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Why Indiana’s RFRA Needs To Be Repealed?

I normally don’t blog about political issues, but I can’t keep silent anymore. A law was passed in Indiana last month that provided businesses and religious organizations the right to not violate their religious convictions. Soon afterwards, LGBT advocates stormed the media with blatant lies that this bill was discriminatory. Gov. Mike Pence issued this statement at a press conference.


“The Religious Freedom Restoration Act was about religious liberty, not about discrimination,” he said. “As I said last week, had this law been about legalizing discrimination I would have vetoed it. This law does not give anyone a license to discriminate. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act in Indiana does not give anyone the right to deny services to anyone.”

And rightfully so, it didn’t. But lawmakers in Indiana and our governor have caved in to the pressure and added this clarification to RFRA.

It does not “authorize a provider to refuse to offer or provide services, facilities, use of public accommodations, goods, employment, or housing to any member or members of the general public on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, age, national origin, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or United States military service.”

According to law professor Mark Rienzi, the new fix will allow the state to prosecute Christians criminally for denying gay weddings their professional affirmation.

Marriage expert Ryan Anderson of the Heritage Foundation said, “…the proposed fix amounts to nothing less than a wholesale repeal of the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act with respect to those who need religious liberty protections the most.”

The Family Research Council issued a statement: “The new proposal guts the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and empowers the government to impose punishing fines on people for following their religious beliefs about marriage.” FRC president Tony Perkins said, “Religious freedom should not be held hostage to Big Business.” Much of the opposition to the Indian law came from major corporations who threatened economic retaliation for enacting the law.

Activist Linda Harvey pointed a finger at LGBT activists. “This ‘fix’ is everything gay activists could want.”

I recently spoke with Arkansas state representative Bob Ballinger who helped passed Senate Bill 975 (their version of RFRA).

I asked him if that bill protects businesses to refuse service for same-sex couples due to religion purposes, and he said, “We did.”

I then asked him so, “Arkansas’s bill does not have the same anti-discrimination verbiage as Indiana?” He said, “Correct.”

Conclusion:

I’m not one who believes America is going to be saved through political efforts, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t take time to call up Gov. Mike Pence and Indiana representatives to get RFRA repealed. If you live in another state, please call up your state lawmakers and ask for a law to be passed that is similar to Arkansas’s Senate bill 975.

More than ever before, Christians need to keep their focus on Christ. Fear and panic must be replaced with biblical faith and absolute confidence in our Heavenly Father. Preaching the gospel and fulfilling 1 Tim. 2:1-4 is our duty. “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”

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Posted by on April 3, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Comments On Commentaries

  • The best commentary on the Bible is the Bible.

    • When you come to a passage of Scripture that doesn’t make sense, look at what it says before and after to get the context.

    • When you come to a word or a phrase that you don’t understand, look in other parts of the Bible to see how it is used to understand it’s meaning.

  • Commentaries are the work of men.

    • They are fallible sharing their thoughts on the Bible, yet containing much wisdom from well-studied writers.

  • Usually those who despise commentaries have no sort of acquaintance with them.

  • Start with the Bible first, then pull out a commentary. You don’t want a prejudice going into your Bible study.

  • Commentaries will help keep you from wild interpretations.

  • Every commentary will have something different to say on a passage of Scripture.

  • There are so many commentaries to choose from. It is very helpful to have a trustworthy commentary to turn to when a passage does not seem clear. Down below in no particular order, I have included seven recommendations.


Independent Baptist Commentary (Understanding the Bible) by Dr. David Sorenson

I am a pastor and this is the first commentary I pull out to help me prepare a message or study the Bible. It is reliable, goes into the text, straight to the point, and sound doctrinally. This eleven-volume set can be purchased by calling 218-726-0209 or go to northstarministries.com.

Matthew Henry’s Commentary

Written by a Presbyterian pastor, this commentary is best used in your devotions. Be careful of his allegorical interpretation of prophecy and his Protestant universal church belief, but it would be a great use to your library.

The Wiersbe Bible Commentary (Be Series) by Warren W. Wiersbe

Rich exposition and relevant applications makes this a very practical, helpful commentary.

Thru The Bible by Dr. J. Vernon McGee

This five-volume commentary set is very affordable.

The John Phillips Commentary Series

Conservative, dispensational, and a favorite of many Christians. This series covers every book of the New Testament and seventeen books of the Old Testament.

H.A. Ironside Commentaries

His commentaries cover some of the Old Testament books and almost the entire New Testament. Enjoyable to read, doctrinally sound and filled with good illustrations.

Treasures From Scripture Bible Series by Dr. Rod Mattoon

Dr. Mattoon is an independent Baptist pastor who has written several books of the Bible in expository sermon form. I highly recommend getting your hands on these books. You can order online by going to lincolnlandbaptist.org. 

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Why I Love Being Independent Baptist

I grew up in Sidney, Ohio being raised as a Catholic. I thought that I was going to heaven based upon my good works and belief in God. That all changed when a young man in my high school invited me to attend an Independent Baptist church. I cannot tell you how I felt the first time I walked inside that church building, sat down, sang uplifting music and heard a powerful message from the Bible. The only thing I knew was that I had experienced something far different from the man-made religion I grew up in. Three times a week my friend picked me up in his car and took me to church. Finally, after an evangelistic preaching service at Cedar Point (yes I was saved at an amusement park), my pastor shared the gospel with me and I became a child of God.

At the age of fifteen, my life was transformed by the Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, there have been a lot of growing pains, but from that time until now, my only desire is to please my Savior. My doctrine is Baptist because I started with the Bible and have made it the final authority of my life. I serve as the pastor of an Independent Baptist church not because someone made me, but because God has called me into the ministry. Yes, I’ve been hurt by so-called Independent Baptists, but I understand that everyone is human. No, I don’t agree with 100% of everything that is taking place in every Independent Baptist church. Does it really matter? No, because I’m independent from your church.

I love being an Independent Baptist because it’s the closest thing to New Testament Christianity. I’m not saying that because I have accepted a list of rules, traditions or ideas. I’m talking about the term Independent Baptist. Let me explain. Every church in the first century were local, independent congregations that were accountable to Jesus Christ. Okay, they weren’t called Baptists. So what, it doesn’t matter. You have to call yourself something.

Listen to this:

“Of the Baptists it may be said that they are not Reformers. These people, comprising bodies of Christian believers, known under various names in different countries, are entirely independent of and distinct from the Greek and Roman churches, and have an unbroken continuity from apostolic days down through the centuries. Throughout this long period they were bitterly persecuted for heresy, driven from country to country, disfranchised, deprived of their property, imprisoned, tortured and slain by the thousands; yet they swerved not from the New Testament faith, doctrine and practice.”—King, William C. Crossing the Centuries. Springfield, MA: Editorial Associates, 1912

Here is what matters most to God. How much does your doctrine and practice match up with the Bible? Wow, convicting isn’t it? Because I love Jesus Christ, I choose to be Independent Baptist. I enjoy the sweet fellowship of so many who desperately want revival. I’m thrilled to see so many who are tired of legalism and license, and want the liberty that can only be found in Jesus Christ. I’m a follower of Jesus Christ by choice, by conscience and by conviction. Because of this, I’m an Independent Baptist not because I’m married to the term, but because it best identifies who I am and what I want others to think of me.

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Self-Examination: Is Your Christianity Performance-Based Or A Relationship With God?

Here is the 10 question self-examination test. Here we go.

1. Are you living your life as a duty rather than a privilege?

2. Do you feel a sense of accomplishment or earning God’s favor after doing something right?

3. Do you compare yourself to how other Christians are doing?

4. Outside of your designated time of prayer, do you go through the rest of the day without talking to the Lord?

5. Do you feel God loves you less when you backslide as a Christian?

6. Is it hard for you to say “no” when people expect you to do something?

7. Are you doing the right things with the wrong motivation?

8. Faithfulness is important to you, but do you fret or worry when you don’t see immediate results?

9. Do you sometimes question if praising God is a productive use of your time when you have others things to do?

10. Is knowing about God and the facts of the Bible more important to you than knowing God?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, than you have a performance-based mentality of your Christian life. You are not alone. If most people were honest, they would make the same conclusion about themselves. Dear reader, let me encourage you to reevaluate your thinking back to New Testament Christianity. You know what it is, enjoying the wonderful relationship with God.

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Poem: The Christmas Story

Before God created the human race,

He planned to show his mercy and grace.

Sin resulted from mankind’s fall,

And God would offer salvation for all.

In Bethlehem, a virgin named Mary

Was chosen by God, the Savior to carry.

Emanuel, God with us, was born

Whom heavenly angels praised and adored.

At Calvary, up on a hillside,

Jesus suffered, bled and died.

Soon, was taken from off the cross,

And many thought it was their loss.

Hallelujah, Christ arose and gained

Sitting on the throne, He reigns.

The Christmas story is full of joy,

As long as we don’t forget God’s Son.

 
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Posted by on December 12, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Satanic Misconceptions

Introduction: In 1984, Ronald Reagan jokingly said to his radio technicans on a sound check, “My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you that today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.” When this sound check got leaked out, it put the Soviet Far East Army on high alert. Oops, that misconception made Russia react the wrong way! What about Satan? Do you have misconceptions about Satan that is hindering the way you are living?

One: Satan Doesn’t Exist

According to a Barna poll in 2009, nearly 60% of professing Christians in America agreed with the statement that Satan: “is not a living being but is a symbol of evil.”

One time, I saw a teenager with a shirt that said, “Satan is not ugly who has two horns and a pitchfork. He is a beautiful angel.” When I saw that shirt, I thought to myself, “How tragic that he rejects one misconception to believe another misconception about the devil.”

Satan is not a made-up fiction character or a representation of evil, he is a real being.

Two: Satan Is Winning The War

It appears that evil is taking the upper-advantage. Understand though, that he is winning a lot of battles, but he lost the war.

John 12:31 says, “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.”

Jesus was talking about the cross in this surrounding passage. The devil thought he was winning when Jesus suffered, bled and died. He actually lost that day. It was verified at his resurrection.

Rev. 20:10 says, “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”

The devil doesn’t live in hell. Right now he is the god of this world and the prince of the power of the air. His sentencing day is coming. Good riddance when he is gone.

Three: Satan Isn’t Personally After Me

Look at the Scriptures and you’ll find that Satan personally attacked Eve, David, Job, Peter, Paul just to name a few. We might conclude that he’s only after influential and important Christians. I’ve got news for you, he’s personally interesting in taking your soul to hell. If you have never trusted Christ as your Savior, I plead with you to get saved today.
If you’re a Christian, he can’t get that, but he can ruin your testimony.

Paul is writing to the entire church in Ephesus. He says in Ephesians 4:26-27, “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.”

This word place means “a foothold or opportunity, a chance to operate.” We can prevent the devil from working in our life, but we need to stop giving him the opprtunity to do so.

The devil can’t be everywhere. There is no need. He’s a general in charge of a bunch of demons and other people who can do his work for him. In essence, he can indirectly attack you without you being aware of it.

Four: Satan Is Okay To Like

We are told to like everybody and we should. It’s foolish thinking when it is applied to the devil. There is nothing to like about him. If you love God, you will hate the devil. The problem is when you don’t love Jesus the way you should, the devil becomes your buddy.

Five: Satan Is Responsible For Everything We Consider To Be Bad

The devil gets too much credit for things he never does:

“My T.V., car, church microphone, etc. is not working. It’s possessed.”

“He knows everything I think about.” Solomon says to God in 1 Kings 8:39 says, “thou only, knowest the hearts of all the children of men.” No doubt Satan can determine some of your thoughts based upon your actions, but he is not a mind-reader.

“The devil sometimes controls my thoughts.” Acts 5:1-3 says, “But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart (Satan’s doing) to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou (his responsibility) conceived this thing in thine heart?” If Satan could plant those thoughts in our minds against our will, then we couldn’t be found guilty of thinking them.

“He is the cause of every temptation.” The Bible does say that Satan offers us temptations, but we are pretty good at providing our own temptations.

“Bad circumstances are of the devil.” Blaming every unpleasant situation on Satan ascribes near-sovereignty to him. Those who do this will undoubtedly end up labeling many of God’s actions as demonic.

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Peace In The Middle East

Peace in the Middle East. That would be a joke if there really was? You could hear a comedian say something like this:

A Middle Eastern president was finally able to leave his palace. And what an emotional scene — on the way out high-fiving all those suicide bombers.

Hamas says they will no longer recognize Israel. We’ll of course they don’t recognize Israel, people keep blowing it up!

Does the Bible say there will be peace? Yes, one day in the future when Jesus establishes his kingdom.

Why should I be concerned about this issue? Because it has to do with the future of our country.

How does this relate to me personally? We’ll let’s find out by talking about three reasons why there is no peace in the Middle East.

One: Islam’s Dominance

After Islam’s founder, the prophet Muhammad died in 632, a disagreement arose over who should succeed him as leader of Islam. Two main factions arose, creating a rift that remains almost 14 centuries later.

The Shiites (she-ya) believe that Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law, Ali, was his rightful successor, and that Ali’s descendants are the true leaders of Islam. They are predominantly found in Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Bahrain and Azerbaijan.

The Sunnis (soo-ne) believe that Muhammad’s most pious companions were his rightful successors, and that the leaders of Islam may be chosen by consensus. Today, Sunnis make up the majority of Muslims today.

These two branches of Muslims are fighting against each other all the time, and everyone else who does not submit to Allah.

What are we doing to pray for them? Let us pray that God would send missionaries to convert them or they will come after us.

What are we doing with the Muslims around us? Talk to them about Jesus.

Two: Israel Is Hated

Jesus predicted the overthrow of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. This was fulfilled by the Romans led by General Titus.

Mt. 24:1-2 says, “And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”

Luke 21:24 says, “And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”

For all these centuries, the Jews have been hated by many people. We call this anti-Semitism. Some of these famous people have been Muhammad and Adolph Hitler. Their belief that Jews should be exterminated comes from their dealings with the Jews or influence from others.

After six million Jews had died during WWII, the United States Army began to liberate the concentration camps. General Dwight Eisenhower ordered: “So that we have the maximum documentation-make films, tape testimonies-because the day will come when some fool is going to stand up and say that none of this ever happened.”

Today we have many Muslims and others keeping the Holocaust from being taught to our children. They’re saying that’s it’s all a lie. It’s being taken out of school textbooks. Incredible but true.
Parents, would you teach your children that the holocaust was a reality?

We are encouraged to pray for Israel and the peace of Jerusalem. Ps. 122:6 says, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.” Do you want to prosper in your Christian life, then pray for God’s chosen people.

On May 14, 1948, Israel became a nation. This in itself is a miracle. For 1900 years, this was a barren wasteland, Hebrew was a dead language, and shekels (currency) was not in circulation.

Isaiah 11:11 says, “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people.” Verse 12 says, “And he (Jesus) shall set up an ensign (banner) for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.”

The Jews came back to their homeland the first time after the Babylonian captivity ended. So allow me to explain this reference to the second time. After the rapture and the seven year tribulation period, Jesus will bring back all the Jews to their land in his millennial reign. Right now we are seeing Jews returning to Israel, but it’s ultimate fulfillment won’t be until Jesus Christ has returned and established his kingdom on earth.

Three: Influence Of America

America’s fate goes back to an old promise. 4,000 years ago, God called Abraham out of the Ur of the Chaldees and said in Gen. 12:3 “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”

God says I will bless those who bless Israel and I will curse those who curse Israel. If America turns against or abandons Israel and the Jews, God warns that he will bring judgment upon us.

Joel 3:1-2 says, “For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted (divided) my land.”

America is Israel’s greatest ally, but tragically, the United States is trying to divide the land of Israel.

This process was formalized under President George W. Bush who officially called for the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state, which would divide the land of Israel. “I was the first American President to call for a Palestinian state, and building support for the two-state solution has been one of the highest priorities of my Presidency,” said President Bush.

President Obama and his administration have continued the Bush policy and pushed hard for Israeli leaders to divide the land. “It is not fair that a Palestinian child cannot grow up in a state of their own,” President Obama told hundreds of Israeli students in a speech in Jerusalem. “Palestinians have a right to be free people in their own land.”

If you recall in the Bible, there was a group of people that lived in Nineveh. Remember the first time God sent Jonah to declare judgment and the people repented, fasted, prayed and got right with God. That spared the people from judgment. But about 100 years later, the people fell back into major sin and Nahum the prophet warned them but they failed to listen. The city of Nineveh was destroyed.

Is America at a Jonah moment, or a Nahum moment?

2 Chron. 7:14 says, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

Will we personally seek revival or watch our nation go in decline and then collapse. Without a revival, we are on the road to implosion.

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2014 in Uncategorized