The Pastor\’s Pen

An Independent Baptist Preacher\’s Musings and Observations

Archive for the ‘Ramblings’ Category

These are my musings and observations as I go…what do you think?

Ear and Eye Choices

Posted by Pastor Szekely on September 28, 2008

Can we LISTEN to and WATCH anything we want…AND if we can: How does this affect our lives?

YES – we “can” listen to or watch what we “want”. Even as a child of God, we still have the ability to make choices. Paul had that ability…and as a Christian, some of Paul’s choices weren’t very good ones! He tells us in Rom 7:15, “For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.”

When we say we can listen to or watch “anything we want“, that speaks of and sounds like it’s all up to us, that God has given no direction in these matters, and that we are “our own”…and some others might say rebellion.

SO: How can we answer the question, “Can we listen to and watch anything we want“? To find the answer, let’s look at it in THREE WAYS: 

I. WHAT IS OUR ATTITUDE?

What’s your attitude on what you bring into the “eye-gate” and the “ear-gate”? What we view and what we hear can be broken down into 2 categories: Things of God, which are ALWAYS GOOD, and Things of the World, which are NOT ALWAYS BAD. Yes, you’re “reading it right“! You’ve just read that an Independent Baptist preacher said there are things of this world that are not always bad! For example: Do guns kill people? NO – People kill people! SO THEN: What does a television do to people? NOTHING! [Now just follow along with me] TVs, computers, radios, monitors – they’re all inanimate objects! These all LACK the QUALITIES of a living thing!

When we come home, our TV doesn’t automatically turn on, it doesn’t ask me how my day went, nor it doesn’t even take out the dogs or trash (YET!!!)…because it’s inanimate! AH…BUT the question is: What is our ATTITUDE toward these inanimate objects?

We will say that the TV is brainwashing us and our kids. We will say that the internet is just as bad, if not worse than, Hollywood. We will call these THINGS “time-wasters“…and they are…IF YOU LET THEM BE! These things will corrupt you and your children…IF YOU LET THEM! Please, let’s stop displacing the blame! Is it the TV’s fault or the internet’s fault for corruption in your home? Don’t they come with an OFF button? Who’s in control here? You’re allowing these inanimate objects to control you when you have the ability to make godly choices!

II. WHAT IS THE AFFECT?

What’s the affect of what we listen to and watch? What’s the affect of what comes through the eye and ear gates? There must be a profound and lasting affect on us, because Paul said in 1 Cor 6:12, “…all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any“. Paul’s saying that he could become a SLAVE unto what would come through his eye and ear gates!

Now here’s something that needs to be asked: “Will what I see and listen to make me it’s SLAVE?” Something that has an AFFECT on us will battle for our AFFECTION! How can we become a slave to inanimate objects and the things we hear and see? When we lose our control

We become enslaved when we’re brought under the power and influence of something else! Here’s a great exercise to determine if we’re under the influence of what we watch or listen to…can you say, “Thank you, Lord, for what I’m watching or for what I’m listening to…and I give you the glory for it“.

III. WHAT KIND OF ATTACHMENT IS THERE?

Do you agree we develop an attachment to things that affect us? We do, and I would say that it does matter what affects us because there’s a great chance of attachment to them.

What do you like to watch and what do you like to listen to? What’s your attitude with it? What affect do those things have on you? What kind of attachment is there?

HONESTLY ANSWER THOSE QUESTIONS AND YOU’LL KNOW WHAT KIND OF EAR AND EYE CHOICE YOU’RE MAKING!

Posted in Ramblings | Tagged: , , | 13 Comments »

ESV Popularity

Posted by Pastor Szekely on September 23, 2008

Have you noticed how the English Standard Version of the Bible [ESV] is being pushed and promoted? If you haven’t noticed, just watch:

 

Wow…I don’t know very much at all about her, but I see that Joni’s pretty excited about the ESV. She touts the “reliability” of the version AND also all the “Bible scholars and teachers” who’ve done such a great job…no wait, she said, “outstanding job“. Then she says if YOU want to understand God’s Word in a more deeper, profound, and principled way…THIS is THE BIBLE that will be your resource…what? We couldn’t know God’s Word in a deep, profound, and principled way BEFORE the ESV??? So Joni…is the ESV the ONLY VERSION you’ll hold to? Is she saying the ESV IS the WORD of GOD for the English-speaking people?

And then there’s John Piper. He says the ESV combines a kind of balance between accuracy, faithfulness, readibility, and dignity in an unusually good proportion. To John – “It’s a dream come true!” What were you believing, reading, and studying from before, John? Something that was insufficient…not as good…is that what John’s admitting?

I’M SORRY, BUT I’M NOT BUYING INTO THE HYPE!

It was the Evangelicals that tried to have us buy into the hype of the NASB and the NIV, oh but now, this ESV is “a dream come true”! How inconsistent!

This English Standard Version of the Bible is being proclaimed as the “best word-for-word translation” and the “best KJV substitute for reading from the pulpit.”¹ Isn’t THAT interesting…

The ESV popularity is being built upon comparing it with the Authorized Version, or KJV! Here’s more testimony to this: “The ESV could substitute almost transparently for the KJV when reading to the public, while the ESV also has the benefit of omitting KJV words, phrases, and even entire verses that clearly were not part of the original texts, as best represented in the United Bible Society’s (UBS) Hebrew and Greek texts.”²

I’ve got a real problem with this…why, you ask? Well, the ESV can’t take the place of the KJV since they haven’t even been translated from the same texts! That’s pretty simple. I believe the translators of the ESV when they say that their version is a “word-for-word translation” – they used the formal equivalence approach of translation just like the translators of the Authorized Version (KJV). BUT, they translated their New Testament from the codex Siniaticus [Aleph] and the codex Vaticanus [B]. The New Testament of the Authorized Version was translated from the Textus Receptus [TR].

Now you may or may not know much about the Greek texts, but just by this knowledge we know that the ESV, that’s supposed to be the best KJV substitute, was not even translated from the same text as the KJV! In fact, the ESV has been translated from the same sources as the NIV, NASB, and all the translations from the Westcott-Hort texts. The BIG difference between the ESV and these other Westcott-Hort texts – formal equivalence. Most of the others, and especially the newer versions, were translated through the dynamic equivalence method.

Don’t buy into the hype! The ESV is NOT a substitute for the KJV…it’s not a “newer version” of the KJV…it’s not even translated from the same text as the KJV! The popularity of the ESV is being proclaimed by comparing it with the KJV since the KJV is also a literal “word-for-word” translation. Remember, the texts from which they’ve come are totally different…

PASS ON THE HYPE AND STICK WITH THE TRUTH!

Posted in Ramblings | Tagged: , | 58 Comments »

Revival

Posted by Pastor Szekely on September 19, 2008

WHAT IS IT? DO WE NEED IT? HOW CAN WE GET IT?

How would YOU answer these questions? I think before we can understand what revival IS, we must understand what revival IS NOT. Revival is not a series of evangelistic meetings. Revival is not an emotional experience that’s soon forgotten. Revival is not a popular fad or wave of change that comes and goes. None of this is revival. So what is it?

Revival defined by Webster is a restoration from a depressed, inactive, or unused state; the restoring of force or validity. With me personally, I’d like to think of revival as a rekindling of God’s fire in my heart. I’d like to think that when my heart doesn’t burn brightly for God as it once did and I catch myself just going through the motions and viewing my service more as duty than dedication and devotion, then I am primed for a personal revival. This is how I know I need revival. And to be honest with you, my reader, as I write this, I humbly confess that I need a personal revival…how about you? If you don’t, please pray for me; and if you are in need of a personal revival, let me know and I promise to pray for you.

How can we get revival? It can only come from God, and I believe God will only give us a true revival when we are truly determined to get it from God! 2 Chron 7:14, a very familiar but [I believe] applicable verse for our answer of “how can we get it“, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” Did you notice God said, “IF…THEN”. God is a God of conditions. God WILL hear from Heaven, God WILL forgive sin, and God WILL heal the land IF God’s people humble themselves, pray, seek His face, and turn from their wickedness. God will take you and me from a depressed, inactive and “just going through the motions” state and restore us – revive us – IF we would humble ourselves, pray, seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways. How bad do YOU want revival?

How do you know you’ve had revival from the Lord? Let me just briefly touch on 3 ways:

#1: WHEN YOU HAVE A NEW ATTITUDE

You’re “I” problem must go away. You need to have J.O.Y. again – that’s Jesus, Others, and then You. You must see the lost just like the Lord Jesus sees them – with compassion and as sheep having no shepherd…hopeless without God.

#2: WHEN YOU HAVE A NEW ENTHUSIASM

You won’t “have to” read your Bible and pray…You’ll “want to” read your Bible and pray. You may just start singing those old hymns…in the shower! You’ll look forward to telling others of the Saviour. You just may add “AMEN” and “HALLELUJAH” to your vocabulary…and rejoicing will become a must!

#3: WHEN YOU HAVE A NEW DETERMINATION

How determined are you to serve God? How determined are you to find out and follow what God says? How determined are you to be determined to do right?

IS REVIVAL NEEDED AMONG THE CHILDREN OF GOD? Many today who claim the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ have become complacent, volatile, inflammatory, lethargic, self-righteous, apathetic, self-centered, and accusatory. Many have become outright sinful and couldn’t care less about it!  Nuff said.

Ps 85:6, “Wilt thou [LORD] not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?”

Posted in Ramblings | Tagged: , , , | 9 Comments »

Relationship vs. Fellowship

Posted by Pastor Szekely on August 25, 2008

I’d like to follow-up my It’s a RESCUE! post with this one because I’ve been perusing around other posts and reading the many people who truly believe that the salvation the Lord Jesus Christ had so FERVENTLY GIVEN and is so FREELY GAINED and is so FIRMLY GRIPPED upon His own…can be lost by THEIR actions [or lack thereof].

Forgive my presumption, but just from what I’m reading, I’m seeing that many people do not have a spiritual grasp on what the difference is between RELATIONSHIP and FELLOWSHIP…so here it goes, and may it be a help to you!

RELATIONSHIP

Due to the fact that every one of us have been born into this world, every one of us has a standing before God…and it’s not good:

Ephesians 2:1-3, “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; [vs2] Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: [vs3] Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”

You see, every one of us had [or still has] a standing before God of “being dead in trespasses and sins”; “the children of disobedience”; and “by nature the children of wrath, even as others”.

But don’t stop there…listen to Ephesians 2:5-10!

Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, [by grace ye are saved;] [vs6] And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: [vs7] That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. [vs8] For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: [vs9] Not of works, lest any man should boast. [vs10] For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

PRAISE GOD!!! By the Grace of God, and not by OUR OWN WORKS, can a person be saved through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ…delievered from their debt of sin they owe and from their destiny of Hell. [BTW: just thought of this…isn’t it odd that many who don’t believe salvation is forever believe that Hell is?]

Now when a person has partaken by faith the Lord’s salvation, that person is now born into the Family of God! Remember the conversation Jesus had with a Pharisee named Nicodemus in John 3? In that conversation, Jesus said this in verse 5: “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”

“Born of water” – that’s a natural birth [what happens right before a woman delivers…her water breaks]; “Born of the Spirit” – of course, that’s a spiritual birth. BOTH BIRTHS bring a soul into a family…”born of water” brings a soul into an earthly family, and “born of the Spirit” brings a soul into a spiritual family, or “the Kingdom of God”!

FRIENDS, THIS SPIRITUAL BIRTH IS A RELATIONSHIP! After salvation, God has become your Spiritual Father and you’ve become His child: “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” [Galatians 3:26]

Now that salvation has been established as a RELATIONSHIP, the question has to be asked: “Can a child of God cease in being a child of God“? That’s the thought and belief that’s on trial! Many I’ve been reading believe because of something they did or of something they will do, they will not be saved or have that RELATIONSHIP anymore with God.

KNOW THIS: Sadly, Christians have turned away from God before – the Apostle Peter is a great example. He DENIED his Lord three times, but he DID NOT lose salvation…because salvation is a RELATIONSHIP.

ANOTHER EXAMPLE: THE PRODIGAL SON. Jesus tells us in Luke 15:11-32 the prodigal son forsook his father, took his inheritance, and went and wasted away all that was his. He turned his back on his father, but what did his father do? He received him back – not to be his son again, but because he was his son. Even when his son was away from him, and for all intended purposes he was considered dead, that boy was STILL his father’s son. That boy broke his FELLOWSHIP with his father, but his RELATIONSHIP was always that of his son.

THINK ABOUT THIS: When our children disobey or do wrong, they are still our children – they will always be because they were “born into the family”…but when they disobey or do wrong, FELLOWSHIP has been broken because by their actions they’ve gone against what we said to do or not to do. FELLOWSHIP can be restored if the child receives the correction and love of those parents, just like with the prodigal son and his father…and JUST LIKE WITH THE HEAVENLY FATHER!

 

Is Grace greater than all our sin? Is God “God-enough” to not only save you, but keep you saved? When Jesus says in John 10:27-29, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: [vs28] And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. [vs29] My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” – Do His Words, “they shall never perish, neither shall any man [that’s means even we ourselves can’t!] pluck them out of my hand‘”, mean what they say? How about vs29…a child of God is sealed by the Holy Spirit, seated in the Hand of Christ, and secured with Christ in the Father’s Hand…now I’d say that’s ETERNAL SECURITY!

 

So after all this…WHAT CAN YOU DO TO REMOVE THAT RELATIONSHIP?

 

ARE YOU STRONGER THAN GOD – CAN YOU AND YOUR ACTIONS PLUCK YOURSELF FROM GOD’S ALMIGHTY HAND? I trow not!

Posted in Ramblings | Tagged: , , , | 11 Comments »

It is a RESCUE!

Posted by Pastor Szekely on August 23, 2008

The Biblical word salvation unfortunately means many different things to many different people. SO, when I talk about “being saved” or folks “needing salvation” or when I quote Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace are ye saved through faith…”, various thoughts come to mind with people.

Now my intention with this post is NOT to make salvation “hard” or difficult to understand…in fact, my intention is just the opposite. I pray there are some who are reading this who need an understanding of Bible Salvation.

Now don’t let me lose your interest here with this, but I must tell you: SALVATION in the Bible is translated from the Greek word soteria meaning RESCUE! I think that’s awesome to see…why? Well, when it comes to salvation, someone needs to be rescued from something! A person cannot say they are “saved” but have no testimony of being rescued, or saved, FROM something. Every one of us are in great need of rescue from something [and I’ll get to that later on], and that is why SALVATION has been provided for all!

BUT WHAT DOES IT TAKE FOR A PERSON TO UNDERSTAND HE OR SHE NEEDS TO BE RESCUED?

Answer: There has to be such an affect on the heart of a person from knowing on what they need to be saved from! Needing to be rescued – needing to be saved – is a heart condition. A person’s heart must be “worked on” and “worked over” for them to see and admit their need of rescue…their need of salvation.

If only the intellect is peaked, but the heart not pricked, Man will split Hell wide-open.

WHAT DOES EVERY ONE OF US NEED TO BE RESCUED FROM?

SIN. Pure and simple. We don’t need to be rescued from loneliness, depression, or even sickness; and I don’t mean to belittle these for I would desire to be rescued from them; BUT our GREATEST RESCUE is the rescue from the penalty of sin. Because of our great, great granddaddy, ADAM, a debt of sin has been passed to all who are of mankind, and now, that penalty of sin rests upon ALL OF US – “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” Romans 5:12.

HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN GOD MAKES KNOWN THIS SPIRITUAL DEATH PENALTY BECAUSE OF SIN?

I. HAVE YOU EVER GONE THROUGH CONTRITION?

Psalm 34:18 says, “The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” A “broken heart” is one who has the heaviest kind of affliction and trouble due to sin. The word contrite literally means crushed. God rescues the ones who are oppressed and crushed by their sin!

BUT WHY WOULD A HEART BE CRUSHED OVER SIN – HOW DOES ONE COME TO THIS CONTRITION?

II. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN UNDER CONVICTION?

Conviction means that you’ve been convinced of your own condemnation through your own conscience. Before anyone can ever be brought to REPENTANCE of sin; and before anyone is ever CRUSHED by their sin and have a broken heart and contrite spirit; there must be a witness to the conscience that brings about CONVICTION.

WHAT CONVICTS YOU OF YOUR SIN?

What has witnessed to your conscience about you being wrong and guilty before God and needing rescue to be right with Him? How about this:

Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” Galatians 3:25

Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Romans 3:20

What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” Romans 7:7

 God’s Holy Word – God’s Law and the Commandments – convict us of our sin before Him! Don’t believe it??? Take the Good Person Test and find out for yourself. It is truly amazing to see that God shows us from what we need to be RESCUED!

SALVATION is simply a RESCUE. The Lord Jesus Christ, God the Son, came down to dwell among His creation, not just to be a Great Teacher and Healer, but to primarily be THE RESCUE for you and for me. Jesus claims that He is God AND He claims that HIS BLOOD ALONE would be THE PAYMENT for your sin debt and penalty before God the Father.

How do you appropriate or receive His Payment in your place?

Acts 16:31, “…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…”

John 1:12, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name“.

HAVE YOU BELIEVED ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST FOR WHO HE IS AND FOR WHAT HE SAYS HE AND HIS BLOOD CAN DO?

OR: ARE YOU SO CONVICTED AND BROKEN AND CRUSHED OVER YOUR SIN BEFORE GOD THAT YOU DESIRE STRONGLY TO TURN FROM YOUR WICKEDNESS – LEAVE THE ATTITUDE OF LOVING SIN BEHIND – AND SINCERELY TURN TO AND TRUST THE LORD JESUS CHRIST FOR WHO HE IS AND FOR WHAT HE SAYS HE AND HIS BLOOD CAN DO?

IT IS A RESCUE!!!

Posted in Ramblings | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Preaching Against Sin

Posted by Pastor Szekely on August 9, 2008

“Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression…” Isaiah 58:1

“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” 2 Timothy 4:2

As long as preachers preach against sin in generalities, no one really gets too upset or offended. It’s only when specific sins are named (drinking alcohol, pornography, robbing God, not witnessing or soul-winning, skipping church) that people become uncomfortable.  People don’t mind preaching against sin as long as it’s not their own pet sin. We just don’t like to have our toes stepped on.

Preachers of God’s Word have always denounced sin in no uncertain terms. Lets’ just name a few…there was:

SAMUEL – He was explicit about the sin of King Saul: “And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.” 1 Sam 15:22-23

JEHU – He didn’t mince words about Jehoshaphat’s sin: “And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat, Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the LORD? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the LORD.” 2 Chron 19:2 

NEHEMIAH – He literally “grappled” with some over their sins: “Then I contended [‘grappled’] with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day? Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath.” Neh 13:17-18

JEREMIAH – God had him to be very pointed on Israel’s sins: “And I will utter my judgments against them touching all their wickedness, who have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, and worshipped the works of their own hands.” Jer 1:16; “For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” Jer 2:13

JOHN THE BAPTIST – He was really specific on Herod’s sin: “For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife.” Mark 6:18

PAUL – He named names in preaching against sin: “Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.” 1 Tim 1:20; “Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works: Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words.” 2 Tim 4:14-15

THE LORD JESUS CHRIST – He scathed the religious hypocrites of His day calling them serpents and vipers and blind guides! See Matt 23

SO…the next time your preacher “rubs the fur the wrong way” [as they say], don’t blame him…

JUST TURN THE CAT AROUND!

Posted in Ramblings | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

Pastoral Authority

Posted by Pastor Szekely on August 1, 2008

One of the most misunderstood aspects in true, New Testament Baptist Churches today is that of Pastoral authority. This “misunderstanding” has surfaced for several reasons…here’s just some:
 
1.  The way many of our churches operate has changed

Churches have become social clubs and the mission has changed.  Instead of trying to win souls, feed saints, and glorify God, there are those churches who have evolved into entertainment centers for the unsaved and carnal members.
 
2.  The “chain of command” in our churches has changed.

Many churches have become prototypes of other denominational churches that are operated by deacon and trustee boards.  Many of these churches are characterized by “mob rule” and not “pastor-led”.
 
3.  Many Pastors in our churches keep changing on a regular basis.

Some are voted out by the “once a year” evaluation of the Pastor’s ministry while many have Pastors who change churches more often than they change automobiles. God gets the blame for most of these moves when, in reality, it is because of either better salary and benefits or the Pastor has used up most of his sermons. When a Pastor believes it is the will of God to leave a church, it ought also to be the will of God for him to be honest with his present church and let them know BEFORE he goes.
 
4.  The respect for the Office of Pastor in churches has degenerated.

The Office of Pastor has been brought down to a “supervisory” status, and we all know who most everyone complains about the “boss!” Pastors are now spoken to on a first-name basis instead of “Preacher” or “Pastor” I would never call my Pastor by his first name – it’s just respect.
 
5.  The Office of Pastor has been corrupted by hirelings.

God-called men are getting fewer and further between.  Men of character, conviction, compassion, and call once filled Independent Baptist pulpits. Has there been a change in the “quality” of men in the ministry? Are men standing for the things of God like our Baptist forefathers?
 
IT WOULD SEEM TODAY… 
Many church members do not want a Pastor. They want a preacher to give a generic, “offend no one” message, and visit the hospitals and funeral homes.  They want preachers who are “Yes-Men” and obedient to the will of the people.  But God-called Pastors have God given authority.

1 Peter 5:2, “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind”

Hebrews 13:7, “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.”

Hebrews 13:17, “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.”

The Pastor is not man-called, mamma-called, or daddy sent!  He is not a volunteer! He is not self-elevated to the office! The Pastor is God-selected, God-called, God-anointed, God-equipped, God-led, God-chastened, and GOD-PROTECTED!

Listen…if a Pastor is worth his weight in salt, that man IS NOT trying to be “lord” over you: “Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock” [1 Pet 5:3]. He is trying to fulfil his God-given responsibility and calling…he’s trying to complete and edify you [Eph 4:12] and bring you into the unity of the faith [Eph 4:13]. Do you have a problem with that?

Is there a problem with Pastoral authority in the church in which you are a member? Why…and with whom does the problem lie?

Posted in Devotional Thoughts, Ramblings | Tagged: , , , , | 16 Comments »

Firearms Refresher Course

Posted by Pastor Szekely on July 29, 2008

Thomas Jefferson once said, “Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not.” Consider the following a FIREARMS REFRESHER COURSE:
 
1.  An armed man is a citizen.  An unarmed man is a subject.
 
2.  A gun in the hand is better than a cop on the phone.
 
3.  Colt:  The original point and click interface.
 
4.  Gun control is not about guns; it’s about control.
 
5.  If guns are outlawed, can we use swords?
 
6.  If guns cause crime, then pencils cause misspelled words.
 
7.  Free men do not ask permission to bear arms.
 
8.  If you don’t know your rights, you don’t have any.
 
9.  Those who trade liberty for security have neither.
 
10.  The  United States Constitution (c)1791.  All Rights Reserved.
 
11.  What part of ‘shall not be infringed‘ do you not understand?
 
12.  The Second Amendment is in place in case the politicians ignore the others.
 
13.  64,999,987 firearms owners killed no one yesterday.
 
14.  Guns only have two enemies; rust and politicians.          
 
15.  Know guns, know peace, know safety.  No guns, no peace, no safety.
 
16.  You don’t shoot to kill; you shoot to stay alive.
 
17.  911:  Government sponsored Dial-a-Prayer.
 
18.  Assault is a behavior, not a device.
 
19.  Criminals love gun control; it makes their jobs safer.
 
20.  If guns cause crime, then matches cause arson.
 
21.  Only a government that is afraid of it’s citizens tries to control them.
 
22.  You have only the rights you are willing to fight for.
 
23.  Enforce the gun control laws we ALREADY have; don’t make more.
 
24.  When you remove the people’s right to bear arms, you create slaves.
 
25.  The American Revolution would never have happened with gun control.
 
26.  To enslave a nation you must first confiscate all guns. (Adolph Hitler, 1936)

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Apes and Their Rights

Posted by Pastor Szekely on July 11, 2008

MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s parliament voiced its support on Wednesday [June 25th] for the rights of great apes to life and freedom in what will apparently be the first time any national legislature has called for such rights for non-humans.

Parliament’s environmental committee approved resolutions urging Spain to comply with the Great Apes Project, devised by scientists and philosophers who say our closest genetic relatives deserve rights hitherto limited to humans.

“This is a historic day in the struggle for animal rights and in defense of our evolutionary comrades, which will doubtless go down in the history of humanity,” said Pedro Pozas, Spanish director of the Great Apes Project. (You can read the rest of the article here if you’d like…)

Now it is expected that this will become law in all of Spain, and on the Great Apes Project [or GAP] website, this action is already being touted as a “victory”. Oh, and BTW: Here’s part of what GAP’s “Declaration on Great Apes” says, “We demand the extension of the community of equals to include all great apes: human beings, chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas and orang-utans. The community of equals is the moral community within which we accept certain basic moral principles or rights as governing our relations with each other and enforceable at law. Among these principles or rights are the following: 1. The Right to Life, 2. The Protection of Individual Liberty, and 3. The Prohibition of Torture.”

Well sure, apes ought to enjoy the right to life…just like all our unborn babies in this country and in this world…oh wait, many unborn babies DON’T have that right that’s being extended to apes.

Okay…but apes do deserve their individual liberties protected…I mean, after all, their forefathers mutually pledged to each other their lives, fortunes, and their sacred honor for their nation, and many of them shed their own blood for freedom…oh wait, wrong species! Hmmm…I wonder if apes think the 2nd Amendment is unconstitutional…?

No, I don’t think apes should be tortured either, but I think they now ought to have the right to get and hold down a job and pay taxes instead of “freeloading” on the zoo-welfare system! I mean, if apes are “that much advanced”, have them GET A JOB! Oh wait – we don’t really push that “agenda” here in our country. So I guess if we see many more apes with no jobs coming to our country, the welfare rolls will swell that much more. I know, let’s just tax “the rich” and corporations, and we can also sue fast-food restaurants.

What’s wrong with this picture??? How far has man removed himself from God? Have we forgotten Genesis 1:26, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”

Man, made in the image of God, is a higher being than any animal. There were no animals created in the image of God, and no man evolved from any ape! That’s not boast or brag, that’s just BIBLE! Ah but wait, I’m supposing the Bible would have to be held as God’s Word and believed…but this won’t be when man is far removed from God!

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Baptist Politics

Posted by Pastor Szekely on March 17, 2008

Scary!
It’s an election year in our country – pretty scary!
I’m so thankful God is on the Throne and in control!

 

Sometimes I just get amazed with folks when I talk with them about politics. I’d like to think we have a more-informed society today that would be able to make rational and reasonable choices and decisions, but there’s always someone out there who wants to burst my bubble!

For example: I talked with a lady who votes for presidential candidates on the basis of their looks! I’ve also visited with another person who wants to vote “for change“, but when pressed upon what kind of change he’s looking for his answer is, “I don’t know – I just want change“. If our people don’t get more careful about how they manage our country by their votes and by holding their elected representatives accountable, Psalm 106:15 just might apply [if it already doesn’t]: “And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.” Maybe there ought to be some sort of written “voting test” or something before people choose their representatives on the basis of looks or empty rhetoric…anyway…

I said all that to say we Independent Baptists definitely can have a hard time when it comes to politics as well! Oh, sometimes we can be the worst when it comes to politics, and I’m not talking about the politics of the country – I’m talking about BAPTIST POLITICS!

I like the name “Independent Baptist”. I think that “label” is all we need. I have a saying that goes, “Baptist is a must and Independent is enough!” How much more of a description do we need anyway? BAPTIST ought to [used to] mean something [i.e. – our historic Baptist distinctives], and INDEPENDENT told on our dependency on Christ alone – no conventions, no associations, no hierarchies. But for a bunch of folks who call themselves “Independent”, we sure do splinter off and gather up and isolate into a bunch of “political parties” or “camps”…BAPTIST POLITICS.

What we have today is true New Testament Churches of the Lord Jesus Christ – who ought to be co-laboring together to further the cause of Christ in a fraternal sense only – preaching their independency and professing that the local church IS God’s only institution for world evangelism…but in practice, they contradict themselves by relying on associations outside their assembly “to assist in” the work of missions, the ordination of preachers, etc. Is it practical to send Missions support or to send a missionary through a clearing house outside of a “small” congregation that [allegedly] won’t be able to handle it themselves? Some may argue it’s practical – but is it Scriptural?

BAPTIST POLITICS – there are a lot of good, doctrinally sound, Independent Baptist men who’ve surrendered to the mission field or whom God is having start works at home in America. But from what I’ve seen and heard [and please, correct me if I’m wrong], what happens in many cases is: if that man who’s searching for and needing support hasn’t gone through some deputation school, graduated some Bible college, or hasn’t added another label to the “Independent Baptist” to the appeasement of the potential supporting pastor, then that missionary/church-planter just needs to go “down the road” – BAPTIST POLITICS. “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?” 1 John 3:17.

It used to be if a man came asking for support or to answer the call to fill a much-needed position within the church, that pastor would get the name of his pastor and church and call him and others for reference before bringing it before the church. Not in Baptist Politics anymore! Brother, if you haven’t signed our association’s “covenant and bylaws”, you’re just not one of us! And these same ones who hold to this rationale come down on the Southern Baptists…God help us!

I sure get tired at times of politics in our country…but I’m just exhausted over BAPTIST POLITICS. Churches are independent, and if they want their pastor to lead them into some association that jeopardizes their independency, that goes beyond a fraternal co-laboring, and that puts their pastor on committees and organizations outside of their congregation “to further on God’s work” [how noble], I guess that’s their business…but is that God’s business? Is that how God wants His works to go?

Churches have the liberty to do what they want and to support whomever they please – per the Scriptures – but can we try and take the politics out of the equation? How political is your church, or how political are you? Are you a Baptist Politician? How are we making decisions today? “I’m in this camp”; “I’m associated with the BBF, NIBF, GIBF, etc”; “I went to _______ Bible college” – Who cares??? I mean no disrespect, but when it comes down to it, has the “Baptist litmus test” become the college you went to or your association with a certain group that will in a generation or so fall apart and apostatize like the previous ones? BAPTIST POLITICS.

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