Archive for September, 2014

Three Christian Leadership Failures

September 22, 2014

Title: Three Christian Leadership Failures
Text: 1 Peter 3:15
Time: September 20th, 2014

 
We’ve seen an unprecedented decline in Christian values in our American culture over the last few years, and this is best illustrated in the rapid acceptance of the idea of “gay” marriage by the citizens of the U.S. In the midst of this moral freefall we might ask the question, “Where have the Christian leaders been during this unheard of moral drop?” Sadly, we must answer that they’ve been largely silent, sometimes purposefully so. For example, a few years ago after President Barack Obama – a leading advocate for cultural moral decline with his full support of so-called same-sex marriage – after he won re-election, he called upon an evangelical minister, one Louie Giglio, to pray the inaugural prayer; Giglio agreed to do it. But before the event, reporters learned that Giglio, being an evangelical preacher, had spoken against homosexuality in a sermon once that was recorded on audiotape. It became somewhat of a controversy, since Obama is in favor of gay rights and gay marriage and everything gay. It finally reached the point where Giglio decided to decline the invitation to pray at the President’s event after all, and therefore forfeited an opportunity to bear witness to the truth of God in the public square. Another example of Christian leadership failure over the last couple of years was World Vision president Richard Stearns, who led his Christian charitable organization to change its corporate policy to allow for employees in so-called same-sex relationships. This caused such an outcry within the evangelical Christian community that World Vision soon reversed the policy decision, reinstating its usual ban on immoral sexual relationships. And finally, there’s the example of evangelical Christian athlete Tim Tebow, who was scheduled to speak at a Baptist church in Texas, but who quickly declined and back out of the speaking engagement after news reports classified the church as “anti-gay” because the pastor had preached against the sin of homosexuality. All three of these men are leaders in the sense that other Christians look up to them, yet all three failed to bear witness to the truth of God as taught in the Bible as part of the Christian faith, because of pressure brought against them by the secular world. All three Christian leaders capitulated to the spirit of the age and cowardly backed away from fighting the good fight of faith. No wonder the Christian community is confused on how to deal with the rapidly declining general culture. No wonder that Christians everywhere are divided on basic moral issues such as abortion and homosexuality. If leaders can’t even find the courage to stand for the truth of God in the midst of a wicked and perverse generation, how can the average Christian be expected to stand? No. We need godly Christian leaders who know the truth and are willing to stand for it no matter what. Then, other Christians will stand strong as well when they see the example of the leaders. Let’s look at how not to lead, how not to be a Christian leader, in the hope that by seeing examples of failures we might strive for success. (more…)

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Is It Ok To Spank A Child?

September 22, 2014

Title: Is It Ok To Spank A Child?
Text: Proverbs 22:15, 13:24, 29:15
Time: September 19, 2014

 
The subject of disciplining a child through the use of corporal punishment has come up in the news recently due to a professional football players use of it in spanking his child. Adrian Peterson was suspended from football over an instance where he spanked his child that left marks on the boy. It’s not known what kind of marks where left on his son, if they were superficial or deeper, but no matter what, the topic of child disciplining has become a topic of conversation around the nation as a result of the news reports. When I first heard the news I was surprised that it even was news, but then I realized that we live in a time where more and more people, led by academics, professionals and so-called experts, are telling us that all forms of physical punishment are inappropriate. I’ve seen the trend against spanking growing over the years, but now it’s so strong that professional athletes are getting suspended from playing for spanking their child. That’s incredible. But it’s not just experts, professionals and academics that are leading the way against spanking as a form of child discipline, there are even today entire nations that have outlawed it entirely – for example, in Europe in Sweden, it’s against the law for parents to spank their kid. It’s moving in that direction here in the United States as well. I’ve even heard Christians say that it’s not good to spank your child. What I’m seeing is a lot of confusion on the subject, when really there need not be. The Bible is very clear on the subject of spanking, for example in the Proverbs, the wisdom literature of the Bible, that appropriate spanking of a child is not harmful, but in fact helpful in teaching them right from wrong. Proverb 23:13-14says, “Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die. Punish him with the rod and save his soul from death.” The reference to “the rod” is simply a phrase for “switch” or “paddle” or some other harmless instrument of punishment. It isn’t a reference to anything that would actually harm or injure the child. Yet people today seek to ban all use of physical force in disciplining a child. The may think of something akin to the adult punishment practiced in such countries as Singapore, where “caning” is used as a form of punishment to deter crime. An adult is strapped to a post and a bamboo can is used to swat them across the backside. But this is entirely different from loving parents disciplining their children through the use of corporal punishment – or spanking. There needs some intelligent teaching on the subject of spanking, so I intend to do so with this message. I don’t have time to cover all the verses in the Bible about spanking and disciplining children, but I’ll review a few. Hopefully, by the end, we’ll come to see that there is a legitimate place for spanking in raising children. (more…)