Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tuesday Theology

Tuesday Theology

September 29 2009

by Doug


Today for Tuesday Theology, I'd point you over to SBCVoices.com, specifically to the debate about whether or not multi-site churches are a good option, a bad option, a Biblically acceptable option, or what. I'm one of the presenters on this debate, so my theological thinking is headed that direction.


You can comment there or here about it. I'll have a rebuttal up in a day or two, and will link it here.


Doug


September 29 by doug

Reflections on Proverbs

Proverbs 29, September 2009

by Doug


Proverbs 29:1(NIV) →You really don't know when the last warning is coming. Don't play with it. Once you pass that line, there is no turning back. And yes, I think that can apply to believers. God will bring discipline on you for the purpose of teaching you and turning you back. I don't think He stops until you repent, even if it means you go see Him.


Proverbs 29:2(NIV) →The people groan under the wicked, for it takes their energy to face it. Be strong, and place the righteous into power!


Proverbs 29:4(NIV) →Justice provides stability. Kickbacks, bailouts, and infighting don't really help.


Proverbs 29:5(NIV) →Flattery may seem good, but to flatter dishonestly will destroy you!


Proverbs 29:6(NIV) →Your own sin brings your destruction. It's incredibly easy to blame others, but it's our own sins that get us.


Proverbs 29:8(NIV) →This one seems a little odd. But I think what we're seeing here is that people will turn a city upside down with ridiculous behavior, but that wise men will settle people down, preventing internal turmoil and outside interference.


Proverbs 29:9(NIV) →For more on this one, check out Overlawyered.com. Really.


Proverbs 29:11(NIV) →Anger must be controlled.


Proverbs 29:12(NIV) →This is why it's important to see who advises those who are in charge, be it in politics or church.


Proverbs 29:15(NIV) →Discipline. Children need it. From parents, not from the government.


Proverbs 29:16(NIV) →We may live to see the downfall of the wicked from heaven. In truth, this is a promise that wicked people will never stomp out righteousness, not that you as a specific righteous person will survive.


Proverbs 29:18(NIV) →This is about having God's word. Not about preachers having good ideas.


Proverbs 29:27(NIV) →At what point will we understand that righteousness and wickedness just don't coexist in peace? Any ideas?




Sept 27 AM Sermon Outline

Date: September 26, 2009 AM

Text: Hebrews 11:32-38

Location: CBC Monticello

Theme: History Matters


  1. History of Faith

    1. The history of those who have gone before us is worth studying

      1. How many of us have learned the stories of Gideon, Barak, Samson, David, and the rest?

      2. Do we focus on teaching these stories to the next generations?

    2. The history of people that have proceeded us in the Christian faith is important

      1. We ought to learn about people that have proceeded us in faith

  1. George Mueller

  2. John Chrysostom

  3. Thomas Aquinas

  4. Martin Luther

  5. Hudson Taylor

  6. D. Bonhoeffer

  7. Lottie Moon

  8. Dixie Jackson

  9. David Brainerd

  10. Gladys Aylward

  11. Augustine

  12. Black Regiment

      1. Have you heard of these? Ever read of their efforts?

      2. These should be our heroes as much as anyone else.

    1. The history of those that have gone before help us to see God's faithfulness through the ages

    2. We should look to these for the similarities, not the differences between “then” and “now”

  1. History of our church

    1. How did we get where we are?

    2. What brought the best?

    3. What brought the worst?

    4. What are the foundations we can build on?

  1. Firmness of faith

  2. commitment of people

  3. Experience with adversity

  4. Provision of facility

  5. God's strength

  1. Our own personal history

    1. What are the good things?

    2. What are the bad things?

    3. What has brought us closest to God?

    4. What has pulled us away?

    5. What has gone as we planned and hoped?

    6. What hasn't?

    7. What does this teach us about God?


Monday, September 28, 2009

Monday Morning Politics--September 28

Monday Morning Politics
September 28, 2009
Doug


Republicans and sheer, utter stupidity.


While, personally, I don't often put these two things together, this weekend I've seen some reasons why. They basically come back to the current health care debate. Now, to tell you the truth, I currently have health insurance that I pay for completely from my salary. If I could live without insurance, I would make a substantial amount more. Also, at previous times in our family's life, we've gone without insurance for Ann and I and had the kids on Medicaid, because we could not afford the insurance offered by my employer. As soon as I could find a job with insurance provided, we changed. We continued to be eligible for Medicaid because of low-income, but used only our employer plan.


So, what has me displeased with the party of no right now? After all, my experience with Medicaid was more than enough to convince me that government run health care isn't a great idea. We had difficulties with payments at times, at other times saw doctors gladly order tests that seemed unnecessary simply because Medicaid would pay for it. We also saw some amazing differences in how we were treated by office and hospital staffs when we were on private insurance and Medicaid. Being a Medicaid patient seemed to result in longer waits, snarlier staff, and less listening by professionals, as if being on Medicaid was a sign of incompetence. Republicans should make me happy, because they do not want increased government involvement.


Problem is this: they're starting to be exceedingly stupid about it. We had a US Senator apparently express that there was no use in mandating maternity coverage, and his defense was “I don't need it, I shouldn't have to have it.” Well, chuckles, did you have kids at some point? Will your wife ever? I hope to never need the cancer portion of my medical policy, but insurance is about shared risk. And it sounds so stupid and insensitive, that people with compassion and sense are going to now dislike you and all you have to say.


There have been a few other examples cropping up. And it's time to stop it. The American people are, generally, against using tax money to insure people. Really, they are. Even people that think we should use taxes to insure those without insurance realize the dangers of corporations and businesses dropping private plans and overloading the system. After all, every other government program runs into funding trouble. Social Security has issues. Medicaid/Medicare has issues. Government-run education is consistently short-funded. So, there has to be a better option.


The Republican party has got to come forward with ideas that protect individual freedom, provide opportunities to have reasonable access to health care, and remains compassionate. This idea of basing your opinion on what you, personally, need or don't need doesn't wash.


I'm no expert, but I think that if we see insurance return to being for major issues, but that individuals are responsible for their own preventative and minor medical issues. It is financially viable to operate auto and homeowners insurance in that manner, but one must remember that insurance companies are allowed to decline and modify policies based on risks. You couldn't mandate universal rates or prohibit denials. I think this is a complex problem that must be dealt with, but depoliticized.


Staking out a political position is one thing. Sticking with your principles is a good thing. Having no compassion for people that aren't like you is not. It's no way to show the country that you're capable of leading it.


Doug

Saturday, September 26, 2009

September 26 by Doug

Reflections on Proverbs

September 26, 2009

by Doug


Proverbs 26:1 →And in the Proverbs, fool reflects poor morality. So honor and poor intentional moral choices do not mix. And this is why I really don't give very many hoots about media award shows.


Proverbs 26:2 →Fret not that someone asks God to curse you. God will not honor a dishonorable curse. See David's response to Shimei in 2 Samuel 16 and 2 Samuel 19. And quit stressing about the fruitcake down the road attempting to use his Ouija Board or whatever against you. You leave it alone, and don't give evil a foothold by willful disobedience. God will deal with the rest.


Proverbs 26:4-5 →Wrestle with a skunk, and you still stink, but you still can't let the skunk camp out.


Proverbs 26:13 →Do you see danger everywhere? Does this hold you back from taking necessary actions? Get help if need be, but get going! Better to be eaten by a lion while striving to obey!


Proverbs 26:18-19 →Humor can be a good thing, but deceiving your friends goes too far. Be cautious.


Proverbs 26:21 →Are you sparking strife? Am I? Is your reputation as one who does this? It's time to clean it up.


Proverbs 26:28 →It's not just a minor issue. It's hatred. Quit excusing your behavior or downplaying it. Really, anything about obeying God is serious. We have lightened up as if it's no big deal.


Friday, September 25, 2009

September 25 by Doug

Reflections on Proverbs

September 25 2009

by Doug


Proverbs 25:1 →Just remember, if you give credit, it's not plagiarism.


Proverbs 25:4-5 →Give the government some time, perhaps if we get rid of all the dishonest people of both parties from Washington, and things will improve.


Proverbs 25:6-7 →Let God handle your exaltation. He knows whether or not you can handle it as well as whether or not you deserve it.


Proverbs 25:9-10 →Don't betray and destroy another for your wealth and aggrandizement. It's not worth the cost.


Proverbs 25:11 →Learn to listen and say the right things at the right times.


Proverbs 25:13 →For Christians, are we being that trustworthy messenger?


Proverbs 25:21-22 →Did you know that in some Middle Eastern cultures at the time, and to this day, burning coals are carried in firepans on people's heads? Yep. And how do you help out someone in the desert at night? Heap coals on their heads. Really. So, by caring for your enemies, you might be helping their survival. Which is good, because it gives them time to repent and get right before God.


Proverbs 25:23 →Watch your tongue, because actions follow looks.


Proverbs 25:24 →Be careful who you marry. If you think you're quarreling now, wait until you're living together. Seriously folks.


Proverbs 25:28 →Are you lacking self-control? Then anyone can attack and conquer you. He who angers you controls you. Practice self-control.


Book Review: If God is Good

Book Review: If God is Good by Randy Alcorn
Doug Hibbard
September 25, 2009


Ok, I actually get the opportunity to review books for a couple of publishers. This one is from Multnomah publishers. It's entitled If God is Good. It's by Randy Alcorn, who has a decent track record of writing both fiction and non-fiction.



This book is Alcorn's attempt to tackle the problem of evil. The theological term for this is “ theodicy,” attempting to justify God's existence and reconcile it with the existence of evil. The normal person term for this is “ life,” as in, “If God is good, why does bad stuff happen?” Sometimes our questions come from big bad stuff like wars and abortion, sometimes it's personal bad stuff like cancer and AIDS, job losses and car accidents. All through, Christians are taught and teach to others that God is good, that fundamentally, good wins out over evil in the world.


Well, a 200-word or so book review cannot adequately deal with the philosophical issue, and shouldn't. My question is “Does Randy Alcorn provide a reasonable response to these questions?”


I would say that yes, his responses are adequate for the Christian reader. He reinforces his points with both Scripture references, historical examples, and literary references from other Christian writers. His application of Scripture is not ground-breaking, but this is a strength rather than a weakness, as he is not pushing a radical shift in theological thinking. His historical examples and literary references go to reinforce his points well and give him credibility by citing the words of those who have suffered what he has not. All told, what he has constructed is a well-illustrated (word illustrations, that is) example of the general evangelical viewpoint: God is good is not up for discussion,but how God's goodness allows evil is discussed.


Will this work stand as an apologetic work, to explain to non-believers what God is up to with suffering? Probably not. Yet I don't think that's quite his intention. Rather, I think his intention is to strengthen believers in the face of these arguments.


One last word is due here. While I think that some in crisis will find comfort in this work, it's also not a book to wait for evil to hit before you read. In my opinion, this book is better read first in the calmness of everyday chaos, before the waves of major catastrophe strike. Mark it up, highlight, use the little Post-it Flags I love so much to highlight major points, and then refer back in times of crisis.


In all, this is not a must-read, but it is definitely a should-read book. If you want to make sense of suffering from a Biblical perspective, start here. Randy Alcorn's If God is Good is worth the read.




Doug
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Multnomah Press in exchange for the review.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Thoughts today, September 23

Daily Journal, September 23, 2009


A few quick thoughts:
1.) Thinking about a book I'm reading...


I've got to get a book read to post a review by the end of this week. It's entitled If God is Good: Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil . It's by Randy Alcorn. I've read some of his fiction, but none of his non-fiction. So far it looks good. It is an attempt to help believers understand the purpose and use of suffering in this world. This is a thorny problem, because of the nature of our underlying philosophy of life in the Western World.


You see, ethical monotheism, the belief that there is a God of some sort who has morals, has been behind the educational, moral, philosophic, and governmental development of America, England, Scotland, France, and other Western countries for more than 1,000 years. It's become so fundamental in our understanding that we don't even acknowledge it. This thought pattern underscores why we believe in human freedom, human rights, and even right and wrong. It's just that we don't even really think about the idea anymore that good is defined by God, such that we have established those ideas of human rights, human freedom, and right and wrong, as being the fundamental. These ideas even apply to whatever God there can be.


In other words, we use the phrase that “God is good” to further our understanding of God, not of good. So, we expect God to fit in our definition of what good is. Only now, we've been living in a culture that denies eternity long enough that all good has to be defined within our lifetimes, and it just doesn't work. What Alcorn is doing here is good, and helpful, but will still have its detractors.


The truth, as I understand Scripture to speak on it, is that “God is good” or even “God is love” are not statements to help us know God, but statements to help us know “good” or “love.” God is not defined by His goodness, but rather to do good is to do what God would do. To love is to behave in a manner that God would behave. Do we understand it rightly? Not always, and so our definition of “love” or “good” turns out badly and puts us judging God for failing to love us as we want or to do the good we wanted.


But if God does it, it's good. If God treats us a certain way, it is loving to do so.


And I think this is where Alcorn's headed with this book, but we'll see.


2.) Otherwise, I'll be up soon at SBCVoices, which is kind of a combination blog aggregation site and a blog on its own of Southern Baptist life. We're doing some debates over current issues. I'm up to debate about multi-site churches . Which is kind of fun, since I don't have a multi-site church, and I'm arguing that they are an acceptable, and good, way of doing church. I'll post when I'm up.


Right now it's whether or not Baptism must be done under the supervision of a local church. There's some good arguments and reasoning for and against. I think the difficulty is that you don't want just anyone running around pushing people under the water and claiming they are now disciples of Christ, but that there are Biblical grounds that it's not just a preacher job. Things to think about.


3.) Also, Tom Ascol, who's a pastor in Florida, sent out an interesting comment on twitter last night. He asked if any of us pastors were taking particular precautions for flu with the Lord's Supper. I hadn't even thought of it, personally, but I can now see the potential problem. Now I wondering how many times changes in church practice have come from pragmatic issues like illness and such. Interesting part of history.




Doug

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A brief ranting

Tuesday Morning Theology meets yesterday's Monday Morning Politics while influenced by last week's Friday Morning Business.


September 22, 2009 by Doug.


Ok, typically I blog a daily journal, a Proverbs reflection (which used to be part of the daily journal), and a subject/theme piece every day. I haven't done my theme pieces in a few days. So I'll mash them all into one, and hopefully have something funny for weird Wednesday tomorrow.


So, where I have been? Oh, here and there. And I'll not waste your time with details. If your life hangs by the thread of my blog, call me. I've got the names of some real counselors that will help you.


So, how do these all mix? Well, let's compare and contrast help:


Business help: AT&T will get back to me Wednesday about whatever it is that is keeping my Blackberry from working right.


Government help: I've emailed, tweeted,and called my Congressman. He never touches back. Ever.


God's help: for sin: Ephesians 1:4 “ even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him” Eph 1:4 (ESV). Yep. Before we sinned, God took care of it. Read again: “everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.” Rev 13:8 (ESV). From before the foundation!


Business goals: Profit.


Government goals: Taxes.


God's goals: Your salvation. 2 Peter 3:9


The contrasts could go on forever...except that someday there will be no businesses or governments other than God Himself.


Doug




Proverbs 22 by Doug

Reflections on Proverbs

September 22, 2009

Doug


Proverbs 22:1 →Which am I seeking? And what do I get more concerned about losing? Do I insist that I don't care what people think if I have stuff? Or that I don't care what I have as long as my name is good?


Proverbs 22:2 →God has made all people, and is the Lord of them all. Don't treat the poor as if they are less than you or the rich as if they are great.


Proverbs 22:3 →The prudent man takes refuge. The simple go ahead get their wireless data from AT&T and then pay to have nothing. Ack, to have been prudent.


Proverbs 22:6 →Is this an absolute guarantee? No, it's a guideline based on wisdom and knowing the opposite to be almost an absolute guarantee: If you don't start with a child and train them right, they will most certainly go wrong. Why do you think it's so important to actually teach children at church and to be heavily invested and involved in their overall education? Because how we train them as children impacts their lives, and how we don't train them impacts their lives.

Think about gymnastics, ballet, figure skating, or even contact sports. When do the real standouts start with those activities? If I took my 8-year-old to a gymnastics teacher, they would do some good for her, but she'd likely never be competitive. Same with my 6-year-old. They start kids that are going to really be excellent usually by 5! What is evident in the physical is often also true of the spiritual, emotional, and mental, given that we're all one body. Train your children well, whether you are parent or pastor! Church can be a place where learning is fun, but shouldn't be a place that is all about fun. It's about growing disciples.


Proverbs 22:7 →The rich do rule, because they have the power. Think about how many things in your day are managed by someone else that can wreck it. I have issues with AT&T. Lots of issues right now, and why? Because AT&T is rich enough to own wireless frequencies, and I'm not. So, they rule over my ability to communicate. We've built a society that allows this. Think about this: consider every service you use that is provided by either a TV Conglomerate or computer company. Now, take that away. What have you got now? Not much, really. Computer/tech companies own the phone systems we use, both wired and wireless, and the free services we use on the internet. TV conglomerates, like News Corp, that owns Fox, also own various properties on the internet, print media, and so on. And let's not get started about where 50% of us in the South would get food if Wal-mart exercised their rule over us!


Proverbs 22:8 →Like we see with AT&T....ok, stop. I'm 8 verses into Proverbs, and I'm seeing my problems, from my perspective. Ever do this with the Word? Ok, so I'm alone on it. But I'll talk about it anyway. I need to learn to come to God's Word to be changed by Him through it. Really. It's not about seeking to find solutions to my problems in the Word, but about finding God and letting Him guide the solution.


Proverbs 22:13 →Here's my lion. I don't want to do anything, and any excuse will do. What will devour you today? Move past it.


Proverbs 22:28 →There's a place for preserving the traditions of the past. Don't obliterate them without consideration.


Friday, September 18, 2009

Daily Journal September 18

Daily Journal – September 18, 2009


My journal entries are a little short today. I've been working more on my sermon outline, which I'll probably start posting on Sunday mornings, but can't give it away before then. Otherwise, you wouldn't come to church!


Romans 1:2 →The Gospel was promised beforehand, because God has always planned in His purposes to bring it. Creation was made so that redemption could be brought.


Joshua 1:2 →God's promises remain, no matter the earthly status. What has God called you or your church to do? What has He promised? Fret not over who comes and goes, but rest in knowing that God is with you.


Psalm 86 →Reminded today of our neediness before God. There is not much capacity in the human heart for true love or compassion apart from the work of God in our lives, that He seeks us out and redeems us.


Don't forget to check out the Reflections on Proverbs blog for thoughts on today's chapter!

Read Emil Turner's blog today.


My prayer today is that we would truly serve God with all we are!


Doug

Proverbs 18 for Sept by Doug

Proverbs 18

September 2009

by Doug


Proverbs 18:1 →Do our pursuits lead us to defy sound judgment? Should they remain our pursuits, then?


Proverbs 18:2 →Do I seek more to broadcast than to understand?


Proverbs 18:4 →Wisdom is ever refreshed, though it is the same thing, just as a cool mountain stream.


Proverbs 18:6 →And he'll get that beating.


Proverbs 18:13 →You ever see this happen on Jeopardy? And it's even worse in real life.


Proverbs 18:14 →Be careful that you don't crush the spirits of others. It's truly crucial to keep people encouraged and strengthened.


Proverbs 18:17 →Every church needs to know this verse.


Proverbs 18:22 →And it is truly a blessing. Your wife, men, is a favor from the Lord. Treat her as such.


Proverbs 18:23 →Yet reverse the roles, make the rich man poor, the poor man rich, and still the rich one is oppressive.


Proverbs 18:24 →Don't try to please the many. Really, it's not going to turn out well.


Doug Hibbard


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thursday Sports--September 17 2009

Thursday Morning Sports Guy September 17, 2009


Ok, so a couple of weeks ago, ESPN ran the story that a few current and former football players for the Michigan Wolverines had leveled allegations that the football team was made to practice and work on football beyond the NCAA limit. This story surprised me. Why?


  1. There's a limit? Yes, there is! Apparently, teams can only require 20 hours a week apart from game day activities. What are the players supposed to do with rest of their time? I think the idea was to go to class. Novel thought, I know.

  2. These players complained about it in the news media. Why? To get attention? Hard when you're the “ unnamed sources within the Michigan program.”

  3. Michigan? They're cheating, allegedly, but I'd take all but 2 SEC teams against them any day. Sorry to Mississippi State and Vanderbilt, but y'all ain't up to that yet, you know?


Now, Michigan's defense is two-pronged:

  1. Everybody does it. All programs exceed the 20-hour limit. Which, to me, is a lousy excuse. Always has been. I grew, as most kids did, with Dad asking “If everyone jumped off a bridge, would you?” Sure, Dad, if everyone else went first. It wouldn't hurt too bad.

  2. The excess hours are supposedly “ voluntary.” Multiple teams have brought this as a defense of Michigan's actions. What, apparently, goes on is this: senior leadership of the football team goes through the athletic dorms during times that aren't practice times, which are confined to the hour limit, and spot football players doing various activities. In the off-chance that a player is really studying, they leave them alone. But if Bob the defensive back is kicked back watching I Love Lucy reruns, other players have Bob join them in their room, where they watch game film and talk about either what happened last game or what will happen next game. Essentially, during the season, moments not occupied with academics are mostly taken up with football. (in theory, we know a few folks get into trouble. So do seminary students.)


Is this a problem? Well, perhaps for something as minor as football, it shouldn't be as all consuming. But it's a good illustration. Our life as believers in Jesus cannot be confined to something that has a major game day (Sunday) with a limit on the hours we put in elsewhere. True, there's a limit to the formal time we can gather and have structured practice (Bible studies, prayer meetings), but there can be no limitation on the informal growth and expansion of our walk with Christ. Rather than watching TV alone, could you be building fellowship with another family of believers? Or with a family of unbelievers that you might point them to Christ? How can you use your time at the football game to be an example of the Glory of God?


Everything does not have to be documented, measurable action, but it should all point to the Glory of the One who has saved us. It should be an all-consuming passion that takes up what we say, do, watch, read, and work on. Don't impose a limit.


Sports note: I note the passing of NCAA President Miles Brand. He was formerly President of Indiana University, where he finally acted on the fact that winning cannot be everything for college athletics. He has tried to bring some of that to the NCAA, and I hope it's a continuing legacy. It would be good to remember that schools have scholarship athletics to provide educational opportunity, not to field championship teams or prepare people for professional athletics. Championships can be sought, but they shouldn't be the goal. I hope that Miles Brand leaves a legacy beyond just college athletics, and that's a legacy of faith. I don't know if he does or not, since I've only read of him in mainstream media that avoids all mention of a person's Christian faith, but we'll see if anything comes out.


September 17 by Doug

Proverbs 17 by Doug

September 2009

NIV Translation


Proverbs 17:1 →When looking at work and financial greatness, consider this verse. Which are you pursuing? The peace and quiet or the strife? Strife isn't necessitated by wealth, nor peace by lack of it, but weigh more than the coin. Weigh the consequences.


Proverbs 17:2 →Blood may be thicker than water, but stupid and disgraceful will still wipe it away.


Proverbs 17:3 →Again, God knows what's in your heart, what drives you to do that which you do. Your life tests you and reveals you to Him. And it purifies out the dross, just as the crucible for metals.


Proverbs 17:4 →Who advises you? Who do you listen to? Do you take your information from malicious people? What does it say about you?


Proverbs 17:5 →Mocking the poor is an unacceptable habit many of us have. Some are poor from bad choices, but some are poor from disaster. Either way, they, like all people, are made by God and thus are worth what He paid for them, just like you are.


Proverbs 17:9 →Carry this in tension with not covering up sin that needs corrected. Consider it in relation to when someone either misspeaks or when there is an issue between 2 people and they resolve it. There's no need for it to go farther. Really, there's not. Why not? Because then it starts to divide friends. Does person C need to know A & B fought and made up? Why?


Proverbs 17:14 →Connect this back up to Proverbs 17:9. Are you starting an unnecessary quarrel? With Adrian Rogers I will say there can be no peace without truth, but what can you let go? What is really about truth and what's about preference?


Proverbs 17:16 →What? There is no need for money if you won't use it to get wisdom or do wisely? Hmmm....


Proverbs 17:17 → “A brother is born for adversity” As in brothers cause it? Or are helpful in it?


Proverbs 17:20 →You think this is false because of some of the prosperous people you know? Yet, “What profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his soul?” (Jesus, Matthew 16:26)


Proverbs 17:22 →We are bad to crush people's spirits. Let's not do that. It dries up the bones, it makes people physically ill. And it's really not nice or necessary.


Proverbs 17:24 →Keep your mind as best you can on where you are and what you are doing, growing and using the wisdom God has given you.


Proverbs 17:26 →Innocence and integrity are what matters here. Not just the old “I was following orders” defense, but true innocence and integrity. Why would a king flog officials with integrity? Perhaps for pushing against the king's bad plans or ideas? Do we ever do that?


Proverbs 17:28 →Sometimes, keep your mouth shut!


Doug Hibbard


September 17 2009

Daily Journal—September 17 th, 2009


Romans 14:1-12 →V. 1 is a quick “ouch.” Don't involve those weaker in faith just to beat them down. Or to judge and try and correct them or change them. (note: Paul isn't talking about accepting heresyoruntruth, we're probably talking about those that today go back and forth between pre-, post-, mid- trib or other debatable points of Scripture {and yes, those are debatable points. Just because everyone thinks theirs is the only right interpretation doesn't prove anything}) v. 4 is really the core issue: none of us as believers are entitled to judge other believers as we are all servants of the same Lord, who will handle judging all of us.


Romans 14:7-8 →nothing here but serious conviction. I'll be praying over this one. Not for the loophole, but for the commitment to live this way. It's so easy to take a verse like this and add “Yeah, but....” to it. No “yabbuts” allowed here: live for the Lord, die for the Lord, we are the Lord's.


Let's take this passage and learn from it: There are a great many things that are more about personal preference than they are about truth. What are you doing that holds back God working in you, the church you serve and attend, the community you're in, the world, that is because of your preference? Music, architecture, scheduling? Get rid of it. Please.


Psalm 105 and Psalm 106 (Lifeway ETB Sunday School) →The headings used for Sunday School this week seem cliché, but are still remarkably true. After all, just because it's a cliché doesn't make it false, just overused. The 1st: God is faithful, and we see that in the remembrance of His covenant keeping. What ways do you see God's faithfulness in His covenant with you? The 2nd: People are forgetful. No, really, they are. How quick we cast aside the great works of God on our behalf because right NOW nothing seems right. And so we need the 3rdpoint: God's mercy is amazing: realize that God is always merciful to His people. We are not dealt with according to our sins. Praise God for that!


Proverbs thoughts are on the Proverbs blog! The Reflections on Proverbs Blog is a group blogging project that will look, nearly everyday, at each chapter of Proverbs. Check it out!


Joshua 1:2 →People die. Earthly leadership transitions. God remains the same: Sovereign and Faithful, Eternal and Almighty.


Romans 1:1 →Am I living set apart? Set apart for what? My gospel? Nonsense. This is about the Gospel that is God's good news. It's about sharing His word. Am I faithful to that? Can I get back to you with that answer?


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tuesday Theology (on Wednesday, I know)

Tuesday Theology (on WEDNESDAY!) September 16, 2009


The fourth commandment: 8 “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. Exodus 20:8-10


Now, what does this one mean?


Seriously? It means we have to go to church on Sunday and not work on Sunday? Is that really what it means?


Now, if you're satisfied that it means that, live it. Go to church on Sunday, do no work on that day. And make sure no one does any work to serve you on Sunday, be it at restaurants or Wal-mart or the Donut Shop. Probably shouldn't take the fruits of their labors either.


And that's not necessarily a bad place to consider starting. Perhaps, though, there's more here.


First of all, the Sabbath isn't Sunday. Never has been, but it is the last day of the week, which we would call Saturday. Although our days are arbitrary, and we could argue that in circles, given that the Hebrews in 1446 BC weren't keeping a Sunday-Saturday type of calendar. I'd think one could argue that a standardized national week was birthed out of this idea, of keeping one day out of seven holy and different. It would be much more practical than people picking their own Sabbath day. The reference back to the 7 days of creation gives an indication here of the need to rest from labors. While Scripture indicates that God did not need rest, He chose to rest. It's kind of like Jesus reading Scripture. I don't think He needed to, but did as an example. Could be wrong on that part, but I don't think I am.


So, why do we gather on Sunday? That's the second point: the church began to gather on Sundays because the first day of the week was the day Christ Jesus rose from the dead. Some folks want to argue on whether that was acceptable or not. I think it's Biblically established: Acts 20:7 seems to assume that it was normal to gather on the first day. We gather on the first day to celebrate, be taught, encourage, and strengthen one another. Why? To have strength to move through the week. Is it enough? Ah, no. Daily is our life, daily must be our walk, daily our fellowship with one another and our Lord. Yet there remains an importance to that first day, just as there is an importance to the first parts of every day, the first of everything being dedicated back to the Lord.


Now, it's interesting that the Jews are commanded to not work more than 6 days, and some see even a command to work 6. I'm not sure it's an explicit command as much as an assumptive statement. After all, there was plenty of work to do, and the 6 days of work may be mentioned as a limit as much as goal. However, it's feasible that was the case.


I'd argue, though, that for Christians, 6 days of work might not be quite accurate. I'd say we should consider whether or not Sunday is a day of rest or a day of work. Really. What, you say? Simply this: Is Sunday the Christian “ Sabbath” or is it a day that we take and work towards the worship, discipleship, and fellowship for the Lord? Just as we dedicate a tithe of the income, do we dedicate 1 day of 6 work days as working for the Lord and not ourselves?


There then remains 5 days of financially reimbursed work, and a day of rest, to reflect on on that which God has done and blessed for you. Perhaps that is what your Sunday is. If so, then which day is your workday for the Lord? Which hours of each day, then, if it shouldn't be limited to one day?


I'm not going to argue that this is explicitly Scripturally commanded. I do think it's worth considering. Everywhere in the New Testament that the Old Testament law is repeated, it's intensified. Not just murder, but anger; not just adultery, but lust; not divorce for any reason, but only for infidelity. Why would the Lord require less of the week than He did then?


Thoughts?


Doug


September 16 2009 Daily Journal

Daily Journal—September 16, 2009


Psalm 103:1-13 → Notice in v. 10: we are not dealt with according to our sins! The whole passage speaks to the remarkable grace of God! Praise Him for that grace!


Romans 1:1 →Paul calls himself a “bond-servant of Jesus Christ” that is “called an apostle.” Some thoughts here: 1.) We ought to all remember that we are the purchased servants of the Lord Jesus Christ; 2.)We all have a calling; 3.) And this is what I thought about today: Paul is pointing out that his reputation is one thing, “Apostle,” but in reality, he's a “bond-servant” or a slave. Our reputation among the world and in Christian community ought to be similar: an apostle was one dedicated to the growth and health of the church, that was passionate about the truth of Christ, and that had seen Him personally resurrected. While none of us hit that third one, we ought to hit the first two. And how do we get there? By recognizing and embracing this reality: we are the bond-servantsof Christ Jesus. Our will is to do His will, our welfare is provided and sustained by Him, our success evaluated by Him.


Joshua 1:1 →Why do we approach leadership transitions with such chaos? Moses died, Joshua took over. Leadership transitions are inevitable. We should do a slightly better job being prepared for them!


Daily Proverbs thoughts can be found at the Reflections on Proverbs blog instead of here. Click on through!!


Psalm 8 →O Lord, our Lord, what are we that you are mindful of us? Not much, really. Not in comparison. But in light of Who has made us, Who has bought us, we are worth a great deal. Let us find our self-worth in what God has said we are worth. It's quite like what the real estate appraiser said about the house in Mississippi we'd still like to sell. What's it worth? What we paid for it, until we find out what someone else will pay for it. You're worth what was paid for you. And you're not for sale or re-finance.


Today, let us strive to show the world the actions of God's people in wisdom, truth, and love.


Doug


Proverbs 16 by Doug for September

Proverbs 16

September 16, 2009

by Doug


Proverbs 16:1 (NIV) →Whose tongue? My own? Or perhaps that of Godly counselors to whom I share my plans in my heart? And that from their tongues I hear the reply of the Lord, of His wisdom. Nehemiah 2 seems to contain an illustration here.


Proverbs 16:2 (NIV) →I've often heard people defend action or inaction with “God knows my heart.” Yes He does. Do you still have a viable defense?


Proverbs 16:3 (NIV) →Because you will pursue His glory!


Proverbs 16:4 (NIV) →His ends. His purposes. His will. When will we realize all of creation is about Him?


Proverbs 16:6 (NIV) →Faithfulness takes time to demonstrate. Just an observation.


Proverbs 16:7 (NIV) →Notice, he still has enemies.


Proverbs 16:9 (NIV) →Determines. Not recommends.


Proverbs 16:10 (NIV) →People automatically assume leaders speak truth. Leaders? How you doing with this?


Proverbs 16:12-13 (NIV) →Kings should elevate those who speak truth, even if they don't like the truth they hear.


Proverbs 16:16 (NIV) →But colleges shouldn't try to bankrupt you!


Proverbs 16:17 (NIV) →Avoids. Not goes into the midst of it to show off his awesomeness.


Proverbs 16:19 (NIV) →Among the oppressed. Not just poor, but mistreated too. Ready for it?


Proverbs 16:21 (NIV) →Teach well.


Proverbs 16:26 (NIV) →Say hungry enough to be driven.


Proverbs 16:32 (NIV) →Conquer yourself. Yet we train and teach young people to idolize those who conquer others. Are we prepared to reap the consequences of that? Are we already doing so?


Doug


Monday, September 14, 2009

Daily Journal Sept 14 2009

Daily Journal—September 14 2009


I'm sitting in our church sanctuary, which could also be a gym or any of a dozen other configurations if wanted it, and listening to the rain on the roof and the thunder rolling. God is not surprised by the rain, and in fact He is the bringer of it. Someday I hope to reach the point of trusting and finding my pleasure within God's will and glory that I don't get bothered by the weather, but instead always take pleasure in what God has done with it.


I'm not there yet, but I do like the rain.


Prayer for this week from Clement of Rome, probably the first true Pope (from a Protestant historical view. I know you Catholics think of Peter that way. Kind of like we Baptists think of John the Baptist as the first Baptist. :) ) We beg you, Master, be our help and strength. Save those among us who are oppressed, have pity on the lowly, and lift up the fallen. Heal the the sick, bring back the straying, and feed the hungry. Release those in prison, lift up those who falter, and strengthen the fainthearted. Let all nations come to know you the one God, with your Son Jesus Christ, and us your people and the sheep of your pasture. Amen.


Exodus 14:19-31 →One thing I notice all through here is that God is the driver of action in this event. Would the Israelites have gone forward without his direct order? Who makes the Egyptians chase the Hebrews? Why does the sea go back? The wheels come off? Who saved Israel? Examine the text. God is all that is necessary to the salvation of Israel at this point. I've long added the movie text to this, that the pillar of fiery cloud that separates the Hebrews and the Egyptians disappears so that Pharoah can pursue. Is that the case?


It's not. The cloud remains. No verse expresses that God removed the cloud. Why would he? The cloud is His presence! He is still right there. He still separates his people from the Egyptians, and in doing so pushes the Israelites in the way they should go. There is nothing left for them but to rejoice and praise the God of their salvation. And so should we.


Tomorrow's Psalm: Psalm 103:1-13


Proverbs 14:1 (NIV) →Foolishness destroys the things you have worked hard for, and destroys what is closest to us. And it's our own fault.


Proverbs 14:3 (NIV) →How do we use our words? And what effect do they bring to us?


Proverbs 14:4 (NIV) →How many times do we need to hit this one? God hasn't given us mangers to keep empty, but to produce fruit! Income! Changed lives! Eternal Treasure in Obedience!!!


Proverbs 14:5 (NIV) →Acts 1:8 tells us that all believers are witnesses. Which kind are you?


Proverbs 14:6 (NIV) →And this is why sometimes debating is pointless. Certain people will never understand until their hearts are different, even though it is obvious to those who serve the Lord.


Proverbs 14:7 (NIV) →Avoid wasting time with the foolish.


Proverbs 14:10 (NIV) →No, really, you don't understand. Neither the bad or the good. Trust me that I say it is bad or good, weep or rejoice with me. But I know what's there. Listen to what I'm saying.

Proverbs 14:11 (NIV) →Why does the wicked guy have a house in the first place while the upright have a tent? Guess what? The wicked may have stuff you don't have if you're upright. Rest in this verse, and realize God's economy balances over eternity!


Proverbs 14:15 (NIV) →While verses about taming the tongue should be emblazoned on every bloggers keyboard, we all need this one taped to our computer monitors. Seriously people. Just because it's easy to believe the worst about some people and movements doesn't mean we should. Check it out, and if there's nothing to truly be gained by forwarding the email, posting the link, retweeting it, sharing it on Facebook, or blogging about it, how about you just don't, okay? Wait a day to see if the President really is going declare FoxNews illegal or the FCC is going to take God off all TV. (Did you know the FCC can't do anything about Cable TV under current law? That's FTC business, and it's all about pricing, not content.) Don't trust Snopes? Neither do I. Check truthorfiction.com. Check news sites. Check your brain and see if it's on. Give thought to what you send. I don't care if it's just a forward. You put your name on it, you're responsible for the content now.


Proverbs 14:16 (NIV) →Not fears evil. Fears God, shuns evil. Get it right.


Proverbs 14:23 (NIV) →All work. Even if only the profit of wisdom or knowing not to ever do that again.


Proverbs 14:25 (NIV) →See comment above about Proverbs 14:5 and Acts 1:8.


Proverbs 14:34 (NIV) →No matter how great the nation. And notice that it's just “ sin.” It's not a specific sin. It's just sin. Greed, lust, anger, hatred, all are sin. All disgrace any nation that partakes of them.


September 14 by Doug

Proverbs 14 by Doug September 2009


Proverbs 14:1 (NIV) →Foolishness destroys the things you have worked hard for, and destroys what is closest to us. And it's our own fault.


Proverbs 14:3 (NIV) →How do we use our words? And what effect do they bring to us?


Proverbs 14:4 (NIV) →How many times do we need to hit this one? God hasn't given us mangers to keep empty, but to produce fruit! Income! Changed lives! Eternal Treasure in Obedience!!!


Proverbs 14:5 (NIV) →Acts 1:8 tells us that all believers are witnesses. Which kind are you?


Proverbs 14:6 (NIV) →And this is why sometimes debating is pointless. Certain people will never understand until their hearts are different, even though it is obvious to those who serve the Lord.


Proverbs 14:7 (NIV) →Avoid wasting time with the foolish.


Proverbs 14:10 (NIV) →No, really, you don't understand. Neither the bad or the good. Trust me that I say it is bad or good, weep or rejoice with me. But I know what's there. Listen to what I'm saying.

Proverbs 14:11 (NIV) →Why does the wicked guy have a house in the first place while the upright have a tent? Guess what? The wicked may have stuff you don't have if you're upright. Rest in this verse, and realize God's economy balances over eternity!


Proverbs 14:15 (NIV) →While verses about taming the tongue should be emblazoned on every bloggers keyboard, we all need this one taped to our computer monitors. Seriously people. Just because it's easy to believe the worst about some people and movements doesn't mean we should. Check it out, and if there's nothing to truly be gained by forwarding the email, posting the link, retweeting it, sharing it on Facebook, or blogging about it, how about you just don't, okay? Wait a day to see if the President really is going declare FoxNews illegal or the FCC is going to take God off all TV. (Did you know the FCC can't do anything about Cable TV under current law? That's FTC business, and it's all about pricing, not content.) Don't trust Snopes? Neither do I. Check truthorfiction.com. Check news sites. Check your brain and see if it's on. Give thought to what you send. I don't care if it's just a forward. You put your name on it, you're responsible for the content now.


Proverbs 14:16 (NIV) →Not fears evil. Fears God, shuns evil. Get it right.


Proverbs 14:23 (NIV) →All work. Even if only the profit of wisdom or knowing not to ever do that again.


Proverbs 14:25 (NIV) →See comment above about Proverbs 14:5 and Acts 1:8.


Proverbs 14:34 (NIV) →No matter how great the nation. And notice that it's just “ sin.” It's not a specific sin. It's just sin. Greed, lust, anger, hatred, all are sin. All disgrace any nation that partakes of them.


Testing Post and Reftagger

I'm having trouble getting RefTagger to work right on this new layout.  So, here's a test: Psalm 23:3

Doug

Monday Politics September 14

Monday Morning Politics—September 14 2009


I thought about posting on September 11 th all about where I was that day, what I felt, and what I thought. Then I realized oodles of other bloggers were doing the same thing, so I didn't do it. My thoughts didn't really fit with the tone of many people's of that day, and I didn't want to take away from their remembrances or from the somber tone. So, today I'll share my “I remember when” story:


Where was I September 11, 2001? It was a Tuesday morning, so I was at my office at a church in Georgia. I was the youth minister there at the time. What was on my mind? Well, the pastor had suffered a minor stroke that weekend. It was so minor that it actually took a few days to nail down the diagnosis, but he was out that week from it. So, I was trying to make sure things at the church office ran smoothly. The phone rang, it was my father telling me to turn on the TV, that “some idiot just a flew a plane into the World Trade Center.”


Now, at the time, there was still a discussion about whether or not this was intentional or a horrific accident. The only TV at the church was in the Pastor's office, so the secretary and I found the hidden spare key and went in there to watch the news. Now, where we were in Georgia wasn't the hotbed of TV reception, so I watched a grainy ABC coverage of the event, including when the second plane hit and everyone knew it wasn't an accident. I had called Ann, she was keeping up with what she could at home with our 4-month-old child. Who, by the way, giggled and laughed and didn't know a thing, which helped save Ann's sanity that day! (We were pretty isolated from friends and family where we were, and she was home alone.) I remember the spotty news coverage of an explosion at the Pentagon, originally reported as a helicopter, the reports of “at least 10, maybe more” aircraft that were in the air and probably hijacked, the reported crash in a field in Pennsylvania, and more. I remember expecting the Towers to fall, and then seeing them collapse.


What I also remember is a basic lack of surprise. Ever since Beirut we have been attacked by terrorists. In fact, terrorists are really the only threat to America, and have been the only threat, from a military perspective, since the 1980s. China could become one, but I don't think they see the need. If they conquer us, we can't keep buying cheap Chinese junk and paying our debts to them, so why conquer? You can only conquer a man once. You can cheat and defraud him many times. I digress...


America is a nation of laws, and a nation with great military might. How great? Our military needs to replace F-16s, F-15s, B-52s, F/A-18s, and update C-130s because the technology is, in fact, antiquated that's in use in these air platforms. The major threats, including nations like Iran and North Korea, would do all sorts of things to acquire the technology that's present in our current weapons systems. The US Military is strong to the point our yard sale cast-offs would turn many nations into regional powers. We are right to continue improving, but it shows that a force-on-force engagement is not going to be won by our opponents. The last force-on-force engagement we lost was....well, it's been a while. The war fighting that has gone against America in the last 100 years has been terrorist style fighting, where strong arms cannot be brought to bear.


So if you want to mess with America, terrorism is the way to go. Stand behind women and children and shoot, because we don't want to shoot back. Hide in day care centers, attack our civilians rather than our military. That will hurt. And that was coming. It's the way many cultures have long fought wars. We have, as a nation, have long claimed to have an overall respect from human life. Are we willing to take it? Yes. Even innocent life, as we did in places like Dresden and Hiroshima, because sometimes that happens in a war. Note that we have long eschewed starting a war by attacking civilian populations. We have attempted not to start fights, but have been willing to finish them. So, fighting enemies that will take civilians hostage and then kill themselves and their hostages is a new world for Americans.


You see it in our movies. What are the good guys always telling the bad guys? “Put it down” “Stop it” or whatever command is necessary, “Or I'll shoot!” And the bad guys usually comply, because even bad guys know that their life is important enough not to get shot. Not so with terrorists. They want to get shot. Someone doing a communications criticism doctorate should evaluate the escalation in violence types in movies since 9/11. We shoot more bad guys dead on the scene since then, I think. Even the A-Team remake will apparently involve actually shooting people, not just shooting in their general vicinity.


What can we do? First of all, we need to prepare ourselves for the fact that more will come. Until we find an effective method to deal with terrorists, they will still see us as a target. Realize that these people will keep dying, will gladly trade thousands of lives, for their cause. And they don't compromise. If you give an inch, they will want the next inch. Or an inch in the next area.


Second, we need to find a way to maintain our laws and principles and still deal directly with terrorists. President Bush had his opinions, and now we need to see President Obama's. These are people that if you put them in normal prison populations will recruit a dozen willing suicide attackers with them. They will hide behind the laws and loopholes that we allow them. There is no specific nation to hold accountable for their actions, and no nation really wants them. Can we deal with them as they deal with us? Not and keep our national identity. If we go beheading prisoners, we've come down to their level.


Finally, we need to be consistent. What do I mean? Here's more of what I remember of September 11, 2001:


I remember the 4 straight days of coverage, without even commercials, when the networks were afraid to be the first to go away from it. I remember the vows that our nation would change, that we would never be the same again. People magazine stated that we as a nation were done with the fluff, that real things were more important. I remember movie projects being delayed, reconsidered, because Americans didn't want violence for entertainment. I recall changes in ad campaigns, political campaigns. Church attendance surges in some places (we didn't get one), a national soul-searching for something greater than us.


Then I remember the bombs falling on Afghanistan. It was about 4 weeks after 9/11. And then the church surge fell off. It wasn't long before we were back to tracking what Britney was or wasn't doing, that we were back to fluff and shallowness. The movies came back, some with the Towers digital erased. The blame game started, as we looked back instead of forward. Lawsuits, hearings, accusations. Conspiracy theorists finally had something new to churn on, and life went back to normal. Except for:


The families that lost loved ones. Whether workers in the Towers or the men and women of New York's emergency departments. It's bad enough when you lose a loved one, but when everyone within your circle has too, it's worse.


The military personnel that have been deployed. And their families. And then the 4000-5000 new widows, widowers, orphans, and childless families. And those whose lives have been changed by physical and emotional trauma. We claim to be a grateful nation, but we're also a forgetful nation.


And finally, a Budweiser ad campaign. In September 2001, Bud Light had begun a campaign entitled “Real American Heroes” where they, kind of light-heartedly, picked up on weird accomplishments, branded the man who did it as a “Real American Hero” and encouraged him to pick up a Bud Light for it. After 9/11, Bud pulled the ads. However, not wanting to waste the idea, and wanting to sell beer, they retitled it “Real Men of Genius.” So that ad campaign continues to this day, under that title.


What changed in America on 9/11? Well, overall, nearly 10,000 lives have been lost so far, counting the attacks and the wars driven by them (save that discussion for later, without 9/11 we wouldn't be in Afghanistan or Iraq, whether we should be or not). Those people's lives ended. Their families lives changed. The military has been at war, with all of the consequences that come from it.


And your beer commercials are different.


Maybe it's time to consider the thoughts, not of 9/11/01, but what we were all thinking 9/15/01, about what really matters, and get back to it. Our society is changed, but not by much.


Doug


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

September 9 2009 Daily Journal

Daily Journal—September 9, 2009


In a few hours, it will be 09:09 on 09/09/09. Which means absolutely nothing. Why? 1. God is in control, not the dates on the calendar. 2. You really need another reason? How about that dates/times are based on an arbitrary man-developed system? 3. Ok, reason #1 should be enough. But also consider: Daily Saving Time. 09:09 is really 08:09.


Proverbs 9:1(NIV) →Seven pillars: this is symbolic of the completeness of wisdom, both for knowledge and life. Completeness in knowledge: Anything else is an add-on in learning, it is wisdom that makes the framework for it. Knowing that DNA carries genetics does no good without wisdom, knowing what causes fire is no good without wisdom to guide when to use that knowledge. Completeness in life: your life will not support well without wisdom.


Proverbs 9:3(NIV) →Wisdom can be found, but you must go and seek it out. Note that she sends out her maids, but the seeker must respond and come to her. Portions of wisdom are easily found, but the fullness of it requires a responsive effort.


Proverbs 9:4(NIV) → All . Now, I know we can hash out that all is not always totally inclusive. I think it is generally inclusive here. There are a few people who will never seek out wisdom and such will remain fools. But all who will seek can find wisdom. You don't have to stay simple.


Proverbs 9:7(NIV) → Ever think that part of the problem in government schools is that parents are sending mockers to school? That perhaps parents should be training the mocker out of their kids before sending them to school, so that teachers can actually teach them? I know much of it is horror stories, but so often that seems to be what we hear from the education system, that 2 or 3 kids make it a nearly impossible environment. You can't wait until high school to fix it.


Proverbs 9:9(NIV) ->How do you handle rebuke and correction? When properly given to a righteous person, we ought to accept and grow from rebuke, not be hateful over it. Consider it, take it for what it's worth, and go from there.


Proverbs 9:13(NIV) → Folly is not just loud. She's alone. Wisdom has maids to send out. Folly just has herself. Wisdom, apparently, attracts people that are willing to help out, while folly drives them away. Notice that with your work and attitude. Do you drive people off through folly?


Proverbs 9:17(NIV) → Stolen water tastes just like any other water. It's a sign of folly to judge food based on how it was acquired, when it doesn't really affect the taste. It's folly to need chaos to be satisfied.


Romans 13:8-14 →Looking at v. 11: salvation is nearer than we first believed. It's getting closer, because death is drawing near, unless the Lord comes back. Also v. 14 is convicting: make NO provision for the flesh. We play with this, don't we? We want to make minor allowances for our sinful nature, but here's divinely inspired Scripture to say make NO provision for it at all.


Hebrews 1:2 →In these last days—here recently, and I see here a support of the idea that God spoke finally through His Son, Jesus Christ, and that since the record of Him in Scripture is complete, all of God's speaking since then is referential back to those Scriptures. Meaning: whatever I hear God “saying” to me is going to be in agreement with His already revealed Word, and what I hear may be wrong, thought the Word is not.


September 9 2009 by Doug

Proverbs 9:1(NIV) →Seven pillars: this is symbolic of the completeness of wisdom, both for knowledge and life. Completeness in knowledge: Anything else is an add-on in learning, it is wisdom that makes the framework for it. Knowing that DNA carries genetics does no good without wisdom, knowing what causes fire is no good without wisdom to guide when to use that knowledge. Completeness in life: your life will not support well without wisdom.


Proverbs 9:3(NIV) →Wisdom can be found, but you must go and seek it out. Note that she sends out her maids, but the seeker must respond and come to her. Portions of wisdom are easily found, but the fullness of it requires a responsive effort.


Proverbs 9:4(NIV) →All. Now, I know we can hash out that all is not always totally inclusive. I think it is generally inclusive here. There are a few people who will never seek out wisdom and such will remain fools. But all who will seek can find wisdom. You don't have to stay simple.


Proverbs 9:7(NIV) →Ever think that part of the problem in government schools is that parents are sending mockers to school? That perhaps parents should be training the mocker out of their kids before sending them to school, so that teachers can actually teach them? I know much of it is horror stories, but so often that seems to be what we hear from the education system, that 2 or 3 kids make it a nearly impossible environment. You can't wait until high school to fix it.


Proverbs 9:9(NIV) →How do you handle rebuke and correction? When properly given to a righteous person, we ought to accept and grow from rebuke, not be hateful over it. Consider it, take it for what it's worth, and go from there.


Proverbs 9:13(NIV) →Folly is not just loud. She's alone. Wisdom has maids to send out. Folly just has herself. Wisdom, apparently, attracts people that are willing to help out, while folly drives them away. Notice that with your work and attitude. Do you drive people off through folly?


Proverbs 9:17(NIV) →Stolen water tastes just like any other water. It's a sign of folly to judge food based on how it was acquired, when it doesn't really affect the taste. It's folly to need chaos to be satisfied.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tuesday Theology September 8

Tuesday Theology

September 8 th 2009


On teaching authority.


I was going to preach on this Sunday night, but we had an impromptu cookout instead. Which was actually my idea, so I'm not complaining.


Much to-do is made in the American church, especially us Baptist ones, about verses like


But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.

1 Tim 2:12 (NASB).



This leads to all kinds of questions, like whether or not women can teach mixed Sunday School classes or preach sermons or tell their husbands what to do. I want to address this from my understanding. If you have a different understanding, bring it to the comments. Really. I want my blogging to be an extension of my ministry, which I've commonly understood to be teaching. Questions or debate are both helpful.

First of all, the verse in context is related to Paul's instructions to Timothy about church order. They are directed to Timothy while Timothy is at Ephesus, but the context shows that Paul makes a habit of this. So, we can't just dismiss this as specific to Ephesus. It's something that was his understanding and method in the church. And it's inspired by God to be here for us to read. So, what do we know about the differences between now and then? I think the key difference is that Paul and Timothy are dealing with churches that lack common access to the complete Word of God. True, some may have access to what we now call the Old Testament, but the Gospel of John hasn't even been written at this point (most likely), much less widely distributed.

So, how did the church grow? Through teachers, who taught with authority . They taught, people believed it, because there was no other way to know. This is why many of the letters in the New Testament include endorsement or rebuke of certain people as teachers. The individual teacher carried a great deal of authority.

Now, given the importance of teaching, there had to be limits on who could do it. Paul connects limiting women from the role based on Genesis 3 and the fall. It's not a matter for us to debate whether he's right or not, if we believe the Bible is complete and correct. It's for us to determine how it applies today. So, a woman was not then, and should not now, be permitted to teach with authority as was done in the churches of the day. But how does that apply today? How do we answer the questions from the beginning?

The question for today is “Where does authority to teach come from?” The answer to this question is different today, and so the question of “Who may teach?” also has a different answer. In the American church, there is no excuse why everyone should not have access to a Bible. Period. If your church lacks the resources, then there are churches that can, and should, help. Email me. We'll do what we can here. And it is this access to the Word that shows us where the authority is. The authority is in the Word of God. It's the Bible.

The Bible is our source of authority, and our sole authority. It doesn't matter how much you love your preacher, he's not allowed outside the confines of the Word. Your Sunday School class should be looking to the Word, and your teachers should be willing to listen to correction if they get away from it.

It is for this reason that I see no difficulty with a lady teaching a mixed Sunday School class. She does not teach on her authority, but she teaches the Word and the Word carries the authority. I'd even be willing to consider allowing a lady to bring a message to the whole church, providing it's based on the Word. I will note, though, that I draw a distinction between “preaching” and “pastoring” and hold that there is enough Scripture to limit “pastor” to men.

So, if the authority is in Scripture, who is responsible for what gets taught? Ultimately, I think the pastor is. The pastor's role has teaching at its center. Teaching the Word, preparing others to teach the Word. Pastors should hold accountable those that teach within their church. Can you sit in on every Sunday School class? No. But you can be available to hear from class members what's happening, and you need to respond if someone is teaching wrong things. Correct if possible, replace if necessary.

So, the next time the nominating committee needs a teacher for the youth or the young adult class, ladies, be ready. There's no reason why you can't share in a group of men and women. It's okay.



And as a side note---the word “quiet” also translates as “peace.” Perhaps as important to remember is to learn and listen in peace as to remain in silence?



Doug


Sermon and Service Recap for November 8

Looks like I forgot to post this! Thank you!