Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My Hero is Only Thirteen (Part 4)

These are the concluding videos on the fascinating story of thirteen year old Deborah who has grown up in a staunch Christian homeschooling family in rural England. Deborah is a real piece of work and never backward in coming forward "with a reason for the hope that lies within" her. As you watch Deborah it is easy to forget that she is only 13. Please keep that in mind if you are wont to critique her social skills.

Watch out for a cameo appearance by Todd Friel of Wretched Radio (at least in audio form).

Deborah is a forceful preacher of sin, righteousness, and judgment but at the end of this you will get to witness her tender heart motivated by Christ's love. Deborah is my hero!

Coming Thursday - Don't Waste Your Financial Crisis
The video of the sermon I preached to all the workers during my last day at work (I was laid off due to the economic crisis)

Go Back To Part 3
Go Back To Part 1

Monday, March 30, 2009

My Hero is Only Thirteen (Part 3)

Deborah's adventures continue where we get to have a look at the inner workings of a homeschooling Christian family. Liberal they aint! Deborah's father takes the authority of Scripture with utmost seriousness. We also join the whole family on their combined evangelistic puppet show outreach at a nearby caravan park. Anti-social behaviour is a crime they are certainly not guilty of. They are not afraid to talk about the necessary issues of sin, righteousness, and judgment. We get to hear a bit more of Deborah's theology before she ventures to the big city with her big brother and encounters aliens - otherwise known as college students.

Final installment tomorrow!

Go On To Part 4
Go Back To Part 2
Go Back To Part 1

Sunday, March 29, 2009

My Hero is Only Thirteen (Part 2)

The amazing story of 13 year old Deborah Drapper continues from yesterday. Here, in part two, we get to hear Deborah's views on relationships with the opposite sex, the authority of the Bible, as well as seeing her in action sharing the Gospel with typical "streetwise" British teens. Oh no, I'm so afraid for Deborah because she is home schooled and doesn't have many friends her own age and hasn't read a "church growth" manual. How can she possibly relate and contextualize in this hazardous mission field??? No worries about that - she follows the "Way of the Master" . . .

Continued tomorrow . . .

Go On To Part 3
Go Back To Part 1

Saturday, March 28, 2009

My Hero is Only Thirteen (Part 1)

This girl is just awesome! Deborah is thirteen, lives on an english farm with her very large family, is homeschooled, never watches TV, loves Jesus Christ, loves to share the Gospel with strangers, and shock horror - she doesn't know who Britney Spears is! How can she possibly function in the 21st century?

Deborah is my hero! She blows the myth apart that "Christians have to be hip, familiar with popular culture, and contextualize in order to reach the world". She is intelligent, articulate, socially capable, sharp as a razor, and a real piece of work. She shows herself to be more than a match for her interviewer.

Allow me to introduce you to Deborah Drapper . . .

Continued tomorrow . . .

Go On To Part 2

Thursday, March 26, 2009

John Macarthur and Mr Madonna

I heard a very funny story recently about John Macarthur that has a real Hollywood buzz about it. Macarthur was recently interviewed on Larry King and upon arriving at his office the next day he was interrupted by a phone call. The caller said "my name is Guy Ritchie and I need to speak to you". Macarthur being so culturally savvy responded "Guy who?".

Guy Ritchie: Guy Ritchie, I'm Madonna's husband!

John Macarthur: Madonna who?

Guy Ritchie: I need to speak with you. Can you come out to my place?

John Macarthur: Sure thing.

So John Macarthur (the evangelical pope) jumps in his car and heads on out to Beverly Hills to visit the Madonna household. Guy Ritchie greeted him at the door sat him down and spoke face to face.

Guy Ritchie: Do you realise what you did last night on television?

John Macarthur: What did I do?

Guy Ritchie: Don't you realise what you did when you told Larry King that Jesus Christ is the only way for salvation?

John Macarthur: Please tell me?

Guy Ritchie: You threw the whole universe out of equilibrium!

John Macarthur: Tell me more about this power?

Ritchie then went on to explain about Kabbalah yada yada yada. Macarthur patiently listened and when Ritchie was finished Macarthur asked if he could explain what Christianity is all about. For the next 90 minutes John Macarthur preached the Gospel to Mr Madonna.

The reason I am recounting this story is that we live in an age of super hip mega church pastors dressing down, telling jokes, and having morobikes ride across the platform in an effort to contextualize and connect with their audience. And here was John Macarthur nearly 70 years old in a three piece suit proclaiming an undiluted Gospel message to Madonna's husband.

What was it that opened the door to this conversation? It was a provocative and "intolerant" claim about the exclusivity of Jesus Christ. Did Macarthur build a relationship with Mr Madonna (well maybe if you count 15 minutes as building a relationship)? Did he dress like the culture? Did he speak hip language and make culture savvy references? John Macarthur did what he's been doing for the last 40 years - staying faithful to the text and ignoring all the trends!

I am not denying that we are to be salt and light but I think it is important to remember that as Christians, what really makes us relevant is that we carry a message that is very different - a stumblingblock to the religious and offensive to the pagans. It is the reasoning of sin and righteousness and judgment that provokes the unregenerate conscience. A conscience that suppresses the truth in unrighteousness.

One of the alarming trends in modern evangelicalism is the increasing use of profanity, rude jokes, and coarse subject matter from the pulpit of many modern churches in the name of identifying with the culture. Laboring in this form of relevance severely blunts the edge of our prophetic voice in a wicked and perverse generation. Phil Johnson just preached a sermon about this alarming trend and it has really caused a stir among the theologically conservative "contextualizers". Story has it that one of the pastors at this conference took so much offense at Johnson's message that he drew an ugly caricature of him in a toilet cubicle on the conference site. I think that incident sums up what we are at war with here!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Crisis??? That's Not A Crisis

I hear a lot of talk these days about the global economic crisis. I have even felt the brunt of it in recent weeks losing my job as my employer slid into bankruptcy.

But every day I look into the mirror and see a far bigger crisis. My continual ageing bears witness to the law of sin and death. It is the ultimate statistic (that one out of one people die) and we are all subject to it. How much energy are you investing right now in this temporal life in contrast with pondering matters of eternity. I cannot promise that you will feel the brunt of this economic crisis but I can promise the crisis of a heart that is the drumbeat of your own funeral march - every beat being a countdown to the last. Are you ready for the day of judgment?

The Lord Jesus said what does it profit a man to gain a fortune and lose his soul. How much do you value your soul? How much do you care about people who are destined for hell? How much do you care about the Lamb of God receiving the reward of his suffering? How much do you care about God gaining glory from your earthly existance?

Here's Paris Reidhead to offer some perspective . . .

Nuff said!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Bullhorn Guy Fraternity

Having recently lost my job due to the global economic crisis, I have received some wonderful encouragement from precious brothers and sisters in Christ. One of those e-mails has brought to memory one of the truly great experiences I have ever had of rich blessed Christian fellowship.

I have a group of friends in California who are fellow open air preachers or as Rob Bell disdainfully refers to us - Bullhorn Guys. We all became friends over the internet due to our respective youtube videos exposing Rob Bell as a false teacher. While visiting the US I was contacted by them and invited to come and visit them and their home fellowship.

Now bear in mind the ugly caricature Rob Bell paints of us in his "Bullhorn Guy" video (hopefully you can stomach 2 minutes of Rob Bell without throwing up) . . .

That was just a snapshot of the video. But the open air preacher is portrayed as lacking socially, angry, unloving, and generally the kind of guy no sane person would want to be associated with. Well, my bullhorn brothers posted this satire to expose Rob Bell's cruel agenda . . .

That is a brilliant satire with a profound point. Spending time with these guys rammed home several wonderful realities for those of us in the body of Christ.

1. They preach a hard message but are some of the most genuinely loving and caring people I have ever met.
2. My wife and I were overwhelmed with their continual generosity and kindness towards us.
3. Their home fellowship is a gathering of people who love to glorify God, deeply care about the lost, and are willing to live sacrificially and selflessly in order to pursue the Great Commission.
4. These strangers became true family within minutes of us meeting.
5. They are articulate defenders and apologists of the Christian faith being dedicated students of Scripture.
6. Their willingness to preach about hell, death, judgment, wrath, and repentance reflected honesty, a committment to accurate and faithful Gospel preaching, and true love to lost sinners walking by (rather than avoiding these subjects so people can go to hell without being offended).
7. While I am sure I do not speak for every open air preacher I have found these things to be true with the vast majority of the "Bullhorn Guy Fraternity".

To Rob Bell - shame on you for a cruel, pathetic, cowardly, and scripted portrayal of real men preaching the real Gospel while you hide behind your Nooma camera saying how you want to "talk to the Bullhorn Guy". It seems the only "Bullhorn Guy" you are willing to have a "conversation" with is the straw man you invented. I hope you repent and start preaching the real Gospel yourself.

To my Bullhorn brothers - thank you for your kindness, selflessness, and compassion through my current struggle to financially support my family. You are true brothers and a constant reminder of the joy of being part of the body of believers. Thank you for sacrificially giving of your time, talent, and treasure to take the only true message of good news to a lost and hell bound world. Thank you for loving these people more than the cowardly preachers who conceal the hard truths of Scripture.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Plagiarism Squared

It seems there is an epidemic out there of pastors who don't want to study and prepare sermons for their congregation when there are plenty of "shortcuts" out there. The only question here is who is plagiarizing who? This video is quite freaky and was spliced together thanks to the guys at Wretched Radio/TV

2Ti 2:15 Study earnestly to present yourself approved to God, a workman that does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Way Of The Master Profiles - Trish The Phone Fisher


If Todd Friel sounds like Peter Brady then Trisha Ramos looks like Marcia Brady! If you see this Texas Ranger marching your way you can be certain of being arrested by the Gospel with a very high probability of being interrogated live on the radio. Many of you who listen to Wretched Radio on thursdays will be familiar with Trish. She is the phone fisher that always lands the most interesting, bizarre, and diverse fish to be witnessed to on the radio. Whether it's a Buddhist monk, a Rabbi, a Freemason, or a Mormon named "Elder", Trish will get them on the show. Some of these have been a wonderful education for me to gain exposure to different worldviews and learn how to witness to these people without being intimidated. Trish films follow-up witnessing encounters with these people on her website and blog and they are always worth checking out. I love her website and it is loaded with great evangelism tips . . .

Trish is an almost indispensable cog in the Way of the Master engine. She is the logistical brain behind the massive organizational requirements of many of their various outreaches and events. She also edits Ray Comfort's books which is akin to being on the Titanic with a bucket in your hands. Ray churns out books almost as quickly as he churns out ideas and it is a great testimony to Trish's efficiency that she can cope with a tsunami like that coming at her.

Trish and her husband Emilio are two of my favorite people anywhere and I count myself so fortunate to know them. They are a big part of Sovereign Joy Community Church in the Dallas - Fort Worth metroplex. It is a small newly planted church in a sea of mega churches offering every conceivable "40 Days of Your Best Prayer of Jabez Now" program. But at Sovereign Joy you get pure undefiled exposition of God's Word by Emilio and his fellow elder Jay (cannot spell his last name). Inspite of Emilio being the world's only 29 point Calvinist (who can smell an Arminian at 1000 paces), I regularly download his sermons. He and Trish are a part of a beautiful Christian family of believers. I must confess that I do envy anyone who lives within a 500 mile radius of Fort Worth.

But the most beautiful thing of all about Trisha Ramos is her broken spirit that weeps in gratitude for her Savior. I believe it is that which drives her on relentlessly to preach the Gospel on the only two occasions it is ever necessary - in season and out of season!

Other Way Of The Master Profiles Can Be Read By Clicking On The Links Below:
Duane The Producer
Hip Hop
Kirk Cameron
Mark Spence
Ray Comfort
Todd Friel
Trish The Phone Fisher

Monday, March 16, 2009

Foxes Book of Emergents With Hurt Feelings - Rob Bell (Part 9)

There are currently two armies in America right now. One is run by the military and the other is run by Rob Bell's groupies. The defenders of Rob Bell is a legion of anonymous emergent cyber warriors (yes true heroes) who continuallly defend Rob Bell from all those horrible people out there who practice biblical discernment and understand the real Gospel. To think that there are people out there who would dare criticize Rob Bell for any of his numerous heresies is staggering. In fairness to Rob Bell, I think they are a renegade army who operate on their own initiative rather than under the command of their emergent guru.

Well it seems that I am one of those enemies from outside the emergent camp that decided to poke my stick into their hornet's nest . . .

The deadly lie that the postmodern crowd seem to be selling quite successfully is a redefining of humility from a low view of self to a low view of truth. Thus it becomes "arrogant" to speak Scripture with authority and have a child like trust in the many explicit things God has spoken in His Word. But to teach that God has faith in us is portrayed as nuanced new revelation.

I have never been subject to a barrage of repetitive criticisms like this. I don't want to plead immunity from criticism. It is rather the continual failure to biblically examine the truthfulness of my claims all the while making the absolute claim that it is wrong to criticize. It is becoming like a scratched record, the same tired old biblically illiterate grievances, continual aspersions on my motives, pretending to know how much time I spend sharing the Gospel (the assumption is almost always that I don't use any time witnessing), and an almost (a very small handful are the exception) complete refusal to engage the biblical text.

Man up you oversensitive emergents. Scripture not only allows for the testing of false teaching, it demands that we do it (Rom 16:17 for one). If Rob Bell's teaching is so biblically solid then it will stand up to biblical scrutiny. I'll let John Macarthur do the talking on that point:

In a time like this of tolerance, listen, false teaching will always cry intolerance. It will always say you are being divisive, you are being unloving, you are being ungracious, because it can only survive when it doesn't get scrutinized. So it cries against any intolerance. It cries against any examination, any scrutiny—just let's embrace each other; let's love each other; let's put all that behind us. False doctrine cries the loudest about unity. Listen carefully when you hear the cry for unity, because it may be the cover of false doctrine encroaching. If ever we should follow 1 Thessalonians 5, and examine everything carefully, it's when somebody is crying unity, love, and acceptance (Online Source).

I have biblically critiqued the content of Rob Bell's message without casting aspersions on his personal character or motives. It would be nice if the "love wins" followers of Rob Bell could afford me the same courtesy.

Go On To Part 10
Go Back To Part 8
Go Back To Part 1

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Way Of The Master Profiles - Todd


Todd Friel who is the host of Wretched TV and Radio (formerly Way of the Master Radio) always claims that he is the "wretch the song refers to" (ie Amazing Grace). He is a man who is acutely aware of the mercy God extended in saving him from his sinful past. Yet remnants still remain that Todd needs deliverance of. When it comes to germophobia he takes it to a whole new level. The only reason that the product "Purell" has survived the global financial crisis is due to Todd Friel's continual financial support. In fact Todd has a Y3K stockpile of Purell so large that it can be seen from Google Earth. This hand sanitizer exerts a control over Todd that exceeds his ADOS (Attention Deficit Ohhh Shiny object). He will only travel to geographic regions where Purell has already blazed a trail before him. Needless to say that I breached countless hygiene protocols on my visit to his studio where Brainiac and Hip Hop have also been "infected" with Todd's germophobia.

But the man with the cleanest microphone in the universe has become an indispensable part of my Christian education. In an overly sanitized
Christian media I am so glad that Todd's germophobia never crosses onto the airwaves. I still maintain that the freakishly tall one is the funniest man in the world with a sound hermeneutic. Speaking of which, Herman Who is one of the most helpful products available for helping the everyday church goer practice biblical discernment through the application of proper hermeneutical principles. If you go to a church where you hear stuff that leaves alarm bells going off in your head this DVD presented by Todd Friel will help a lot.

But the education I speak of comes through the openness and diversity of the Wretched programs. In a "Christian media industry" plagued with over sensitivity and an unwillingness to talk about many of the hot button issues that persist unresolved, Todd charges at them like a bull at a gate. But he is no theological slouch and Wretched is an arena for all those who love to reason from Scripture. Does he always get it right? Will you agree with everything? Will you always love Todd? The answer to all these questions is no - but that is not the point!!! You will engage your mind and the biblical text and get pointers to help you find countless wonderful Christian resources that your local sissy boy seeker sensitive dude will never tell you about.

Todd may come across as abrasive to some. But I know him and have met him and have seen that he shares the glorious Gospel with compassion and humility to a dying world even when the microphone is switched off and the camera isn't rolling. Todd's the real deal - warts and all. He has been one of the singularly great influences of my Christian education both directly and indirectly (through pointing me to the right fountains to drink from) and I am proud to count him as a precious brother in Christ.

Other Way Of The Master Profiles Can Be Read By Clicking On The Links Below:
Duane The Producer
Hip Hop
Kirk Cameron
Mark Spence
Ray Comfort
Todd Friel
Trish The Phone Fisher

Friday, March 13, 2009

Ted Haggard vs True Repentance - A Tale of Two Sinners

Some of you will remember the "Ted Haggard scandal" of more than five years ago. He was the pastor of one of the largest mega churches in America and the leader of the powerful National Alliance of Evangelicals. He was a spokesman for conservative Christian America and even had the ear of George Bush. But the dreadful secret of his double life came to the surface when a male prostitute decided to blow the whistle on Haggard's secret homosexual life. Haggard disappeared off the radar after "resigning" from all of his positions. I was hopeful that he would find true repentance and live the rest of his days in obscurity.

Unfortunately that was not the case. Haggard recently emerged from obscurity and generated a media circus doing a lot of interviews and giving "his side of the story". Today I have posted two videos. The first one is of Ted Haggard being interviewed by Larry King. The second video is of another person who has struggled with the same area of sin as Haggard. The point here is not sin nor do I wish to focus on this. I have one hand wrapped around the giant redwood tree protruding from my eye as I write this post. The real issue here is true repentance. An extension of that is the issue about God being glorified through our brokenness. Watch these two videos and see if you can "spot the repentance" and decide for yourself which video is most God glorifying.

What makes the Gospel so glorious is the contrast between God's Holiness and our utter depravity. Rationalising behavior only serves to blur that gulf and deprives God of the glory He can get out of changing someone's life.

I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules (Ezekiel 36:25-27).

And for the record, the guy in the second video is my hero! That is a big part of what being a real man is all about. Glorifying God in human weakness, taking the full blown blame for sinful actions rather than painting yourself as a victim, and renouncing sin as insidiously evil rather than taking the edges off it. Good on ya Jason - amen and amen!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Way Of The Master Profiles - Scotty


Scotty is the "tech-head" for Living Waters / Way of the Master and makes Ray Comfort look good when he's on the radio in their California studio. As well as dealing with all things technical, Scotty is the MacGyver of open air preaching. He is always equipped with flip charts, prizes, and a "fully loaded" soapbox. He is equipped for any logistical crisis . . . and any apologetical crisis for that matter as well.

As a regular listener of Wretched Radio (formerly Way of the Master Radio) I was quite familiar with the regular sound bites that Todd Friel would play of this Scotty guy who does open air preaching. My favorite heckler on those soundbites has always been a certain university student who thought that Scotty seemed a bit older than the average guy on campus. This provoked the question "are you thirty or something?" I'm still hoping to get that particular guy to heckle me someday and soothe my mid-life insecurities. His public profile might not register as high as Ray Comfort but I have learnt a lot about open air preaching from Scotty including the use of apologetics to draw a crowd and springboard into the Gospel.

I first met Scotty when I travelled to Amsterdam to join up with Way of the Master when they were filming the fourth season of the TV series. I had never seen him before but had heard his voice countless times. So when a camera got shoved in my face together with some rapid fire questions I recognised the voice instantly. I have since had the great priveledge of "hitting the street" with Scotty on several occasions and have loved having the chance to probe his sharp biblical brain for pearls of wisdom. He preaches regularly in his own "hood" as well as Huntington Beach on saturdays. If you live in the area and hunger to learn and grow in evangelistic zeal then track down Scotty. You'll find him easy enough - he's the guy with all the gear!

Other Way Of The Master Profiles Can Be Read By Clicking On The Links Below:
Duane The Producer
Hip Hop
Kirk Cameron
Mark Spence
Ray Comfort
Todd Friel
Trish The Phone Fisher

Monday, March 9, 2009

Cowards, Clowns, and Cowboys

God delivered a glorious Gospel! Is your pastor man enough to preach it? The Apostle Paul described this message as "the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe" (I Corinthians 1:21). Does this "foolishness" embarrass you or energize you?

Let me ask you which christ is being preached in your local church? Is he the invention of cowards who, while knowing the truth, love to portray him as a life enhancer without the scandal of the cross - enduring God's just wrath as a penal substitute? Or is he the invention of biblically illiterate clowns who present him as a cosmic cloud of universal love overlooking our "mistakes"? Perhaps he is an idol conceived in the minds of cowboys who love to shoot from the hip with reckless quotation of Scripture all the while picking and choosing verses that best support the messiah of their imagination.

Is there any alarm bells ringing at this point? I hope not! You are in the right place when the Christ you hear being preached week in and week out is the God Incarnate One Who atoned for your unfathomable, infinite, and unthinkable debt of sin. If, as Isaiah tell us, our righteousness is as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6) then I shudder in horror at the thought of what my sin must look like in the eyes of a Holy God. It is here where the seeds of understanding take root as to why Christ had to come. Without an objective standard of righteousness how can anyone possibly see their need for a Savior? This is precisely why it is necessary to shine the mirror of God's law in the face of unregenerate sinners and unpack it's depth that exposes our bankruptcy in thought, word, and deed.

The cowards, clowns, and cowboys who indwell the pulpits of "modern evangelism" change the issue from righteousness to happiness. From ressurection life to a second chance at life. From salvation to self-esteem. From redemption to recognition. From God in flesh to a fleshly god. And I get a few short moments on this blog to plead with you - don't buy into any of these false messiahs being paraded before you! The real Jesus has come and laid down His life as a penal substitutionary atonement for wretched sinners like you and me. Kill the precious self esteem of fragile human ego, and purchase Christ esteem with repentant humility for "You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men" (I Corinthians 7:23).

So what provoked this rant? My good friend David Jakobsen and I recently hit the street and filmed a witnessing encounter with two young Danish guys (Danish with English subtitles). We have to confess to being quite stunned by the criticism levelled at us for sharing the Holiness of God, the wicked sinfulness of man, the reality of heaven and hell, Christ's atoning death and resurrection, and the need of all men everywhere to repent and trust the Savior. We're not so stunned that there is criticism, just that most of it is coming from pastors!

Would you rather avoid the uncomfortable subjects of sin, death, hell, and repentance or do you love people enough not to shield them from these impending truths? Unless they repent, the cowards, clowns, and cowboys of this world will continue to circumnavigate the hard and inescapable truths of Scripture. Please don't board that ship!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Bottom Line is Back Online

Hi readers and welcome back! I am so sorry about the lack of posts for the last week. As of today I will be posting again every one or two days. As mentioned in my last post, I spent the last week without internet connection and was unable to post which was somewhat frustrating because I have some provocative stuff in the pipeline!

Coming tomorrow there will be an article called "Clowns or Cowards" which is all about preachers who avoid preaching the true biblical Gospel and whether they fall into the category of biblically illiterate or just plain sissy boy! Stay tuned also for some discussion on the whole Ted Haggard fiasco currently doing the media rounds. Rather than keeping a low profile after his public disgrace, Ted Haggard has decided to put his face in the media spotlight and spoken quite freely on his sordid lifestyle. Suffice to say many of his comments warrant a biblical response. I will also publish a powerful and gracious letter to a pastor that was written by a good friend of mine, explaining why he left that local church (this may be a more than useful template for those of us in similar situations). Still to come is more in the continuing saga of Foxes Book of Emergents with Hurt Feelings. There are also three remaining installments on my Way of the Master profiles series, the first of which will appear on Wednesday.

So come back tomorrow and chew on my next post "Clowns or Cowards" . . .