About Me

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I am the Pastor/Teacher of Rivers of Joy Baptist Church in Minford, Ohio since August 2008.  I am married to Charity since June 14, 1969.  I have four grown children.   Having served in the local church for over forty years as Pastor/Teacher, Asso., Youth Pastor, Minister of Education, Building Upkeep, Camp Director, Sunday School Teacher, etc. Also I have worked in the public place for as many years as I have preached. Charity and her sister are co owner of Union Mills Conf. (Bakery) in West Portsmouth Ohio

SHOULD CHRISTIANS GO TO THE CINEMA?

HOW SHOULD A PASTOR/TEACHER RESPOND TO THIS ISSUE?

There are certainly many other things Christians can do that are worse than watching movies at home or in a Cinema. Cable TV can be far worse than a movie. Music, drugs, alcohol, sex.

It’s scary how your experience with movie going was just like mine. Movies in the 50's were not really so bad either. I went to one movie in 40 years, and not more than ten in my life. My kids go all the time. (I am respond to another blogger on this issue)

True believing Christians can and should do what their hearts desire. It’s pure legalism to simply conduct oneself in a manner that is not in character with their inner spirit. If your conduct or performance is in any way out of guilt to fit in with fundamentalism it is pure legalism. But if there is a bona fide hunger for righteousness that will glorify the Lord, then your conduct or performances or appearance is godly and not legalism.

What I preached about Christian behavior, I believed was correct. Christian conduct in a lost world is necessary. Our conduct should reflect a Christ-like character. But our behavior is not to be legalism but must come from the genuine heart of love for Christ’s glory.

It’s pure legalism on the other side as well for the non-fundamentalist who says it’s okay to wear jeans or shorts and preach on Sunday, go to movies, dance, watch movies any place. If you conform to that just because you want to fit in, it’s still legalism.

Can I personally go and see a Star Trek movie and not feel guilty? Personally I can’t because of my background. Is it biblically wrong to go? I don’t think so. Is it going to certain movies that make going to a Cinema wrong? Are you a better believer if you see "The Legend of Zorro" 2005 rather than "Kill Bill, 1 and 2" ? On Cable or at a Cinema? What if I say I like both movies? Of course, I like the "Duel" Dennis Weaver movie. Or the "Fugitive" with David Jantzen or Harrison Ford. Did I go to the Cinema to see them? No. But on Cable I have. Is there a difference?

Now how should I as a pastor/teacher approach this issue? How did I?

I don’t feel guilty in teaching/preaching biblical godliness or standards (some call this legalism)

I don’t feel guilty in the position on Biblical standards I put on myself, or my family while they were living at home. But I never taught any biblical standards that I didn’t believe was right.

Up until 1983 I truly believed my responsibility as a pastor/teacher was to teach biblical godliness and practical Christian behavior for believers, on a regular basis. A true fundamentalist preacher mindset.

I still believe what I have always believed. The difference is my approach to any subject in preaching expositional preaching. Rather than preaching/teaching my point of view of Christian behavior, my approach was to teach the scriptural approach to Christian living.

What I learned from John MacArthur was that the pastor/teacher’s authority was only to teach the Word. The preacher has no authority outside of preaching what the Scripture teaches, and he is to teach the scripture as the scripture teaches within the context of the text before him. Ouch! I had to disregard hundreds of good sermons because of this change of opinion.

I started on a Sunday Morning in the book of Matthew and Sunday Evening in the book of Romans. And I was determined to start from chapter one verse one and teach through the New Testament. I was determined to only say what the text was saying within the context of the Book.

I would study and teach the meaning of the text, primarily, then make application of the text only after make an effort of showing the meaning of the text.

I remember after several months, I had not mentioned once, going to movies, long hair on men, short dresses on women, and kids going to dances or getting drunk with beer, or using drugs, and don’t listen to Rock n’ Roll music. Some of the members were saying I had quit preaching altogether. I had quit preaching on sin. I had lost my focus, and had left fundamentalism altogether. I had quit preaching and starting teaching.

My responsibility was to dispense the Scripture as it was taught, and then let the Holy Spirit teach each person the application of the principles set forth in the Scripture.
That was hard at first, because I wanted to say, "Look here folks, live this way, do this and don’t do this, dress this way, etc." It was hard to step back after I preached and say, "Lord, it’s your turn." But I learned that the Lord could do a lot better job in changing peoples heart than I could. And when the Lord convicts a person to live godly its not legalism. What was even more difficult was to quit being the Holy Spirit in the invitation time. To believe the power of change in one’s life was the power of the Word, was life changing. I could just relax and allow the Lord to change people in His time, and in His way.

Legalism is the pressure to please God with certain kinds of behavior to gain favor with Him. It’s worst when you want to please men with your behavior rather than the Lord.

What is so hard is to keep your own opinion to yourself. I have been good giving what I believe. Does the Bible actually say "Don’t go see a movie at a Cinema, don’t see a movie? Only see certain movies?

The members of our church thought we were genuine Christians who really love the Lord. They believed we tried to lived what we taught. They believed our behavior was in line with what we preached on Sunday. And we really tried to be honest, real, and obedient to the will of God for our lives and our family’s life.

As long as I was a pastor/teacher I would not do a lot of things I knew were not necessarily sinful.

I didn’t want to go to a movie. I didn’t want to drink a beer. Most of what I personally did was out of a strong biblical conviction. I believe as a pastor/teacher you have a responsibility that you don’t have if you are not. I believe you should live and behave as an example.

Culture today has changed. Example, there was a time that women wore dresses and men wore a suit and tie to church. Today in our society everyone dresses like they want to. No one says, "Christians wear outfits that are different than the rest of the people" What has changed, the principles in the Bible or society? It all depends if you are a Fundamentalist or a Reformed Christian. So what sets our standards? The culture?

Nevertheless, our approach should be formed from a biblical mindset. What is hard is allowing a person to discover from his own personal conviction of behavior from an encounter with the Lord. When the Scripture is silent we need to be silent. If the Scripture is clear about certain behavior, we need to address it clearly.

I should not tell a person not to go to a Cinema. I could tell then to be careful what they put before their eyes on a huge screen. I could tell them to be careful of the message that is coming across in the film. I could say be careful how you entertain your mind and time. I could say be careful how you spend your time and money and the friends you are with. I could say, realize what you are watching is from a world view and not from a Christian-biblical point of view, be careful what you believe as truth.

Personally I am still a legalist in my mind from years of legalist preaching. I still can’t sit in a theater and not feel guilty. But now I realize it’s okay. Did I really say it’s okay? Generally, I really just don’t want to go.

Drafted 10 29 06 by Charles E. Whisnant Proof read by Charity and posted October 31, 2006
ALL DAY MINISTERS SEMINAR - BILL GOTHARD TEACHER
What did I believe was necessary to be an effective preacher and pastor?

I have been a little side-tracked from our intended purpose of talking about our journey in ministry, but I believe the last several weeks have been important for our discussion.

We left off with our arrival in Altoona, Kansas in 1980 (10/04/06 #58)

I am not sure how I was introduced to the Basic Institute, but I remember going to my first Seminar. Monday thru Saturday. I was in shock on Monday thru Thursday. By Friday and Saturday I was in awe of the material I had just heard. And for the next twelve years I was very much a part of the ministry.

Much of what I taught on Wednesday nights, and in Bible Study came from the material I learned from the Seminar and All Day Ministers Seminar.
I still today believe much of the material for practical ministry.

What did I believe was necessary to be an effective preacher and pastor

Sadly, I have not kept up with IBYC and Bill Gothard since 1990, so I am not really aware of the ministry and have not attended any seminars since 1990. Thus, I cannot speak about any events after 1990; but I will say, I will stand by any material used from 1978 thru 1990. I would still use the material today as much as I did at First Baptist Church in Altoona, Ks.

I went to their site today, and they are doing well as I understand. They still have Basic Seminars.

Today you have those men who have live blogging from a conference. I took notes from the seminar and then came home and from my hand-written notes wrote a rather good set of notes, which I still have today.

The material from the All Day Ministers Seminars was different from any Seminar I had gone to. The material presented by Bill was not your conventional material for Church ministry. So when you first heard the principles set forth you questioned them.

When you had time to study the material, you realized how good they were. Over the years many of the thoughts were put into operation.

THE BASIC INSTITUTE OF YOUTH CONFLICT SEMINAR
September 1978 was our first experience with Institute of Basic Youth Conflicts.. I attended my first Seminar in Indianapolis, Indiana, my second in Wichita, Kansas in 1980, another in Tulsa, Ok. in 1983, and then the Advanced Seminar in Atlanta, GA.

In 1978 my father-in-law Bob Temple and I went to our first All Day Ministers Seminar, and the first one Bill had. There were less then 500 preachers present from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The last Seminar I went to there were over 3,000 men.


HERE ARE THE SUBJECT MATERIALS AT EACH OF THE SEMINARS I ATTENDED
THE ALL DAY MINISTERS SEMINAR......

In September 1978 in Chicago Ill.

  • Building ten basic convictions through your messages
  • Basic questions of divorced people
  • How to meet the seven basic needs of a minister’s wife
  • Seeds of disintegration

In March 1979 in Detroit MI

  • Seven Basic Needs of a Husband
  • Answers to the real question of a broken marriage
  • Basic questions to determine root causes
  • Facts and fiction about Homosexuality

September 1980 in Kansas City MO

  • How to make your church a source of power
  • Why the church has lost its influence
  • How to make your worship service a source of spiritual power
  • How to bind Satan and build a "hedge" of protection around your church and family
  • How to overcome the power of temptation
  • MEN’S INSTITUTE - CURRICULUM
  • How to use precise questions in personal conferences to build spiritual maturity
  • How to prepare sermons that change lives.

September 1981 in Kansas City MO.

  • Five dangers of spiritual leadership
  • Defilement of listening to evil reports
  • How to overcome the power of sin
  • HOW TO IDENTIFY SPIRITUAL GIFTS
  • Seven requirements for a father to be a successful leader
  • Dealing with discouragement


September 1982 in Kansas City MO

  • Seven steps of overcoming sinful habits
  • THREE SCRIPTURAL WAYS TO APPROACH CHURCH DISCIPLINE
  • How to build without borrowing
  • Biblical teaching on Divorce and Remarriage
  • Misunderstood facts on separation of church and state

September 1983 in Kansas City Mo

  • Seven ways to take when you receive criticism
  • Twenty aspects of financial freedom
  • Six purposes, keys to fulfillment in a marriage relationship
  • Ten reactions of a wife in a marriage
  • HOW TO TEACH SONS AND DAUGHTERS TO ‘STAND ALONE’
  • How to recognize and resolve the special dangers surrounding the Pastor’s children

September 1984 in Kansas MO

  • SEVEN BASIC ASPECTS OF FEEDING THE FLOCK
  • Essential character qualities of Christ
  • A STUDY METHOD OF PSALMS
  • A METHOD OF STUDYING SCRIPTURE
  • TRAINING FAITHFUL MEN
  • SCRIPTURAL PRINCIPLES FOR EDUCATION

September 1985 #8 in Kansas City MO

  • ADVANCE TRAINING INSTITUTE
  • HOW TO TRACE SURFACE PROBLEMS
  • SEVEN PHASES OF A GODLY COURTSHIP
  • Meaning of the Wedding Covenants
  • Recognizing the potential of building lives for God’s Kingdom
  • Teaching of our children by God’s Wisdom
  • BASIC PRINCIPLES OF MUSIC EVALUATION

February 1986 In Kansas City MO

  • WISE COUNSELING TO USE TO GIVE LIGHT IN DIFFICULT SITUATION - MEDICAL RESOURCES.
  • How eating habits of SHEEP reveal important insights on MEDITATION


February 1987 #10 in Kansas City, MO

  • Pastor "BURNOUT" How to keep from "Burnout"
  • How to meet the needs of the 2nd born.
  • Making melody in your heart - 6 hours of music/story behind songs.
  • NON-OPTIONAL PRINCIPLES OF LIFE
  • Financial Freedom Video
  • Reactions to God’s Truth
    Training level is different.
  • Getting people to see truth

1988 #11 in March 1988 in Kansas City MO

  • TEN STEPS IN SETTING UP A YOUTH MINISTRY
  • How to Work with the elderly Christians
  • How do inherited traits affect the intensity of the temptation we experience
  • How to evaluate your child
  • How to conquer lust and habits
  • How to know God’s will for daily decisions


1989 In March in Kansas City MO No. 11 and my last one.

  • Ten unexpected causes of Church splits and how to avoid them
  • Fruits of a Disciplined Life
  • HITTING THE MARKS - Video. Seven Principles
  • HOW TO TEACH OBEDIENCE FROM THE WORLD OF THE DUCK - Video
  • Principles Behind Life Changing Messages - Charles Stanley
  • Music Evolution
  • How to answer questions on Dancing.
  • The fruit of a disciplined life
  • How to evaluate "civil disobedience"

SOME OF THE GREAT AND WONDERFUL BOOKS FROM THE IBYC MINISTRIES

  • The Pineapple Story
  • The Eagle Story
  • Rebuilder’s Guide
  • Men’s Manual Vol One
  • Men’s Manual Vol Two - Financial
  • Character Sketches Vol. One, Two and Three
  • Life Notebook

SOME OF THE SUPPLEMENTARY ALUMNI BOOKLETS

  • The Key to Freedom Under Authority
  • Our Most Important Messages Grow Out of Our Greatest Weaknesses.
  • Be Alert to Spiritual Danger.
  • The Moral Conditions
  • Why Did Rome Fall?
  • Understanding the Winds of Adversity
  • The Unexpected Enemy of Justice and Mercy
  • Conquering Impossible "Mountains"
  • Applying Basic Principles
  • Is It Right to Try to Legislate Morality?
  • THE SECRET OF SUCCESS
  • The Overlooked Requirements for Riches, Honor and Life
  • Humility and the Fear of the Lord]
  • Understanding the Biblical Foundations of Marriage
  • How to Understand Humanism
  • How to Stand Along
  • How to Make an Appeal
  • How to Conquer Slothfulness
  • The Rebuilder’s Guide

MAJOR PROJECTS Manual

  • Basic Leadership Manual
    The Advance Leadership Guide Manual
    The Basic Church Ministry Guide Manual

  • Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant October 28th Proof Read by Charity October 30th

YOU MIGHT SAY I HAVE BEEN AN "INVETERATE" MINISTER

A brief footnote:
"Behavior to motivate a response from God is legalism; behavior that is enabled by Christ is grace. "
Don Whisnant
GracePoint

"INVETERATE" FROM DICTIONARY.COM

Charles E. Whisnant

"Inveterate" means adj.

  • Firmly established by long persistence, deep-rooted, of long standing.
  • Fixed in habit by long persistence, confirmed, habitual.

I have been an inveterate Christian minister, just ask Charity. Ever since we have been married, I’ve been getting up early in the morning, studying the Word, reading books, and going to work at a secular job, and then doing the ministry of preaching and teaching as well, for over thirty years.

But during the last ten years I have gotten a little out of hand. (1996-2006) It started out wanting to spend time with the boys, (1993) just collecting baseball and basketball cards while we lived in Kansas. Then we moved to Lexington KY in 1996. Eric was out of college, Becky was in college. Chad was in the 11th grade and Kyle was twelve, still at home. And I was not pastoring, which is another story in itself. Somehow I got caught up in this sports collecting again. I am not a video game person, never have played games like that at all. So I became a collector of sports memorabilia. I believe this was a substitute for what I really wanted to be doing, which was ministry. Anyway, for the next five years I was a collector. Then we moved in 2002 and came to Portsmouth Ohio. Actually, during this current time, I have not really been very active in collecting, but I do have a few habits that I continue to do with what collection I already have. But it only takes up a very small amount of time.


Example of this inveterate: Always setting up sports displays:

  • Arranging the Scottie Pippens Starting Line-Up and Cards, and magazines.
  • Displaying the Dale Earnhardt, Sr. 1/24 Goodwrench Monte Carlo Wheaties Car, and the 1/64 series of cars, and the Earnhardt’s Wheatie Boxes, and a number of cards, and magazines. I particularly like the life size Earnhardt, given to me by Allen Barnhart.
  • Showing off the LEXMARK 1/64 die cast metal latest Hot Wheel/Lightning Collector Cars. Brian Williams, sales rep for Lexmark and husband to my niece April, graciously gives me every new car that Lexmark comes out with. Sorry I am not selling them.
  • Parading a number of Wheaties Boxes that I collected of sports figures, from Michael Jordon, to Tiger Woods. The Wheaties are good to eat as well. This requires a weekly visit to the store to see if there is a new Wheaties box.
  • Exhibiting a number of the Hot Wheels, a fine collection of the 2004 Series of cars on sheet-rock. Always seeking the new "Dodge Tomahawk" or "Rebel Rides" bikes. Because Eric likes bikes, I have a nice exhibit of bikes from Hot Wheels. And Kyle gave me a stand that will display over 120 1/64 cars. I have a collection of Hot Wheels modifications, three different looks to the same car. Of course there are the 1999-2003 series.
  • Flaunting my display of Jeff Gordon’s cars, cards, Wheatie boxes, shirts, books and magazines, etc.
  • Strutting the many Starting Lineup is a pleasure. From Babe Ruth, Michael Jordan, Dale Earnhardt, Barry Sanders, Cal Ripken, Jr., Wayne Gretzke to name just a few.
  • Featuring an excellent display of sports memorabilia on shelves, which I have made and arranged. Plus there are a number of three ring binders full of sports cards.
  • I am an inveterate clipper of newspapers sports articles, which I cut and paste, and display them on cardboard posters. I have done this since I was a teenager. Eric saves the Sports Sections of USA Today for me.
  • From the newest US Postage Stamps to the latest 50 states quarters that are spotlighted.
    Pictures of the family, in frames, in binders, in albums, are arranged on walls, at home, work or at church

MY LOVE OF ORGANIZING: USING BOOKCASES AND FILE CABINETS HAS ALWAYS BEEN DEEP-ROOTED

  • I was an inveterate book collector for many years. As a teenager in my father’s book stores I fell in love with books. Going to the school/college/church/local Library has always been deep rooted in me.
  • First thing I would do when going to a new church was to set up my bookcases of books.
  • At Calvary Baptist Church, several men built me a wall to wall bookcase.
  • At First Baptist Church, Kurt Nunnenkamp, made me an attractive 2" thick wall to wall bookcase for the pastor’s office. .
  • At Second Baptist, Ray Polly spent hours making me an immaculate looking 7'x5' book case for the pastor’s office.
  • Nearly every place I worked and lived has been noticeable with book shelves full of books. Church or home, there were book cases. It is still the same today.
  • Book cases are also used to hold three ring binders too. I look for bargains on notebooks. I bought fifty 1 ½ " notebooks for .25 cents each (they were $3.78). I’m always looking for a binder.
    Some examples of what goes into these binders.:
  • Binders full of church documents.
  • Binders for ministry related material
  • Personal sermon manuscripts: Daniel, Revelation, Isaiah, Proverbs, I Peter, 1 Thessalonians,
  • Shepherd’s Conference Notebooks 1983, 1993, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006
  • IBYC and ADMS, Gothard Notebooks 1978-1990
  • Biblical Counseling Notebooks
  • Sports Binders.

In the last four years (2002-2006) as I have written, I am an inveterate Internet browser, 98 window-shopper, monergism.com web site visitor daily. I am an inveterate Corel Word Perfect Suite 8 visitor daily. So over the last three years these bookcases have been filled with the notebooks and three ring binders as follows: Some major projects:

  • DOCTRINAL/ THEOLOGICAL NOTEBOOK BINDERS 2003-PRESENT
  • ARTICLES FROM SOME GREAT WEB SITES 2003-PRESENT
  • SERMONS FROM GREAT MEN OF THE PAST AND PRESENT 2003-06
  • BLOGGING ARTICLES. 2006
  • A YEAR’S WORK IN LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT OF A CHURCH AND BIBLE STUDY MINISTRY at PORTSMOUTH BAPTIST CHURCH. 2002-03
  • SIX MONTHS STUDY OF THE DOCTRINES OF GRACE FOR TEACHING TWO MONTHS ADULT DISCIPLESHIP CLASS AT BIGELOW CHURCH 2004

There you have it, folks. Good grief. What will I think of next?

Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant October 28th Proof-read by Charity 28th Posted 28th


THREE YEARS IN BIBLICAL THEOLOGY on the Internet

In October 2003 I logged on to AOL Internet For the first time I was finally on the Internet., Thanks to Al Gore for the Internet. Or was it someone else?

I confess I don't know why I am posting is article on the Internet and the WWW. But at least it might be interesting. Or at least for me.


Tim Berners-Lee was the man leading the development of the World Wide Web (with help of course), the defining of HTML (hypertext markup language) used to create web pages, HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) and URLs (Universal Resource Locators).

The history of the Internet dates back to the early development of communication networks. The idea of a computer network intended to allow general communication among users of various computers has developed through a large number of stages. The melting pot of developments brought together the network of networks that we know as the Internet. This included both technological developments and the merging together of existing network infrastructure and telecommunication systems.

Originally intended to share data between a few universities and government agencies, the Internet today allows connectivity from anywhere on earth and beyond——

The Internet is the worldwide, publicly accessible network of interconnected computer networks that transmit data by packet switching using the standard Internet Protocol (IP). It is a "network of networks" that consists of millions of smaller domestic, academic, business, and government networks, which together carry various information and services, such as electronic mail, online chat, file transfer, and the interlinked Web pages and other documents of the World Wide Web.

HTML
Vannevar Bush first proposed the basics of hypertext in 1945. Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web, HTML (hypertext markup language), HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) and URLs (Universal Resource Locators) in 1990. Tim Berners-Lee was the primary author of html, assisted by his colleagues at CERN, an international scientific organization based in Geneva, Switzerland.

I was lucky enough to invent the Web at the time when the Internet already existed - and had for a decade and a half. If you are looking for fathers of the Internet, try Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn who defined the "Internet Protocol" (IP) by which packets are sent on from one computer to another until they reach their destination.

"The DESIGN of Internet was done in 1973 and published in 1974. There ensued about 10 years of hard work, resulting in the roll out of Internet in 1983. Prior to that, a number of demonstrations were made of the technology - such as the first three-network interconnection demonstrated in November 1977 linking SATNET, PRNET and ARPANET in a path leading from Menlo Park, CA to University College London and back to USC/ISI in Marina del Rey, CA."

David Clark, of MIT's LCS, is another one I can point to who put in the work in the 1970s which made the Web possible in the 1990s.
Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn used, in making IP, the concept of packet switching which had been invented by Paul Barran.

The Internet ('Net) is a network of networks. Basically it is made from computers and cables. What Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn did was to figure out how this could be used to send around little "packets" of information. As Vint points out, a packet is a bit like a postcard with a simple address on it. If you put the right address on a packet, and gave it to any computer which is connected as part of the Net, each computer would figure out which cable to send it down next so that it would get to its destination. That's what the Internet does. It delivers packets - anywhere in the world, normally well under a second.

The Web is an abstract (imaginary) space of information. On the Net, you find computers -- on the Web, you find document, sounds, videos,.... information. On the Net, the connections are cables between computers; on the Web, connections are hypertext links. The Web exists because of programs which communicate between computers on the Net. The Web could not be without the Net. The Web made the net useful because people are really interested in information (not to mention knowledge and wisdom!) and don't really want to have know about computers and cables.

Contrary to some common usage, the Internet and the World Wide Web are not synonymous: the Internet is a collection of interconnected computer networks, linked by copper wires, fiber-optic cables, wireless connections, etc.; the Web is a collection of interconnected documents, linked by hyperlinks and URLs. The World Wide Web is accessible via the Internet, as are many other services including e-mail, file sharing, and others described below.

The World Wide Web Tim Berners-Lee in 1989 he invented the World Wide Web, an internet-based hypermedia initiative for global information sharing. while working at CERN, the European Particle Physics Laboratory. He wrote the first web client (browser-editor) and server in 1990.

Through keyword-driven Internet research using search engines, like Google, millions worldwide have easy, instant access to a vast and diverse amount of online information. Compared to encyclopedias and traditional libraries, the World Wide Web has enabled a sudden and extreme decentralization of information and data.
Many individuals and some companies and groups have adopted the use of "Web logs" or blogs, which are largely used as easily-updatable online diaries (Which is the reason I starting blogging.)

Ironically, the abbreviation "WWW" is somewhat impractical as it contains two or three times as many syllables (depending on accent) as the full term "World Wide Web", and thus takes longer to say.
Well there you have it.
HOW ARE WE TO VIEW THE PAST IN THE LIGHT OF THE PRESENT?
part two

Biblical Principles do work, principles I learned as a youth still are good. Biblical Philosophy will work. John MacArthur’s point: Doing God’s Work in the God’s Way will produce God’s Purposes.

Ways in which to implement those principle varied over the years. And I believe you can take these principles and work within the belief system you have. As an example, the Purpose-Driven Church principles in general are very good. A church should be motivated by Biblical principles. You don’t have to agree with every point, but you can adapt them to your church.

Traditional principles vs. biblical principles often conflict. When you attempt to set up Biblical principles in a traditional church, there will be a parting of the ways. Often there is a period of disagreement and often people get upset with change. Where there is yieldedness to those principles there will be a healthy church. Sometimes personality does get in the way of success. Sometimes my own personality was a problem, and occasionally the principles get in the way of success.

I have this unique way of agitating the established format of the church’s traditional methods of doing church. An unhealthy church sometimes needs a shot in the arm. They need a new diet for operation. They often need a new mind set of Biblical thought. And this is always offensive. For an example: "We stopped having Sunday School two years ago, because we couldn’t get anyone to come," a former teacher said. When I suggested the reason that happened, they were offended.

Often the church body is more protective of traditional methods, and they do not desire to change them, even at the expense of failure. Some people are willing to let the church completely die before they would think of having a drum set in the church or allow another Bible translation.

  • For example
    I really loved the work I did in two Southern Baptist Churches, to work within the Southern Baptist model. I enjoyed the effort to get all parties working together. What hurt me was the few people who were really against anything I was doing. The Southern Baptist model is good, it’s the implementing of those principles that is the difficulty. I worked out a plan that I believed would bring all the groups together, and I believe would have. But there was an element within the church body that was set on defeating the plan. The leadership was tired and some quit the church and others didn’t want to buck the older people. Then when I left, they left. Those churches had a history of discontent. The problems of the church were there years before I came and were there after I left. Since 1929 one church has been established, and today of the recorded 489 members, only fifty come.

The Biblical pattern of leadership for the church is the Elders, and the church is to follow that leadership. Often there is poor eldership leadership and poor church membership understanding of the purpose of the church. Fundamental Baptist Churches like congregational rule. They want to vote and have a voice in every decision the church leadership is going to make.

Fundamentalists, Evangelicals, Southern Baptists, Independents, Bible Churches, Reformed Churches all have some of the same problems. . Some are healthy churches and some are dying a slow death.

I have been a part of the World Baptist Fellowship - Arlington Texas. GARB - Ohio and Kansas, Southern Baptist - Kentucky, Non-Denominational - Ohio. All these churches have people that are about the same, good people. It’s usually not the label, it’s the traditional mind set and its leadership.

I have been rather unsystematic here in this article I know. I am trying to get a handle on this subject. I’ve jumped from thought to thought, sorry. My point is to figure out the purpose of forty years of ministry. The purpose has been within the providence of God. If God has been glorified, and up lifted and the Gospel has been rightly presented, then the real purpose has been accomplished.

I truly today, am satisfied with the last forty years of ministry. Should I be?

I keep saying, my choices of churches were believed to be right, but the end results were frequently viewed as not right. (Why would I have gone to Second Baptist; why would I have left FBC; why would I have wanted to go to Calvary?) Unless all this has been under the providence or foresight of a sovereign Lord. I really am glad the Lord allowed us to go to each place we went. I learned valuable lessons in each place..

But, to be honest, I would like to do God’s will better, learn more, and do a better work for the Lord.
I am satisfied if I can sum up all this ministry as all within the control of the Lord.

P.S. The subject of his posting was "How Are We To View The Past In The Light Of The Future?

In other word, looking back what would I do different? First, I can’t go back. Secondly, I couldn’t change the pass anyway. Thirdly, God took us at the point we were in and used us for His glory. Fourth, Yes I would do some things differently in light of better understanding of church ministry. Fifty, I would continue to preach the same style, Expositional teaching.

HOW ARE WE TO VIEW THE PAST IN THE LIGHT OF THE PRESENT?
THIS IS ONLY WITHIN MY EXPERIENCE
part one

I am glad to say there are many great church ministries that are doing a wonderful work for the Lord. Amen. Thus I am not talking about those churches. I study healthy churches and glean from them. Large churches do not mean they are necessarily Biblically healthy. Small churches are not necessarily unhealthy either.

In my experience, the Lord has seemed to be pleased in His providence to direct me toward churches that are not always very healthy, and they need some healthy leadership.

While I have been in some churches that are large, from 300 to 1000, (not counting FBC in Hammond), generally I have worked in or have pastored churches from 12 to 300. So, I have been in the smaller churches.

We have now written some seventy articles looking at the past ministry experience,.which has been rather a stimulation of spirit and mind. I am not sure there has been any significance or importance in this endeavor, other than Chad my son thought this was good therapy for me.

I have enjoyed putting down some of the experiences. I have come to the understanding that I have loved the work of the ministry.

What I have tried to understand about these last forty years is "have these experiences been to the glory and purposes of the Lord? Has the Lord been glorified, and has He purposed the direction that I have been lead over these forty years?"

I often say, from a personal consideration, the ministry was frequently an abbreviated ministry that was not a fulfillment of the goals and objectives that I believed should have occurred.

The Apostle Paul could stay a few weeks in Thessalonica and accomplish God’s purpose. I have found that ministry today takes a while to accomplish a strong foundation..

What I have thought as I glance back through the maze of ministries and the positions that I have enjoyed, the people that I have met and the young people that I have worked with, it has been extraordinarily worth every moment.

While no place where I have served would we consider to be a failure of effort, and even believe there has been some degree of success; nevertheless, I believe there was so much yet to be accomplished had we stayed longer. . .

It seems that most of the places I have served there was some form of hardship or the church had been hampered from effective ministry. When we arrived to begin our ministry, or shortly thereafter, it seemed that there was a need to help bring the ministry into a more healthy position. (As a footnote: Generally the churches didn’t feel they were unhealthy.) My objective was to help develop a good foundational ministry that would bring about the best results. The enjoyment of initiating a new philosophy of ministry in the church was certainly a good objective. For example:
  • At Madison Baptist - Having a pastor for more than a year, and paying the pastor
    At Wooster - A youth ministry developed - Team Leaders both Sunday Morning/Night
  • Calvary Baptist - A great Children’s Church Ministry.
  • FBC - Altoona - Eldership Ministry, Training Faithful Christians -
  • Victory Baptist - Sunday School Ministry, and Youth Ministry
  • Portsmouth Baptist - Re-establishment of a Sunday School.Ministry.

Some of the churches I happened to be in, I would describe as dysfunctional. Biblical ministry was missing. In a few churches there were workers who loved the Lord, but lacked spiritual leadership. I have said this must have been my mission from the Lord.

I would like to believe the Lord’s mission was to provide the leadership necessary to get the church healthy. And in the case of Madison, and FBC, I believe this was accomplished. I was the pastor in these two churches for the necessary time to accomplish the task. Both of these churches are today doing very adequately in ministry. Both churches today are still small churches in very small towns (less than 500), but both are doing very well. But when I went to these churches they were functional but not healthy. I enjoyed the task of helping provide the leadership to bring the church into a condition for ministry.

I have from my youth enjoyed the leadership role and enjoyed the development of ministry. I enjoyed training men and women and youth for ministry. I have enjoyed learning the different styles of other ministries. Let me give a few places as an example:


CHURCH MINISTRY

  • Thomas Road Baptist Church - Lynchburg Super Conference
  • First Baptist Church - Hammond Pastor’s School Sunday School Teaching Material Church Office Work, Visitors,
  • Basic Institute of Youth Conflicts Bill Gothard
  • All Day Ministers Seminar for 12 years Bill Gothard
  • From 1983 & 1990 Grace Community Church - Shepherd’s Conference - Van Nuys, Calif. (FBC Altoona) My preaching style of Expositional teaching The style of church government
  • Calvary Chapel - Chuck Smith -2003
  • Purpose Driven Church - Rick Warren 2002-2003 Have a reason and purpose for ministry
  • Southern Acres Christian Church - Lexington Ky 1996-2002
  • Ashland Ave Baptist Church - Lexington - 1996-2002
  • 9 Marks of a Healthy Church 2005 Mark Dever
  • Several Online Ministries I have studied.
  • George Norris, Gideon Baptist Church 1968-69- Practical Pastor’s Work
  • Robert Schuller, really, in the early 1980's. Sunday School Ministry

Drafted Charles E. Whisnant 10 16th & 24th Proof Read Charity 10-24,25 2006 Posted 25th

Satan's Secret Script: The Slow but Serious Slide of Scripture-less Services
by mdever

Mark Dever points out a statement from David Well's book "Above All Earthly Pow'rs" David made a statement in the book about the centrality of the Word in the weekly congregational sitting which is worth pulling out and considering.

How central was God's Word to your service this past Sunday? How central was it in the sermon?

Here's what David says: "This Word of God is the means by which God accomplishes his saving work in his people, and this is a work that no evangelist and no preacher can do. This is why the dearth of serious, sustained biblical preaching in the Church today is a serious matter. When the Church loses the Word of God it loses the very means by which God does his work. In its absence, therefore, a script is being written, however unwittingly, for the Church’’s undoing, not in one cataclysmic moment, but in a slow, inexorable slide made up of piece by tiny piece of daily dereliction."" David Wells, Above All Earthly Pow’’rs (2005), p. 9.

http://blog.togetherforthegospel.org

  • When Charles H. Spurgeon died, Joseph Parker wrote a tribute to him that was published in The Times of London. What do you suppose Parker regarded as Spurgeon's most outstanding feature? It was Spurgeon's unbending commitment, throughout his entire ministry, to the same doctrines he had preached at the start. Parker wrote:
  • "The only pulpit name of the nineteenth century that will be remembered is no longer the name of a living man. His simplicity, his constancy, his stand-stillness, won for him, through many difficulties, a unique and invincible position in Christian England. Mr. Spurgeon had but one sermon, and it was ever new. Other young preachers are naturally great in the treatment of Biblical narrative and anecdotes. They can handle drama better than doctrine. Mr. Spurgeon boldly went at once to the deepest and greatest themes. At nineteen he preached to countless thousands from such texts: "Accepted in the beloved"; "No man cometh unto me except the Father draw him"; "And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace." Some men have never ventured to take those texts even after a lifetime of service. Mr. Spurgeon took them at once, as the very seven notes that made all God's music, and he did so by Divine right and impulse. As he began, so he continued: he never changed; he never went in quest of the fourth dimension or of the eighth note; his first and his last were one.That great voice has ceased. It was the mightiest voice I ever heard: a voice that could give orders in a tempest, and find its way across a torrent as through a silent aisle. Very gentle, too, it could be, sweet and tender and full of healing pity.

  • "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord" (1 Corinthians 15:58).
    Phil Johnson October 24, 2006
In preaching the Word, teaching the principles and truths of the text is the most important work of the pastor/teacher. When even your enemy can say, "He was faithful to the Word," you have.

If I have in Christ accomplished any thing, the one thing I would want to be known as having done well. "He taught the Scriptures, he was not afraid to take on any text to study and preach."

Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant
THREE YEARS STUDYING THEOLOGY
SO WHAT HAVE I LEARNED IN THE LAST THREE YEARS!

Following my last ministerial work here in Portsmouth Ohio, I was blessed with a newer Gateway computer as I have said before. I elected to have AOL as my Internet server. This was my first time on the Internet.

Thankfully, I was in a spirit of learning. I was listening to Calvary Chapel Network of churches on radio. Each program had a web site. I had this idea of viewing each web site. This idea led to a search of all the churches on the Calvary Network. There were over 600 churches at the time, and in about a year I had researched all these churches. What an experience. I would download a homepage of the churches that I would like. I have three three-ring binders.

Within this search, one church site had several links that they recommended. One such link took me to Expository. org. . And when I went on this site, they had links to some twenty other links. And each of those links had other links. I am still today, after three years, still linking to links. One of the links:

Contend for the Faith: An Apologetics and Theology Resource Page by Matt Perman and Justin Taylor A fine collection of articles, most by these two men associated with Bethlehem Baptist Church and John Piper. An Apologetics and Theology Resource Page
Christian Growth & Theology Links.

PHIL JOHNSON’S BOOKMARKS....
This site sponsored by Phil Johnson has 100's of links, and literally I have yet to get all of the links

I began to download certain articles and placed the articles in three-ring binders. I believe I had about ten binders at the end of the first year. From all these sites.

Monergism. com
Beginning in early 2004 I was directed to monergism. com John .W. Hendryx This site is devoted to the Reformed point of view. But it also has other points of view as well.
On this site they had a list of topical index. From Abraham to John Calvin, from grace to Spurgeon Election to Free Will. And each topic like Election had several hundred articles on the subject.


I was asked to do a study on the Doctrines of Grace in our church for the Discipleship Class. So I went to the topical study of the Doctrines of Grace.. To my surprise there were 255 articles. I was in shock to see so many articles. I decided to start to look at each one and to read them. Then I thought, why don’t I just download the ones I really like. And thus I started. I am still working on this project.

Then I went to about thirty other topics. This has been a major joy of study. I started downloading some of the articles and putting them in three ring binders for future references and study. 30 binders x 200 pages = 6,000 pages (just the theological topics binders)

I was glad to discover printpal. com because the ink for the printer was 80% less than buying them at Wal-Mark or K-Mart. Then Sam’s had reams of paper at a very reasonable price. I also was able to find some specials on binders as well. The only problem has been I have used up four Epson printers Today I am using a Lexmark 611. I am glad printers are very cheap.

What is interesting, pre 2003 all my information came from reading books. Books were my life in ministry. I read and studied for most of thirty years. I thought I was well read and rather informed on the Word of God. All my sermon preparations were by reading and studying books. And all my sermons were hand written on folded typing paper. Over 4,000 manuscript sermons, hand written. What I could have done if I’d had monergism.com for those years.
While I had some of the books that are now on the Internet, it’s really good to be able to print them and read and study them.

Now monergism.com has the Covenant Reformed Theology, which I was not really knowledgeable of before I started reading the articles on this site.

To name a few of the writers on Monergism.com
The Reformers:. John Calvin, John Owen, Jonathan Edwards, R.L.. Dabney,. Thomas Boston, Martin Luther, Richard Bacters. Then others, Charles Spurgeon, John Gill, Octavius Winslow, A.W. Pink, George Whitefield. Current men:, John Piper, John MacArthur, Jim Elliff, John Reisinger, R.C. Sproul, James White, John Murray, James Boyce, and many more.

Predominantly I have studied from this point of view. Covenant Reformed Theology. I agree with the position on the Doctrines of Grace, but that is about all that I would agree with.

All this study has affirmed my belief in my preaching style while in Altoona, Kansas. When you study different views you can strengthen your view or change it. While teaching for sixteen years in Altoona, and preaching expositionally you preached from the standpoint of teaching the meaning of the text. I studied to understand the text, more than I studied the doctrinal issues. While I taught doctrinally, my focus was on a practical interpretation.

What I have discovered in these doctrinal studies, I realized that I was generally doctrinally correct in what I preached. Or at least, from my point of view. And as I learn, I am allowing myself to change my point of view.
  • What are some of the different and agreeable points of view?
    1A I preached primarily from the New Testament, using the Old Testament for examples of a New Testament principle. What I am learning is that Covenant Theology says that the Old Testament is as necessary to preach as the New Testament.
  • 2A When I taught in the Old Testament, I would try to tell the story that was in the text. I taught Genesis and Isaiah in Sunday School, Proverbs and Daniel on Wednesday. What Covenant Theology teaches is the Old Testament is to be taught with Christ in every verse. Christ-Centered Preaching. Redemptive-History Teaching. Every sermon is to be Christ-centered, gospel-centered from either the Old or the New.
  • 3A I taught the book of Revelation in Roanoke, Va.,. Minford Ohio, and Altoona, Kansas, and started at Second Baptist. My perspective is that Revelation is future prophecy. The Covenant Theology states that Revelation is unknown. Several viewpoints are held, of which I do not agree with any of them.
  • 4A Covenant Theology teaches the Redemptive Historical Theme. That is Christ is the reason for the whole purpose of the writing of the Old Testament. They teach that Israel and the church are the same in nature. Thus, they do not see Israel today as having any significance.. I do not agree.
  • 5A I had never really read any of the Confessionals: The Westminster Confession and Catechisms were written (1642-1647), any of the London Baptist Confession. I never knew how they fit in.
  • 6A I had never understood the Reformation Period or what that had to do with Religion.
  • 7A I had never really read John Calvin’s The Institutes of the Christian Religion
  • 8A Reformed Baptist? Are you kidding? Fundamentalist, Independent Baptist. I discovered there are some good folks that are not Baptist. While I am still a Baptist, I go to a non- Baptist church.
  • 9A MOST SIGNIFICANTLY I have come to understand the Sovereignty of God and the Providence of God. I have come to better comprehend the Doctrines of Grace
  • 10A Sola Scriptura: Solus Christus Sola Gratia: Sola Fide: (Faith Alone)Soli Deo Gloria: What? I have never heard of these before this study.I taught the idea, believed the principles, but now understand them better.
  • 11A Covenant, Reformed Folks have a real problem with Dispensationalism.
    I have gained a better understanding of this position. I still believe the Israel in the O.T. is not the Church in the N.T. But I believe salvation in the Old is the same as in the New. I still am "pre" everything, Pre-Tribulation and Pre-millenial..
  • 12A Some believe in Covenant baptism, infant baptism, that is. I don’t. Some believe all the gifts are no longer necessary today.
  • 13A But what I have learned is to learn from those who may not hold my personal position,. because it seems we have more in common than areas we disagree.
  • 14A The glory of God is preeminent. His glory is foremost in everything.
  • Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant 10 21 06 Proof Read Charity 10 23 06
GROW IN LEARNING BLOG SITE
SOME BRIEF REMARKS OF THE PURPOSES OF THESE COMMENTS ABOUT MINISTRY


So our question within this series has been:
HAS GOD DIRECTED THE DIRECTION THAT WE HAVE TRAVELED?. HAVE WE BEEN IN THE WILL OF GOD? IS THERE BIBLICAL EVIDENCE TO THE FACT THAT GOD HAS BEEN IN CONTROL OF ALL THE EVENTS. HAVE WE BEEN FAITHFUL IN THE WORK OF THE MINISTRY?

We all say, "God you are in control, we pray that you would direct, guide, give wisdom, bring to yourself your own unto salvation...yes, but do we really believe God is in that much control?
We could have the attitude that says, "Why even review the past, it’s all been in the control of a sovereign Lord.." Or "Why bother thinking about it, because it’s the past!"
This blog has developed into an on going chronicle of my past ministries. I used to spend a lot of time telling the story of our past ministries. I would always be funny in the characterization.
Generally, the past was the past, the events were just events, places where I served were just that. While I never really felt I finished the task I would have loved to, but it was the past.
But it seemed that every time I would rehearse this story, I would sometimes get depressed, and finally I said, no more, let the past stay in the past, good grief.

Well, then comes this blogger. The first article I wrote was my résumé. I sent the blog to my kids, and Chad tells me, "Dad, why don’t you put all this in print, and go into detail." And so I thought, okay how do I write these? I wanted to be positive, yet be honest. I don’t want to sound like a sore loser, or a bragger, or point fingers. I didn’t want to get out my frustration either.

Then I thought maybe I could help others through my experiences, how do deal with ministry. This I hope I can do in the process of this journey we have traveled over the last forty years.
Because really, as I look back, the experiences at the time were done with total enjoyment and challenge. I was not thinking negatively or wondering how things were going to turn out. I just worked hard, and just did the best I could. What happened was generally a surprise to me. I always believed that I would be in that ministry for a long time. I never thought of the next place I would be. I NEVER looked forward to another ministry while I was in that current ministry.

Generally, I left a church, with the idea, "Okay, Lord where to next." "Ah, I did my best, it’s to the next place." So I didn’t give much thought at the time as to why all this happened. You can’t correct the past, you can only improve for the future.

So in writing these comments on the ministries I have had the wonderful joy of working in, I trust I can demonstrate a correct picture, an honest one, and maybe be a help to me, and others who might go into the ministry.

I always thought I could do ministry, have never had the attitude "Oh my, what do I do." So the air was, "I know my work." Some have taken my attitude as arrogant, and not very humble, which has never been my attitude. Basically, it was just the opposite.

Even today after all these years, some still think that I need to learn humility. I have been asked to learn humility. Well, if they only knew, how dependent upon the Lord I really am.
But I do not believe you need to act dumb and talk like you don’t know anything, or walk like Erkel. Some call me a smart mouth, or a smart aleck. Which I don’t believe I am either....I have a weird sense of humor.

Check your spiritual health, examine your daily activities, believe your report that is within you.. Listen to others, but in light of your spirit. You know in your spirit if you have pleased the Lord. And if you have, keep going.

So I will try to present a commentary that is fair and balanced. And try to keep an attitude that I really was glad to be in that place at that time, and loved the people and loved the church.


Drafted Charles E Whisnant October 19th 2006 Proof-read by Charity Whisnant
Posted October 21st
WHAT IS THE PRINCIPLE THAT WE SHOULD USE TO DETERMINE GOD’S WILL?
DO WE REALLY NEED DOCTRINAL UNDERSTANDING OF THE BIBLE
part six

There is no danger of inconsequential doctrine; the real threat is an undoctrinal attempt at application. Application not based on solid interpretation has led Christians into all kinds of confusion.

I will sum up this series today.

It’s true that God is internal. This is to say, God’s presence and activity are within nature, human nature, and history, which is our original topic (remaining within; indwelling; inherent, internal.). It’s true that God’s immanency means that there are points at which the gospel can and does approach the unbeliever. God in His time can and does approach an unbeliever and causes him to believe the gospel story. There will be an instant in time in which man will be sensitive to the truth of the gospel story. But at the same time, evangelism aims to find those moments and direct the central idea to them. If this is correct, does God do this also with believers in making His purpose come about?

While we will use every available technique of modern learning to accomplish God’s purpose,it is God at work even when not doing it directly. For example, it is God’s work when by means of the use of medical knowledge, and the skill of a doctor, a sick person is brought back to health. The knowledge in any field of work, is part of God’s general revelation. So we prayed that our daughter would get well after forty days in the hospital. God answered that prayer through the hands of Dr. Hagihara, her surgeon. We will never cease to be dependent upon His working.. That is, we could never disregard prayer for His guidance or for His special intervention.

I understand that God decides that certain things will take place in our lives. The mapping out of God does not force men to act in definite ways, but renders it certain that they will freely act in those ways. Eph 2:10

Do people do what they do because God has decided that this is exactly how they are going to act, or does God first foresee what they will do and then on that basis make His decision as to what is going to happen Calvinists believe that God’s decision has rendered it certain that every individual will act in particular way. And of course Arminians say that God allows and expects man to exercise the will he has been given

As I try to understand this process of God knowing all things, He not only knows everything, but He causes all things to be as they are to be. The human mind just cannot fully understand that. Every action of mankind from here to eternity is already known by God. We are led to believe that every action of mankind and every action of nature is an action that God not only knows but also controls.

In other words. God’s purpose will be done, we know that. There are two different senses of God’s will as we are learning. Different theologians use different words to describe God’s Will;. but either way, His will and His purposes are absolute..

There is God’s specific intention in a given situation, what He decides shall actually occur. An example would be His gift of salvation. There are also times, and I would say many times, when God wills to permit things to happen that God does not desire to happen. God, I believe, will allow on occasions, for us to choose freely a sinful course of action. I think as I have said in this paper, that God will allow a church or/and leadership to make a wrong decision. It’s not God’s intention that a Preacher goes into sin, that is not His desire, yet He allows it to happen. He allows mankind, by their own volition to obey or disobey His wishes.. Why He does this we do not know. By choosing not to intervene to prevent the act, He is actually willing that it take place.

Then if God has already rendered certain what is to occur, is there any point in our seeking to accomplish His will? It’s often a point of view about evangelism. So why should we evangelize if it’s going to be a foregone conclusion? Good question, as I often hear.. His plan whereby He saves a person may well include that our witness is the means by which an elect person will come to saving faith. And secondly, we do not know in detail what God’s plan is. Thus we should carry on based on what God has proclaimed is His Will, or desire.
Our activity and the divine activity are not mutually exclusive. We have no basis for looseness, indifference, or resignation in the face of the fact that God is at work accomplishing His goals. God’s providence includes human actions.

We are not just to sit back and wait to see God’s purposes fulfilled. God wants each church to have elders, deacons, and leaders, and see sinners come to Christ as Lord and Savior. We are not just to sit and wait for it to happen, but to engage in the biblical principles of bringing these to pass.

Just because we are Calvinists in position, and believe in God’s sovereignty over all things, and there is the absolute that God will and does execute something

IT IN NO WAY EXCUSES US FROM GIVING OURSELVES DILIGENTLY TO BRINGING ABOUT ITS ACCOMPLISHMENT.


God brings about His purposes and plan, and He does so by commissioning the means to those ends, which includes human actions.

It is hard to summarize in a few words what God accomplishes, or does. This is blogging.

Maybe we could use the word "allow" rather than permit. Because my understanding is, God’s Will will be accomplished. But there are some things God desires of mankind that do not happen. God could at any time step in and prevent any action of mankind, yet he does allow those actions to happen. He can decide to allow a person to choose a sinful course of action against a believer, or a believer doing that which is not God’s desire for him to do. (sin). While I believe God is always in control of every situation, He does not tell a person to sin. I don’t think His sovereignty is defaulted if he allows sin to happen, or bad judgments to be made. His eternal plan cannot be affected by mankind. Acts 14:16 Romans 1 Matthew 19:8 2 Chronicles 32:31 and Psalms 81:12-13

  • Acts 14:16 Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways.
  • Matthew 19:8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.
  • 2 Chronicles 32:31 Howbeit in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to enquire of the wonder that was done in the land, God left him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart.
  • Psalms 81:12 So I gave them up unto their own hearts' lust: and they walked in their own counsels.13 Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, [and] Israel had walked in my ways!

  • My point is? God’s desires for mankind in general, are at times not obeyed. But He still supervises, oversees, controls, manages all things unto His glory.
    Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant October 13th and 14th Proof Read By Charity Whisnant. Posted 20th

Quoting Bruce Shelley...
"Theology comes from two Greek words: theos, meaning God, and logos, meaning word or rational thought. So theology is rational thought about God. It is not identical with religion. Religion is our belief in God and our effort to live by that belief. Theology is the attempt to give a rational explaination of our belief: it is thinking about religion."
Now I will watch the rest of the St. Louis and New York baseball game........
  • Unquestionable in this pursuit of biblical understanding is the commitment to obey God’s will. Study is not simply for the purpose of appreciating doctrine in the abstract. The energetic searching for biblical truth, the daily meditation on the Word, and the striving for sound interpretation are useful only if compelled by a yearning to please the Lord, and submit to His wishes.

WHAT IS THE PRINCIPLE THAT WE SHOULD USE TO DETERMINE GOD’S WILL?
DOES GOD FOREORDAIN EVERYTHING?

Application not based on solid interpretation has led Christians into all kinds of Confusion.

Part 5b Note 5 from yestersday...

Peter Y. Woo disagrees with Sproul
RC Sproul is wrong. "God foreordain everything" does not include every movement of every electron in the minds of Satan and the demons. He does foreordain a certain degree of us making decision and choices, yet He can predict history. This apparent paradox is illustrated by physics, where light particles are intractable individually, yet overall obeys some statistical laws of diffraction, etc. RC Sproul, like Calvin, does not see the wisdom of God in allowing for human individual free choice. That makes the wooing of our hearts to trust Jesus and be saved, all the more praise worthy. We noncalvinists have greater appreciation of God's wisdom and power than that of a watch maker. God decrees things, but not necessarily microscopically. That is wisdom.

Peter; If you think about what you said, it is not logical.
If God knows something in the future, but yet does not know the movements of say, the electrical mind particles with any certainty, then He can not be said to be sure of the future for if there is to be true certainty, then all the intrincities that make that certainty certain must also be known for certain. And for that to happen One must be able to be sovereign over those intrincities by making them happen whether directly by fiat or indirectly by law. "Non calvinists" only see the wisdom of the supposed freedom of man choosing, but not the sovereignty of God in all things. For Man to be free in the sense you are saying leaves God not in total control but in actuality leaves Man or natural law in control.

This is why God does not woo our hearts, but draws our hearts as one would draw water. To woo our hearts makes it possible that no Man would allow himself to be wooed, thus making the blessed sacrifice of Christ accomplish nothing but to damn all men , which would be a waste since we were all damned to begin with.

If I claim to be certain beyond a shadow of a doubt, which of course is impossible, then I must know for certain, with no chance of change, that all the elements that would come to pass must come to pass.

Now does He do this as the game is played or was it foreordained? It has to be foreordained for God to be God. Yes, our choices play into this ordination in some way, and there may be free choices within the foreordination, but yet in the final analysis , it must be controlled by God. Posted by: Fred on Tuesday over at oldtruth.co

  • I understand God is sovereign. In that sovereignty God allows or permits what ever happens. Does that mean that what He permits He approves?
    Does God allow us to make decisions that are not His Will, but allows us to do those things He does not approve of?
    In making a decision for a church elder, do we seek to discover God's will or do we wait and see how God is going to work it out? And how do you think God is going to work this out?
    Posted by: Charles E. Whisnant on Friday, October 13, 2006


Charles:
I don't think the bible says anywhere that God forfeits his sovereignty by yielding it to men. I know that you didn't use those words, but that's in effect what the case would be. And if it were the case, there is no way that God could have orchestrated the Cross to happen. One "decision" of man, one maverick Molecule as RC Sproul said above, could ruin God's plan. Instead we find passages such as Ephesians 1:11 in which God is said to work ALL THINGS, etc. We also have examples like this one from Acts 4:27-28, which help us to understand that He is doing more than just "permitting" and "allowing": "...for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place."Posted by: Jim from OldTruth.com on Friday, October 13, 2006


DO WE REALLY NEED DOCTRINAL UNDERSTANDING OF THE BIBLE

  • There is no danger of inconsequential doctrine; the real threat is an undoctrinal attempt at application. Application not based on solid interpretation has led Christians into all kinds of confusion.


We see that there is much to be said about this point of view. But it’s a good topic for us to learn. Doctrine for a Christian is like gasoline for a car. God in a sense is a mystery. Yet God has revealed Himself to us through the Word, and He has written down Doctrine to help us with living life. For every experience that we encounter in this daily life, there is a prescription from the Word of God that will address the situation

  • So our question within this series has been: HAS GOD DIRECTED THE DIRECTION THAT WE HAVE TRAVELED?. HAVE WE BEEN IN THE WILL OF GOD? IS THERE BIBLICAL EVIDENCE TO THE FACT THAT GOD HAS BEEN IN CONTROL OF ALL THE EVENTS.


We all say, "God you are in control, we pray that you would direct, guide, give wisdom, bring to yourself your own unto salvation...yes, but do we really believe God is in that much control?

\Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant October 13th Checked by Charity October 16th Posted 19th

WHAT IS THE PRINCIPLE THAT WE SHOULD USE TO DETERMINE GOD’S WILL?
The question is:
IS EVERY DECISION THAT LEADERSHIP MAKES GOD’S WILL AND PURPOSE?
WEDNESDAY
We continue this series today, and for the rest of the week.

In view of God’s sovereignty, can any decision be made that is not God’s will? Can any action that we make be outside of God’s purposes and plan for our life? Do we as pastors/teachers need to teach on subjects telling our members to walk according to the will of God for their lives? If their walk is going to be in the will of God anyway?

Is any decision made by mankind, outside the control of a sovereign God?

Is there not a contradiction at certain points between what God commands and says He desires and what He actually wills? Sin for an example is totally prohibited, yet apparently God wills for it to occur! (If your position is that God has granted everything that occurs.)

I was over at oldtruth.blogspot.com the other day and the discussion was about this subject
Quoting RC Sproul . . .
  • I began [a seminary class by reading this from] the Westminster Confession: God, from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass. I stopped reading at that point. I asked, "Is there anyone in this room who does not believe the words that I just read?" A multitude of hands went up. I then asked, "Are there any convinced atheists in the room?" No hands were raised. I then said something outrageous: "Everyone who raised his hand to the first question should also have raised his hand to the second question." http://www.oldtruth.com/blog.cfm/id.2.pid.484

We read this statement and say " unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass." So does this mean that His will is always done? That God in some sense foreordains whatever comes to pass is a necessary result of His sovereignty.

It only declares that God is absolutely sovereign over His creation. God can foreordain things in different ways. But everything that happens must at least happen by His permission. If He permits something, then He must decide to allow it. If He decides to allow something, then in a sense He is foreordaining it. Who, among Christians, would argue that God could not stop something in this world from happening? If God so desires, He has the power to stop the whole world.

  • Is there is one single molecule in this universe running around loose, totally free of God's sovereignty, then we have no guarantee that a single promise of God will ever be fulfilled. Perhaps that one maverick molecule will lay waste all the grand and glorious plans that God has made and promised to us. If a grain of sand in the kidney of Oliver Cromwell changed the course of English history, so our maverick molecule could change the course of all redemption history. Maybe that one molecule will be the thing that prevents Christ from returning. ...
  • Without sovereignty God cannot be God. If we reject divine sovereignty then we must embrace atheism. This is the problem we all face. We must hold tightly to God's sovereignty. Yet we must do it in such a way so as not to violate human freedom. ]

  • Of God's Eternal Decree
    "God, from all eternity, did by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass: yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established"
    .reformed. org/documents/wcf

"RC Sproul, like Calvin, does not see the wisdom of God in allowing for human individual free choice." says: Peter Y. Woo, Biola Univ. I ask .."so is this true?" Charles E. Whisnant

"I believe that whether we are speaking of God's decretive (active) will or His permissive (passive) will, both work together to bring about what He has ordained. In that sense we are safe in saying nothing occurs He hasn't ordained or that He hasn't willed to take place, or not take place, such as the case may be." covenantcorner.blogspot.com David Mccrory

This is rather deep to digest so I will post the last half of this post on Thursday. We continue to study this issue, How do we know how God is in control? By what means is God in control? Tune in Thursday.

Next week we will return to our pastoral ministry at First Baptist Church, Altoona.

Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant October 13th Checked by Charity 17th Posted 18th


WHAT IS THE PRINCIPLE THAT WE SHOULD USE TO DETERMINE GOD’S WILL? DECISIONS IN MINISTRY
Part Five
TUESDAY

Let me bring to an end of this post with John MacArthur’s answer for a church getting a Pastor.
Question:

If you had to speak to a member of a pulpit committee out in the future, for your sons, your grandsons, what kind of time commitment would you encourage them to set aside for a pastor-teacher to be able to devote his time to preaching, teaching, studying the Word of God?

John MacArthur's Answer
You know what I would say to that? That’s a great question, and you know what I would say to that committee? I would say, "You find a nice apartment for this guy and his wife and his family, and you pledge six months to him, and you let him come, and six months later, you decide." That’s what I would say. That’s a contractual thing. You’re not going to just rise and fall on a few "sugar-stick" sermons and give this guy hope, and then chew him up and spit him out in little pieces as soon as he says something that the oldest and longest tenured Sunday School teacher doesn’t agree with. It only takes one of those kind of guys to destroy a young man’s ministry. It’s all about turf, and it’s all about the pastor preaching something that you’ve been teaching the opposite in your class and you just got exposed, and you’re not happy. Or, somebody moved your power base or made it a little smaller or whatever—it’s amazing.

I would say, I think the worst way to candidate people for a church is to have them fly into town, ask them an afternoon’s questions, have him preach three sermons, and then have the people vote. It’s ridiculous. What do the people know? They don’t know. Why would they even be involved? I think the leaders of the church need to get together and they need to say, "We think this man could be a candidate, and we’re going to have him come, we’’re going to find a place for him to live that’s furnished, and we’re going to put him there for six months, and we’re going to see if this is a relationship made in heaven or not." When the six months is over, you sit down in an amiable way. The people know they’re not stuck, he knows he’s not stuck; it’s a period of evaluation, etc. He’s fully supported, he’s cared for—and there would even be a bridge from then out, if necessary, until he could find another place.

This idea of churches picking pastors—the most crucial decision they have—and they do it when they don’t have a pastor, which means they’re leaderless! They appoint this ad hoc committee of people who all have different criteria, they bring in this poor guy with all kinds of high hopes, and then just chop his legs out from under him, and make him become some kind of warrior who has to defend his family and his children and his own integrity in a battle that rages. I just think we need more time than that to find out whether this is going to really work. During that six months would be the time, behind the scenes, when that potential pastor would hammer out doctrinal convictions and say, "This is where I’m going to go if I’m going to be here. I’m going to show you why I’m going to go there. It’s not about preaching a sermon on this or that you might like—everybody can do that—it’s about here’s what I believe, here’s the direction I think this church needs to go, here’s what we need to do, here’s what needs to be put in place." You don’t say that to everybody; you don’t say that to the whole congregation; you say that to those who are in responsible leadership, and you find out if their hearts are knit with you, and that’s the way you’re going to go."

Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant, Friday October 13, 2006 Posted October 17, 2006

I am sure that most people who are in church leadership (those churches that I have been a part of) believe they are diligently seeking the Lord’s will, and they are doing to the best of their ability to accomplish God’s purpose and will for the local church. Their decisions are made with the best interest of the body of Christ.









WHAT IS THE PRINCIPLE THAT WE SHOULD USE TO DETERMINE GOD’S WILL? DECISIONS IN MINISTRY
Part Four
MONDAY
DECISIONS IN MINISTRY

My experiences in ministry have been interesting for sure. I have had to make decisions where to serve in ministry.

In those churches that I have served as Youth Pastor, Minister of Education, or Pastor, can I say they were the Lord’s purposes and plan for my life and for the church itself? Did I and the leadership of the churches seek to discover and know the Lord’s will? What were the factors that the leadership of the church used to determine who they believed was the Lord’s will? Was that even a thought?

I have often said to leadership and members of churches: "Have you really prayed and sought God’s will in this matter of me coming to serve in your church?"

I mean in several churches within three months the leadership and members were saying, "I think we made a mistake." I have said at times "I think I made a mistake in coming to the church!"

The leadership would say, "Yes we have prayed and have asked the Lord for guidance." Well... as I often say, "Then you should accept who the Lord brought to your church to serve you."

In other cases the church and leadership would say, "We have selected someone else to be our pastor, or Associate Pastor." Then they will say, "We believe the Lord has led us to this person." Then what happens within a year or more that Pastor is gone. So if the Lord’s will was for that man to come, why in a short time does he say, "I believe it’s the Lord’s will that I leave."

Can the Lord’s will be confused? Can the Lord’s will be disregarded? I personally believe this is often true. First, all of us are impaired spiritually.

We say when some ministry position doesn’t work out. "It was the the Lord’s will, He is in control." And we move on to the next adventure in our lives. We and the church believe it is all because the Lord purposed it to happen. But is this really true? Can we say in every circumstance God’s will was accomplished.? Can God’s purpose be accomplished but at the same time His "preceptive* will was not? God’s purposes will be indeed accomplished. Even when we continue to disobey His commands. or fail to do His expressed rule or principle that prescribes a particular course of action or conduct.

On several occasions, I believe the Lord has moved us into a position to be used in a church, before the church knew they were going to need a Pastor. How often have I preached "The Lord will send to our church those whom He chooses to help us accomplish His purposes for this church." A Sunday School teacher, a choir member, a piano player, a gifted person in some area. And we accept that. But when a minister comes to a church and joins, and then the need comes up, the church leadership will often look somewhere else. Could they have overlooked God’s choice and will?

John MacArthur has said (not a direct quote) "We need to have the ability to see what God is doing around us, and then join Him in that work." That is we need to discover His will for us and the church and then do it. But we want our will to be God’s will.

I think I should join the American Psychiatric Association Division of Religious Ministers.*
"A Preacher Jumps off the Golden Gate Bridge after Two Classes and taking the Prescribed Drug."*

After a preacher was hired to be the youth pastor of FBC by a margin of 13 votes, the pastor and his family moved six hundred miles to this church. After six months several of the longest tenured Sunday School teachers didn’t agree with him. He was teaching and acting contrary to what they agreed with.

They as a group went into the young people’s room and dismantled all the work which had gone into making the class room youth friendly .

The young youth pastor was so distraught that he became ill.
He checked into a counseling center and they prescribed some drugs to help him overcome this illness.
That very week due to an after affect of the drugs he found himself on the Golden Gate Bridge.
End of his life, end of story."
Does God require us to know His preceptive will? He has written His express rules and principles that prescribe a characteristic direction of action or conduct to fulfill His will.
It’s not a wait and see action. "Let’s see how the Lord is going to work this process out." Because if the Lord works out something, it’s going to be right
  • . Let me give an example of this: When I resigned as Pastor of FBC, in our search for a new pastor, we learned thru another pastor friend DeWayne Prossor of a young man who would be good. And within a month we had a visit with this young man, and he became pastor of FBC, for eight years. Good choice. I believe sometimes the Lord can do such things.

Pulpit Committees have a place in this process I guess, but generally they are mixed up, have their own biased points of view of what the church needs, and more often then not, fail to follow God’s prescribed principles and directions. And church members as a whole have less ability in this process.
*
WHAT IS THE PRINCIPLE THAT WE SHOULD USE TO DETERMINE GOD’S WILL? FOOTNOTE: A PERSONAL APPLICATION
Part Three

So can we conclude that more often than not, we miss the directive will of God. We miss the principle God has clearly stated in Scripture which would lead us to know His will. And He will allow us to make those decisions which are sometimes wrong. Sometimes I would say they are not the best choices to make, maybe not necessarily a wrong decision.

I remember in FBC in Altoona, Kansas, a missionary husband and wife, Russ and Rose Hanson, came through Altoona, drove to our home, and came to the front door on a Saturday afternoon. Russ came up to the door, and said, "Are you Pastor Whisnant?" I said, "Yes." "I am Russ Hanson, a missionary. I wonder if you would like me to present my work to your church on Sunday?"

And in a moment of time I without hesitation said, "Yes." They had their own mobile home, and they parked behind the church and spoke on Sunday Morning. They become our dear friends for all the time we were in Altoona.

My point. Sometimes to know the will of God, you need to have a mind that is set on obeying the Spirit of God, and keenly aware of what God is doing around you.

In this instance, and I might add, not in all cases like this, I responded with my spirit. Too often we struggle with the "if we should’s" rather than the leading of the Spirit.

If you believe God is working in your local church, and He is working out His purposes, and it’s in His timing, then if someone like a Russ Hanson, comes to your local church on a Saturday Night and asks to speak to your church on missions.... Then my question would be, do you really believe God is working out His purposes in His time? You say, "What happens next will be according to God’s timing and purposes..."

My question then is, "Do you have the mind that will allow you to see a Russ Hanson as being God’s timing and purposes for His local church?" Because Russ and Rose over the next few years proved to be in God’s timing and purpose for our church.

I didn’t have to wait three years to have the discernment of God’s will in this matter. A quick mind set that is focused on the will of God, will be able to made decisions like that.

John MacArthur speaks on the subject of doing God’s will. He says, "If you are living in His righteousness, then you can do what you want." That is, if you are doing all that the Lord is asking you to do, your desires and will and wants will be to do the will of God. You will have developed a mind that is like Christ. I have heard John say, "Where my mind ends and Christ’s mind starts are close." That is, he has so put his mind in the mind of Christ that he thinks Christ.

Sometimes you instinctively know.

If the folks in Corinth had checked out Paul, and checked on his background, he would have never been invited to speak at the church. We don’t trust the Lord as much as we trust in a goggle search.

When your mind gets off the Lord and on men, you will get confused about the will of God. "Well let me check you out first, let me see if you are going to be a fit for our church, let’s pray about this matter for the next few months. In my opinion you may have thus missed the right timing of God’s purpose He had for your church.

I was not so sure then, I didn’t know the why’s. But in an instant I made a decision, a trust of my spirit that the Lord was in this matter.

I have always said, "Why can’t the Spirit of the Lord just tell us, if this is the right man." Why do we need to spend a year or a year and a half in searching for God’s man. Why a background check, a FBI search. Are we asking the secular world to confirm God’s choice. If we are, then I believe God is not in it.

You do all the goggle search you want on a person, but that is not the way to find God’s will for His purpose for the church. I believe it’s possible that God in His time can bring to the local church the person He desires to be one of the pastors of the church, before the church even knows they will soon need a pastor. The Lord has already set in place the man He wants in that church. But because the church has not a clue of the working of God in their midst, they will go out and search for a year for someone, whom they believe is God’s will, and hire him, and then within the first year, realize that they might have made a bad decision.
Growing in the understanding of God's Word is a process that continues in our life time.
Sometimes even before I finish a post, my understanding is changing about the wonderful work and work of Christ.
Continues part four on Monday What John MacArthur says about hiring a preacher for your church.

Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant October 12th 2006 Proof-read Charity 10 12-20 Posted 10-14