Thursday, 26 June 2008

Next Gen Church

Adam Rushton made a few great points at the Prayer Gathering on Tuesday evening, of which two are as follows:

1: We need to pray hard and be concerned about the next generation, because if we do not do so, then more Churches will fall into dilapidation and will be converted into houses, flats, restaurants and night clubs.

2: We need to pray hard that the next generation are more Holy and Christ-like than we will ever be.


Sexual Tension

The UK Anglican church is probably heading towards a similar split as their American and Canadian counterparts on the issue of homosexuality

The 'liberal' church has done a well-timed event of marrying gay priests just a few weeks before the big global Anglican conference of Lambeth

So many of the evangelical church will be willing to part from the church if they are made to preside over gay weddings - and things like Gafcon will be more prevalent.

But sometimes I wonder... if the Biblical church wants to take a stand over such an issue.. shouldn't we first look at ourselves?
Wouldn't it be much more beneficial and godly if we first implemented sexual purity in all the churches?
Implementing marriage discipleship, dating discipleship, family discipleship, sexual addiction pastoral programmes - then we could advertise we have stable marriages, dramatically lower rates of divorce, single people who are living pure lives, no sex before marriage, dating for the purpose of marriage, strong family units inter-supporting one another - wouldn't this be a much better show of the great gospel of deliverance, of the great gospel of the family of God, of the great gospel of Christ crucified!!

Anything else almost seems like self-righteousness.... and hypocrisy... which Jesus hates the most!

Let us all be unified in Christ, strive for holiness, then all the world will know we are the body of Christ, we are His true born-again disciples, if we have love one for another, like He first loved us.


more on this stuff here:

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

The Dos and Don'ts of a Christian Life

In gearing up his readers to think of their lives in a war-time mindset for the Kingdom, John Piper writes, "In wartime we ask different questions about what to do with our lives than we do in peacetime. We ask: What can I do to advance the cause? What can I do to bring the victory? What sacrifice can I make or what risk can I take to insure the joy of triumph? In the peacetime we tend to ask, What can I do to be more comfortable? To have more fun? To avoid trouble and, possibly, avoid sin?"

The problem with drifting into a peacetime mindset is that we stop living a life that desires to win as many as we can for Christ when we start to think of ourselves as citizens of this earth. Our sinful hearts defaults to satisfy our fleshly needs of what we want for ourselves, as opposed to what God wants for His kingdom. The temptation of this world lures with lies of the non-existence of the spiritual warfare, so comfortable and peaceful that we reduce the Christian life into a list of dos and don'ts, ie, avoid sin. In the past I have participated in legalistic discussions with other Chrisitans about how to live our lives. "Don't date a non-Christian." "Don't have sex before marriage." "Tithe regularly." This is legalism, that the human heart will try to push the boundaries as far as the bottom line of the rule to justify our own sinful actions. "I won't date a non-Christian but I can date a church-goer even though his fruit of the Spirit is not apparent." "I won't have sex before marriage, technically." "This money belongs to me and I am giving 10% to God." Whereas the more fruitful and life-changing discussion would've been, "Pursue Christ-likeness, love purity, set your hopes in heaven, put your treasures and wealth in heaven."

And I'm grieved by the Pharisaic nature of my sinful heart that distorts God's law and reduces it to a list of Bare-Minimum-I-Have-to-do-to-Be-a-Christian. It is not a surprise that I can't even keep to my self-constructed list of "dos and don'ts" because the real Motive behind these rules is far out of sight and out of mind.

Hence, I'm scrapping those things on my list, and replacing it with this one, "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31

Wednesday, 18 June 2008


Just had to cut & paste Jacky's explanation of the rainbow & eating meat

This two fold witness is akin to communion and baptism today. What we have is the ark, a symbol of the baptism; the rainbow being an everlasting covenant while the seasons last and while this earth remains; and the eating is the communion whereupon the flesh can only be eaten AFTER the blood has been shed. So here, the work of Christ is symbolically complete after the flood; blood symbolically has been shed (both literally of all flesh, and symbolically of Christ’s mediatorial offering through the ark). And now, we eat flesh in remembrance of the animals which have died innocently for man’s sake - through meat offering.

(full post here)

God's war-bow indeed has been hung up, a reminder of the washing in Christ, the gospel colour sequence reminding us of the baptism through the Light of the world. However rain still falls, the war-bow of judgement will come soon in a storm.

The institution of the eating of flesh and the waiting for the true blood to come...

great stuff Mr Lam!


How does one know that one is saved?

1. The promises of the Word - which are external and need to become flesh

2. The testimony of the Spirit - where you cry out "Abba, Father" - true adoption

3. The fruit of the Spirit - the Word of God dwelling and working in you

Now I've always wondered about the 2nd one, and every now and then you meet people with very real 'spiritual' experiences, usually drug-addicts, murderers, etc... where the Spirit of God has made a very real revelation of being born-again in their lives, and their bondage to those specific sins has broken almost instantaneously and these people are changed forever

But normally I think the testimony of the Spirit is through the Word of God
so by one examining one's own heart again and again, we claim assurance

Hebrews 3:12-13 12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called "today," that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

So it's no wonder that John writing his epistle, writes harshly FOR assurance, to test and re-test the heart again and again, cutting and wounding it with the Word of God, the sword of the Spirit, that the end product may indeed be sure!

1 John 1:6 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.

1 John 2:6 6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
(and the rest of the letter)

So then...

Hebrews 10:23-27 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. 26 For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.

Perseverance of faith is then a definite sign of salvation, since the persevering heart is the one that has been tested, time and time again, and now will never 'fall away' from the Living God...

and it is no wonder that Hebrews 10 says to give up meeting is equivalent to murder!

So let us keep on meeting up, more so as the day draws near, preaching the harsh gospel, cutting ourselves to the heart, testing and retesting.. that all of us may be sure! Let us not be content with confusion between children and slaves, and leave it for the day of judgement for the sorting of the sheep and goats!

2 Corinthians 13:5 5 Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? - unless indeed you fail to meet the test!

Lord have mercy on us!

Curious imagery....

The church is God's underwear??

Jeremiah 13:11 11 For as the loincloth clings to the waist of a man, so I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, declares the LORD, that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory, but they would not listen.

Paul Washer

Heard him?

more available at:

Monday, 16 June 2008

The Law

A very quick understanding of the law of Moses

(for an extended discourse refer to my essay here)

- Adam was created in a dustly flesh
- The flesh has passions and desires, can be tempted and is perishable
- The law is holy and good, it reveals what is unseen
- Thus Adam was revealed to be sinful, and shown the extent of his sinfulness
- The law then imprisoned Adam to sin, and Satan, and death, and exile and impending judgement
- The law then pointed Adam to Christ, and Christ saved
- Christ then is not of the law, but is the end of the law for anyone who believes
- Christ is greater than the law, and the law testifies about Him
- Christ fulfils the law, i.e. accomplishes what the law testifies
- The law did not make Christ righteous, but showed the righteousness that is Christ
- The law also testified that on the cross, Christ was cursed - rejected by God
- Thus the law is merely a tool
- it reveals
- it imprisons
- it condemns
- it points to Christ
- The law cannot sanctify - only Christ can sanctify - through the Spirit
- Thus we are not under the written code, the law - but under the 'law' of Christ (which is equivalent to saying the law of your husband or wife in a marriage), and under grace

Galatians 4:9 9 But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?


Back from a 2-week long trip to Singapore!

So a quick post -

I know most of you must have read or memorised the Westminster Confession of faith,
but have you read the 'intro' to it?

Here is:

The Letter to the Heads of Families


Thomas Mantle's Letter

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Intelligent Design

While I am all for a 6-day, young earth theology of creation I do question the use of 'creation science' as an apologetic for the gospel. Still more do I question 'Intelligent Design' as a stepping stone towards either creationism or biblical faith.

This post lays out the dangers of buying into such natural theology.

Monday, 2 June 2008

The earthly-focused church

When I read things like this...

Climate deniers 'are like Fritzl'

People who fail to tackle climate change are acting like an Austrian man who locked his daughter in a cellar for 24 years, an Anglican bishop has said.

The Bishop of Stafford, Gordon Mursell, wrote in a parish letter that not confronting global warming meant people were "as guilty as" Josef Fritzl.

It meant future generations would be left in a futureless world, he said.

Mr Mursell added he was not accusing people of being child abusers but shocking analogies were needed.

In a letter featured in parish magazines in the Diocese of Lichfield, the bishop wrote: "Josef Fritzl represents merely the most extreme form of a very common philosophy of life: I will do what makes me happy, and if that causes others to suffer, hard luck.

"In fact you could argue that, by our refusal to face the truth about climate change, we are as guilty as he is - we are in effect locking our children and grandchildren into a world with no future and throwing away the key."

He said people were "right to be disgusted at these crimes" but that "mere disgust is too convenient".

"There are lessons for all of us to learn," he added.

'Monstrous crime'

But on Monday, Mr Mursell told BBC Radio 4's Today programme he did not wish to shock people unnecessarily and was not "trying to imply that people who ignore climate change are child abusers".

"I am simply trying to use an analogy to get people to wake up to the consequences of what we are failing to do, because if we don't there won't be a future for our children either."

He said it was hard to imagine a more "monstrous crime" than Fritzl's and that was why he chose to use it as an analogy.

He added: "Could you not argue that if there is no future for our children and grandchildren, we will have been guilty of committing the most appalling crimes as well?


... verses like this come to mind:
(ever so slightly out of context of course) =)

Matthew 18:6 Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

(referring to the author I mean!)