Sunday, September 14, 2008

I'm still here

Friends I know that it has been a long time since I have posted. I've always had trouble with any sort of regular writing. But I do still want to keep in touch and share my thoughts. Life has been very busy. The church I pastor has been going sour for the past six months. Two key families have moved out of town in retirement and the remaining people seem to like to spend their time arguing about non essential things. How long I remain as pastor is yet to be seen. I will keep you informed.

The chaplain ministry is going well however. I had a wonderful time presenting my ministry at the HOKSBA evangelism conference. Do keep the ministry in your prayers. Prayers and financial help are always welcome.

No matter what happens at church I am God's minister and will serve my Lord and savior Jesus Christ. How about you? Is Christ the center of you life today?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The ineffectiveness of the chuch

The church today is the most ineffective institution in America. The church, which carries all the authority and power of Christ, makes little impact on the American culture and seldom touches any lives outside of the insular Christian community. Why is this so? The answer lies in a simple three letter word, sin. American Christians have bowed to the alter of materialism and sacrificed to the god of mammon. We drive around cars whose cost could feed a family in a developing country for ten years. Church programs are designed to entertain and amuse the members all the while ignoring and even encouraging rampant disobedience to the King of kings. Millions are spent on buildings, signs, and parking lots, yet missionaries must spend years on deputation to raise funds to preach the gospel.

Our theology has become so shallow that we refuse to share the gospel because we have fallen for the false doctrine that there are ways to God other than Christ. Christ clearly stated that "no man comes to the father except through him."

What say you Christian? Will you surrender yourself to Christ, take up His cross and follow him? Or will you continue to care more about your feelings than the opinion of Christ. Will you repent of your materialism? Will you lay aside your idols? The church will have no impact and no power until you do.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Are we developing an elite

Are we developing an elite group of Baptist pastors and churches? Are all pastors and churches treated equally? Two good questions; thirty-six times in the New Testament the word churches is used, plural, not one church but many churches. Each church is equal before God and each has the same head, Christ. Seven times in the book of Revelation Christ says, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches;”

Yet today instead of listening to what our churches and pastors are saying the Spirit has told them; we hear from the association. We hear about ethnic churches, niche churches, cowboy churches, youth churches, mega churches, neighborhood churches, ad nauseum. When it comes to pastors we have bi-vocational, fully funded, ethnic, mission, ad nauseum.

When I first accepted Christ and joined a Baptist church I was taught from the scriptures the equality of all believers, and the equality and independence of all churches. Denominationalism was rejected and local church authority recognized. The priestly concept of sacerdotalism[1] was rejected and the priesthood of all believers accepted. What happened? Today we have divided and segregated our congregations. Instead of a multi-cultural model such as the Acts 13:1 church in Antioch we are more divided and segregated than in the days of racial segregation of the late 19th and 20th century. We are not only segregated by race, but by economic and social class. The large moneyed middle class suburban churches have come to dominate. The small and rural churches are marginalized.

Our pastors have become an educated elite clergy. While it is Biblical for ministers to study and train,[2] seminary educations are never mentioned in the scriptures. Seminary training while good does not make a pastor or preacher. God calls and makes the preacher. Many seminary graduates look for the large churches and comfortable salaries that make a career, while small and rural churches struggle to find a pastor. Pastors who work secular employment to feed and care for their families while answering the Spirit’s call to small, struggling, or mission congregations, are treated different and somewhat less that a “real full time pastor”. Baptist pastors are constantly urged to involve the laity in the life of the church. When did Baptists begin believing in a priestly or “clergy class” of Christian?

Churches wake up. Pastors wake up. It is time for Baptists to return to our Biblical and historic theology. All believers are created equal in Christ, and all churches have received the same commission and authority. We must reject the model of church life that is currently being forced upon us by elitist leaders who have rejected clear Biblical teaching. Our churches, associations, and conventions will not see revival until we begin to “hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”

[1] Religious belief emphasizing the powers of priests as essential mediators between God and humankind

[2] “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2Ti 2:15

Friday, January 25, 2008

Andy Antonson

Andy Antonson
Originally uploaded by Kansas Image Maker.
In Memoriam

Andy Antonson, died today from a stroke. He was a mentor, friend, pastor, and man of God. He will be missed greatly. Andy, enjoy the presence of your Lord Jesus who you have served for so many years. Until we meet again in the sweet by and by.