Part Three in this Series
Each day in a twenty four hour interval, with billions of people all over the world, think of all the happenings that take place! Many of us may think, "I may well be inconsequential in the scheme of things." But is that true?
We might get up in the morning and say, "This day is going to be another insignificant day in the overall design of things."
- When John Piper asked Shai Linne hip hop artist to sing at Bethlehem Baptist Church one Sunday Morning, what was he thinking at the time?
- When Ted Haggard, pastor of the church he started, New Life Church, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with over 14,000 in membership, gradually admitted to purchasing methamphetamine and the services of a male prostitute.... What was he thinking? Did he think that his behavior would be "inconsequential in the scheme of things?
- When John MacArthur, long time pastor of Grace Community Church in Van Nuys, California wrote the book "The Gospel According To Jesus Christ" in 1988, what was he thinking? Did he think that the book would have little importance in the Christian realm. "
"And it’s true that "I may well be inconsequential in the scheme of things", but in the predetermined thought and plan of God, none of us IS "beside the point" individuals." Charity said, "Who said this?" I said "me." She said, "I like ‘none of us is beside the point." charles e. whisnant
These three occurrences over the last several weeks have made the headlines. One has made the national media spotlight. All three events have made the blogsphere, and the web sites.
So do any of these I have mention have any real significant meaning in the life of individuals? Are they going to affect our churches as to how they will worship? Are they going to change opinions of individuals about pastors and ministers? Are they going to have any effect on what pastors/elders will think about their own ministry?
Should pastors/teachers/ministers even address these issues? What if a member of our church would say, "Pastor Charles, would you approve if Shai Linne would come and perform in our worship services?" What would I even say? Michele what would I have said?
Would I want to address the Ted Haggard situation? It’s been on the news. I would say many of our members have heard about this. They certainly have heard about Jimmy Swaggart.
What if a member picks up the book "The Gospel According to Jesus Christ" and reads this by John MacArthur:
- "Salvation is by grace and has nothing to do with human works. But the only possible response to God’s grace is broken humility that causes the sinner to turn from his old life to Christ. The evidence of such a turning is the willingness to submit and obey. If disobedience and rebellion continue unabated, there is reason to doubt the reality of a person’s faith" (TGATJ, page 113)
Pastor, do you believe that my husband is saved? How are you going to answer the wife?
What if a member comes and asks, "Pastor, how can we know if your personal life is truly right with the Lord? And how should we as believers respond to those who are accused of actions that are sinful?"
When I was pastor at FBC in Altoona, and when a national Baptist TV pastor was divorced from his wife, the church he was pastoring said he could continue to pastor the church. Several members asked me, "Pastor Charles, would you resign if you were divorced from Charity?" And I said kidding, "No, I wouldn’t have to. She would kill me." "Divorce never, murder, maybe," she is always saying. Right dear?
I am not necessarily fundamentally reformed, but I am not necessarily the same fundamentalist I once was either. (Quick to make judgments and to make statements instantaneously without thinking it through.) I understand that I can’t undo forty years of ministry, and for the most part I wouldn’t anyway.
I have opinions, and I normally express them. Over the years they have been rather clear.
I love to read, and there are enough resources that will address all these issues. Of course, a book will soon come out on these subjects. Christian periodicals will also address these issues, and they have been a part of my reading for years. Also preachers will address these issues, and I will listen to their tapes. Then there are those who are on radio, CDR for example that will address these issues. Of course there is the Bible. And then there is Ron Brown. (He is a long time good friend)
I will address Ted Haggard next, then Piper, and then Lordship Salvation.
Written by Charles E. Whisnant 11-09-06 Proof-read by Charity 11-09 and posted 11-10-06