepared to minister in love, and pray for those bound by this sin. 

Article

Book PDF

In Christ...our only Hope.

CCM


"The fatal suffering of Jesus Christ is one of the most well-established facts of ancient history. Even in today’s modern age of science and technology, there is a virtual consensus among New Testament scholars, both conservative and liberal, that Jesus died on the cross, that He was buried in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, and that His death drove His disciples to despair. The best medical minds of ancient and modern times have demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt that Christ’s physical trauma was fatal.11

Taking into account today’s medical knowledge, we can reconstruct our Savior’s suffering. His torment begins in the Garden of Gethsemane after the emotional Last Supper. There Jesus experiences a medical condition known as hermatidrosis. Tiny capillaries in His sweat glands rupture, mixing sweat with blood. As a result, Christ’s skin becomes extremely fragile.

The same night, Jesus is betrayed by Judas, disowned by Peter, and arrested by the temple guard. Before Caiaphas the High Priest, Jesus is mocked, spat upon, and beaten. The next morning, Jesus — battered, bruised, and bleeding — is led into the Praetorium. There He is stripped and subjected to the brutality of Roman flogging. A whip replete with razor sharp bones and lead balls reduces His body to “quivering ribbons of bleeding flesh.” As Christ slumps into the pool of His own blood, the soldiers throw a scarlet robe across His shoulders, thrust a scepter into His hands, and press sharp thorns into His scalp.

After the soldiers mock Jesus, they take the scepter out of His hand and repeatedly strike Him on the head. A heavy wooden beam is thrust upon Christ’s bleeding body, now in critical condition, and He is led away to a place called Golgotha. There the Lord experiences ultimate physical torture in the form of the cross. The Roman system of crucifixion had been finely tuned to produce maximum pain. In fact, the word excruciating (literally “out of the cross”) had to be invented to codify its horror.

At “the place of the skull,” the Roman soldiers drive thick seven-inch iron spikes through Christ’s hands and feet. Waves of pain pulsate through His body as the nails lacerate His nerves. Breathing becomes an agonizing endeavor as Christ pushes His tortured body upward to gasp small gulps of air. In the ensuing hours He experiences cycles of joint-wrenching cramps, intermittent asphyxiation, and excruciating pain as His lacerated back moves up and down against the rough timber of the cross.

As the chill of death creeps through His body, Jesus cries out, “‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?’ — which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’” In that anguished cry is encapsulated the greatest agony of all. For on the cross Christ is bearing the sin and suffering of all humanity. Then with His passion complete, Jesus gives up His spirit.

Shortly thereafter a Roman legionnaire drives his spear through the fifth interspace between the ribs, upward through the pericardium and into Christ’s heart. Immediately, there rushes forth blood and water, demonstrating conclusively that Jesus has suffered fatal torment.
In light of all the evidence, to believe that Jesus merely swooned stretches credulity beyond the breaking point. It means that Christ survived six trials, lack of sleep, the scourge, being spiked to a cross, and a spear wound in His side."

–Excerpt from the article, “The F.E.A.T. that demonstrates the Fact of the Resurrection” by Hank Hanegraaff
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So grateful LORD!

Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, "Behold your King!" They cried out, "Away with him, away with him, crucify him!" Pilate said to them, "Shall I crucify your King?" The chief priests answered, "We have no king but Caesar." So he delivered him over to them to be crucified.

So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews." Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek. So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, "Do not write, 'The King of the Jews,' but rather, 'This man said, I am King of the Jews.'" Pilate answered, "What I have written I have written." When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, so they said to one another, "Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be." This was to fulfill the Scripture which says, "They divided my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots."

So the soldiers did these things, but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son!" Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother!" And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.

After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), "I thirst." A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, "It is finished," and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

(Joh 19:14-30 ESV)
 


Below is the latest Worldview Chart from Nehemiah Institute.  My friend Dan Smithwick was nice enough to send it to me.  Look carefully, and think about our familes, churches, culture, and Nation....

2014 Worldview Chart
 

Saw it.  Loved it.  Worth going to see! :)


Hey friends!

I'll keep using this blog to chronicle CRCC Lessons Learned with respect to Family Integrated worship services.  This is when a church tries to keep families together during worship, regardless of age or stage of life.  You can see previous posts below:

One Body Many Members

Family Integration Intangibles

10 Things for Youth to do at CRCC

Family Integration, Nearly One Year Later

More Lessons Learned, 2014

Today, I'm again reflecting on all we've been through, now for about four years or so, on this wonderful path of attempting to bring families together.  The honeymoon phase has long worn off and tough work has certainly begun.  By the grace of God we are still tracking along, but here are some "in the trenches" lessons:

1.  It's Hard

Introducing such a ministry model to visiting people is a real challenge as most folks aren't used to this anymore.  Overcoming the "yall don't have a youth ministry?" question is not easy.  In fact we do....Parents and Family!  Will they give us time to help them see it?  Sometimes yes, sometimes no.  This can be hard as we love people!

2.  It's Messy

Sometimes noisy, sometimes exhausting for parents, sometimes you just want to sit and not be bothered.  Yep...it can be all that.  Yet Christ calls the children to Himself.  Yet every instance of corporate worship in Scripture included the children.  Yet each child isn't a nuisance; he or she is just as welcome as anyone else!  So if it is messy, it's a worthwhile mess. :)

3.  It's Not Convenient

Oh the temptation to just leave the children at home!! :)   The struggle with the littlest ones!  I know.  My 3 year old is a HANDFUL!  I think one day they'll name a hurricane after her! :)   BUT...is bringing up any child in the fear and admonition of the Lord "convenient?"

4.  It has a way of putting family "on blast"

If something is wrong at home...it shows.  This was one consequence I didn't really see coming.  For example, back to my three year old.  My wife and I are working hard to help her bring her "out of control" inclinations under control at home, and it shows sometimes at church....loudly!  On a more serious note, a church so family-focused can sometimes be guilty of "questioning with good intentions:" 

  • "Hey Sis...where is your husband today?"  "Hey Brother, I haven't seen your teenager in awhile..is everything ok?"  Etc.

Sometimes it's easier to find another church than face those well-intended, brotherly love type questions.  No easy answers here.  May Christ give us love, grace, and wisdom!  And then there is what parents find out about their own children:

  • "Wow, my son/daughter isn't worshipping at all, isn't paying attention, and doesn't at all look interested in the things of God, even at home during family worship. But didn't he/she walk an isle a few years ago?"

5.  It's WORTH IT!

Ha!  You didn't think we were turning back did you?  LOL.  Yes, despite the challenges, we remain committed to this model...because it is the only one we see in Scripture.  God MEANT for families to be together during His worship.  Of course, we'll not speak ill of any church doing it differently; that's between them and our King, and we love them!  But for us, the FRUIT FAR outweighs the pain.

Just this last Sunday, my son's "church grandparents" returned to church after a couple of weeks due to illness.  My son, who is almost two, upon seeing them, did a serious double take and jumped into their laps, there to stay for the duration of the service.  Even at two, he received their ministering love, instruction, and comfort and they received his (the unconditional love of a precious little boy) as Christ was worshipped.  As usual, my wife cried her tears of joy.  My oldest child served at the door as a hostess with "her" church grandmommy, looking forward to it the entire day before, bugging me endlessly about it.  :)

All over the church, fathers and mothers are sitting with, worshipping with, observing, praying with, serving with, and learning with their children.  Singles, seniors, and so-called nuclear families are all ONE family. (Or at least that is the goal!)

And then there is the new interest our parents have taken in their children's education.  There is a surging love of life, born and unborn.  There is a sense of brotherhood and sisterhood beyond any we've experienced....

Oh yes...we'll keep pressing on...by the Grace of Almighty God.

Soli Deo Gloria


"I feel as if I must once again gather up all in the two lessons: the danger of pride
is greater and nearer than we think, and the grace for humility too.

The danger of pride is greater and nearer than we think, and that especially at the
time of our highest experiences.  The preacher of spiritual truth with an admiring
congregation hanging on his lips, the gifted speaker on a Holiness platform
expounding the secrets of the heavenly life, the Christian giving testimony to a
blessed experience, the evangelist moving on as in triumph, and made a blessing
to rejoicing multitudes, no man knows the hidden, the unconscious danger to
which these are exposed.  Paul was in danger without knowing it; what Jesus did
for him is written for our admonition, that we may know our danger and know our
only safety.  If ever it has been said of a teacher or professor of holiness, he is so
full of self; or, he does not practise what he preaches; or, his blessing has not made
him humbler or gentler, let it be said no more. Jesus, in whom we trust, can make
us humble.

Yes, the grace for humility is greater and nearer, too, than we think.  The humility
of Jesus is our salvation. Jesus Himself is our humility.  Our humility is His care
and His work.  His grace is sufficient for us, to meet the temptation of pride too.
His strength will be perfected in our weakness.  Let us choose to be weak, to be
low, to be nothing.  Let humility be to us joy and gladness. Let us gladly glory and
take pleasure in weakness, in all that can humble us and keep us low; the power of
Christ will rest upon us. Christ humbled Himself, therefore God exalted Him.
Christ will humble us, and keep us humble; let us heartily consent, let us trustfully
and joyfully accept all that humbles; the power of Christ will rest upon us.  We
shall find that the deepest humility is the secret of the truest happiness, of a joy
that nothing can destroy." --Andrew Murray

Wow.

This book, written in 1895 by Andrew Murray, is a must read and can be found online, legally, for free.  Here is one link:

Humility by Andrew Murray

 


A good word from Pastor David Platt, author of the book Radical.

Click HERE to read about it on my friend Scott Brown's site: NCFIC.org.  You can also watch the whole message Pastor Platt preached, "The Gospel and Parents."

An excerpt:

"I want you to hear very loud and very clear from the very beginning it is not the children’s minister’s job to evangelize your children. It is your job to evangelize your children. It is not the youth minister’s job to disciple your children. It is your job to disciple your children and we cannot relegate the discipling function of the family to a children’s minister, a youth ministry, even a Christian school. You are the primary agent for the discipleship of your children."

Good word Pastor Platt!


By Pastor Rodney Wilson

---------------------------------

Something To Marvel About

Marvel. And no, I’m not referring to the comic book publisher. I’m referring to the word, “marvel” defined by Noah Webster in his 1828 American Dictionary of the English language as “a wonder; that which arrests the attention and causes a person to stand or gaze.” Christ uses this word to explain the purpose of his miracles:

“So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel.” (John 5:19–20, ESV) [Emphasis mine]


Jesus had just healed an invalid by the pool of Bethesda (John 5). He healed the man physically and then told him to “sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you” which suggests Jesus’ ministry was more than merely healing infirmities (John 5:14). The Jews then sought to kill Jesus because he broke the Sabbath (by healing) and declared that God was his Father. Jesus then explained that he was doing the work of his father and that greater works will be done so that men may “marvel.”

But why “marvel” and for what purpose? Solely being amazed at Jesus’ power to heal, cast out demons, and raise people from the dead seems empty and lacking. A miracle done by Jesus seems devoid of meaning and leaves us wanting more miracles, if our marveling ends there. Consider Jesus’ reaction to his followers after the feeding of the Five Thousand:

“Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.” (John 6:26, ESV)

In essence, Jesus is saying, you aren’t seeking me because I am divine. You are simply looking at the surface. The marveling that results from a work of God will always lead us to God himself. Christ's miracles were a display of his deity so that man’s attention would be arrested and fixed—not just upon a healer, but a savior!

“And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will.” (John 5:20–21, ESV) [Emphasis mine].

Sadly, we live in a world where many people, saved and unsaved, do not marvel in this way. The saved person can slip into this just as easy as an unsaved person. We witness God’s miracles each day, yet never marvel at the one who displays his deity so that we might come to salvation. We look at the heavens and do not see them “declaring the glory of the Lord,” according to Psalms 19. We view the sun as simply a star among stars and the moon a mere rock in space but never consider its maker. The birds that fly are simply birds—nothing more. They are merely peripheral life forms on this planet and not an amazing creation of God. Every day, human beings are attacked by all manner of sicknesses that we never feel because God heals our bodies. Yet, this is nothing to marvel over. It’s just our immune system doing its job. Babies in the womb are scientifically explained away as a tissue mass and certainly the miracle of child birth is not a miracle but a common place, routine visit to a hospital.

I submit that one of the biggest problems in the world is our inability to marvel at the creator and thereby, see the need to be submitted to a Lord and savior. Of course, all of this stems from sinfulness and idolatry. Christ came to make all of this right. He is the only one who can stop a sinner dead in his tracks and cause him to marvel as God intended. But we Christians still have work to do. Let’s not let the heavens beat us in declaring the glory of the Lord!

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:13–15, KJV 1900)

To think that God uses sinners like us to take a message so beautiful . . . now THAT’S something to marvel about!
 


I saw these videos on the wonderful blog of a teen in our church called Jesus, My Bible, and I...Being Trained in the Way. Highly recommended!

A good quote from the first video, as she talks about saying the Name of Jesus in a government building: "I didn't survive so I can make everyone comfortable; I survived so I can stir things up a bit."  Amen Gianna. 


Virginia...please watch. This is real. Lord, help us preach the Gospel and truly make disciples. Note: some images are disturbing.



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