Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Relationship Between Christianity and Culture

The January 18 edition of The White Horse Inn discussed the relationship between Christianity and culture. From Michael Horton's commentary:

"You know it is significant that Jesus Christ never founded a college, never wrote an encyclopedia, he never held public office, he never funded a voluntary organization for transforming society and nevertheless he turned the world upside down. Same thing with the Apostle Paul. He says, "I determine to know nothing among you but Christ and him crucified." He said, "We preach not ourselves, but Christ." He never laid out a blueprint for transforming the culture, and nevertheless the culture was remarkably transformed in the wake of his ministry."

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"Trickle Down" or "Trickle Up" Morality

Todd Friel on Monday’s Wretched Radio program had a thought provoking point regarding “trickle down” or “trickle up” morality and how the church is to impact politics and society:

"The church has seemingly been so preoccupied with trying “trickle down” theology and morality. By getting people to behave through the government we’ve neglected being a powerful church that preaches the gospel. So we end up having a church that is impotent; pews packed with people who aren’t saved; and now the government simply reflects it. The way God says we should go about doing business is to preach the gospel, get people saved, and a result is that the religion of the people is going to “trickle up”. But we have forsaken the preaching of the gospel; clear theology and teaching; practicing church discipline…We now have a people such that you could have every politician in office be a born again believer, but you can’t manage a people under our system who aren’t saved."

Wretched Radio (formerly Way of the Master Radio) is now a subscription based service.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Taxicab Governor

The Charleston Daily Mail last week published an interesting article regarding West Virginia governor, Bill Marland, who became a taxi driver in Chicago after struggling with alcohol.

Marland became attorney general in 1948 and was elected governor in 1952. He lost bids for the U.S. Senate in 1956 and 58 and dropped out of politics. We next hear of him driving a cab in Chicago in 1965. In his own words Marland admitted that alcohol led to his downfall.

His story reminds me our legislators and elected officials are simply people with the same challenges, struggles, and temptations as any of us only with the added responsibility of leading in our government. It prompts me to pray that our leaders will experience the life-changing power of the gospel. It convinces me anew of the importance of sharing the gospel and teaching the Word with those who are serving in office.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The 79th West Virginia Legislature

The 79th West Virginia Legislature will meet today for their swearing-in ceremonies and to organize by electing officers. Please take this as a reminder to pray for our leaders during the upcoming legislative session and throughout the rest of the year.

View the 2009 legislative calendar.

Find the members of the West Virginia Legislature:



Thursday, January 8, 2009

Interim Bible Study: "Why Study God's Word in the Capitol"

Our interim Bible study for January will be held on Monday, January 12 at 8:00 a.m. at the capitol. Our lesson, "Why Study God's Word in the Capitol", will be based on Psalm 19 and focus on the tremendous value and benefit of studying God's Word. We pray our consideration of this passage might challenge our leaders to make it priority to take time out of their busy schedules to join us in studying the scriptures in the coming year.

From the study:

"David was a political leader who knew well the challenges and difficulties of life, both as a man and as a king. As we read his story (1 & 2 Samuel) we would have to agree that few of us have faced the ordeals and adversity he faced. And though at times he struggled, failed, and even fell into great sin, David turned to God through the Word and prayer. This political leader made reading, knowing, and understanding God’s Word a great priority in his life. Let us follow his example as he describes for us the character and benefits of the Bible."

Our leaders gather every month in Charleston for three days of interim committee meetings. Each lawmaker is assigned to one or more committees in order to work on various issues throughout the year. In these meetings they deal with a variety of topics, many of which will be taken up during next year’s regular session.

Please pray for our legislators as they gather for these meetings:

  • Pray for safety as they travel.

  • Pray for them as they take this time away from their families.

  • Pray for them as they deal with many issues important to our state.

  • Pray that our Bible study and other aspects of our ministry will be a challenge and encouragement to them.
You can learn more about the legislative interim committee assignments and meetings at the West Virginia Legislature web site.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Remaining Unshaken in Changing Times

From Valley of Vision:

My Father,

In a world of created changeable things,
Christ and His Word alone remain unshaken.
O to forsake all creatures,
To rest as a stone on Him the foundation,
To abide in Him, be borne up by Him!

Valley of Vision. "Christ the Word". P. 30.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Are You Preoccupied with Politics?

As we see events unfolding in our country and around the world, it is easy for us to become discouraged and preoccupied with the seeming worsening condition of our culture or our economy.

J. Sidlow Baxter writes in his daily devotional work, Awake My Heart, challenging us when we might become preoccupied with the unfolding events of politics and world affairs:

“It is understandable that in days like these we should tend to be preoccupied with the vast affairs of the times. Wide-sweeping ideologies contend against each other. Huge world movements are taking shape…

"As Christians, we ought to see all the portentous developments of our time from a high altitude. Only when we stand high do we see far. Broad landscapes are never commanded from lowlands. It is elevation which gives wide vision...

"There are too many of us living down at sea level! There are many influences to keep us there. The average radio and television stuff will keep us there. So will the usual newspaper. So will the common run of magazines. So will the average conversation of the street and the place of daily business...

“Christ’s people were never meant to live at the world’s sea-level. We are meant to have the mountain view, the long view, the wide view, the really understanding view. We are meant to see the happenings of our time in the light of inspired prophesy, through the eyes of the Holy Spirit, from the high view point of the divine purpose, and with our gaze on the ultimate victory of Christ…

“How shall we keep that high altitude of vision in our daily life? We must live near to the Scriptures. We must love the place of prayer. We must guard against easy-going toleration of things in our lives which grieve the Holy Spirit, and rob us of His inward witness.

Baxter challenges us to give ourselves to daily earnest prayer; to seek to share Christ with others; and to consistently spend time in the Word. He concludes:

“If we were thus to live through this incoming year, it could only prove a year of peaceful hope.”

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Praying for Our Pastors

We pray “for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity” (1 Timothy 2:2). Certainly we pray for our government leaders so that we might impact our society and keep our freedom to live our Christian lives and share the gospel. We must remember however that it is THE CHURCH, not the government, which is going to have the greatest impact on the world around us. It is THE CHURCH’S proclamation of the gospel which is going to change hearts and lives. It is THE CHURCH’S preaching of the Word and discipling ministry which is going to prepare those who would serve effectively in positions of leadership.

So as we pray for our government leaders, on this Lord’s Day let us remember to pray faithfully for our pastors and our churches. Ligon Dunan over at the T4G blog had a great post encouraging us how to effectively pray for our pastors:

Praying for Your Pastor
Ligon Duncan

Because I have a congregation that loves me more than I deserve, I am often asked by them: "how can I pray for you?" I've tried to put some thought into how I answer that question. So, maybe these ideas will help you pray for your pastor, or tell others how they can pray for you.

Pray -

1. That [your pastor] would know and love the living God, would have a saving interest in Christ, being purchased by His blood, and thus would be bound to the Lord by the indissoluble bond of the Holy Spirit.

2. That [your pastor] would know, embrace and ever more deeply understand the Gospel and be shaped by it in life and ministry.

3. That [your pastor] would be useful servant of the Lord, that he would know and love God's word, God's people, and God's kingdom; that he would be used to build it up and so that it prevails even against Hell's gates.

4. That [your pastor] would study, practice and teach the Word of the Lord, by the grace of the Holy Spirit.

5. That [your pastor] would love to pray, because he loves to commune with his God, and that he would be a man of prayer, characteristically.

6. That [your pastor] would be ever dependent upon and filled with the Spirit; and that he would possess true Spiritual wisdom.

7. That [your pastor] would be holy unto the Lord. That his tongue and heart would be wholly God's.

8. That [your pastor] would be kept from pride, and especially spiritual pride. That the Lord himself would be gracious to slay pride in him, and that your pastor would endeavor to always be putting pride to death, by the grace of the Holy Spirit.

9. That God would give [your pastor] guidance as to where to focus his efforts in ministry.

10. That He would protect [your pastor] from himself, from the enemy of his soul, and from all earthly enemies.

11. That no decision which [your pastor] ever makes or desire that [your pastor] ever pursues would restrict his ability to pour his whole soul into the Gospel ministry.

12.That many would be converted and many built up under [your pastor]'s ministry, to God's glory alone.

13. That the Lord would bless [your pastor]'s wife, [. . . ], with holiness and happiness, Gospel assurance and Gospel rest.

14. That God would make [your pastor] a decent husband and father.

15. That [your pastor] would be a good friend to his wife, and love her self-sacrificially.

16. That [your pastor] would be a good daddy to his children. That they would love God, their parents and the church.

17. That [your pastor] would be a testimony in the home so that his wife might be able to respect him when he is in the pulpit, and so that [your pastor] will be able to feed her soul, along with the rest of the congregation.

Praying for Your Pastor - Ligon Duncan