Pastors need to be honest in their public discourse

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Recently Pastor Jarrid Wilson contributed an article to The Blaze internet news site. His article entitled “I’m not scared of guns, I am scared of people who value guns more than people” is very problematic to say the least. As Christians and even especially as pastors we need to be careful and very thoughtful of how we respond to such tragedies. We also need to make sure our responses are an accurate representation of others we are criticizing.

Before I go any further let me say that I was filled with sorrow over the news of the targeting and killing of Christians in Oregon. Such tragedies are so unnecessary and my prayers are with all the victims and families.

Pastor Wilson made an unnecessary accusation against people, of whom he does not personally know, when he suggested that “But while most individuals wouldn’t personally admit their love for guns over that of a human life, one’s initial reaction towards the sickening event of a mass murder says a lot.” The gist here is anyone caught speaking out about the right to own guns within some arbitrary time frame apparently set by Pastor Wilson is guilty of loving guns more than people. Such accusation and or suggestions are completely irresponsible for the following reasons:

  1. Pastor Wilson does not know everyone who spoke out about owning guns following Oregon shooting.
  2. It is neither just, Christian, nor biblical to assign motives to people in the way Pastor Wilson has.
  3. Pastor Wilson left out information related to why people felt the need to talk about gun ownership following the Oregon shooting.

The fact is the President of the United States came out and began to call for more gun control as did many news sources. The president made a public statement that he needed to “publicize” the deaths in order to further his gun confiscating agenda. People felt the need to validate their gun ownership because our national government at the absolute highest level felt the need to try to convince people to give up their rights with regards to guns. When Pastor Wilson left out that part of the equation he intentionally misrepresented people who support gun ownership and then leveled a false accusation against them. The truth is it is unknowable that those people care more for guns than people.

As a Pastor Wilson has a responsibility to be less one sided and present both sides of the story. He also has a responsibility to not level false accusations and assign motives to people that he does not know personally. We need more from Pastors and we are held to a much higher standard of public discourse. Pastor Wilson needs to publicly apologize for his false accusations and misrepresentations of others. That behavior is not the behavior of a Pastor much less a Christian.

Below is a link to the article of which I write:

http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/im-not-scared-of-guns-im-scared-of-those-who-value-guns-more-than-people/

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6 Ways To Serve Your Pastor’s Wife On Sunday

Written by Ryan Huguley/

 

In many churches, the most thankless job is that of the pastor’s wife. Though the pastor alone is paid, the pastor’s wife is often still saddled with a host of responsibilities and expectations. She is expected to be a model wife, nurturing mother, friend to everyone, run a women’s ministry, throw every baby shower, and cook every meal. These expectations are often unfair, unhelpful, and most importantly, unbiblical. “Pastor’s Wife” is not a secret third office of church leadership. The Bible contains no job description for the pastor’s wife, which is why extra-biblical expectations are often placed upon her.

Biblically, the only expectations you can have of your pastor’s wife are the ones Scripture places on all Christian wives: She should love Jesus, respect her husband, shepherd her children, and serve the body with the spiritual gifts the Spirit of God has given her.

Instead of enslaving the pastor’s wife with expectations, we should seek every opportunity to love and serve her; this is especially necessary on Sunday mornings, as she doesn’t have the help of her husband. So here are six simple ways you can serve your pastor’s wife on Sundays when your church gathers for worship:

1. Remember that Sundays are different for her

Sundays are different for your pastor’s wife. It’s a work day. She is essentially a single mom on Sunday because her husband is preaching, leading worship, or shepherding others throughout the day. Furthermore, if all goes according to plan, she will always attend church by herself and will rarely, if ever, experience the joy of attending church as a family. Remembering that Sundays are different for her will radically alter your heart toward her.

2. Pray for her

I can’t speak for all pastors’ families, but my family never experiences more spiritual opposition than on Sundays. The devil doesn’t want us pointing people to Jesus. More often than not, it seems the devil is lobbing all he can at us on Sunday mornings. Don’t just pray for your pastor, pray for his wife. Pray that Lord would protect her. Pray that she would hear God through the preaching of His Word. Pray she would connect with others in a way that’s edifying. One of the most important ways you can serve your pastor’s wife on Sundays is by praying for her.

3. Have realistic expectations of her

No two pastor’s wives are the same. Some love having others in their homes. Some sing or play an instrument. Some love shepherding the women around them. Some are extremely outgoing. Interestingly, those tend to be the expectations that are placed on all pastor’s wives. The problem is that some pastor’s wives are very shy. Some don’t like large groups. Some find it difficult to build relationships. Pastor’s wives, just like every other group of people, are different. Have realistic expectations. Some people expect their pastor’s wife to be someone God never intended her to be. This is simply unfair. Have realistic expectations of your pastor’s wife.

4. Encourage her

It’s hard, often-discouraging work to be a wife and stay-at-home mom (as ALL wives and stay-at-home moms know). It’s also difficult to be married to a pastor. He’s pulled in many directions and doesn’t always steward it well. His mind is often occupied by leadership challenges, sermons he’s writing, and trials he’s facing. All of this weighs on his wife in a way that few understand. Encourage her. Tell her how much you appreciate her service (especially if it’s behind-the-scenes, “wife-and-mommy” service). You can never over-encourage anyone, especially your pastor’s wife.

5. Go talk to her

If your pastor’s wife has young children and stays home, Sunday is one of the few opportunities she has to connect with “big people.” One of the ways you can serve her is simply by talking to her. Ask how her week was. Ask how you can be praying for her. Ask if you can get some coffee for her (unless your church doesn’t serve coffee). And if your church doesn’t serve coffee, you should find a church that loves Jesus and serves coffee (just kidding — sort of). If you would like to get to know your pastor’s wife on Sunday morning, don’t put the responsibility on her to find you. Just go talk to her.

6. Don’t forget she has kids

This is obviously applies only to moms in general and moms of young children in particular. Our kids are about to turn 5, 3, and five months. This means that any trip into a public place is one click from chaos. In the midst of trying to talk with and encourage your pastor’s wife, don’t forget that she has kids to keep an eye on. Furthermore, her husband is probably trying to connect with, pray for, and shepherd the church God has called him to, so he’s not available to help her. If she’s a bit distracted, or has to interrupt your conversation to keep one of her kids from diving off the stage and into a an ER bed, don’t take it personally. Her first responsibility is to her kids, and she wants to talk to you — she’s just being a mom.

 

 

http://ryanhuguley.com/ryan-huguley/preaching/6-ways-to-serve-your-pastors-wife-on-sunday

Thanksgiving God’s Way!



 Colossians 3:17
Intro:
I.                   The basis of our Thanksgiving
A)    Confession: involved recognition of our failure to meet God’s Holy standard
          this was done by thanksgiving offerings Leviticus 22:29 and 2 Chron 29:31
          this was done Joshua 7:19, Psalm 51
B)    Thanksgiving: the means by which weacknowledge the receipt of God’s forgiveness
          Psa 118:21  I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation.
          Eph 1:6  to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
          Eph 1:7  In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,
C)    Praise: the overt vocal and often public expression of acknowledgement
          Heb_13:15  Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.
          Through Jesus- acknowledging that we have what we have because of his provision of salvation on the cross.
II.                The Nature of our Thanksgiving – agreement
·         A whole hearted agreement with God
          This brings to mind an understanding of salvation
          Romans 10:9,10
          Our confession is to be based on agreement with God
          We agree we are sinners and that we have not met God’s Holy standard
          We agree that we need salvation only God can give
          We agree that we deserve the penalty of death Romans 6:23
          We agree that God would be gracious to save us from that penalty
          We agree that sin is bad and we should not be doing it.
          The need to be in agreement is the purpose behind the physical sacrifices in the OT
          But before we could give acceptable sacrifices we must first be in agreement with God Psalm 51
          This is what I believe was wrong with Cain’s sacrifice. His heart was not in full agreement with God. Probably over just who it was that provided that which he was to sacrifice.  He might have given himself more credit than God. A prideful Spirit.
III.             The Application of our Thanksgiving
A)    An Informed Thanks
          Make sure your thankfulness comes from your knowledge of God from His word.
          Otherwise your thankfulness can never be in agreement and that can lead to pride and selfishness.
          Make sure God is the object of your thanks and He is in agreement with the subject of your thanks.
          Can you thank God for what you have or are doing?
          Or would He be displeased with you because of it?
B)    Intercessory Thanks
          Paul made a habit of this
          Ephesians 1:15-23
          Php 1:3  I thank my God in all my remembrance of you,
          Php 1:4  always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy
C)    An Imperative Thanks  
          Dictionary: absolutely necessary or required; unavoidable:
          Rom 15:9  and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written, “Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles, and sing to your name.”
          When we share the gospel it is not just about the act but also about the attitude
          Do we share the gospel because we are thankful or because we are just relating facts
          Psa_57:7  My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.
          That psalm is both in agreement and an imperative
          It is an imperative that we thank God both privately and publically

Why the Tea Party is being Mischaracterized


            In recent days even Republicans, who call themselves conservative, are painting the Tea part as extremists. There are several reasons they are doing this and there are several reasons why everyone who paints the Tea Party as extremists are wrong. I find it ironic if not absurd that the very movement that won the House of Representatives back for the Republicans in 2010 are now being bullied and painted falsely. The very stance the Tea Party took in 2010 is now being characterized as extreme. How can this be? The first error in the recent caricature of the Tea Party is that it is strictly the extreme wing of the Republican Party.
           That is largely a Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi talking point. The truth is that the Tea Party has always been a movement made up of Republicans, Independents, and Democrats who are tired of the unceasing spending and heavy government regulations that puts Americans out of work.[1]The goal to paint the Tea Party as simply an extreme wing of the Republican Party is just plain dishonest. One of the caricatures of the Tea Party has been that they are not the party of Ronald Reagan. This false caricature is coming from within the Republican Party itself. It is sad and shameful that this is happening within our party.
And honestly I question the motives behind this behavior as it is as extreme a behavior as they are falsely claiming the Tea Party to be. I would add that there are honest people who are buying into this false caricature but the point of origin is where I question the motives. The fact is this could not be more wrong. One of the recent reasons given for this has been the recent shutdown of the government. This was labeled as unnecessary and unlike anything Reagan would do. However, when you take a look back into time under the administration of President Ronald Reagan what you find is that the government shut down more times under Reagan than under any other conservative President in history.[2][3]
Those who are Republicans and are at the point of origin of this false characterization of the Tea Party know these facts about history and are simply ignoring them due to political expediency for their own jobs because of their weak stomach for doing the right thing. With the recent election in the state of Virginia the mean spirited nature of the establishment Republicans could not have been more on display. There were a number of Republicans who were willing to endorse an extremist Democrat like Terry McAuliffe instead of what has been characterized as a Tea Party candidate. Boyd Marcus, the previous chief of staff for Cantor came out in support of McAuliffe, former Republican National Committee finance chairman Dwight Schar supported him as well, Judy Ford Wason, who is a GOP strategist who did work for Republican Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, endorsed McAuliffe, Former Virginia Sen. John Chichester, the former GOP president pro tempore of the Virginia Senate, also endorsed McAuliffe, former state GOP Sen. Russ Potts did as well as a few others. The real kicker here is that while RNC chairman Reince Priebus spent Tuesday in New Jersey to support Chris Christie he did not make any effort to do the same for Cuccinelli.[4] 
Given that the Libertarian candidate who entered the race late was largely funded by Democrats it would seem that Preibus would want to make an effort.I believe this shows a clear attempt to undermine anyone dubbed a “Tea Party” candidate and this coming from the Republican Party that gained the majority in the House of Representatives largely because of the Tea Party.  This appears to be highly hypocritical and nothing but a practice of how to shoot yourself in the foot. But Juan Williams wrote an opinion piece about the details of the recent conflict between some Republicans and the Tea Party. It appears that Boehner is seen as not having control of his House of Representatives because others have outside the House has been influential over House Republicans.[5
As Williams put it “The stampede ran over Boehner and he lost control. Now out of 232 Republicans in the House, he has at best 80 votes at his command.”So now it appears that Boehner and the establishment Republicans are in a battle over the House of Representatives and political power. It also appears that in order to gain back that so called power they are willing to undermine Republican candidates by giving support to Democrat candidates who are diametrically and politically opposed to what Republicans say they stand for. This behavior is shameful and should not be supported by anyone. It shows a lack of character and it shows severe immoral problems. No majority leader should try to have that kind of power over people. Each individual representative should be listening to their constituents that elected them, not buckle under the political power and pressure from some power hungry majority leader. We need ethical politicians who are looking out for the people. We need politicians who serve the people not themselves. Boehner and his ilk need to go. Period.
           

Eritrean Christian dies in prison

ERITREA (BP) — A Christian woman perished from pneumonia in an Eritrean prison after facing harsh conditions and denial of medical treatment — all because she would not renounce her faith.

Open Doors, an organization supporting the global persecuted church, reported this week that Wehazit Berhane Debesai is the 25th known Christian to have died in prison in Eritrea. According to the report, the exact date of death of the woman in her 30s is unknown. Eritrean authorities arrested her a year ago. They held her near the Ethiopian border for being involved in Christian activities outside the Orthodox, Catholic and Evangelical Lutheran church groups.

Debesai’s death came as government forces arrested 70 Christians who met for prayer in the capital of Asmara, according to Open Doors. It is the third time the pastor who led the prayer event has been thrown in prison for his faith. This latest development brings the total number of Christians arrested this year in Eritrea to nearly 300. Local Christians call it the government’s most serious campaign against the church so far.

In what may be a separate event, according to conflicting reports, government security forces arrested 185 Christians praying together in a suburb to the north of Asmara. According to Release International, a United Kingdom-based group serving the persecuted church, most of those arrests involved women.

“Our Eritrean partners say church leaders fear this mass arrest could herald a new clampdown on Christians and a wave of further detentions,” Paul Robinson, chief executive of Release International, told the UK-based charity Cross Rhythms.

The Christians were believed to have gathered to pray for the country’s refugee crisis. The United Nations reports thousands of Eritreans try to flee every month despite an alleged “shoot-to-kill” policy by security forces against anyone attempting to escape.

“The arrest has alarmed underground church leaders, who fear that this may be a sign of things to come,” Robinson said.

According to International Christian Concern, an organization supporting persecuted believers, Eritrea is one of the world’s worst persecutors of Christians. More than 2,000 Christians are believed to have been imprisoned for their faith.

All churches not sanctioned by the government were outlawed in 2002, and their leaders have been arrested since then. Religious groups the government does allow to operate do so under severe restrictions and are also persecuted.

An Open Doors observer asked for Christians to pray for their fellow believers who remain in prison for their faith.

“They are secluded in underground dungeons, metal shipping containers and military detention centers. They face exposure, hard labor and insufficient food, water and hygiene,” the observer said. “They are regularly denied medical treatment for malaria and pneumonia which they contracted while in prison or diseases such as diabetes, hypertension or cancer that they may have had prior to imprisonment.”

Eritrea is ranked No. 10 on the Open Doors 2013 World Watch List of the worst persecutors of Christians.
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John Evans is a writer in Houston. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).

 http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=41382