Sunday, September 30, 2007


That's all I can say. It's been that kind of a week.

The last week has been a real test for me. See, I used to work at a nursing home over in Monmouth, Illinois. I had been there for over two years. Until recently. But then I knew things were coming to a head. They just had to.

See, when you witness physical (or other) abuse of a resident (and you don't report it) you are held just as guilty as the abuser by not reporting it. I reported case after case of abuse to the nurses and the administrators. The person doing it was always the same, but with different residents. Well, somewhere during the past few weeks, I decided I had put up with enough. I was coming to a point where I had to take extra measures against the abuse, or just fold to the pressure to worship the same "sacred cow" employee that was always getting away with things.

I decided to take the former path rather than the latter. So I called the state. And, if that wasn't enough, the resident's family contacted me. They were related to a person who just happened to know me and got my number. Funny how God works.

They called me, and after I reported the situation to the state I asked them a no-brainer question that anyone who takes nursing 101 knows the answer to: "Is it ok if I discuss this with the family." Of course it is. No question.

To say the administration was livid would be a gross understatement. They wanted to know how the family got my number. Too bad the abuse itself didn't seem to bother them so much. But then, the real issue (to them) is hiding things and keeping communication from happening. Especially with the families because you can't bamboozle the families as you can the state; after all, they can pull their relatives out of the facility.

I found that the administrator apparently was willing to stoop to anything to get me to quit... she goes to our church and had a conversation with my wife (I was working that Sunday). A week later, during a phone conversation I had with her, she was accusing my wife of sharing private resident information (which she wouldn't be specific about...(couldn't. Never happened). Her real point was to construct a case against me -- alleging that I had violated said confidentiality by telling my wife about things at work. Again, she wouldn't be specific about what I had said because this was made up out of whole cloth. I had never shared anything about anyone at work. Duh. And the fact that I could verify her fabrication with my wife ("Let's see, believe my boss? Believe my wife? Hmmmm") didn't seem to cross her mind. Oh well, I think her only point was to get me angry enough to just make it easy for her and quit. I didn't.

So, I knew that the big investigation was this past Wednesday. The state and the family would be there. Again, the family had told me this. And guess what? On that day, I was terminated....over the phone...again to vague charges (which they would not [couldn't] substantiate). Obvious retribution for being a loose cannon. And, again, this comes from a person who -professes- Christ and attends our church.

I had told my boss (again, she professes to be a Christian) that she could do what she cares but my faith was in the Lord. My stand was that "He is bigger than this problem and will be able to deal with whatever happens". Well, in retrospect, It was kind of like "My God is able to deliver me from the fiery furnace but even if He doesn't, I won't worship you or that idol you set up any way." Didn't intend it to be that way but actually it worked out that way.

Guess what? Within 24 hours, that job has been totally replaced. Not with a traditional job, mind you, but with an equivalent income. One is cleaning rented medical equipment at a local firm. The other has to do with checking up on a friend's grandmother 5 days per week. And then, of course, is the computer work that I've seen more demand for recently...with no advertising effort on my part.

God is very faithful. And I give Him thanks for taking care of me and my wife.

Standing for the truth isn't easy. It doesn't come without a price but God is faithful. Short-term pain? Sure! But long term rewards. Stress? You bet. Anxiety? Had to fight it. But I knew one thing. What was going on was wrong, the cover-up was at least just as bad and I had no right to keep my mouth shut; before the state or God Himself. Too bad my old boss (who says she is a Christian) doesn't seem to understand that point.

Let me say this: over the past three years I've worked in as many facilities. In each case, a blind eye was turned to abuse. My recommendation? Don't believe what you see on any official "tour" that you get when you are choosing a home for a loved one. Go there after the administration has gone home, preferably after the evening meal when the staff are putting residents to bed. Sit in a hall and listen for yelling...generally by residents but also from staff yelling at residents who won't comply with the staff "schedule" for bedtime. After all, "we gotta get 'em to bed so we can have some free time".

They are human beings, not bowling pins.

No, never trust what you see when a facility representative gives you an official tour. Be sure that they have gotten everything ready for you. After all, they want your money. And they have all their ducks in a row to be sure they get it.

The person I'm going to be helping starting this week? She didn't neeed help until she left a nursing home this past week. Talk about timing! And again, my computer business (which is where my degree is) has been getting calls. Over the past year or longer, it has been zilch. But now I'm up to a call per day...and I've done nothing to advertise. They just see my sign out in front of the house. Go figure.

So be faithful. Learn a lesson from my trial. Are you facing a dilemma? Got to make a choice between obeying God or avoiding the wrath of a boss or someone else? Pick the human wrath, every time. It's worth it to side with God.

He's in control.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Warning! Plugging Your Ears Will Not Change The Truth!

So, ya say ya notice yer church isn't exactly "on fire" for God? Ya say ya got yer basic indifference to evangelism? Are they stuck on "praying about it"? Or maybe they don't even pray about it...Huh? Are ya all frustrated, filled with gloom and doom?

Well, here ya go! Dry those eyes and get movin! We'll even provide the plan...!

Go here and get these...pass them out to those faithful few (very few) to wear as reminders of the very sheets that the others are probably ignoring....You say "what sheets? We don't need no stinkin' sheets!" Yes, you need these stinkin' sheets! Print them, I say! Stack them high!

While you're at it, maybe get some of these for the "faithful few" too...

Fly, my monkeys, FLY!

Religious Symbology

A little something good from TeamPyro:

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Camp On This:
Smoking In The Boy's Room

A recent post from Steve Camp's web site by the above title, followed by the following:

" it a sin, a bad habit, or has the church just been plain legalistic?"

Thought provoking, huh? And of course, it brought out a number of varied responses which were, shall we say, very opinionated.

And Steve had the temerity to admit he enjoys the occasional cigar or pipe. No, he doesn't smoke cigarettes.

The reason I post on this is that it finally forced me to look at what Paul said when he told us that our bodies "are the temple of the Holy Spirit". To be lazy, let me simply post what I said in the column at Camp's site (har har). The verse in question is in 1 Corinthians 6:

" 18Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. 19Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body."

Here's my post at "Camp On This"...

"Personally, I'm more concerned about the poor hermeneutics that allows us to use the "your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit" as an argument against smoking.

That phrase is being lifted from its context. Read the whole paragraph.

Paul's reference has to do with a sin that is "against one's own body". He says that all other sins are "outside the body", but the one against one's own body is...Smoking? No. Sexual immorality.

Ok, I'm waiting for you like a motorcycle cop behind a billboard. Go ahead, and tell me "Well, it's still a sin to smoke".

According to whom? And please, don't use the "your body is the temple of Holy Spirit" argument. Paul said that doesn't apply.

Besides, If you want to do that, please include improper diet, lack of exercise (guilty here!) or any other number of "acceptable" sins against "the temple".

Let's face it. We see so much of an effort to say "of course it is your liberty and freedom to do thus and so, but you really can't ever do it because you might offend someone somewhere"...which is really turning "liberty" into a other words, you "have" it but you don't really have it...!

And no, I don't smoke. So don't go there, please."

In a second post, I responded to things done to relax one or relieve stress. As I mentioned there, for years I've had the nervous habit of messing with my cuticles and biting my nails (perhaps that is why my thumbnails grow out deformed...possible staph infection or damaged nail bed?). That's destructive, is it not? (of course, ignoring the body's ability to repair itself). And until recently I guzzled down maybe 12 cups of coffee per day, which is not good for my diabetic (oh oh, what caused that?) kidneys. Plus, it messes up your blood pressure and can lead to any number of health problems.. Coffee (caffeinated) is very addictive. I had headaches for a day or two when I quit cold turkey. That is an indicator of an addiction; something your body has come to "require" and "expect".

So, a couple of months ago I switched to Sanka. The reason I picked Sanka is because it brings back memories of my late father. When I was a kid, he'd go on business trips and bring back the coffee, creamer and sugar packets from the motel for me to drink. Oh oh. Now I'm addicted to childhood memories, or at least devoting part of my thought life to fleshly memories, not Christ and His Word alone. Is that now a new problem? Of course, some may even have a problem with my dad taking something from the motel room that wasn't for his own consumption. After all, I wasn't there, was I? Ok, now I'm pushing it.

Just to let you know, today I am drinking "real" coffee. I just happen to be out of Sanka and don't really care to go to the store and write a check just to get some. Besides, I have some of the old stuff left over which is essentially going to be wasted (stewardship?) if it doesn't get used at some time or another.

Of course, I'm not defending the ingestion of illegal substances. Illegality in itself would definitely make it a sin issue. We are to obey the laws of the land, provided they don't conflict with something God has said in His Word.

More later, I have a White Owl in the freezer that I got when my long lost son looked me up. I think I'll chew on it for a while.

Let it fly...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Is It Real?
11 Biblical Tests of Genuine Salvation
By John MacArthur

Just found this at Grace To You. A wonderful article by MacArthur on self-examination for those who profess to know Christ. Are you really saved? Read this and be honest with yourself.

This article
is very timely as recent incidents in our church have revealed possible tares in our midst. My thought is that this article would be very appropriate to print and leave at a table where people tend to meet at church. Don't forget, it's not just evangelism, but also as written in Hebrews 12:15 -- "see to it that no one falls short of the grace of God".

Your local church could be considered your "Jerusalem". Remember, evangelistic efforts very easily apply even to those who we "think" are saved, but don't show much evidence.


Theres No Place Like Home (church)

Chuck Missler has an interesting article over at Christian Worldview Network having to do with the current trend in home-based churches. It's a very encouraging article.

As you may know from earlier posts here, I've always been interested in the possibility of starting a home-based church. Yeah, I know, someone is going to say "Well, what about having a qualified seminary trained pastor". Don't go there with me. The state of the contemporary church will be my argument. The problem stemming from all too many seminaries (such as Bethel Seminary in Minnesota) that have sold out to the new liberalism called emergent and purpose driven.

Enjoy the article. It's a quick but encouraging read.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Jesus Said, We said

Church Discipline and Evangelism

Sounds like two unrelated topics, doesn't it. But they're not.

Actually, the issue of Church discipline, and the willingness to exercise it, is related to the saving nature of one's own faith.

Don't think so? Please turn to Hebrews 12:15. This chapter, of course, follows an entire chapter dealing with the nature of saving faith. Chapter 12 is a chapter that starts with "therefore", which points back to chapter 11. So, chapter 12 is telling us the practical outworking of what real faith is as shown by "the cloud of witnesses" who demonstrated saving faith to us.

And the key word is obedience.

Who is it that is turned away by the Lord in Matthew 7:21 and following? Simple. Those who "practice lawlessness"; literally, those who act as if God never gave them anything to obey. And that, by necessity, includes the command to do church discipline.

Hebrews 12;15 tells us to "See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God..." This exhortation, as has been shown, is given in the context of the working of true faith. So, in other words, if you are saved, you will see to it that others who may think they are saved aren't merely deceived.

Matthew 18 tells us about church discipline. And church discpline, properly done, is a part of a last ditch evangelistic effort. The scriptures are plain that real Christians obey God. Oh, we may stumble around, but when confronted with the truth of God's Word, if we refuse it, we betray what we really are. And that is the thrust of what Jesus had to say about this topic. If a person is living contrary to biblical principles, confront them. If they repeatedly don't turn, they are to be cast from the fellowship. Why? Revenge? No. Rather because as long as we pander to those who profess but live in rebellion, we are merely padding their bed of comfort as they walk blindly to hell.

Oh, I know the arguments. I have heard them over and over again. It's sickeningly monotonous. I begin to roll my eyes because I'm so nauseated by it. "We have to let them stay so we can love them to the Lord". Listen beloved, love doesn't tolerate rebellion against God and His Word. Love doesn't say "Just give them the gospel and let them stay". No. The fellowship is to be pure. Don't believe me? Read Acts 5. The first case of church discipline, Annanias and Saphira were struck dead by God to demonstrate the value God puts on holiness in the church. Not very "seeker sensitive" is it? No, but that is irrelevant. God demands and deserves holiness. And where holiness is absent, disobedience rules.

You say "If we do this, it will empty our church". No. It will purify it. It may drive the tares away, but do you want tares teaching your classes and holding church offices? Give me a few faithful people over a bunch of false conversions. Give me a meeting in a basement of a house that is pure over against a "church" full of pretenders.

The Lord is building His church and as John MacArthur said, I don't care to compete with Him. And God will honor faith, including the faith of those who dare to deal with disobedience in the church. Show faithfulness and trust God with the results. If you aren't willing to do that, don't tell me you trust God -- at all. Don't tell me you're "worshiping" on Sunday when you don't care to obey Him. That is nothing more than a "Judas kiss". You follow Him no matter the cost or you don't follow Him at all. We may stumble, yes. But when push comes to shove we will show what we really are when faced with the clear decision of obedience. Eventually, what you really are will prove you to be true, or betray you.

So, let's deal with these issues. Do they show repentance? Great! And you may be leading someone to saving faith who was merely deceived before. But be prepared, beloved, to love them enough to "hand them over to Satan" if they don't.

Anything less is rebellion against our Lord, Who has commanded we confront sin in the church.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

No Turning Back, No Turning Back...
Part 1

If you've been reading this blog long, you have a sense of the churches I've been to, and why I have changed. From the published work that I received from Bethel Baptist Church here in Galesburg, it would appear that "Purpose Driven" drivel can be found deeper in the leadership than I could have imagined when I left.

From the book "Bethel Baptist Church Annual Report of Progress", Rick Warren's influence can be found all over the place. And who knows, maybe someone from Bethel will read this and smell the coffee burning...

Firstly, on page 2 Pastor Lee Johnson states that he had someone come to the church to evaluate to see "what was being done wrong". So, if this is being done, it's important to know who this person is and what they hold as a "standard". The name is easy; it's listed as Glen Sartain. What you have to dig a bit for is who he is and what he stands for. And here's a link to show that he is doing church transitions ala Rick Warren and Purpose Driven. Really spooky. And what I find interesting in light of this is that those of us who would oppose Warren-style "transitions" are "...among the forces of Hell." Also, be sure to read the following quote while you are there:

"During a [seminar] session titled "Dealing with Opposition," Mr. Clyde recommended that the pastor speak to critical members, then help them leave if they don't stop objecting. Then when those congregants join a new church, Mr. Clyde instructed, pastors should call their new minister and suggest that the congregants be barred from any leadership role.

"There are moments when you've got to play hardball," said the Rev. Dan Southerland, Church Transitions' president, in an interview. "You cannot transition a church...and placate every whiny Christian along the way."

So, if I affirm Biblical Evangelism (specifically the message of repentance from sin and faith toward God) I'm considered as part of the forces of hell? And if I'm "whiny" because I affirm God's Word, then doesn't that imply that God is a whiner too?

As Spock would say -- "Fascinating".

Then, of course, is the statement about "helping people leave" (let's see, would that involve a new "bouncer" ministry?) along with the "follow up" of calling the person's new church. Not enough that they are gone, ya know. Ya gotta twist the knife a little. How exemplary, this new "leadership".

"Pastor" Lee, on evangelism, states "Since I am not an evangelist by gifting, I have learned over the years that it is important for me to be intentional in presenting the Gospel of Christ". So, in other words, evangelism doesn't have to be intentional if you are gifted. And, oh, let me add that he mentions that he has "shared his faith" with at least one person per month. But apparently, he can't track one person per month because he also "doesn't have numbers" to show he accomplished this goal. And, remember, this is after he is "intentional" in his witnessing efforts.

Let's set aside any comments about double-talk, and just say "Lots of love for your perishing neighbor, huh?"

Of course, what he doesn't reveal is that, from one sermon he has preached, he defines "repentance" as "agreeing with God about your sin". No, pastor, that is wrong. You have given the definition of "confession" (homologeo), not "repentance" (metanoia), which means to have a change of mind (and therefore direction). That is a deadly error. So now, you have to ask which "gospel" he's sharing???

The sad thing about this is what it teaches those who attend Bethel Baptist. It teaches them that "hey, it's not that important". If the pastor doesn't make it a priority to evangelize, what makes him think anyone else (under him) will? Tragic silliness. Either he doesn't really believe that people really die and go to a real hell, or he doesn't get too concerned with it.

Mind you, he publishes here that the goal is to grow the church by a minimum 50% in one year, (854 members at the time of publishing). So, pastor, at your rate of evangelism and as others follow your example, how do you expect that to happen?

Remember, this is a "senior pastor" ... and that makes it very sad. I can just hear a clip from his next sermon including following lines from the 70's hit "Rock the Boat":

"So I'd like to know where, you got the notion
Said I'd like to know where, you got the notion
To rock the boat, don't rock the boat baby
Rock the boat, don't tip the boat over
Rock the boat, don't rock the boat baby."

More later, I'm unpacking my airsick bag... In the meantime, if you follow the link to Bethel Baptist and (feel free to) email them, please tell 'em I sent you.

Rocking the boat...


The Simplicity of Sowing Tares...

The graphic says it all. For the article, click here.

Mark Cahill on Modern Evangelism

Brannon interviews Mark Cahill. Mark roomed with Charles Barkley and played college basketball and Auburn. Today Mark is an author and conference speaker on how to evangelize like Jesus did. Mark takes on the modern-evangelism efforts that he said are giving us a church filled with false converts. Mark also takes on the lukewarm church as well as shares about his witnessing to well-known celebrities. Mark will challenge you to share your faith every day.
Click here to listen

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Introducing "The Evangelism Minute"

A good friend and brother in Christ and I have begun taping our evangelism efforts. We have just put together our first video (specifically for showing it at church) and hope it will challenge and encourage others to reach out to the lost with the Gospel.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Attention Churches: Recall On Sinners Prayer

From Christian Worldview Network:

"Attention all churches! This is an information recall on the sinner’s prayer that has been repeated over and over again for the last 100 years. This recall is an effort to repent before God for negligence in evangelism and to prevent more damage by producing more false converts. For years churches thought that all a person had to do was repeat a prayer to be saved. The “sinner’s prayer” is not found anywhere in the New Testament, nor is there a single instance of any sinner directed to pray for their salvation. In churches of all denominations, it is rare for people to mourn their sin. Instead, churchgoers are encouraged to just believe and repeat a prayer, which is meant to signify that they’ve accepted Christ as their personal savior.

The sinner’s prayer goes a little like this:

“Repeat after me, Jesus I now confess to you all of the wrong and sinful things that I have ever done in my life. I ask that you please forgive me and wash away all of my sins by the blood that you have personally shed for me on the cross. I am now ready to accept you as my personal Lord and Savior. I now ask that you come into my life and live with me for all of eternity. I now believe that I am truly saved and born again.”

Just believing in Jesus doesn’t make you a Christian, just like believing in Osama Bin Ladin doesn’t make you a terrorist. It is not a belief that recognizes someone’s existence in history either, because even the devil believes in Christ. “You believe that God is one, You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder,” James 2:19. It’s a belief that changes who you are from the inside out.

This recall is exposing churches that make light of repentance and claim it is the same as faith, or redefine it so that it has nothing to do with sin. The sinner’s prayer is not the Biblical pattern for evangelism. Churches that use this technique are following a manmade formula. Throughout history, Bible preachers and prophets have always proclaimed repentance.

After extensive study and research it has been discovered that repeating a prayer does nothing. As a result, this recall will affect millions of churchgoers that have a false sense of eternal security because they have been affirmed by the local church for taking this action. We have found that repeating a sinner’s prayer has no link to salvation in Jesus Christ. People affected by this recall include anyone who has ever attended church, a camp meeting and crusades and/or repeated the sinner’s prayer.

As of Aug 31, 2007 there is an unofficial moratorium of the sinner’s prayer.

Studies are showing that repeating the sinner’s prayer has no saving power, no matter if it was repeated in front of one person or 10,000. No matter who led you in the prayer, whether it was Billy Graham or Bill Clinton, a signed pledge card will not save you. Salvation can not be found through repeating a prayer. Action must be taken for those who trust their eternity to a repeated prayer to save them from the judgment to come.

Effective immediately, every person must examine themselves as instructed in 2 Corinthians 13:5. “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves; that Jesus Christ is in you unless indeed you fail the test?”

Has there been a change in your life?

This recall will be very costly for the church and they may or may not embrace this message. It will be too embarrassing for many churches to find out that the majority of their attendees are unsaved. There will be a clear, defining line between believers and make-believers. Many will continue in cheapening the gospel message that makes a mockery out of Christianity.

There is a big difference between thinking you are saved and being born again. Someone who is truly born again identifies with the sacrifice Christ made on the cross for their sin. The debt that they could not pay and an eternal gratitude exists that reprioritizes one’s life.

True saving faith (belief) is followed by obedience to the Word of God. It’s a dying to self and to sin to protect the new relationship with an Almighty God. A believer’s testimony is more than recalling a prayer that was recited. It must recall the events that brought them to the realization of the sin in their life and that their greatest need is to be forgiven by repenting and turning from their old life and walking with Christ.

For further self examinations please see 1 John 5."