About Me

My photo

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

DEALING BIBLICALLY WITH CRITICISM
PT ONE
Footnote:
I went to dictionary. com and found there were 228 results for criticism
  • "Criticism in general terms means democratic judgment over the suitability of a subject for the intended purposes, as opposed to the authoritarian command, which is meant as an absolute realization of the authority's will, thus not open for debate."
  • "Constructive criticism is the process of offering valid and well-reasoned opinions about the work of others with the intention of helping the reader or the artist, rather than creating an oppositional attitude"

  • You could use these words as well: interpretation, judgment, notice, observation, opinion.

People in the public eye will face criticism. Andpeople will deal with criticism differently.

My friend Bruce Traeger from Cedarville College: on how people deal with "disagreements."

  • "For some, disagreement is the enemy of their soul and therefore, those who think differently from them are to be opposed at all costs. For theirs is a life of certain knowledge which can only be instructedfurther by those who already think like them. "

I've encountered it quite frequently as a pastor, and a few times as a blogger. I'm sure that those who have analyzed one of my sermons, or made a suggestion regarding one of my threads , think that I have callously or arrogantly brushed it aside without a thought if I don't fully and instantly embrace their view. I understand that thinking; however, this is seldom (if ever) the case. (Except when DeWayne Prosser makes his judgments, and then I listen 99% of the time.)

.Evaluating and responding to criticism is a very thin narrow wire, I think; and I think you'll agree, if you think it through with me

Hugh "Squish" Hewitt likes to quote a proverb, "When everyone tells you you're drunk, sit down." There's clearly wisdom in those words: if you keep hearing the same thing from person after person after person, the odds are good to excellent that they're seeing something. And you're a fool if you shrug it off without a thought. The proverb has wisdom, I say, but not all wisdom. The answer to the rhetorical question, "Can [however many] Frenchmen be wrong?" is "Of course they can." Think of it Biblically. Consider this:

  • "When Pharaoh drew near, the people of Israel lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they feared greatly. And the people of Israel cried out to the LORD. 11 They said to Moses, "Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us in bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: 'Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians'? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness." (Exodus 14:10-12)


It’s clear here in this story. These are the people of God! They'd just prayed (v. 10), so what they said had religious framework! They said in one accord that Moses had brought them all out to die in the wilderness! They said they knew it all along!And they were all wrong!Then think of the spies' report in Numbers 13. Twelve spies sent, twelve came back, ten of the twelve - a landslide! - said that there was no way they could take the land. And they were dead wrong.But they did influence most of the people, and most of the people took their counsel and performed on it. And they were dead wrong.

Think of Israel at Jesus' time. "Crucify! Crucify!" Religious people, all united and fervent in their opinion; all dead wrong. For that matter, think of Israel today, the vast majority of whom still are stubbornly and hard-heartedly in a state of Deuteronomy 18:19.So the Christian must know that it is possible for the vast majority of any body of devout to be absolutely certain, enthusiastic, heartily and specifically condemning, and utterly, completely, dead wrong.

But it isn't merely a political phenomenon, for scores of pastors and writers are little different. They preach topically, so as to avoid unpopular truths. In interviews or private conversations, they may insist that they hold these truths. "Hold them" they may; "hold them high" they do not.So we should disregard all criticism, right?Well, of course not. And here we must turn about, lean over and examine the other side of this narrow ridge on which a Christian leader must stand, with its equally disastrous drop off.

Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant and Proof Read by Charity Whisnant

DO WE MISINTERPRETING GOD?
BY OUR FEELINGS AND EMOTIONS
PART TWO

I would sent out résumés to churches about a staff position. When I was in Lexington, KY, I must have sent out fifty résumé. Once I had five churches that we were communicating with, and I thought surely one of them would work out for us. And you know not one worked out. And I wanted to say to the Lord, what is it about me that you don’t trust? Could all this be the Lord sending me a coded message?

After all the Lord called me to preach? (That is another post), so why wasn’t any church calling me to come a preach? That was the feelings, emotions, etc. I was having at the time.

Let’s reflect for a moment on the other side of this point, I have had some very good staff positions. There have been some very good results of ministry as a youth pastor and as a pastor. I would say to Charity, "The Lord sure is blessing the work here, isn’t He?" "The Lord must be pleased with us here!"

Does good results demonstrate God’s pleasure and bad result designate God’s displeasure?
Have we misread God here?

If we use the matrix surroundings or environement as the interpretive point, we will discover its not

What I have had to learn, in pastoral ministry or personal life, the interpretive, explanatory environment, is not and cannot be the experience itself. Where the ministry is good or bad or not doing so well, is not to be the interpretive of the Lord’s blessings or displeasure for us.
That is good to have learned. The experiences are not self - interpreting, as to where the Lord is happy or mad. They are not signs he uses.

So what is the interpretive grid for a Christian who is practicing the faith he affirms? The Bible provides the declarative grid.So again I ask the question: Is this how a Christian should respond to life's miseries or successes? Should he try to read them as encrypted messages from God, trying to discern His heart and directions from them?

It’s true that we should examine our lives. Every message I preached, I would examine my life in light of what I had preached. We should test ourselves (I Corin 11:32; 2 Corinthians 13:5). When I was preaching I Thessalonians I would say, Lord am I the kind of pastor/teacher I need to me. Is there some sin I need to confess daily? Yes, we should do that all the time for sure, not just when things are going badly?.

Every thing at first went wrong with Job but it was not a sign of God’s disapproval. Adversity or overabundance are not a sure indicator of God’s approval or disfavor.

"Read God’s stance towards you, and discern God’s will for you, in the perspicuous volume of Scripture - - - not in the opague codebook of Providence." Larry D. Pettegrow article "The Perspicuity of Scripture." Larry a professor of Theology. The clarity of Scripture.

We want to think the Lord is in what we might perceive "as a storm in our life." Is He of course. He does control the storm (Psalms 115:3, Ephesians 1:11)
  • What we need to know, the ASSAULTS (STORMS) (events) is not what tells you whether God loves you or is pleased with you or what He holds you accountable for doing. We find that out in the Word. Those ministries experiences, those life’s experiences, good and bad, are going to be apart of God invincible purposes. (Romans 8:28)


We like to read into PROVIDENCE. Most of the time its in retrospect, Hebrews 12:11 "For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it."

I have learned that it is a dangerous thing to believe that our hearts and feelings are trustworthy guides to all of life. How many times have you heard "Go with your heart." "Well I feel it’s the Lord’s Will." That is a trap I have fallen in several times. Its dangerous. Rather we should but out dependance in the Scripture.

What often gets us in trouble with ourselves (emotional) is when we justify our desires by focusing our perceptions of what we want to feeling rather than what the Scripture teaches. We feel we should start this ministry, or get involve in this ministry.


Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant 01 24 07 and Checked by Charity Whisnant

MISINTERPRETING GOD?
Hunches and Bad Feelings
"I have no feelings on that!"
part one of two

Most of my life I have tried (I think) to comprehend God’s will for my life, and for ministry, and for living my life as a husband, a father, and as a person in general. I believe I have misread God’s several times in my life.

One particular point of conventional spiritualist's wisdom is the idea that God's hand can be discerned by the feelings a situation creates. "I feel this is right for me to do today." is an often used comment we hear. While you should perhaps feel good doing the right things, and feel bad about doing the wrong things, your feelings or emotional state at the time doesn’t mean God is making a statement to you in come kind of code, mixed in with the situation that you are currently in.
God's hand, His presence in an event, is discovered (we're told) by the feelings of serene peace, joy, love, and/or closeness to God that we feel. If it makes us happy, if it makes us feel close to God, then it is of God. If it's frightening and repellent, God cannot be in it. (Dan Phillips)

Do we MISCONSTRUE, MISINTERPRET, MISREAD GOD?

"Reading providence is a fool's game, yet it never lacks players." Dan PhillipsDiscontented with Scripture, yearning for something God never promises, countless Christians read feelings, circumstances, events, hoping to discern God's personal coded messages in them. They may not use tea-leaves and chicken gizzards, but they no less are acting as psychics rather than divines. The results can be devastating and enslaving.

Most Christians have a genuine desire to know the will of God for their lives. Saul want to know God’s will in a matter. He was so discontented over this matter that he finally went to a soothsayer. He thought God might work through the soothsayer.

Its amazing how Christians see what God is doing in their lives by means of feeling and emotions and circumstances and events that come into their lives.

In my own life, there have been so many events that have been distasteful, bitter, painful reversals taken place in my life, and in ministry. My first natural reaction at times seem to be that of the disciples when they saw Jesus walking on the water. They knew it was Jesus, but they perceived Him as a ghost. (Mark 9)
It was Jesus the disciples saw; it was not Jesus they perceived. What they experienced did not mean what they thought it meant.More than we would like to admit we want to read into our experience something Christ is saying to us.

When I was asked to leave a staff position at a church, I perceived that this termination of ministry was a reflection of the Lord’s heart toward me. Okay Lord what is it that you are trying to tell me? Boy I really felt bad. While thinking the Lord wanted me to be on the church staff, and I really believed I was doing my best, and then I was asked to leave, or the work was not working out so well, etc. "God are you telling me that you are displeased with me." You know the feeling?

Then you go to another place, another job, or another ministry, and the experience might be the same. Then you really might begin to say, "Okay Lord, why are you disappointed in me?

Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant Proof Checked by Charity Whisnant
Footnote:
Today is my son Eric's lst Wedding Ann. He and Leslie are doing great.
Talked to my sister Ellen last week. She is taking care of my mother, who is 85 years old.
FOUNDATIONAL PRINCIPLES UPON WHICH THE CHURCH STANDS

Sola Scriptura (by Scripture alone). This phrase expresses the basic Reformationbelief that no source other than Scripture should be the authority in matters of faith and practice. The church's only authority lies in the authority of Scripture. The Scriptures are completely sufficient for all the Christian needs to know, believe, and practice in the Christian life. It also affirms that what we believe and practice is based on a revelation from God in the Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:16, 17).
Sola Gratia (by grace alone). This phrase affirms that we are saved from the wrath and justice of God by his grace alone. The Bible states that man is dead in sin (Ephesians 2:1-3) and has no moral ability, desire, or will to come to Christ on his own (John 6:44-45, 63-65; 1 Cor. 2:14; Rom. 8:7-8). Therefore, God is the sovereign initiator of our salvation (John 1:12-13; Ephesians 2:4-5; Romans 9:16). Even faith and repentance are gifts from God (Eph. 2:8-9; 2 Tim. 2:26). Salvation, from beginning to end, is a matter of God's grace. This gives us confidence in evangelism since it is God who makes the proclamation of the gospel effective.
Sola Fide (by faith alone). We are saved by faith in Christ alone. While good works flow from faith and demonstrate faith, they do not contribute to our salvation in any way (Ephesians 2:8-10).
Solus Christus (by Christ alone). Salvation only comes from the accomplished work of Christ. There is no way of salvation except through Christs perfect work (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). Christ, as Prophet, Priest, and King, is the only mediator of God's covenant relationship with his people (1 Tim. 2:5). No one can enter God's presence except through faith in Christ.
Soli Deo Gloria (for God's glory alone). Our Triune God alone receives all the glory for our salvation and anything we have or accomplish in our lives. This idea is based on the other Reformation principles. God, the Father elects us to salvation (Eph. 1:3-6; 2 Tim. 1:9); God, the Son redeems his elect (Eph. 1:7; Matt. 1:21; Rev. 5:9-10; John 17:2); God, the Holy Spirit applies salvation to the elect of God (Eph. 1:13-14; Titus 3:5). Since God, in his mercy and grace, is the initiator of our salvation, then God alone receives all the glory. As a church, we do not exist for ourselves, but only to give glory to God. This also means that we encourage the individual members of our church to cultivate in their lives an attitude of living for God's glory in all that they do (1 Cor. 10:31).

Sola Scriptura and the role of teachers in our spiritual growth
STUDY OF SCRIPTURES
fifth of five
Summary:


  • Sola Scriptura means that Scripture alone is the final court of appeal in all matters of faith and practice. It is an affirmation that "the whole counsel of God, concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man's salvation, faith, and life, is either expressly set down in scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from scripture" and that "nothing at any time is to be added [to the Bible], whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men." It recognizes that there is ultimately no higher spiritual authority than God's Word, so "the infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself; and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture . . . it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly."


But none of that means we're obliged to discard the wisdom of godly men from ages past and require each man to try to discern truth from scratch by reading nothing but Scripture by himself. As for Calvin, he certainly did "point people to the truth in God's Holy Word"——but one thing he did not do was steer people away from the important theologians of the past. In fact, Calvin's works are filled with references to the Church Fathers——Augustine in particular. Calvin knew it was important to demonstrate that he was proposing nothing wholly novel and that his theology was in the doctrinal lineage of the greatest theologians of the church. He regarded himself as Augustinian, in precisely the same way many today think of themselves as "Calvinists."


If Calvin wrote for this blog and someone responded to one of his posts by refusing to read what Augustine wrote, Calvin would probably write that person off as arrogant and unteachable.


JOHN MACARTHUR, T.D. JAKES, JACKHAYWARD, JOHN HAGEE

What would made me think that I could do a better exegete of the text than T.D. Jakes or Benny Hinn, let alone John MacArthur or Charles Spurgeon?

Why would someone in FBC want to listen to me and believe what I would say and question let us say T.D. Jakes? Or Joel Osteen? After all, 30,000 people heard Joel Osteen preach last Sunday. You might say, "Are you both saying the same things?" I have had members say, that I sound and teach just like Jimmy Swaggart! Or they will say, "What is wrong with Osteen or Hinn or others of like teaching."

On of the questions I have asked: "What do you think of J.D. Jakes?" Christians are searching for someone who can help them grow in their spiritual life.

I have said often, "Why do I believe what I teach?" How do I really know that I know what Ephesians chapter one is teaching for sure? Can I say with certainty that what I preach and teach is what the Lord intended the text to mean? How do I know?

I must be able to say, after diligent study, "This is what I have come to believe the meaning of the text means." Can I reach into my mind and pull out from my mind the understanding of every meaning of the text? Does the mind have the ability to give out information that has not been there previously? Of course I would like to know how the brain works in the first place.

I put into my mind all kinds of data and information, and it’s called, I believe, intelligence. If I have learned my ABC’s and how they are sounded out, I have a good chance of knowing what a group of letters put together will sound like. "WHISNANT" I can ask Charity how to spell any word, and she has the ability to spell the word. How does she have that ability and I don’t? What is in her brain that is not in my brain? Don’t answer that question!

What data we put into our brain, will give the brain the ability to think, and give us understanding.

Footnote: The Brain "in the head" it’s the origin of thought.

  • The brain controls a wide variety of functions. It is the site of reason and intelligence, which include such components as cognition, perception, attention, memory, and emotion.

  • The brain undergoes transition from wakefulness to sleep (and subtypes of these states). These state transitions are crucially important for proper brain functioning. (For example, it is believed that sleep is important for knowledge consolidation, as the neurons appear to organize the day’s stimuli during deep sleep by randomly firing off the most recently used neuron pathways; additionally without sleep, normal subjects are observed to develop symptoms resembling mental illness, even auditory hallucinations." Every brain state is associated with characteristic brain waves. So I guess we need to get a lot of sleep.


Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant Proof Checked by Charity Whisnant 01 22 07

Sola Scriptura and the role of teachers in our spiritual growth
STUDY OF SCRIPTURES

Sola Scriptura means that Scripture alone is the final court of appeal in all matters of faith and practice.
  • "It is often asserted by devout people that they can know the Bible completely without helps. They preface their interpretations with a remark like this: "Dear friends, I have read no man's book. I have consulted no man-made commentaries. I have gone right to the Bible to see what it had to say for itself." This sounds very spiritual, and usually is seconded with amens from the audience."


But is this the pathway of wisdom?


How do you understand the meaning of the text? Too often people who have had no formal training, nor are in churches where expository preaching is preached will say: " I just read the verses and I know what it means." I have heard many preachers say this same thing. It’s true that anyone can read the Bible and have a general understanding of the words they read. You can be ten years old or eighty years old and have a general sense of what the Bible is saying. Especially you can read the Old Testament and understand the history and stories. . You don’t even need to be a Christian to read the Bible. You have heard that the Russian Leader memorized several books in the New Testament.

On the other hand if those people are in a church where expository preaching is preached each week, they will have a greater ability to understand the meaning of the text. I would say those in Grace Community Church, John MacArthur pastor/teacher, have a greater capacity of understanding the meaning when they go to the Scripture because they have been taught by a teacher who week after week has given them the meaning of the text.

Suppose there is a person who has never been in church, never heard a sermon by John MacArthur or Charles Whisnant, and he becomes a Christian at the age of twenty one. How much will that person be able to know what the Bible is teaching? Will he grow spiritually and in the knowledge of the Word by sitting down and reading the Bible?

For example: Brett and Laura Busby, both had not been in church, were not saved when they came to FBC. They both became Christians within a few weeks following coming to FBC.

My belief was to teach the Word of God in such a way that they would know the principles of the Word and be able to apply those principles to their life and thereby grow spiritually.
The teaching of the Word and the work of the Holy Spirit provide the Believer the ability and mind to understand what they have heard and read and to obey the principles set forth in the Word.

I used to say, "The Holy Spirit will give you the assurance in your mind, what I am saying is correct." I have always believed that each person who hears me preach a message, should check out for themselves if what I say is correct. How do they do that? By their own thinking? I don’t think so, but by a diligent search through study of the Word.

"Well, I just do not think that is right, preacher." If it’s off the "top of their mind", it’s not valid. But if they were to research by diligent study and come back and say "Pastor, could we take a closer look at the text." That would be great for both of us.

"Pastor, I was reading the Bible the other day and it came to me that this verse means this." And how did you come up with this meaning?" "It just came into my head, without anyone telling me a thing." Or they will say, "while I was listening to T.D. Jakes or Benny Hinn, they said such and such, and I believe they could be right." " What do you think Pastor Charles?"
I will finish up next time:

Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant, Checked Charity Whisnant

Reading theological books have been part of my study for forty years. Reading the Bible from Genesis to Revelation yearly has been a part of my study for forty years. Listening on tape the Bible is also a part of my study. God has already spoken in His Word, lets read it, and study to get an understanding.



















Sola Scriptura and the role of teachers in our spiritual growth
STUDY OF SCRIPTURES

It is often asserted by devout people that they can know the Bible completely without helps. They preface their interpretations with a remark like this: "Dear friends, I have read no man's book. I have consulted no man-made commentaries. I have gone right to the Bible to see what it had to say for itself." This sounds very spiritual, and usually is seconded with amens from the audience.But is this the pathway of wisdom? Does any man have either the right or the learning to by-pass all the godly learning of the church? We think not. What do you think?
PART THREE

Is it possible to have an understanding of the Bible without other teachers? How did we learn to read the Bible? How did we come to know the meaning of words that are in the Bible?

Every Christian should spend a lot of time reading the Scriptures. How you understand the Scripture is reading regularly

There is a struggle for a deeper understanding of God's Word in those of us who earnestly want to live as Christians. We have a desire to be rich in knowledge of the whole armor of God. We desire to know God, and He has revealed Himself in His Word. So we must know His Word. This is what matters, to grasp and learn the Word in all its significance and actuality.
In order for this to be achieved we need tools which will help us gain a deeper knowledge of the Word. These tools give us greater ability to know God and His Word. We appreciate teachers who can open our minds to the Old and New Testament for us, especially from the view point of the original text.

It is true however, our belief remains absolute and certain: the Holy Spirit is the only true interpreter of the Word of God.. Nevertheless, the appeal for the Holy Spirit does not exclude earnest and energetic study.

If we didn’t have Martin Luther’s works we would not have this comment: In 1524 Luther wrote this concerning the value of the Greek language:

  • "In the measure that we love the Gospel, so let us place a strong emphasis on the languages. For it was not without reason that God wrote the Scriptures in two languages, the Old Testament in Hebrew and the New Testament in Greek. That language which God did not despise but rather chose above all others for His Word is the language which we also should honor above all else. It is a sin and shame that we do not learn this language of our Book, especially since God has now provided us people and books, and gives us all kinds of things which both help us with this task and at the same time stimulates us to do this."


I believe that every word in the original language was there for a purpose. I believe each word had meaning. Just think -- the New Testament was written 2000 years ago and was written to be read until the end of time, for all people in all places. I believe we need to take in the grammatical side of the text that we are investigating. What may seem to be unimportant at first "but" or "for" "nevertheless" could hold the key to the understanding of the text before us.

We could just read the verse and come up with what we believe it is saying in general. We have a general sense of what John 3 :16 says. "For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

When one reads this verse there is a general sense and then there is as richer meaning . There are several interpretations of this verse. It could mean "whosoever believes in Jesus" could have eternal life. It could mean that God loves the whole world and that Jesus died for the whole world.

Drafted By Charles E. Whisnant and Proof Read By Charity Whisnant

I wrote this whole article as one paper, but have divided the article in five parts.

I am glad I am not President Bush. His every comment is challenged. And on TV.

My thoughts are my own. After reading other thoughts, on other blogs, or articles, I form some ideas on the subject. Subject to change after reading MacArthur.















Sola Scriptura and the role of teachers in our spiritual growth
STUDY OF SCRIPTURES
part two of five
Phil Johnson said this:
  • "You have seriously misunderstood sola Sriptura if you really imagine that it rules out human teachers or eliminates systematic theology. The Reformers (including Calvin) often cited the works of Augustine, Tertullian, Jerome, Cyprian, Ambrose, and others——ranging from the early church fathers through Aquinas. They didn't follow any of them slavishly, of course, but they certainly took them seriously. Not one of the major Reformers would have tolerated the claim that because the Church Fathers were mere men they were therefore irrelevant or incapable of shedding any helpful light on tough theological questions."

  • A Few Comments if we didn’t have Theology Books and Commentaries, etc.

  • Just think, if we didn't have other teachers to help us in our preaching and teaching and spiritual growth many good men might have to ask for an increase in salary. Some broadcasts (the old Oliver B Greene radio program gave books for an offering) might not have the income without the offer of books for an offering. Our Christian Bookstores stock some great books.

  • We would not have the writings of the early fathers. This generation of preachers and teachers would not have the joy of reading the great preachers of the past.
    Think of the next generation of preachers who would not have the writings of John MacArthur, or J.I. Packer, or Chuck Swindoll.


Sola Scriptura means that Scripture alone is the final court of appeal in all matters of faith and practice. It is an affirmation that "the whole counsel of God, concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man's salvation, faith, and life, is either expressly set down in scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from scripture" and that "nothing at any time is to be added [to the Bible], whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men." It recognizes that there is ultimately no higher spiritual authority than God's Word, so "the infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself; and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture . . . it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly."

Yes, we should know our Bible, and know how to study the text. How are we going to know "how" without a teacher?" We should be grateful for those who make it easier for us.

But none of that means we're obliged to discard the wisdom of godly men from ages past and require each man to try to discern truth from scratch by reading nothing but Scripture by himself.

Spiritual growth happens when the Holy Spirit quickens our mind and gives us understanding of what we learned from our study of the Scriptures.

Personally I appreciates sound teachers and their energy and writing (and recognize the Spirit inspires teaching in some, as the Bible says), and realizes my debt to them for believing what I do comprehend of doctrine from the Bible, I still have to say that it should come to everybody at some point that they should make the effort to go to the Scriptures unfiltered and discover in them just what it is they are to believe and to do. All the great theologians showed evidence of having done this for themselves at some point. And I do mean actually developing the wheel. Or rediscovering it on your own, for yourself.


Drafted By Charles E. Whisnant 01 22 07 Proof Checked By Charity Whisnant





Sola Scriptura and the role of teachers in our spiritual growth
STUDY OF SCRIPTURES
part one of four
Some one wrote:
  • Your identity as a "Baptist"; your endless quotations from Charles Spurgeon; your faithful devotion to John MacArthur; and especially your willingness to call yourself a "Calvinist" are all huge red flags that tell me something is seriously wrong with your theology. Why do you teach a system of doctrine that is named after a mere man? Why are you following human teachers instead of going to the Bible alone? After all,
    1 John 2:27 says, "The anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you."

  • We ought to go to Scripture alone to establish our doctrine! The truth is in God's Holy word, not in any theological system or theology textbook developed by mere men.Isn't that principle what the Reformation was originally about? Sola Scriptura? Didn't even Calvin himself go to Scripture for the truth instead of reading other men? I believe that if Calvin himself wrote for this blog, he would point people to the truth in God's Holy word, not to a theology developed by some other man.

MY REPY TO THIS: So do we need to read and study other men to grow spiritually?

It would seem to me that as I study the Scriptures it is possible that I might come to a conclusion that is neither biblical nor orthodox. And, being that in our day it is pretty easy to find someone to support my belief however ridiculously unbiblical, I had better be careful who I choose to support my exegesis.

And, if I discover that there is no valid support of my exegesis - then I should reconsider what it is that I have concluded - 'scripture is not open to private interpretation.'The teachers that I choose to consult or quote as I teach or preach should only support or amplify my exegesis?

Is this true? I used to believe that! John R. Rice! Jack Hyles! Oliver B. Greene! Harry Ironside! J. Frank Norris! C.I. Scofield! The American Commentary by Alvah Hovey. Systematic Theology by Berkhof. How about that list?

I was taught to choose those men who supported my belief systems. My thinking was formed early. I am thankful that my father provided a well-rounded group of books that had different points of view.

However, the key is that I am studying the Scripture and seeking to understand what the Author intended.

Of course that sounds very professional speaking. Of course a minister should know how to understand the Word of God. It a little unsettling to think you do not know how to study the Bible.


A THESSALONICA WAY OF EVANGELISM
part two

21st CENTURY APPLICATION

There is an important lesson to learn here. We are a very media-conscious generation. We know the power of the mass media on the public mind. Consequently, we want to use the media in evangelism. By print and tape, by audio and video cassettes, by radio and television and even iPod we would like to saturate the world with the good news. And rightly so. In principle nobody should debate with this ambition. We should connect the gospel to every modern medium of communication which is open to us.
THE WORD OF MOUTH METHOD OF EVANGELISM

Nevertheless there is another way, which (if we must compare them) is still more effective. It requires no complicated electronic gadgetry; it is very simple. It is neither organized nor computerized; it is instinctive. And it is not expensive; it costs precisely nothing. We might call it ‘holy chat’. It is the delighted spreading from person to person the influence which the good news is having on people. "Have you heard what has happened to so and so?" Did you know that such and such a person has come to believe in God and has been completely transformed? Something extraordinary is going on in Thessalonica: a new society is coming into being, with new appreciations and standards, characterized by faith, love and hope."

The result of such free advertising was enormous. "So that we need not to speak any thing, for they themselves show of us what manner of entering in(1529) we had unto you." (8b-9a). Better, ‘‘we do not need to explain to other people about it: other people tell us...’’ (JB). Not only were the media excessive; the missionaries felt superfluous also! For the message was spreading without them, and everybody seemed to know it already. The"manner of entering" (is a pres. tense) indicates a continuous and repeated action. Travelers from many parts of the world (Roman Empire) met Paul in Corinth and they would immediately begin to tell what they had heard in Thessalonica. They already knew that Paul had entered into the city and established a church.

Please understand, I think the apostle Paul may be forgiven for a little harmless exaggeration. He did not mean literally that he was no longer necessary. At least he did not resign, or apply for indefinite furlough. No. He carried on preaching the gospel, but especially where Christ was not known (Rom.15:20). For we take his point: the gospel news was advancing spontaneously.
Exactly what was the news which was spreading far and wide from Thessalonica? According to verse 8 it was ‘their faith in God.’ But according to verse 9 what people were hearing and reporting was ‘what kind of reception you gave us’ and how the Thessalonians were converted. Paul then goes on in verses 9b and 10 to give a three-part analysis of Christian conversion, which is arguably the fullest account of it in the New Testament. It indicates that conversion involves
  • A decisive split with idols,

  • A dynaic service of God, and

  • A dedicated staying for Christ.

These three steps are summed up in the verbs ‘‘you turned...to serve...and to wait...’’. Indeed, this succinct threefold statement has suggested to several commentators that Paul was making use of an already existing formula.


The Thessalonian believers had made a complete and total change in their lives and worship. Others saw in the Thessalonian believers, serving a living and true (real, genuine) God. AMEN.


Sort of like when Jonah arrived in Nineveh they already knew all about Jonah and were ready to believe his message.


Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant 01 16 07 Proof Checked by Charity Whisnant 01 17 07

A THESSALONICA WAY OF EVANGELISM
Part ONE

(Footnote: The last series of messages I preached at First Baptist Church in Altoona, was from the book of I Thessalonians)
1 Thessalonians 1:8. THE LORD’S MESSAGE RANG OUT FROM YOU.".

"For from you, sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak anything." KJV
"For they themselves show of us what manner of entering in we had unto you"

"The Greek word is "sound" ‘execheo’, which occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It is derived from echos, an ‘echo’ or noise. According to TDNT, it can mean to ‘sound, ring, chime or boom’. It was used in LXX of bells, zithers, trumpets, and other loud noises. In the New Testament the weaker verb echeo relates to the noise of a resounding gong (1 Cor.13:1) and of the roaring sea (Lk.21:25; cf.Ps.65:7). LKGNW "An echoing like thunder or sounding out as a trumpet" And indicates that a sound is made and it is heard spreading out from a center over an area. The word "sound" is a perf.pass. ind. This means the word denotes the continuing activity.
A THUNDEROUS SOUND WAS MADE
Chrysostom thought that Paul was likening the preaching of the gospel to "the sound of a loud trumpet". The verb is also used of "a great thunder" (Eccles.40:13; cf.46:17), and Jerome described Paul’s writings as non "verba sed tonitrua," "not words but thunderclaps". At all events, whether Paul is thinking of thunder or trumpets, the gospel proclaimed by the Thessalonians made a loud noise, which seemed to reverberate through the hills and valleys of Greece.

A FAITH IN GOD WAS SEEN

But there was something more than that: "your faith in God is spread abroad" or "become known everywhere" (8). We must notice carefully the threefold correspondence in verse 8 between the two means by which the gospel spread from Thessalonica.
  • The first is between "the word of the Lord" (direct preaching) and "your faith in God" (an implied report).

  • The second is between the loud "sounding out" of the gospel and the much quieter "spreading abroad:" or " becoming known" of their faith.

  • The third is between the local provinces of Macedonia and Achaia which the preaching reached, and "every place" to which the news of their faith had penetrated (cf. Rom.1:8).
    Even if Paul’s "every place" is embellishment, he is certainly saying that the Thessalonians’ faith was becoming known far beyond Greece, maybe west by land to Rome and east by sea to Ephesus.

Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant Proof Checked by Charity Whisnant

So what is the understanding of Scripture about the order of ministry that is to be found in the local church?


As a pastor/teacher/leader, I have read John MacArthur’s books and of course many other points of view about how to do church. You believe you are equipped for the task of ministry and have the leadership to accomplish those purposes. You believe you are doing biblical ministry and have the means of accomplishing the Lord’s purpose for the church. And then you say, it is the Lord who will bless as He wills.

When I pastored FBC in Altoona, I had just come from FBC, Hammond, Indiana. From a church of 25,000 actively attending the church to less than 30 in attendance at FBC in Altoona. On one hand I had seen a mega church ministry. I had gone to the college to learn about church ministry. I had five classes a week on Christian Education. Then coming to FBC, was not only a shock, but trying to achieve what I had learned in college was very difficult. To be able to keep focused in the present was a real challenge. I had been on staff of some rather large churches. Southall (1000) Baptist Tabernacle (1600) Mansfield (600) Calvary (600). To have a church staff of more than five pastors at these churches was normal. There were multiple Sunday School classes and many ministries.

Coming to FBC to pastor a small church in a small town was a real challenge and humbling for sure. I was often reminded by the church members, "This is a small church in a small community., not a large church in a big city." They were right. But I didn’t want a small church mind set. We are small so we think small, and so things remain small.

But at the same time I didn’t want fall into the trap of saying "we will have 300 in the next twelve months." That wasn’t a realistic idea., and you have your members getting discouraged if you push for high attendances that cannot be reached.

But on the other hand we still could do the best that we could. We had the best possible music, and we had the best possible groups of music teams coming and singing for us. We had the best possible missionaries coming each month. We had the top evangelists coming to preach for us. We provided the best Sunday School material for the teachers that we could. We had a great Children’s Church program, and the best trained teachers. We had a wonderful church secretary and financial secretary. We had some very good Deacons. We had the best organ and piano players. A small church setting doesn’t mean that you have to do things poorly. We provided good discipleship training for each member. The preaching/teaching was not all that bad either.

My objective was to have Ephesians 4:12 church members. My objective was to build up people to be fully mature believers in Christ. I was trying to build up people rather than build a physical church. We made improvements on the inside of the building, but we needed a new facility. That was achieved by the people and the next pastor, Monty. Praise the Lord

While at FBC we didn’t have the ability to have a staff of multiple pastors coming into our church. As a matter of fact in the sixteen years I was there we had two preachers who came to our church.

One pastor/teacher doesn’t have the ability to do all he would like to see accomplished in the church. You have to learn to work with the good people that are in the community and work with your own spiritual gift and abilities, and they are limited. While I had worked as a youth director, a bus director, a camp director, an educational director, etc. the possibility of doing all that in one church is impossible. Even if Mrs. Ethel York thought I could do it all..

I truly believe what I have learned over the last ten years has been multi dimentional. Could I go back to FBC in Altoona and do better ministry? A very good question! What would I do differently?

What if today I were to pastor a church in a small town with a small congregation? The mind set of the church body I have discovered is the key to doing ministry. Each organized body of believers has a different perspective on what ministry is and what they believe is important and what is secondary in ministry.

I pastored a church that had 478 members and less than a fifty came my first Sunday. The mind set of this church body had been set in stone for over fifty years. It was impossible for me to bring about a change in mind set about ministry into this church body with any success.
My original thought of this thread was, "Are the ministry principles I am suggesting today the same principles I used at FBC?" It’s one thing to suggest ideas and principles for church ministry as a consultant knowing they will work and another thing just to believe they will work. Biblical principles will always work.

I have studied church ministry for over thirty years from some of the largest churches in the country in the past.

  • Church ministry is undertaking the task of accomplishing the fundamental principles the church has established to be Biblical.
LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT WHAT WORSHIP MIGHT BE
Part Two
BACK TRACK TO WORSHI0P TO WORSHIP

So how do you get started? First, you must repent. The failure to worship God in spirit and in truth is not just an unfortunate lapse in spiritual enthusiasm, it is a sin. To love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, and mind is not the greatest suggestion in the Law, it is the greatest commandment (Matt. 22:36-40). Confess your sin, clear your conscience, and get ready for step two––prepare to worship God.

Acceptable worship doesn't happen spontaneously–– you must prepare yourself. Let's look at Hebrews 10:22. "Let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water." That verse begins with the phrase "let us draw near"––it is our call to worship. What follows are four checkpoints to help you prepare for worship.

The Checkpoint of Sincerity –– We are to draw near "with a sincere heart." That speaks of a genuine heart, devoted to pursuing God. It is hypocritical to be worshiping God when you are really apathetic or preoccupied with self. Draw near to God with your whole heart.

The Checkpoint of Fidelity –– We are to draw near "in full assurance of faith." The Hebrews were clinging to Old Covenant forms of worship to find acceptance before God; but the coming of Christ put an end to ceremony and sacrifice. Each person had to be willing to say, "I'm coming to God in full confidence that I am not saved by a system of ritual. I come fully by faith in Jesus Christ." You too are to be fully assured that God accepts your worship, not because of what you do, but because of what Jesus did in providing atonement for you.

The Checkpoint of Humility –– We are to draw near to God "having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience." That is, you come to God with the knowledge that you are unworthy to be in His presence. The only reason anyone can come to Him is the blood of Christ, which was shed on the cross as a cleansing for sin.

The Checkpoint of Purity –– We are to draw near having "our bodies washed with pure water." That refers to the daily cleansing by the Word of God. The process of sanctification ferrets out sinful thoughts and exposes sinful behavior. Before you worship, confess the sins that God uncovered through His Word so you can draw near in purity.


Every time you worship, whether corporately or privately, try preparing yourself by asking these questions:

  • Am I seeing God anew in the Word through discovery and meditation so I am compelled to draw near to Him?
  • Am I being sincere? Is my heart fixed on Him and undivided?
  • Am I fully assured that only faith in Christ can bring me to God's throne?
  • Am I coming humbly, realizing I can draw near only because of what Christ has done for me?
  • Is there any sin in my life I haven't dealt with?


Perhaps you've been attending church for years, but you've never really drawn near to God, nor have you sensed His nearness––even in your own private devotions and prayers. Now you know, or perhaps have been reminded: God has redeemed you so you can worship Him. It is the purpose for which you were created. Continue living in the light of the wonders you iscover about God in His Word, and ask Him to teach you more and more by experience what it is to worship Him in spirit and in truth. That is a prayer our great God will delight in answering.


What is worship? Let me give you a definition: Worship is "honor paid to a superior being." It means "to give homage, honor, reverence, respect, adoration, praise, or glory to a superior being." In Scripture, the word is used indiscriminately to refer to the homage given to idols, material things, or to the true God. So the word in itself is not a holy word, it only describes honor given to a superior being.

The common New Testament word for worship is proskuneo, which means "to kiss toward, to kiss the hand, to bow down, to prostrate oneself." The idea of worship is that one prostrates himself before a superior being with a sense of respect, awe, reverence, honor, and homage. In a Christian context, we simply apply this to God and prostrate ourselves before Him in respect and honor, paying Him the glory due His superior character.

Essentially, then, worship is giving - giving honor and respect to God. That is why we, as Christians, gather together on Sunday. We don’t gather to give respect to the preacher or those in the choir, we gather to give honor to God. The sermon and the music are just to be the stimuli that create the desire in our hearts to honor Him.

So, if you attend church for what you can get, (i.e., to "get a blessing"), you’ve missed it! When we gather together to worship the Lord, our focus is to be on giving to Him, not getting from Him. Worship is a consuming desire to give to God, and it involves the giving of ourselves, our heart attitudes, and our possessions.


Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant 01 08 07

If people didn’t see it in the bulletin they wouldn’t know what worship look or felt like
part one
I have said often "If people didn't see it in the bulletin they wouldn't know what worship look like." Most people don't know. The worship leader will say, "Now we will start worship." following the prelue. Can worship be turned on on cue? As preachers we need to teach what is meant by Worship.
Who is God? What is He like? Every fledgling believer asks those questions––the answers he finds evoke wonder and praise. Do you remember that time? Your appetite for truth was craving, you attended every Bible conference you could, and you were faithfully involved in every ministry and program the church had to offer. Everything you learned about God filled you with joy and ignited zealous activity.

So, what happened? Sadly, I've watched many Christians lose the wonder of worship as the years pass. Life for them grinds on monotonously and church attendance becomes rote behavior––you sing, you listen to a sermon, you greet a few people with handshakes and smiles, and you go home.

If that sounds familiar, return to God by submitting to James' imperative: "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded" (4:8). To know the one true God is your glorious calling. Are you ready to draw near? Let me give you some practical encouragement on how to do that.

Discerning Worship

Worshiping God is the essence of being a Christian. Jesus explained that point to a Samaritan woman this way: "An hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers" (John 4:23). If we are Christians, we are worshipers. Our hope of eternal life is really an anticipation of unhindered, unadulterated worship. "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent" (John 17:3). With that in mind, we evangelize the lost to gather more worshipers to fill our ranks. Worship then is at the heart of everything we are and do.

Tragically, many Christians today have set their affections on the temporal things of this world, exchanging their great privilege of knowing God better for that which is mundane. King David had the best this world had to offer––money, power, success, fame––and yet he said, "One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to meditate in His temple" (Ps. 27:4,(
Let me make an important observation at this point. I think some people get the sense that doctrinal precision equates to emotional sterility. Though we can all point to examples of that, nothing could (or should) be further from the truth. There is no lack of passion in David’’s psalms, and his theology––under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit––was impeccable. Knowledge of God to Him was "to behold the beauty of the Lord" and he wanted to meditate on it for the rest of his life. Does that sound like cold orthodoxy to you?

Here's a simple way to look at worship: Worship is an overflow of a mind renewed by the truth of God. Cast in that light, delving into the truth of God's Word becomes discovery rather than dry and lifeless study. When you discover a great truth about God, you meditate on that truth––mulling it around in your mind––until it captivates your whole thinking process. That in turn will lead to worship.

Worship is really the outcome of two of the simplest Christian disciplines: Bible study and prayer. Study the Bible with the goal of discovering the wonders of God. Once you latch on to some great truth, fill your mind with it and ponder it in prayer before God. Your inner man will respond with righteous affections that will fill you with joy and renew your zeal to serve others.
Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant
So what is the understanding of Scripture about the order of ministry that is to be found in the local church?
part two
Michael Horton said "What are we doing on the Lord's day, especially when we are gathered as God's people in church? How do we understand Christian growth and discipleship -- as chiefly corporate or individual, as nourished by the preached Word and the divinely instituted Sacraments or by self-approved "means of grace"? Would an outsider coming into our worship services be immediately impressed with the centrality of preaching, baptism, and the supper, or would he or she be more likely to notice the importance given to performance?"

Could we all agree that our purpose for a local church is to provide Worship and Discipleship and Community and Fellowship? Where there is a differences is in how to provide the Worship, Discipleship, Community and Fellowship.

Matthew 28:18-20
18 And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."

We would all agree on Ephesians 4:11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

We agree that the pastor/teachers are to equip the saints for the work of the ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ. Where there is a difference of opinion is "the how" the saints are to be equipped for the doing of the ministry. And a difference of persuasion as to what is the work of the ministry as described here in these verses.

I would say also there are different mind sets as to how ministry is to be fleshed out in the body of Christ.

How to equip the saints?. What are "the works of the ministry? And who and how are we to flesh out doing the ministry?

How is the best way to bring about the results that Paul speaks about in verse 13 thru 16?

Each member of the body is to grow up in every way into Christ likeness, so that the whole body of believers in the local church will grow in number. ("makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.") This could mean as we grow in Christ likeness, and in love, there will be an increase in a number of people being saved and coming into the church.

"makes increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love; the increase of the body the church, is either in numbers, when persons are converted and added to it; or in the exercise of grace, under the influence of the Spirit, through the ministration of the word and ordinances; and both these tend to the edifying or building of it up; John Gill said. And he was a hyper Calvinist, and pastored the church where Charles Spurgeon pastored.

So how should the effort of building up the body of Christ in the local church be accomplished? Failure to correctly understand biblical leadership leads to unbiblical discipleship and modeling and uneven ministry priorities

A Well Articulated Principles of Ministry that is Biblical is Essential to "DOING GOD’S WORK IN GOD’S WAY."

It’s crucial that this biblical conviction of ministry be the GRID through which all your ministry decisions are passed.

Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant 01 05 06 Proof Checked by my lovely, darling, wonderful wife Charity 01 06 09 Filed 00 01 09 07 Posted 01 11 07
SCRIPTURAL CHURCH GROWTH COULD MEAN
Part One

My argument in this paper is to point out that when there is True Worship in the Body of Believers there will be increase in the number of that body. When the body of believers are doing the work of the ministry and are fulfilling the commands of Christ for His church there will be growth. What kind of growth?

Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another -- all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Heb. 10:19-25)

What should happen when you go to a local church to attend the service.? What does the Lord direct the church to do? Is it just a once a week function? What does Church look like? What does a 2007 church look like vs. a church Paul established in 60 A.D.

Is the importance in what we do? How we do it? Is church in the United States to be the same as the church in England? Is the form of worship to be the same in every church? Is the music in every church to be the same?

The question that I will be trying to address will be:

What is the understanding of Scripture about the order and purpose of doing ministry that is to be found in the local church?

My mother in law said coming out of a church they were visiting while on vacation, "Now that is what I believe is worship." And my father in law said, "Honey you are right, I believe I worshiped the Lord today." Most Christians go to church to Worship, but I am afraid most leave our churches and can’t say what my in laws said about going to church.

I would say John Piper’s definition of worship experience would be different than that of John MacArthur. Most likely the worship of C.J. and DeWayne Prosser would be different ideas. But you say, what’s the Bible’s idea of worship? And again I would say, all the four above men would say they are doing biblical worship.

It’s possible that many in our churches would not know "worship" if they saw it. They might read in the bulletin the words "Let Us Worship" and have no idea what worship is. John MacArthur did a ten message series to his church on "What Is True Worship". He must have believed the church needs to understand what is biblical worship.

This idea of WORSHIP has been a subject of my thinking for a number of years, since John MacArthur did a series on Worship

So does the local church start with an understanding of the Worship?

So what is the understanding of Scripture about the order of ministry that is to be found in the local church?

My understanding of the Scripture is to reach people. Growth:

"to arise or issue as a natural development from an original happening, circumstance, or source:" Is one definition of the term growth.
Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant and Proof Read by Charity Whisnant
ALL BLOGGERS HAVE DIFFERENT IDEAS WHY THEY BLOG.
part four

Most of the 120 blogs that I have written have been written before. I have just updated and added more content and some new illustrations.

Some examples of some of the threads I have written.: What I think about Church Altar calls, thoughout my ministry.I have written about my call to the ministry. I have dealt with the process I have taken in preaching style. I have examined fundamentalism. I have talked to preachers within fundamentalism. I have addressed the process I have taken in preaching theologically and expositionally.. I have addressed how I study for a message. I have tackled the obsession of numbers within the fundamental churches.

I have acknowledged the churches in which I have been on the staff, I have addressed the churches in which I have pastored with open honesty. I undertake why churches call pastors and why pastors choose to go to a church as a pastor. I address "How do you know you have been called by the Lord to preach and be in ministry?" "Why should I be motivated to study and learn and share?"

I dealt with "When is there a legitimate reason to dismiss a staff member." Since I have been dismissed several times. Then "How should you respond when you get the news you have been released from your job on the church staff."

I addressed the issue of humility. How do you know if you have this Christian grace?

Then I examined the issue of the Will of God. What principles should we use to determine God’s will? In our lives and in ministry? Does God foreordain everything? I have had several experiences in this area.

How are we to view the past in the light of the present? I have struggled with trying to live in the present as a result of my past experiences.

I even addressed the issue of "Should Christians go to the movies?"

I spent some time on the topic; "What is the Gospel." I addressed Lordship Salvation and John Piper and Ted Haggard and Rap Music. Why? because this was a topic on the weblog, and I jumped on the wagon. And because I have struggled with these topics for years.

I spent some time on "What is the Requirement for Salvation" I chronologized my viewpoints on how I would present the Gospel when I preached. How Do I know if You have truly been born again? And how one knows if he is preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. What does that mean?

Then I was reading about the Covenant Churches and their view point on Sunday School Classes. And their view point on Worship, Music and Teaching. So I wrote a few articles on this subject.

I wrote several articles about my view point on the Bible. How to interpret the Bible. And some hermeneutical principles. I viewed my position on the interpretation of Revelation.

Then I have always pastored small churches in numbers and I thought I should address some of the dynamics of small church ministries. I had read about a dozen articles on this subject.

I tried to gives some thought about "What is Truth?" This has been on the weblog for some time. Then when John Piper’s church invited a Hip Hopper to sing, this created weblogs all time high. Preachers have opinions, and they had them about John Piper. So I attempted to write about the truth of our opinion.
Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant and Proof Checked by Charity Whisnant
ALL BLOGGERS HAVE DIFFERENT IDEAS WHY THEY BLOG.
Part Three
All bloggers have different ideas why they blog. I started out blogging to record my experiences in the ministry. At the request of my son Chad I started giving more detail about my experiences.

The direct observation of or participation in events as a basis of knowledge b : the fact or state of having been affected by or gained knowledge through direct observation or participation. The conscious events that make up an individual life. Something personally encountered, undergone, or lived through

People write about their lives all the time, history is the recorded experiences and events and an explanation of their causes. What I have tried to do is to give my history, an account of my life.

a chronological record of significant events often including an explanation of their causes.
So I have written those significant events in my life with an explanation as to what happened in those events and how they affected me and my family.

Along this process of blogging, I also read other bloggers and weblogs. I have not come across any one who is writing about their personal experiences. Each person has their own idea of what they want to accomplish on their weblog.

There is one group of young fundamentalists who want to address the extreme of fundamentalism..

Other weblogs address the issue of Biblical Preaching. Some weblogs address issues that are in the news. Baptist. Lord Supper. The Gospel. Women Preachers. Biblical Interpretation. Church Music. Lordship Salvation vs. Free Grace And many more topical issues are found on these sites.

Seeker Friendly Churches vs. Emergent Movement. Spiritual Gifts. Cultural Issues.
And on occasion I will address some of those issues.

As an issue will relate to my own personal experience I will write what I believe about it.
Most of the time, when I write about some topic, I will research the topic, and download several articles, I will go to monergism. com and find a whole series of articles on the topic. or I will see what Spurgeon has to say about the topic, or I often will read what other bloggers are saying about the issues about ministry or the culture. My blogs are triggered by personal experiences that I have had over the last fifty years. My blogs are often activated by reading other bloggers writing about that which I have personally had to deal with over the years.

I started blogging only to record my personal history experiences in life and ministry. I believed that only a few would read anything I had to write. At first I was recording within my threads only what I thought was significant to my history and thinking.

Then I thought I would begin to add some advice concerning some of the experiences that I have had. Then I began to write about some personal subject matters that I have been dealing with for years.

I have not tried to write to get a response from anyone. The only response I have given is my own response to the topic or experiences I have traveled over the years.

I have not really written any article with the purpose to convince someone to take my position. They have been my opinions only.

I have written for many years before August of 2006. I have loved writing down what I think for many years. I have written several thousand sermons because I love to write. I love to do research, I have loved going to the public library for years to research topics. I have loved for as long as I can remember to study churches and pastors and preachers and ministry. I have been like the Justices of the Supreme Court, they write their Opinions. I have written my opinions on a number of subjects for as long as I can remember. I love doing that. I love to outline books that I read. And I read and write because I think. And if I write, then I can see in print what I think.

Blogging is such a small percent of what I do. I love to read and study and learn.

Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant 01 02 06 Proof Checked Charity Whisnant
WHY WRITE

While not a prolific blogger, Alan Dershowitz is a legal writing legend. His thoughts below are interesting and his recommendations are sound advice for all bloggers:

  • "Today I write nearly every day and publish a book almost every year. I feel the need to share my ideas as widely as possible. Having spent so many years taking in information, I feel the need to get out as much as possible. My test for publication is certainly not perfection. Instead, I ask myself whether sharing my experiences, mistakes, insights, and opinions will contribute in a positive way to the marketplace of ideas. I see the publication of my ideas as part of a teaching and learning process. I learn from the criticism directed at my writings. I teach by putting out my ideas, without subjecting them first to endless honing, polishing and internal peer review.So don’t hold back until it’s perfect. Get it out "


I write not only on the blog but I enjoy writing period. I love to write with a pen and paper. I have done this for over 50 years. Or I will write on WordPerfect.

WHY WRITE:
I love research and I love taking notes, and I love writing down what I think I am thinking: WHY?

The basic reason for writing, is to get my thoughts out of my mind and onto paper. On paper or on the Corel WordPerfect I can see what I have written.

I encourage my thinking with notes, outlines, summaries, commentary on paper.

So when I write I remember more accurately, understand better, and see what I think more clearly. And the better I write the more critically I will read.

Writing then is an important part of learning, thinking and understanding.

When I write with others in mind, I give my ideas the critical attention they need and deserve.

When Charity convinced me that someone else might read what I write, it got my attention as to what I wrote, how I was going to write it. Thus, I had no problem in letting Charity proof read my writing.

Thinking in written form is done more carefully than just writing down my thoughts that I would only read myself.

I have discovered as I read books or call up a website that I am developing a relationship with the writer of that book or website.

I do not write often to get a response or to turn a thought toward the subject that I am writing. I often do read and then I write what I am reading.. I read what they are writing and I begin to think on what they are saying.

What I want to learn to do better is to write well. When others read what I write they will see what I have said has been carefully researched and is trustworthy. Blog or other form of writing.

While I started out writing for my benefit in the blog, I have branched out that others are going to read them as well. Of course when I was writing my sermons I was wanting others to listen to what I was saying.

I need to learn when I am writing, while it is interesting to me, how can I say it so that it will be interesting to others.

I have said often, I wish I could write what I am learning in such a way that my Baptist preacher friends would really find it interesting reading. They would never read, I am thinking, anything that John Calvin or Martin Luther wrote, so can I write and say the same thing and they would read it?

Also, I am learning, it’s just not putting down information, but it’s information that I know will help solve some problems. For example: I did that at PBC in teaching them about how to organize a Sunday School.

I have been more careful how I respond to what I have thought was a problem.
"Just tell me something that I don’t know so that I can better understand the topic of our common interest." How can I say something in writing that will give them a better understanding of a common interest.

How can I get the leadership to play the role that need to be envisioned for them to play in this process? Until they see themselves in the role that needs be to envisioned for them to play, what I say won’t have any effect upon them.

"Explain your project in a way that everyone thinks is clear and interesting." Practice your talk until you can say it clearly and it is interesting.

"Talk a lot." Create conditions that get you talking a lot. Do what you can to ensure that you talk regularly.

One of the things I have done is to ask questions. I ask questions of myself about a topic, and question that I need to have answered by myself as well as others. For example:
"Do any of the leaders really believe there is any need of any real change of the direction of the church?" (I wrote that question for PBC, SBC)

At SBC we took our solutions suggesting to the whole group of leaders. We wanted all of them involved in the process of the solutions of the church. While I presented the plan, it was a rough draft and we desired to have all the leaders work toward a unity of belief to the solutions of the problems.

So when I am writing my thoughts about a certain research paper, I need to keep in mind those whom I am intending the research paper for.

I need to say what I believe in a form that my Baptist pastors or other readers will want to read, and have another view point. Now that is our challenge, and in 2007 I hope to learn the best way of accomplishing the desired results.

Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant January 01, 07 Proof Read by Charity Whisnant Posted January 04 2007


CHALLENGES FOR 2007

Comprehend more of the Word of God, by more research into the meaning of the text.

Continue to study the Doctrines of the Word, by reading more.

Church leadership study, learning biblically

Choices that will help develop my character

Clarify better my understanding of life

Coffee never gets old

Cogitate, discipline, to ponder or meditate

Collection of Nascar Dale Earnhardt Sr.

Communication skills, verbal and written

Cross of Christ

Christ glorified

Contemplate a number of blogs

Confiscate Information, keeping informed though monergism.com and the weblog.

Church ministry in the area of our calling.

Coherent and organized form of writing

Commitment to learn how to do better research in writing

Create a relationship with readers that they want to read what I have to say.
Charity is a wonderful, beautiful, lovely lady of 38 years
Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant, Checked by Charity Whisnant
REVIEW OF 2006 AND A LOOK TO 2007


Well……it’s New Year’s Day. And we all know what that means. It’s time to take an inventory of how we lived in 2006 and think through some much needed changes for 2007. In other words, it’s time to make a list of New Year’s determinations .Our lists could be long; some will involve a bit of wishful thinking; and few will include some recycled resolutions that weren’t kept last year. But whatever the specifics, everyone agrees on a few key facts: the ball has dropped, last year is history, and the future is brimming with possibilities..

NEW OR IMPROVED DIRECTIONS FOR 2007

List of those Determinations that I kept in 2006
1A Read the Bible with Purpose of Knowing the Lord
2A Continued studies of Biblical Doctrine.
3A Kept up with the Yard Work at our house, the Bakery and at the Temples.
4A Walked from three miles to four miles most days during the week.
5A Read the articles on Monergism.com almost daily.
6A Collected Sports Section of the USA TODAY for the year. (Eric’s help)
7A Selected Bloggers sites viewed weekly. (Oh, about 100 plus).
8A Downloaded articles from the web on subjects of interest. Cataloged them.
9A Kept up with Tiger Woods all year.
10A Read Sermons from MacArthur, Piper, Pritchard.
11A Researched Church Leadership and Ministry.
12A Read selected books on subjects of interest.

SEVERAL UNEXPECTED DIRECTIONS or EVENTS TAKEN IN 2006

1A Preached at First Baptist Church in Altoona, Kansas.
2A In August started "GROW BY LEARNING" Blog.
And posted 114 threads from August 14th to December 30th. .
3A Visited Becky, doing well in Hutchinson, Kansas.
4A Kyle moved to Lexington, Kentucky.
5A Eric getting married to Leslie.
6A Chad becoming General Manager at Holiday Inn in Lexington.
7A Children getting me a MacArthur Study Bible
8A Visited Mom, Ellen and Family in Texas.

SEVERAL DISAPPOINTMENTS IN 2006

1A Not finding a place to minister in a local church.
2A Unable to find a place of service at Bigelow Church

PRAYERFUL DESIRES FOR 2007

1A A greater understanding of the Jesus Christ and His glory
2A A ministry where I could be employed to serve.
3A A better comprehending of the doctrines of the Bible.
4A Learning, and growing daily in the grace and knowledge of the Lord.
5A To be a better husband to my lovely wife Charity.

I truly desire to be able to fulfill the ministry that the Lord has called me to do.

I believe in 2006 that I, to the best of my knowledge tried to the best of my ability to do my best. Maybe I did. But I felt a lot of defeat. In several ways I felt disappointment. One: I am not working., either in the secular or in a church. Somehow I need to do something to accomplish either one.

I kept busy in the spring, and summer mowing lawns at the bakery, and my house and at the Temples’ farm. Nearly every day I was cutting grass, which kept my mind and body busy. Walking for an hour or more each day also was great for me.

Then I logged onto the Internet doing research on a number of doctrinal studies, also on a number of sites that dealt with Church leadership and church ministry. This involved a number of hours each day, when I was not mowing grass, or walking or working out with weights.

My greatest struggle was about ministry. All the effort toward securing a job in ministry have not been fleshed out. I preached in several churches, I sent several résumé to churches, and even went to several churches to check them out. Thus far we have seen all doors shut..


But what has gotten me through all this, is of course the grace of the Lord, the love and encouragement of Charity and my children. Then the work on the Internet has been so good, and then my work on my blog. "GROW BY LEARNING."

I have sent a lot of e mail’s to friends over the year and that has been really encouraging.


Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant 01 01 07 Proof read by Charity Whisnant 01 02 07