Don’t Be Fooled: Your Church Will Have To Make A Choice Concerning The LGBT Controversy

Don’t Be Fooled: Your Church Will Have To Make A Choice Concerning The LGBT Controversy
Share this article. You never know who will be touched by it!
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

The church I love has been thrown into the midst of controversy. One of our pastors has came out with a book that supports gay marriage and the ordination of practicing homosexuals. If you think that this is a problem that will never happen in your church or denomination, think again. The culture and I would say spirit of this world is demanding conformity to their upside down morality. It is because of this, that I worked on a resource for all of you to use in order to both educate yourself concerning this issue and to use to fight the war that is being waged on Evangelical churches across our nation and the world.

Now even though this resource is geared towards the current controversy happening in the Vineyard churches, the issues are the same. So regardless if you are part of a Vineyard church or not, these resources will speak into this issue.

Blessings!

Pastor Duke

The Vineyard Movement and the LGBT Question

Resources to help people understand the issues at stake in the same sex marriage controversy.

This document is meant to be a list of resources concerning the current position of VUSA regarding the culturally and theologically sensitive question of LGBT issues. The present conversation in the Vineyard was sparked off by Ken Wilson’s proposal of a so-called third way,  in his recent book ‘A Letter to My Congregation’ (Read The Spirit Press, 2013 – http://www.amazon.com/Letter-My-Congregation-Ken-Wilson/dp/1939880300). In light of Ken’s book, recent months have seen responses and rebuttals of Ken Wilson’s third way by Vineyard Pastors, and we have listed these as well as a selection of useful resources from outside of Vineyard USA on the subject of Same Sex Marriage and its effect on the body of Christ at large.

Vineyard USA’s Current Position

This is the current official VUSA Position on this topic, and should be seen as the starting point for discussion of these sensitive issues and questions.

First, we must be committed to both mission and holiness. The message of the kingdom is a message of welcome. Anyone can come to the feast- Jesus himself was accused of being a glutton and a drunkard. And at the same time, the message of the kingdom is repent, believe, and follow Jesus in every area of life. At times, it can feel as if these two principles are mutually exclusive. But we are convinced they are not. It is possible to offer the radical welcome of Jesus while calling people to high standards of discipleship.

Second, the Bible promotes, celebrates and affirms marriage as a covenantal union between a man and a woman. Marriage is not the highest purpose of humanity. The apostle Paul himself was single, as was Jesus. At the same time, it must be honored as a sign and gift from God.

Third, we believe that all humans are to be treated with kindness and compassion, as the image-bearers of God on earth. We are all sinful, and it is profoundly unbiblical to pick out one sin that is stigmatized above others. In the history of the church, homosexual persons experienced such sinful stigmatization. We repent and renounce this sort of sinful treatment.

Fourth, we believe that outside of the boundaries of marriage, the Bible calls for abstinence. We know that in our culture, premarital sex, along with many other forms of non-marital sex, has become normative. We want to lovingly help people of any sexual orientation to live up to this standard. We recognize that it can be a difficult journey, and there must be grace along the way. The powerful, beautiful gift of human sexuality must be stewarded with seriousness and compassion within our movement.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_denominational_positions_on_homosexuality#Vineyard_Churches.2C_USA

Ken Wilson’s Third Way Proposal

Since writing ‘A Letter to My Congregation’ (henceforth ‘ALTMC) Ken has published a number of articles/interviews relating to his book. These flesh out, in his own words, what he is actually saying.

http://www.readthespirit.com/explore/interview-ken-wilson-letter-congregation/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/greg-carey/a-letter-to-my-congregation_b_5193239.html

http://michiganradio.org/post/how-one-michigan-church-changing-its-views-gay-marriage

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ken-wilson/evangelicals-punish-world_b_5084925.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ken-wilson/starve-the-gay-controvers_b_5325074.html

http://www.freep.com/article/20140407/NEWS05/304070011/Ann-Arbor-evanglical-minister-comes-out-in-favor-of-gay-marriages

http://www.religiondispatches.org/books/sexandgender/7780/evangelical_pastor_argues_for_full_lgbt_inclusion___i_think_it_s_inevitable_/

Rebuttals by Vineyard Pastors and Leaders

Given the seriousness of the trajectory taken by Wilson in ‘ALTMC’, a number of Vineyard pastors and leaders have already taken the opportunity to respond online to Ken’s book.

Luke Geraty is a Vineyard Pastor in Stanley, WI, as well as a member of the Society of Vineyard Scholars. He is in the process of publishing on his blog a multi-part review of ‘ALTMC’, engaging with each chapter at a time.

http://thinktheology.org/think-ken-wilson-wrong-part-1/

http://thinktheology.org/biblical-theological-practical-response-think-ken-wilson-wrong-part-2/

http://thinktheology.org/2014/05/20/responding-ken-wilson-part-3/

http://thinktheology.org/2014/05/30/ken-wilsons-treatment-old-testament/

Thomas Lyons is a long term member of the Vineyard Movement, a graduate of VLI, and currently a PhD candidate at Asbury Theological Seminary and also a member of the Society of Vineyard Scholars. He has started an in-depth response to Ken, offering an alternative scriptural understanding of what is going on.

http://thinktheology.org/2014/06/02/road-ephesus-thyatira-alternative-model-ken-wilsons-part-1/

Duke Taber is a Vineyard Pastor in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, and owner of a number of websites. He responded to Ken’s book in this article which was syndicated at the Christian Post.

http://modernchristianliving.com/bible-studies-with-pastor-duke/a-vineyard-pastors-response-to-ken-wilsons-book-a-letter-to-my-congregation/

Thomas Creedy is a member of the Vineyard Movement in the UK, a Masters Student at St John’s College, Nottingham and a member of the Society of Vineyard Scholars. He has been working his way through a three-part review of ‘ALTMC’.

http://admiralcreedy.blogspot.com/2014/03/a-letter-to-my-congregation-first.html

http://admiralcreedy.blogspot.com/2014/04/book-review-altmc-part-1.html

http://admiralcreedy.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/book-review-altmc-part-2.html

Finally, Don Bromley is a member of Vineyard in the USA, and a former staff member at Ken Wilson’s Church, Vineyard Ann Arbor. His responses make for sobering and thoughtful reading.

http://thinktheology.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Don-Bromley-Response-paper.pdf

Sources Outside of the Vineyard (a Selection!)

Both like and in contrast to culture, the wider Church is in turmoil over how to pastor and engage this issue. We reproduce here a few resources engaging with some of the key questions.

Michael Brown – is separation over this issue necessary/inevitable?

http://www.charismanews.com/…/43874-let-the-separation

Albert Mohler – Southern Baptists, the moment of decision, and the non-existence of a third way.

http://www.albertmohler.com/2014/06/02/there-is-no-third-way-southern-baptists-face-a-moment-of-decision-and-so-will-you/

Division in the United Methodist Church

http://www.religionnews.com/2014/05/23/amid-sexuality-debates-80-pastors-threaten-possible-division-within-united-methodist-church/

http://mikevoigts.com/2/post/2014/05/an-open-letter-to-my-united-methodist-clergy-colleagues.html

The Evangelical Alliance (UK) has produced this excellent resource for pastors engaging with the LGBT issue, which has pastoral advice and biblical depth.

http://www.eauk.org/church/resources/theological-articles/resources-for-church-leaders-biblical-and-pastoral-responses-to-homosexuality.cfm

Living Out is a UK-based resource, where a number of evangelical leaders and lay people from various denominations share their story of living with Same-Sex-Attraction. This website combines high quality videos with excellent written resources.

http://www.livingout.org/

Desiring God – an interview about battling homosexual lust which is helpful pastor resource

http://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/battling-homosexual-lust

Sean Doherty – Tutor in Ethics at St Mellitus College, Doherty (Who is also involved in ‘Living Out) shares his experience of Same-Sex-Attraction in the Church.

http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/anv.2014.30.issue-1/anv-2013-0011/anv-2013-0011.xml?format=INT

Ian Paul – an English New Testament scholar and the author of a forthcoming Grove Booklet on the Biblical texts regarding this question, offers this post about whether or not Jesus was ‘inclusive’

http://www.psephizo.com/biblical-studies/was-jesus-inclusive/

N.T.Wright  – in this interview with Jonathan Merrit, N.T.Wright offers some thoughts on this topic.

http://jonathanmerritt.religionnews.com/2014/06/03/nt-wright-homosexuality-science-gender/

Some Recommended Books 

The aforementioned Evangelical Alliance resource is a fine pastoral tool.

http://www.eauk.org/church/resources/theological-articles/resources-for-church-leaders-biblical-and-pastoral-responses-to-homosexuality.cfm

Wesley Hill, ‘Washed and Waiting’, (Zondervan, 2012)

Sam Allberry, ‘Is God Anti-Gay?’, (Good Book Company, 2013)

Robert Gagnon, ‘The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics’, (Abingdon, 2001) [Scholarly, technical, but very comprehensive]

Andreas  Kostenberger, ‘God, Marriage, and Family: Rebuilding the Biblical Foundation [second edition]’, (Crossway, 2010) [a helpful textbook/overview of this and related issues]

Richard M. Davidson, ‘Flame of Yahweh: Sexuality in the Old Testament’, (Hendrickson, 2007) [massive {800 pages!] but utterly comprehensive on every conceivable question of sex, etc, and the Old Testament]

Summary
Article Name
Don't Be Fooled: Your Church Will Have To Make A Choice Concerning The LGBT Controversy
Author
Description
The time is coming where your church will have to make a decision concerning the LGBT controversy. This article gives you the resources to work through your convictions.
Send to Kindle
The following two tabs change content below.
Pastor Duke Taber has been a believer in Jesus for 33 years. He has been a pastor for over 20 years and is currently serving at Mid-Peninsula Vineyard Christian Church. He was formerly the secretary treasurer of White Pine County Ministerial Association. He is an alumnus of LIFE Bible College and Multnomah Biblical Seminary. He is a syndicated blogger at The Christian Post and Believe.com.

Follow Us!

More Articles By Pastor Duke
Millennials, Here Is Why The Church Isn’t Listening To You.
I remember being 20 something. I remember being 30 something. Those were some of the most frustrating years of my life. I honestly thought I knew it all. 20 plus years later, I still don't know it all but at least I stopped thinking I did. Recently I read an article by another Millennial passing on a mantra that has been passed down since time immemorial from one generation to another. It is another rendition of "the sky is falling and you need to listen to us". Just listen to this rendition. Being on the other side of the Exodus [more]
Christians Opt Out Of ObamaCare With Medi-Share
Over the years I have had people tell me about an alternative to health insurance. I honestly didn't pay a lot of attention to it. I was able to pay for catastrophic coverage with a high deductible on my own and I am not the type of person that goes to the doctor unless it is an emergency. So doing that worked for me. However with the implementation of ObamaCare I have seen insurance rates skyrocket out of control. Recently my wife and I were called to pastor a church in the San Francisco Bay area of California. The insurance [more]
A Few Things I Have Learned Since I Knew It All
There are times when I wistfully think I would love to be 30 again. I had more hair on my head. My dunlop disease was not nearly as pronounced. (for those of you that don't know what dunlop disease is, look it up. :) ) I thought I could conquer the world. However then reality sets in and I realize that being 30 also had its drawbacks, one of those being that I thought I knew it all. Recently I had a conversation with a young 30 something pastor who just didn't get what I was saying. Of course he [more]
Southern Baptist And Vineyard Churches Blasted By Focus On The Family Fundraising Letter
Friday I received an email from a concerned member of my church because of an email that was sent to them by Focus on the Family. Until now I have always held Focus on the Family in high regard. That does not mean I have always agreed with them, but I have always felt that they were an ethical ministry that worked in cooperation with the larger family of Evangelical Christians. Never in my wildest dreams would I ever have believed that they would use painful and heartbreaking situations within the Southern Baptist Convention or the Association of Vineyard Churches [more]
Are Denominations Evil?
Many times I hear people say that they love Jesus but they hate denominations. They then rattle off a list of complaints that they have about denominations, usually one or two specific denominations and thus conclude that denominations in and of themselves are evil. Today I want to challenge that premise and try to give a balanced view of denominations and eliminate the prejudice leveled against them based on cultural bias, personal pain, or lack of understanding. In order to deal with this subject we need to first establish a couple of things. We need to start with how Jesus [more]
Don’t Be Fooled: Your Church Will Have To Make A Choice Concerning The LGBT Controversy
The church I love has been thrown into the midst of controversy. One of our pastors has came out with a book that supports gay marriage and the ordination of practicing homosexuals. If you think that this is a problem that will never happen in your church or denomination, think again. The culture and I would say spirit of this world is demanding conformity to their upside down morality. It is because of this, that I worked on a resource for all of you to use in order to both educate yourself concerning this issue and to use to fight [more]
10 Comforting Bible Verses For When You Are Hurt
These Bible verses are powerful yet will bring you comfort when you are hurting: 1. Job 5:11: "The lowly he sets on high, and those who mourn are lifted to safety" (NIV). 2. Psalm 27:13-14: "Yet I am confident I will see the Lord ’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living. 14 Wait patiently for the Lord . Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord . " 3. Isaiah 41:10: "Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will [more]
A Vineyard Pastor’s Response To Ken Wilson’s Book, “A Letter To My Congregation”
I became a pastor in the Association of Vineyard churches 4 years ago. As I have gotten to know this family of Evangelical pastors and churches, I have found them to hold dear the same values that I have had since I planted my first church in 1988.......until now. As I write this, I must make one thing clear. I am not speaking in any capacity for Vineyard USA or its leadership. I am speaking for myself as a pastor within the association who loves the Vineyard, loves being a part of the larger body of Christ and who does his [more]
Restoring Fallen Leaders: Biblical Considerations In The Restoration Of Fallen Pastors
I have been a pastor since 1988. During that time I have seen many sad instances where a Pastor or other church leader falls into moral failure. In almost every instance the church and church institutions were not prepared to deal with the entire scope of the failure. It is my hope that this article on restoring fallen leaders will give you some biblical principles if you are faced with what to do when your pastor or other church leader falls into moral failure. I am not coming at this from a theological perspective. I am sure you know and understand [more]
Where are the Christian Soldiers?
We have a problem. It is a problem of monumental proportions. It really has nothing to do with doctrines, creeds, or culture. It is more basic than these things. It has nothing to do with polls, church attendance, or the millennial generation. It is more basic than these as well. It goes down to the deepest part of Christian character. It affects every aspect of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. What is the problem? Christians have become pacifists concerning their faith. Allow me to take you for a moment back in time in hymnody. Do you [more]
The Real Healing Power Of The Communion Table
All of my Christian life I have heard that the communion table, or the Lord's supper was an ordinance of the church that was of a personal nature and that we were to prepare ourselves for the partaking of communion with self examination and personal remembrance of the sacrifice that Jesus gave on the cross for myself. All of that focus was self orientated. Never have I heard that the communion table is more about the community of believers that meet together. Never have I heard that it is about the local body of Christ and how they are behaving [more]
10 Types Of Women That Men Should Throw Back Into The Sea
Yesterday I wrote an article on the 10 types of men that women should avoid like the plague. As you can imagine, it caused quite the discussion with people. Not so much on the website but in private communications with me from people who go to my church. Of course, the guys asked if there was going to be a sister article to it. So here is the other side of the coin so to say. Any of us that are or have been single for any time at all have heard of the free dating website "Plenty of Fish". [more]
10 Types Of Men Women Should Avoid Like The Plague
Recently I have been having dinners with groups of people from my church. One of the groups that I met with was a group of single women. Of course in our discussion the subject of how to find a good man came up. I have always believed God is in the matchmaking business. If He can do it for me, He can do it for them and you. These ladies would very much like to find the right guy. They tell me the pickings are slim to none at the church, so they have ventured into the world of online [more]
What Do You Do When God Doesn’t Speak?
Shortly after I started on the road to recovery and restoration after going through divorce in 2000, I had an experience that made it clear to me without a shadow of a doubt that God speaks to his people on a regular basis. I am not talking about hearing an audible voice but I am talking about more than a hunch that pans out. I was struggling with the idea of whether or not God would once again use me in pastoral ministry. I had heard all the arguments against this from people's interpretation of 1 Timothy 3:2 where it [more]
Is Money Your Master?
You can listen to this article by clicking this link to "Is Money Your Master Podcast #2" Well we endured one more Black Friday celebration of insane consumerism. I personally did not participate in this frenzy to spend the almighty dollar. I instead spent time with my 6 month old grandson. I did however see some of the lines, watch the people waiting for hours just to save a few dollars on the item they wanted. All of this led me to question whether or not money has become the master of millions, including many born again Christians. Who Is [more]
The Church Jesus Would Attend
You can listen to this blog post instead of reading it by clicking this link. "The Church Jesus Would Attend." Have you ever thought about the type of church that Jesus would attend? That would be a pretty hot church wouldn't it? Recently I started asking this question not only of myself but also of others in my circles. The answers have been quite interesting. Some of my friends from a Jewish background emphatically said He would attend a messianic congregation. Others got super spiritual on me and said that Jesus attends all churches that are gathered in His name. [more]
Trusting Jesus On The Inside
You can listen to an audio podcast of this blog post by clicking on "Trusting Jesus on the Inside." There is a battle that rages on the inside of each and every one of us. It is the battle of the Spirit vs. the flesh. Now most of us get to the point where we learn to allow the Spirit of Jesus to rule in our lives and hearts, but what we really struggle with is whether or not we will trust the Spirit of Jesus to work in the lives of others. It is one thing to trust the [more]
He Who Began A Good Work In You
Phil. 4:6 And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. This morning I want to just encourage you. I am starting a series on the book of Philippians and it begins with one of my favorite verses. So many times we get our focus on how much we are working for God and it distracts us from the reality that it is God who is working in us. So let's take a moment to look at how God is [more]
Fighting Against God
Acts 5:38-39 38 “So my advice is, leave these men alone. Let them go. If they are planning and doing these things merely on their own, it will soon be overthrown. 39 But if it is from God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You may even find yourselves fighting against God!” The enemy of our souls doesn't just distract us from our mission by sin. Many times he will distract us by bringing conflicts to us in an attempt to get us involved in a battle that is not ours. Recently this happened to me. I got [more]
The Cost Of Taking A Stand
Matthew 5:11 "Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. There have been 3 times in my life where I took major stands against the crowd for the sake of Jesus and His gospel. Each time I did, it came with a cost. The first time was in the late 80's when the seeker sensitive movement started becoming the latest fad within the denomination I was a part of. The second time was after I wrestled with the issue of whether or not the tragedy of divorce [more]
The Main And The Plain
Last night I found myself watching a Christian TV program. Yeah, you got it right. The guy who never watches Christian TV was watching a church service or conference from the Netherlands. I got caught by listening to the worship service being sung in English with strong Dutch accents.  It was something I hadn't heard before. Well, only later did I realize that a fairly famous American pastor was going to be the guest speaker. He is famous in some parts of the Charismatic movement. I am not going to name who it was just because in all honesty this [more]
God’s Tool Or God’s Partner?
Recently I saw a picture by Evangelist Reinhard Bonke about how God is not just interested in what he can use us for but instead loves us. It came with a quote that goes like this. God has business with each of us personally, not merely as His servants or instruments. He loves us, but not because we are useful to Him. You and I don't have relationships based on what we can get out of somebody. Neither does God have a relationship with us just so He can use us as tools. Being used by God is simply one [more]
Remember Lot’s Wife
Luke 17:32 "Remember Lot's wife. Most of us are familiar with the story of Sodom and Gomorrah and how Abraham's cousin Lot barely escaped with his life. However what we do not talk about very often is Lot's wife. She was the one who turned back to look one last time at what she was leaving behind and in doing so, ended up becoming a pillar of salt. Jesus told us to remember Lot's wife in context of looking for His return. It was a warning to us not to be attached to our cultural lifestyle here on earth. It [more]
Lift Up Your Eyes
Looking Upward Last night as I was doing my regular walk with the Lord where I just walk in my neighborhood talking to Jesus about what I see going on in my life, I had the Lord speak to my heart a simple phrase yet quite profound. He said "Life up your eyes". Immediately I had 3 scriptures come to mind that all said "Lift up your eyes". These scriptures all have to do with what I call having a heavenly mindset. I am not talking about being so heavenly minded that you are no earthly good, but it is [more]
Crowdfunding For Christians
The other day I had something interesting happen. I was on the phone to my friend Chris Michaels. We were talking about the struggles his church was facing in finding a pastor and how to support him once they do. In the midst of that conversation we started talking about crowdfunding. Now for those of you that do not know what crowd funding is,  it is the collective effort of individuals who network and pool their money, usually via the Internet, to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations. All of a sudden the Holy Spirit started to speak [more]
How To Have Contagious Faith
This morning I was reminded of how many times Jesus associated with sinners. It was a total shock to the religious people of the day. He would eat and drink with tax collectors and women of ill repute. He would touch the lepers. All of these things flew in the face of the standard teaching of the day. This attitude still prevails today. This type of teaching still flourishes. Why? It stems from a mentality that somehow sin is contagious. People still believe that somehow if we hang around people who sin, that their sin will somehow taint us. Is [more]
Embracing Transition In Your Life
When I first started this website I wrote strictly for the fun of it and because I had things I wanted to share with the world. The obstacle that I faced is that I had about 200 people in the whole world that knew who Duke Taber was.  Somehow I had to get the message in my heart to the world. I had to go through a transition. I had to learn how to write in order to answer people's questions they have when they are searching the internet. I went through that transition. This site took off. What I [more]
Have We Lost The Battle?
Time and time again I hear people talking about the lack of spiritual fervor in our nation. We see the forces of evil seeming to gain the upper hand. Moral standards no longer seem important. Attendance of worship services is an afterthought rather than a priority. Does this mean we have lost the battle? Is it time to give up and find an enclave to wait for the return of Jesus? I am asking you to take 26 minutes out of your life to watch something that is not titillating. In fact the speaker is not dynamic. However he is [more]
Top 10 Verses People Think Are In The Bible
Is That Bible Verse Really In The Bible? Many times when I am doing research into what people are looking for about the Bible I come across some strange things. One of the more common of those things are people searching for things that are not in the Bible. So I comprised a list of the top 10 sayings that people search for that are not in the Bible. Hopefully this will clear the air about some of the quotes attributed to the Bible that are not actually the Bible. We shall see. 10 So Called Bible Verses That Are [more]
What Does The Bible Say About Peace?
The Peace of God, Peace With Men, and Peace On Earth The Bible talks a lot about peace. However it talks about a lot of different types of peace. In order to answer the question of what does the Bible say about peace we first have to answer the question of what type of peace are you talking about. You may be looking for answers about how to have peace of mind. You might be talking about how to have peace with other people. You might be looking for what the Bible says about peace in the middle east. All [more]
How To Pray The Lord’s Prayer: A Bible Study
Our Father Which Art In Heaven Lord’s Prayer also commonly called the Our Father prayer by Catholics was never meant to be something that was just memorized and prayed as some kind of mantra or magical prayer. It was meant to be a teaching on how to pray. In this series I am going to teach the Lord’s prayer and we are going to learn the meaning of the model prayer that Jesus gave and together maybe we will all learn better how to pray. Let me give you just a little background. The disciples came to Jesus [more]
Where In The Bible Does It Talk About The Rapture?
The term "rapture" is actually never used in the Bible. The concept of a "rapture" is in the Bible. The Rapture is a term in Christian eschatology which refers to the "being caught up". The Koine Greek of 1 Thessalonians 4:17 uses the verb form ἁρπαγησόμεθα (harpagisometha), which means "we shall be caught up" or "taken away", with the connotation that this is a sudden event. The dictionary form of this Greek verb is harpazō (ἁρπάζω). This use is also seen in such texts as Acts 8:39, 2 Corinthians 12:2-4 and Revelation 12:5. The primary passage for the belief in the rapture [more]
What Was Paul’s Thorn In The Flesh?
There has been a lot of speculation about what the Apostle Paul meant when he said that a thorn in the flesh was given to him. Most of those speculations come from people who already have a preconceived idea about sickness, the supernatural, and thus read into this passage things that are not there. So let's take a look at Paul's thorn in the flesh and really see what he was talking about apart from preconceived ideas of God sending sickness and the lack of the supernatural in people's lives. Paul's Thorn In The Flesh In The Bible 2 Corinthians [more]
Ask The Pastor: How Long Should A Person Wait For God’s Choice For A Mate?
One of the Taber's Truths readers sent in a question that goes like this. " I have 2 friends who married late in life, 1 was 39 and the other was 55, waiting for their perfect Christian man. Both lost out on motherhood. I don't want to do that too my children. I praying that I am not too off." When dealing with dating and relationships, we must understand that there is God's side and the individual's side. The short answer to this question is that we should wait as long as it takes. However the length of time that it takes [more]
When God Opens Doors
I think we have all heard the saying that when God closes a door, He opens a window. It is usually spoken to encourage someone who has had something not work out in their life. However we do not hear much about God opening doors. Today I want to share a little about what I have learned about God opening doors. You see, although encouraging people is important, I think people need to understand how to tell if God is opening a door or not in the first place. So let's take a look at the heart of God towards [more]
Spiritual Hunger
Have you ever had this happen? You are minding your own business and just doing the duties that come with your day and all of a sudden you realize that you need to stop what you are doing and satisfy this strange need that has arisen in your life. You are feeling a rumbling in your stomach and a craving has come upon you. You have to stop what you are doing and satisfy this urge. You have to eat. It is called hunger. Now consider this. Have you been going along in your spiritual life and the duties that [more]
The Tearing Down Of Strongholds
Many people when they talk of the tearing down of strongholds try to make this something more than it is. They try to give the devil credit for something that in this case, he has nothing to do with. The Apostle Paul when he talks about the tearing down of strongholds, is not talking about demonic activity but instead is talking about human activity within our minds. So let's take a look at the passage in 2 Corinthians 10 where Paul is talking about the tearing down of strongholds and let's learn how we can tear down these things within [more]
Christian Revival – What is it?
Christian revival, renewal, outpouring, or times of refreshing, no matter what you call it, is something that has been happening ever since the first outpouring of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost. I honestly don't care what you call it. Quibbling over semantics is silly. The fact of the matter is that there have been ebbs and flows of spiritual fervor throughout the history of Christianity. Until the time where there is no longer a war between the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of God; until such a time as the war between the flesh and the Spirit [more]
Living A Life Of Faith In An Age Of Reason
We live in an age where it seems that anything that has to do with the Christian faith is under attack by Atheists and their prophets of reason. I recently saw an article about another prophet of reason prognosticating that religion would be dead by 2041. I felt that it was time for me to address this issue and remind everyone that this is nothing new. The questions concerning the reasonableness of Christianity have gone back for centuries. Man has always wanted to view himself as the final authority in all things and to set himself up as a God. German [more]
Do You Have A Healthy Spiritual Life?
One of the things I have found during the 33 years I have been a believer is the importance of having a healthy spiritual life. In our age where we fill all of our free time with activities, many times our spiritual life is left hanging. If we are to be the type believer that ministers out of the overflow that God gives us, we must make having a healthy spiritual life a priority. So in this article I hope to share with you some of the things that I have learned about having a healthy spiritual life and how [more]
Ask The Pastor: Women’s Apparel And The Bible
Last week I started a section of Taber's Truths called "Ask The Pastor" Within a couple of days I received a letter asking me to address the issue of women wearing pants. I considered whether or not I wanted to address this issue or ask one of the female contributors to this website to handle the question. I decided that I would handle the question because for years women were subjugated rather than led in a godly manner by men and that subjugation caused them to have to live in ways that really were not in line with biblical principles [more]
The God Of Restoration
When I talk about the God of restoration, I do not come to you from a perspective of just teaching a biblical principle. I come to you from a lifetime of experience seeing God restore my own life. So this article comes straight from my heart. You see, more than once I have lost everything. I lost family, friends, finances, and even my good name. However I always kept the advice that a dear friend of mine gave to me. "You worry about your character and let God worry about your reputation, life, and circumstances." Now that does not mean [more]
Why Should A Christian Be Baptized In Water?
In a few weeks my church and a local Assembly of God church in my area will be holding a joint water baptism service. I thought it would be a good time to write down my thoughts concerning water baptism and why a Christian should get baptized in water. Both the Assemblies of God and my church which is part of the Association of Vineyard churches have 2 ordinances that we observe. They are communion and water baptism. These ordinances are practiced by every major Evangelical church across the world and also are practiced in some form by many other [more]
Christian Consumerism
A while back I came across a faux news article on how a mega-church sent a letter to it's members telling them that they had to start giving or volunteering in order to continue to attend the church. I posted it on my Facebook page just to see the reactions the fake news story would get. The reactions, needless to say, were very revealing. Most were outraged that a church would actually require something of it's members. One person actually said that some people didn't have the money time or ability to give back to their church. These types of [more]
Communion At Home – Is It Biblical?
I get a lot of people coming to my list of communion scriptures searching for information concerning taking communion at home. I thought that it would be helpful to go into more depth on taking communion at home and look at some of the issues surrounding the subject. So we will take a look at whether or not the Bible talks about the necessity of having a minister or priest bless the sacraments, whether or not communion has to be a group event, and the motive behind taking communion in the first place. In order to do this, we are [more]
Stones Of Remembrance
There is a very good Bible teaching that can be found in the story of Joshua and the stones of remembrance. The story is found in Joshua 4. Let me set the stage just a little bit before we go into the story. The children of Israel had been delivered from the bondage of slavery in Egypt. They had spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness because they had not believed that God would overcome the obstacles in front of them the first time. Now they finally put faith into the promise of God that He would give them the [more]
Becoming A Church Without Borders
This morning I want to share with you the vision I am sharing with my own congregation at the Vineyard Church of Pine Haven. We are a small town church in a community of 500 in rural Wyoming. Our building will seat 100 people. Yet I believe that God is calling even us, a small church in a sparsely populated area to be a church without borders. Listen To Pastor Duke Share This Message On Being A Church Without Borders. Podcast Powered By Podbean   A little over 2000 years ago, a small gathering of believers was given a commission to [more]
5 Biblical Insights About Vision
Recently I came across a video blog by Phil Strout talking about qualities found in successful leaders. In those videos I found some principles that I have always believed concerning vision. So I wanted to pass along to you those biblical insights about vision so you too can implement these principles in your life and ministry. The book of Proverbs states in chapter 29 this statement. Proverbs 29:18  18 Where there is no vision, the people perish: Now I could go on and on about how people need vision and that leaders need to instill vision but in all honesty [more]
The God Who Comforts – A Mothers Day Message
This week at my church I won't be sharing a traditional Mother's Day sermon but instead will be sharing a message about the God who comforts as a mother who comforts her child. Often times we place upon God attributes that show severity and rigidness. However I would like to show you the God who is willing to comfort us as a mother comforts her child. So let me start by sharing with you a verse out of the book of Isaiah chapter 66 and verse 13. Listen To The Podcast Of Pastor Duke Sharing This Mother's Day Sermon Podcast [more]
Walk By Faith Not By Sight
Walking by faith is something that at one time or another we all struggle with. We can be inspired by a great sermon or someone giving us a word of encouragement, but as soon as the emotions of that event face, we are faced with whether or not we will walk by faith and not by sight, or we will look around and say "it must not have been God afterall." This morning, I want to challenge you. Not because you are somehow missing it or a failure in your Christian life, but I want to challenge you to overcome. [more]
Codependent Tendencies Between Church Leaders And Church Members
I am the first to admit that I am an imperfect leader. I am an imperfect church member. I am an imperfect man. There have been times in my life where I have done or allowed some pretty dumb things in my life. So when I talk about codependent tendencies between church leaders and church members, I am not trying to raise myself up on a pedestal by pointing out the flaws of other. I am trying to bring to light something that I have both wrestled with personally and seen operating within some churches in the hopes that by [more]
Help My Unbelief
Have you ever struggled with doubts and unbelief? Have you ever felt bad because had thoughts that something was impossible? Have you felt condemned because others told you that if you had doubts, God would not answer your prayer? I think we all have had at one time a struggle with unbelief and we have prayed the same prayer that the man who had a demon possessed son prayed in Mark 9:24 Listen To The Podcast Of Help My Unbelief Your browser does not support the audio element. Podcast Powered By Podbean   The "Help My Unbelief" Scripture Mark 9:24 [more]
It seems that in today's society we are busier and busier and have less time to schedule events during the week. Mid-week services are dwindling or non-existent and home groups are not the cure-all that proponents claim them to be. So what is the solution? How about accomplishing the same thing you would accomplish at your brick and mortar building but doing so online? That is where building an online social network for your church comes in. In the following picture I am going to show you that there has been a cultural shift in how we relate to one [more]
What Is God’s Call?
If you are around Christians any length of time at all, you will hear them say that they feel "called" by God to do something. They may say that they are trying to discern the call of God on their life, or they may say that they are answering God's call, or even say they are called to ministry. Hopefully I will be able to answer for you what is the call of God and whether or not you are experiencing this very real phenomenon. Where Do We Get The Term "Call Of God"? The concept of being called comes [more]
A Biblical Wedding Ceremony
Are you getting married? Well, so am I! I am not into big public announcements. It seems like when I do, something gets in the way, however I am excited. For me it is important to have a biblical marriage and a Christian marriage ceremony. It is amazing to me how many wedding ceremonies are out there but how many really do not incorporate our faith in a meaningful way. So I wanted to share with you the marriage ceremony that I recommend to believers and also the one that will be used at my own wedding. A Biblically Based [more]
What Does The Bible Say About Profanity?
With our morals and values being challenged at every corner in today's world, I thought a study on what the Bible says about profanity would be in order. I will be the first one to admit that when I first got saved, and at a couple of other times in my life, I allowed myself to have quite the potty mouth. So my intent with this post is not to point fingers at those who do not have very good control over their tongue, but instead to give you a reasoned approach to the question of cursing and the biblical [more]
Galatians 101 – Studies From The Book Of Galatians
I have just completed my sermon series on the book of Galatians. To me, the book of Galatians is the Magna Carta of the Christian faith. In it we find what the Apostle Paul was willing to live and die for. It is probably the most applicable, yet most ignored of all the books in the New Testament. We may read it, but we don't really believe what it says. So if you come upon this page, I pray that God will open your ears and heart and turn you into the new creation that He has planned for you [more]
Boasting In The Cross Of Christ
This is the final message in my series on the book of Galatians. Paul has hand written an entire book of the Bible defending the message of grace and the finished work of Christ on the cross. When he puts his finishing thoughts together, he boils it down to the motives of those that opposed grace, the place where he places his trust, and what when it has been all said and done, knowing what is truly important. So let's take a look at what Paul ends his letter to the Galatians with. The Boasting In The Cross Of Christ [more]
You Shall Reap As You Sow
We are coming to the end of the series on the book of Galatians. In Galatians 6, Paul finishes his letter with a principle that many have quoted but in all honesty, few apply in it's proper application. Many try to teach that it has to do with money or physical things, however that is the least of the applications of this passage. So let's take a look at what Paul is trying to get across to the Galatian church and how we can apply it to our lives. The Reap What You Sow Bible Verse Galatians 6:1-10 1 Dear [more]
The Legacy Of The Heresy Hunters
Heresy hunting seems to have become quite a popular pastime with many radio broadcasters and internet bloggers. Recently I ran across a response by Tim Challies (www.challies.com) concerning some heresy hunters coming after him. He is a Christian blogger, author and fellow pastor who holds to what most would call a "reformed" theology. I for one cannot even fathom why the heresy hunting crowd would go after such a person with this background. However, Tim is not the first person from a standard theological position that these "Christian watchdogs" have gone after. Hank Hannegraff of the Christian Research [more]
Do People Who Commit Suicide Go To Heaven?
The topic of suicide is not addressed very often in Christian circles and when it is, it is usually coupled with very emotional responses that are not reasoned out very well. With the tragedy of what has happened to Rick Warren's family and the inevitable public discussion that will happen because of it, Let me start off by sharing that I have not been immune to this type of tragedy. At age 18, my father is suspected of committing suicide. It was the early 80's and AIDS had just started being widespread. He engaged in a lifestyle of drugs and [more]
Church Outreach Ideas
Many of us have heard sermons or know that church outreach is very important to the health of a church and individual believers. The problem is that most of us don't even know where to get started. It is one thing to hear the pastor say we need to "evangelize" but it is quite another thing for us to translate that into actions other than knocking on doors, passing out tracts, or buying a tent and holding evangelistic meetings across the country. Most of those things are beyond our comfort zone or ability to do, so I thought I would [more]
Leadership Styles and Making Disciples
Recently I had a great conversation with Allen Hodges, who is a dear friend of mine and the pastor of the Billings Montana Vineyard Church. We talked about leadership styles and it's effect on making disciples. Out of that conversation and my subsequent mulling over what was said has caused me to write this article. There are probably just as many leadership styles as there are personalities. There are also church traditions and expectations that influence or even dictate certain leadership styles. If you understand this, then you will also understand that there is not one "right" leadership style. Just [more]
Rethinking Funding For Church Planting
Funding for church planting is a subject that many church planters wrestle with as they are starting out with their new church plant. Having successfully planted 2 churches in my life and resurrecting a 3rd church, I have a little experience on this subject. Recently I read a question by a prospective church planter about how to juggle priorities when being a bi-vocational church planter. He was wondering how he could manage his job, family priorities, and a church plant. My reaction to the question surprised even myself. Here is what I said. Derek, you bring up a great question. [more]
Why Do Christians Celebrate Easter?
I am sure that there are many articles written on Christians celebrating Easter. However I would like to give you a fresh perspective on why Christians celebrate Easter. Easter is a celebration of Christ rising from the dead but it is also symbolic of believers rising from their old life into their new life. It is this new life perspective that I am going to share with you today and then begin an 8 day devotion on the Easter Holy Week. Easter - The Time To Rise Let us go back in time with our imagination. It is the early [more]
Falling From Grace
Today as we continue the series on the book of Galatians, we are going to look at chapter 5 where Paul talks about falling from grace. Today, many churches and Christians equate falling from grace as falling into sin. However this is not what the Apostle Paul is talking about. He is still talking about the difference between performance mentality religion and relational Christianity. So let's take a look at the passage where he refers to falling from grace. The Falling From Grace Bible Verse Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, [more]
The Plans Of Man And The Plans Of God
Recently I have had a poignant reminder of how man may plan his ways but God's plans are not always the same. Sometimes we think we know best what needs to happen and what needs to be done in our life. We wrestle with truly allowing God to plan our life and let Him be the one who leads and guides us. I can think of 2 very good examples in my life where this has been the case. The first one had to do with a person who I loved deeply but did not reciprocate that love. My plans [more]
Single Christians As Leaders
Recently I got my feathers ruffled. That happens at times when people say or do things that are contrary to the things I hold dear or contrary to biblical teachings or both. This time it was both. I was sitting down having dinner with some friends of mine who are in pastoral ministry and looking to retire. We were talking about what they were looking for in a replacement for them. In the context of that conversation the statement was made, "we would not consider someone who was not married". What! Now I understand that there is a generational difference [more]
Self Promotion or God Promotion
Early in my Christian life while I was starting the first church that I started, I had a district leader make a statement that stuck with me all throughout my life. He said, "I am not sure if you have holy ambition or are wholly ambitious." That sent me down a path of self discovery that eventually led to my belief in pursuing servanthood and obscurity rather than climbing the ecclesiastical corporate ladder. So let me share with you what I believe is a biblical mandate for promotion compared to what is accepted as the normal way within the church [more]
The Top Christian Social Networking Sites For 2013
Many Christians have gotten a little fed up with Facebook. Whether they are finding that their posts mysteriously disappear, or are not shared with all of their friends due to Facebook's decision to censor religious speech, (http://www.christianpost.com/news/facebook-google-apple-censoring-religious-speech-55736/) or they are tired of posts that use inappropriate pictures or language, or they just want a place where they can go to get uplifted and encouraged, Christians have been looking for alternatives to Facebook. It was because of this need that Taber's Truths decided to enter the Christian social networking niche and launch Christian Faithbook. However, since [more]
What Is The Blessing Of Abraham?
Today I am continuing my series on the book of Galatians. Last week we learned that many of us had become just like the Galatian Christians and had become foolish Christians. This week we are going to learn that there is a promise of blessing that God promised to Abraham that is transferred to us because we are part of Christ. So let's take a look at Galatians 3:10-14 10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which [more]
Oh Foolish Christians!
This morning I am continuing my series on the book of Galatians. In chapter 3 the Apostle Paul gets pretty blunt with the Galatian church concerning their foolishness in trying to go back to a works orientated relationship with God. In fact he calls them foolish. Unfortunately in the church today, many Christians have not heeded the warnings given by the Apostle Paul and they are doing the same thing as the Galatian Christians were doing in his day. They are still trying to come up with some type of works that will allow them to feel as though they [more]
Freely You Have Received, Freely Give
This morning I want to share with you something that I have learned over the last 33 years of being a Christian that truly separates those that are successful from those that are not. It has to do with whether or not you have a giving and generous spirit or what I call a miserly spirit. Now I am really not talking about money. What I am talking about is what Jesus was talking about when He made this statement. Matthew 10:8 "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. [more]
When The Enemy Comes In Like A Flood
Over the 33 years I have been a believer in Jesus there has been many times where I have gone through trials, testings, and battles. I can't say that they were fun times but the were both necessary and part of building my faith to where it is today. When the enemy comes in like a flood, you can be rest assured it is not because you are doing something wrong, but it is because you are doing something right. So let me encourage you in your own spiritual walk and share with you some of the things I have [more]
What Is The Meaning Of Grace?
What’s that thing called Grace? It’s a funny thing this thing called Grace.  We all want it.  We don’t like to give it.  We often try to give it with strings attached.  We want it back.  Often we demand it!  God gave us this amazing gift, called “Grace”, often defined as “unmerited favor”. One of my favorite scriptures about grace is 2 Corinthians 12:9: “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power [more]
Staying Right With God
Today I am continuing my series on the book of Galatians. Last week I shared with you what was the message of the gospel of grace. This week I will be sharing with you how you can maintain your relationship with God. We will be looking at the passage found in Galatians 2:11-21. In this passage we see a confrontation happen between Peter and Paul. Paul confronts Peter about truly living a life of grace vs. a life of law and grace combined. The confrontation starts out with Peter coming to visit Paul in Antioch. At first, Peter lives in [more]
My Sermon For A New Year
This new year is a landmark one for me. On New Year's eve I turn 50. This has caused me to do a lot of reflection and this sermon is a a result of that reflection. The New Year's holiday is one that signifies putting the past behind us and looking forward to the future. For me, the past is getting longer and the future is getting shorter but does that mean that God does not have a lot of life and adventure in front of me? This is the question that I had to ask myself. So join with [more]
What To Expect When Your Church Changes Pastors
One of the things that God has used me in over the years in ministry is healing wounded churches. Regardless of whether or not this is your first pastoral transition or one of many, I hope that you will take what I am about to share with you to heart and then apply it in a relevant way to those that love Jesus there in your community. Any time you have a pastoral transition it is a tough season for the body of Christ at a church. This is especially true for the Vineyard churches that I am now part [more]
Joseph, A Biblical Example Of A Godly Stepfather
I am continuing my series on the perspectives of Christmas by taking a look at Joseph who was betrothed to Mary. So far we have looked at Christmas from God's perspective through the incarnation of Christ, the perspective of the shepherds, the perspective of the wise men, and what Christmas is about seen in the faith of Mary. Now it is time to look through the eyes of Joseph at all that was happening during the birth of Jesus. To me, Joseph is a prime biblical example of a godly stepfather. Joseph And The Christmas Story Matthew 1:18-25 The Birth [more]
Finding Your Voice As A Leader
It has been said that the way you know if someone is a leader is whether or not they have followers. This is true to a certain extent but there is more than one type of leader. You can be a leader because you are a rebel. You can be a leader because you speak for those that are afraid to move forward. So being an authentic leader of God's people is more than just having followers. It is finding the voice that God has designed for you to have to lead His people forward into the destiny that He [more]
Mary, The Mother Of Jesus – An Overlooked Woman Of Faith
In continuing on in my series on the perspectives of Christmas, I want to share with you about a woman who many Evangelicals overlook at Christmas time. I believe she is overlooked because of a backlash of Protestantism that does not accept certain doctrines within the Roman Catholic Church so instead of giving the appearance that we might agree with those doctrines, we just don't talk much about Mary, the mother of Jesus. Mary is a prime example of a woman of faith. She allowed God to use her and submitted to His will no matter what the cost. So [more]
The Three Wise Men And The Christmas Star Of Bethlehem
Today I am continuing my series on the perspectives of those involved in the Christmas story. In my first article I talked about God's perspective on the incarnation of Christ, and in my second article I talked about the perspectives of the shepherds. Today I am going to attempt to share with you the perspectives of the Magi, the three wise men, who followed a star from the east to find Jesus. In order to do this we are going to look at who were the magi or wise men and we are going to look at what the Christmas [more]
Biblical Confrontation – A Look At Matthew 18
Nobody likes confrontation. For many years, I avoided confrontation like the plague. Yet there is a time and a place when you need to confront people otherwise they will continue to abuse you or sin against you.  The purpose of confrontation is not to start a fight or get into an argument, but the purpose is to bring the problem to a resolution. If you will follow the principles of biblical confrontation usually you will gain a brother on the first attempt and resolve an issue. However sometimes what ends up happening is your discover that they have a hard [more]
The Shepherds At Christmas
Today I am continuing my series on the Christmas story. Last week I shared with my congregation and with you about the incarnation of Christ from God's perspective. Today I shared with them the Christmas story from the shepherds perspective. It is very important that we look at the Christmas story from all the perspectives of the participants. When we do this we get insight into the heart and purpose of God. So take a moment and follow along with me as I try to share what the shepherds must have been experiencing and thinking at Christmas. The Shepherds Guarding [more]
God And Creativity
One of the things I have always failed to understand is why Christians fall into the trap of copying others rather than allowing God to develop them into the unique and creative expression of Jesus that He has designed for them. Emulation may be the sincerest form of flattery but it short cuts God's design for a person's life. He didn't create them to be a carbon copy of someone else. He created them to be an unique expression of His creativity in and of themselves. Whether we are talking about our life among our friends, family, or co-workers, or [more]
How To Become A Bold Christian
Bold Faith I have been blogging and running this website now for over a year and a half. My Facebook fan page has been in existence for almost as long, although it has only really been active about 6 months. One of the things that I have noticed since I have been interacting with the broader church in general is that there is a real lack of boldness when it comes to people talking about, and sharing their faith. This is especially true for those that live in the western world and even worse in the United States. Because of [more]
How To Keep Christ In Christmas – Lessons From The Incarnation Of Christ
God With Us Every Christmas there is a big push to "keep Christ in Christmas". There is good reason for this push because of the secularization of our society and this very Christian holiday. However this year I have taken a step back to really think about what it means to keep Christ in Christmas. Are we just trying to keep the name Christ in the word Christmas? Are we trying to keep the religious symbolism of the Christian holiday? What does it truly mean to keep Christ in Christmas? Because of these questions I decided to look once again [more]
Dealing With Divorce During The Holidays – Putting Your Children First
Rising Above the Pain During the Holidays The holiday season is a very stressful time for both those that have been or are going through divorce and for the children who are the innocent victims of divorce. Parents are tempted, because of their woundedness and insecurities, to pit their children against the other parent. This is a very painful experience for the child. It is because of what I have observed divorced parents do and because of the pain my own children have experienced that I am writing this article. I am appealing to all divorced parents to rise up [more]
How To Study The Bible Online
Using the Internet to Study the Bible One of the things that has amazed me in providing this website to people is the amount of people that come to it from other countries and territories around the world. The hunger for the word of God and to find out what the Bible says on certain subjects both humbles and amazes me. So far, just in the first 2 weeks of November, we have had people from 142 countries and territories around the world visit this site. This led me to think that an article on how to study the Bible [more]
Is Thanksgiving A Christian Holiday?
It is time once again for the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. It has traditionally been a time where we set aside our daily labors and give thanks to God for His abundant providence upon us. However in recent years, with the secularization of our society, questions have arisen as to whether Thanksgiving is a Christian holiday. Now, I think it would be remiss to say that Thanksgiving or the ability to give thanks is exclusive to Christianity. However the concept of giving thanks assumes a belief in God, for if you are not giving thanks to God, then [more]
Greater Love Has No Man – A Veteran’s Day Message
A Sermon For Our Veteran Soldiers This Sunday, my church has the privilege of hosting our community's Veteran's day service.  For me, it is a great honor to be able to speak both for our community and as a representative of Jesus to these great men and women who have served our country so faithfully. My Veteran's Day Message - Greater Love Has No Man The text for my message comes from Jesus Himself. It is found in John's gospel chapter 15. John 15:13 New King James Version (NKJV) 13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s [more]
Will Christians Stop Selling Their Birthright For A Political Bowl Of Stew?
Well the election is over and my heart is both grieved and at peace. It wouldn't have mattered if the outcome had been different and the other political party's candidate had won. My heart still would have been grieved. Why? Because people would have been celebrating the victory of evil. Why you may ask, is my heart at peace? Because tomorrow morning I will wake up knowing that I did not sell my vote for false promises. I did not give my birthright away for a bowl of stew. Let me show you what I am talking about. Esau Selling [more]
Ordinary People Trusting An Extraordinary God
This morning I want to share with you what I shared with my congregation last Sunday. The messages was entitled, "Ordinary People and an Extraordinary God. The reason I shared this message with them and hopefully what will be accomplished when you read this is that in our society, we seem to think that God will only use superstars. That ordinary people are really not all that important. Well nothing is farther from the truth and  I have been around people in the church for 33 years now. There is a propensity to celebrate the great man of God. In [more]
How To Follow Jesus
I Have Decided To Follow Jesus It has been 33 years since I made the decision to follow Jesus. Sometimes because of the years, I forget that people need to learn the first steps to take in their Christian walk. So When I gave my life to Jesus and made the decision to follow Him, I was absolutely ignorant about anything to do with Christianity and following Jesus. I grew up in a family that went to church only on holidays and the church they went to was more religious than it was anything else. Absolutely everything I learned after [more]
Topical Or Expository Preaching – Which Is Better?
Is There a Better Method of Preaching? I have been in ministry now since 1988 and although that does not make me an expert on preaching, I have preached more sermons than I personally ever needed to preach. Many times people have either asked me or tried to prove to me that one form of preaching was superior to another form. In fact, some denominations go so far as to require that their pastors use one form of preaching on Sunday morning. Personally I find this a little silly because both types of preaching, whether it be topical or expository [more]
God and Natural Disasters – Has The Almighty Had Enough?
I have hesitated even writing about this topic. It is one that can cause a lot of furor and make people polarize to opposite ends of the spectrum. On one hand we have the ding dongs at Westboro Baptist Church celebrating that God is smiting the East coast, and on the other end we have people totally ignoring any divine attribute that might be going on with natural disasters claiming it is all because of global climate change.  As most of you know, I try not to swing to extremes. I have found them counterproductive and destructive to our Christian [more]
Is It Biblical To Make Decisions Based On The Lesser Of Two Evils?
Ever since I was a little boy I have heard people talk about making choices based on the lesser of two evils.  It is because of this deep soul searching about how I make my decisions that has led me to make some decisions that have been extremely unpopular recently. Dear friends have not understood how I could totally buck the system, including most conservatives Christian or not, and not just follow along with the conventional wisdom. So I think I have finally worked through the issues enough to be able to write down my thoughts as to why I [more]
Church Leadership – What Is A Biblical Form Of Church Government?
Is There a Biblical Form of Church Government? I had a dear friend today write me and ask me to show her the biblical model for church leadership and government. It seems that her local church is going through a tough time on this issue and it is the second time in about as many years that this has happened. The last time it happened it caused a painful split in the church. I am not an expert on church government but I have walked a few miles in different forms of church government over the years. The different forms [more]
Life Lessons From King David In The Bible
Learning From King David in the Bible It is the process that we see in the life of David that for me is so inspiring. God takes David, a simple shepherd boy and gives him a calling at a young age. He then gives David a test where He places his faith in God which launches him into a position of popularity. He is then given a desert experience where his character is tested but finally God accomplishes in David His purposes for David's life. Man Looks On The Outside, God Looks On The Inside. We begin the story of [more]