About

Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Spurgeon Thursday - Preachers Are Servants, Not Celebrities

 Preachers Are Servants, Not Celebrities
What I Learned from Charles Spurgeon 

Article by Alistair Begg
Pastor, Chagrin Falls, Ohio

On Sunday morning, August 5, 1855, 21-year-old Charles Haddon Spurgeon stepped behind the pulpit of New Park Street Chapel to challenge

his congregation to follow the example of one of the saints who had inspired his ministry, the apostle Paul. “As a preacher of the word,” Spurgeon said of Paul, “he stands out pre-eminently as the prince of preachers and a preacher to kings.”

Young Spurgeon’s description of Paul was prophetic of his own future ministry. Within a few short years of that Sabbath morning, Spurgeon also earned the moniker “the prince of preachers” as he proclaimed God’s word to congregants from every stratum of society. The boy preacher from humble beginnings even became the “preacher to kings” as members of the British royal family filled his pews.


Lessons from the Prince of Preachers

I first heard the name “Spurgeon” as a young boy in Scotland. However, when I became a man, and began to read his sermons and writings, he endeared himself to me even more. Today, as a minister, I find in his work and life a wonderful example of what it means to be a preacher of the gospel.


1. Preach the Word

As Spurgeon stood before the congregation of New Park Street Chapel that same August Sunday to discuss what it means to preach the word, he pointed his listeners to the veracity and sufficiency of the Scriptures. “Am I to take God’s Bible and sever it and say, ‘This is husk and this is wheat?’” Spurgeon said, “Am I to cast away any one truth and say, ‘I dare not preach it’? No — God forbid!”

Throughout his ministry, Charles Spurgeon maintained an unwavering commitment to the word of God. Over time it became apparent that whether he was preaching in the Crystal Palace, before thousands in the Metropolitan Tabernacle, or with his students, Spurgeon was a man of integrity. His integrity, however, extended beyond his own personal life to encompass his concern for the gospel and theology. His preaching was forever crystal clear and Jesus-centered — qualities that have chased me down through the corridors of time to make me an unabashed fan of Spurgeon.

2. Cultivate the Heart of a Shepherd

Following the example of his Good Shepherd, Spurgeon was filled with compassion for sinners and longed to see them safely returned to the fold of God. Spurgeon firmly believed God loved saving the lost. It was a conviction that fueled his ministry. His tremendous longing to see men and women respond to the offer of the gospel was only matched by his intolerance for those who tainted the gospel of grace with the fallacy of good works.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

WWUTT Wednesday - What Is A Christian

I had an entirely different introduction written for today's WWUTT Wednesday video, but a news article came up on RedEye Radio this morning that got me to thinking (always a dangerous proposition) and I scrapped the whole intro.

The news story is that Delaware is going to let school children choose their own race and gender without their parents permission or knowledge. Sooooo... the thought occurred to me that if  I were given the chance to self identify race and gender I was going to choose "Christian" That way if a liberal disparaged Christianity I could accuse them of racism.

Then 2 Corinthians 5:17 came crashing down on my head: Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. I AM a new creature, in Christ I put off the old man with his deeds (Colossians 3:9), I put on the new self in the likeness of God (Ephesians 4:24), so yeah, given the opportunity to choose my gender and race on a form I am going to mark Christian, because that's what I am.




Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Being Liturgical

A very busy Liturgical Calendar
I was raised in a Roman Catholic household, so catholic in fact that there was even a priest in the family (Fr. Teddy, he was a missionary in the Philippines) so yeah, I'm familiar with Liturgical. Do you realize that this coming Thursday, February 22, is the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter the Apostle at Antioch? This is a Catholic holiday to celebrate a wooden chair. Actually there's two Catholic holidays to celebrate two wooden chairs that the Apostle Peter may or may not have even seen. January 18th is the Feast of the Char of St. Peter the Apostle at Rome and there's even an official color that the priests should wear when recrucifying Jesus on that day (white).

This really goes beyond the pale. It's a chair! Ok, I'm not going to say that my recliner, a TV remote, and I haven't had some great times together, but nothing that would require a holy day of obligation. Liturgy is defined as a form or formulary according to which public religious worship, especially Christian worship, is conducted. In a sense liturgy means all the rites, ceremonies, prayers, and sacraments used by a church. Our little church is actually liturgical. We always have worship service on Sunday, not the Sabbath, and our service always follows the same order starting with the call to worship and ending with the benediction. (Sudden thought - passing the collection plate before the sermon: liturgical neccessity or good economic sense?)

The Bible tells us that the liturgy, if any, should include baptism remembrance of the lord's supper (1 Corinthians 11:23-32), Prayer and praise (1 Timothy 2:1-8; Ephesians 6:18), and evangelism and discipleship (Matthew 28:18-20). That's about it, there's no requirement in the bible about golden icons, bells, incense, prayer beads, and days dedicated to worshiping dead people or their furniture.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Random Bits

While CNN embarrasses the entire nation with ooohs and ahhhs over Kim Jong Un's half sister Kim Yo Jong, let's keep in mind that she is the Minister of Propaganda and Agitation of the most repressive regime on earth. She is the Joseph Goebbels of North Korea, and considering the drooling plaudits from CNN and their ilk, she's done her job very well. Lets keep in mind how brutally North Korea treats their own people. Millions are starving, so starving that they're eating dirt to quell the pangs of hunger. But wait there's more: if you are caught with a bible or a portion of a bible, or just a bible verse written on a scrap of pape,r then you and your entire family including parents and grandparents will be sent to political prison camps (kwanliso). There you will be subject to enslavement/forced labor, torture, persecution, rape and sexual violence, and  extra-judicial killing.

Documented incidents against Christians include being hung on a cross over a fire, crushed under a steamroller, herded off bridges, and trampled underfoot. A policy of guilt by association applies, meaning that the relatives of Christians are also detained regardless of whether they share the Christian belief, so if you are caught with a bible, your entire family will be "disappeared". Even North Koreans who have escaped to China, and who are or become Christians, are often repatriated and subsequently imprisoned in a political prison camp. The entire 15 page Christian Solidarity Worldwide report can be found here.

16,000 Christians Dead in Less Than 3 Years, This Is Nigeria

215 Million Christians experience HIGH levels of persecution worldwide, including death, rape, imprisonment, forced marriage, and physical violence. Learn more and get involved

Men: would you like a quick way to an Olympic gold medal? Pretend you're a girl

Men: would you like an easy way to become a football superstar? Pretend you're a girl

Women: Would you like a fun way to become a women's wrestling champ? Pretend you're a boy

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Spurgeon Thursday - The Christian’s Life

The Christian’s life is no child’s play. All who have gone on pilgrimage to the celestial city have found a rough road, sloughs of despond and hills of difficulty, giants to fight and tempters to shun. Hence there are two perils to which Christians are exposed; the one is that under heavy pressure they should start away from the path which they ought to pursue - the other is lest they should grow fearful of failure, and so become faint-hearted in their holy course....

There is really nothing to be depressed about, there is no real danger, you are safe while God lives, and while Christ pleads, and while the Spirit of God dwells in you; therefore be not dismayed, nor even dream of fear. Be not timorous and unbelieving, but play the man; “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart.”

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Brave Waiting," delivered August 26, 1877

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Wretched Wednesday - Are You Reading Your Bible Too Fast?

I will admit it, I read my bible too fast. I didn't realize how fast I have been reading until I started taking well structured bible study classes. Once in those classes I found that I had to go back to the Old Testament and re-read something I blasted through in the past thinking it was merely an object lesson and I missed the deeper lesson. I found Elijah entertaining, but when doing a deep study of Romans, I realised that thanks to Paul. I had to go back and re-read First and Second Kings because it was so much more than I first thought



Friday, February 9, 2018

Random Bits

I like football, I'm not crazy about football, but I do enjoy a game if one of my two teams is playing. I am originally from the Buffalo NY area, which means that I have two teams to root for:
    1. The Buffalo Bills
    2. Any team playing against the Patriots
Which means going in to Super Bowl LII I should have been an Eagles fan, had I bothered to watch the game. But like an increasing number of people I didn't care. Being a veteran and friend of many a disabled veteran I found myself not caring about multi millionaires and their pet peeves.  

I could go on and on but in the end it's not about freedom of speech, it's about respect. If you want to say it's about freedom of speech, then this is me being free with speech by saying you're wrong, it's about respect. There are things bigger than their issues and maybe the NFL would be better place if everyone with a million dollar paycheck had emulated JJ Watt, and instead of sitting down they should have stood up and made a difference. That being said I now wish I had paid more attention to the Eagles. After reading this article and this article and this article I found reason to enjoy the Eagles, maybe I'll watch one of their games next year... if they play the Bills (or the patriots)

A Kern County Superior Court judge rules that forcing a Christian baker to decorate a wedding cake for a homosexual couple is a violation of that bakers right to free speech

Polyamory and polygamy – the next big social change? 

Yet another reason is why the secular world looks down on Christianity (and it's not just the faux-Christians listed in the article)

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

WWUTT Wednesday - Upon Further Review

Your Team just scored the go-ahead touchdown! Then the official steps into camera range, clicks on his mic and utters those fateful words
"Upon further review..."
Your Star Receiver who hauls down a hefty seven digit annual salary stepped out of bounds when catching the winning pass. Oh well, it happens. False teachers step out of bounds too, but I'll bet you don't get as upset with those who are trying to ruin your salvation as you did with that guy who just ruined your Sunday afternoon. Heck, there's false teachers who do nothing but teach people how to be false teachers. You think you're immune to the whiles of a false teacher? Jesus Christ himself said 'not so fast mister...'
"For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. (Matthew 24:24)
I answered a question on this in another forum using Matthew 24:24 there too, but I had admitted I didn't look at the original Greek. Today I looked at the Greek. I pray that what we use is a very good translation because "if possible, even the elect" εἰ δυνατόν καὶ τοὺς ἐκλεκτούς can also be translated "if mighty, also the elect". Try reading this verse and end it with "if mighty, also the elect" It's terrifying! I have a friend or two who may be able to help with the translation here, but right now, let's use this as a warning not to step out of bounds;


Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Satan's New Gig: Queering The Bible

RELG 033. Queering the Bible


This course surveys queer and trans* readings of biblical texts. It introduces students to the complexity of constructions of sex, gender, and identity in one of the most influential literary works produced in ancient times. By reading the Bible with the methods of queer and trans* theoretical approaches, this class destabilizes long held assumptions about what the bible--and religion--says about gender and sexuality.
Humanities
1 credit.
Eligible for GSST
Fall 2018. Kessler.
Catalog chapter: Religion 
Department website: http://www.swarthmore.edu/religion

No, this isn't something I made up, this is something that Rabba Gwynn Kessler ("Rabba" is a female Rabbi, and yes, it is a thing)  and she even has a book: Conceiving Israel: The Fetus in Rabbinic Narratives. It must be a gem, it's a $65 book but it's going for $5.70 on Amazon. Hurry, because they only have three copies left (and oddly it has NO reviews) It's ranking in Amazon is #1,249,981 with a bullet. Swarthmore college also teaches this class:

Friday, February 2, 2018

Random Bits

Something has been weighing on my heart a lot lately and that is the response we as Christians should take on attacks on our churches. Last November a hate filled failure of a human being walked into a church in Sutherland Springs Texas and murdered 26 people. Officials tell us that attacks on the church are not religiously motivated, which is not true. Just about every shooting in a house of worship could have happened somewhere else. 

The Knoxville Unitarian Universalist church shooting was politically motivated, it could have happened at a any DNC office. The Charleston church shooting was racially motivated, it could have happened almost anywhere. The Sutherland Springs shooting was motivated because a hate filled failure of a human being hated his mother in law. He could have attacked her in her home, her grocery store, anywhere she liked to be. These three and other shootings could have happened elsewhere but they didn't. I believe that these shootings happened in a house of worship because that's where Satan wants the war taken. Churches across the country are beefing up security because of these and other shootings, and I could come up with a security plan, but churches short of money pits like Castle Osteen couldn't afford it. So how do you fight Satan? You can't. You do what you can and you take your worries to Jesus. Let Him do the heavy lifting.

Pray for our Chinese brothers in Christ who disappeared and are probably being held by the Chinese government security apparatus. Christian persecution is rampant in China.

Presented with evidence that unborn babies can feel the pain of being chopped to pieces in the womb, the Democrats stand unified in their resolve that The Slaughter Must Continue and high five each other to celebrate the continuing holocaust of the innocent

Speaking of the slaughter of the innocent, one of the only US clinics to perform no questions asked abortions up to the point of birth was blessed by Rev. Carl Jackson, Rabbi Charles Feinberg, the Rev. Cari Jackson and the Rev. Barbara Gerlach

If you plan to go to Canada and you are a Christian, Prime Minister Skippy Justin Trudeau does not want you there

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Spurgeon Thursday - Charles Spurgeon's Evangelistic Fervor

CHARLES SPURGEON’S EVANGELISTIC FERVOR


From the book, The Gospel Focus of Charles Spurgeon by Steven J. Lawson

Throughout his prolific ministry, Charles Spurgeon sought to maintain the important balance the Scriptures give to divine sovereignty and human responsibility. Perhaps no preacher ever held these two truths more carefully in balance. Being committed to the full counsel of God, Spurgeon embraced both truths with equal allegiance. He clung tenaciously to God’s sovereignty in the salvation of His elect, but he was equally convinced of the mandate to extend the offer of the gospel to every person. Emphasizing one of these truths to the exclusion of the other, he believed, would result in an unbalanced ministry.

Spurgeon was once asked how he could reconcile the apparent contradiction between these two truths. He replied: “I never have to reconcile friends. Divine sovereignty and human responsibility have never had a falling out with each other. I do not need to reconcile what God has joined together.” He confessed: “Where these two truths meet I do not know, nor do I want to know. They do not puzzle me, since I have given up my mind to believing them both.” Spurgeon simply embraced both divine sovereignty and human responsibility as clearly taught in the pages of Scripture.

By maintaining this balance, Spurgeon avoided a grave danger to evangelism known as Hyper-Calvinism. This teaching holds firmly to the doctrines of grace, but it neglects any urgent appeal to lost sinners to be converted. Iain Murray explains: “Gospel preaching for Hyper-Calvinists means a declaration of the facts of the gospel but nothing should be said by way of encouraging individuals to believe that the promises of Christ are made to them particularly until there is evidence that the Spirit of God has begun a saving work in their hearts convicting them and making them ‘sensible’ of their need.” Thus, Hyper-Calvinism rejects a universal invitation for sinners to believe, but argues that the gospel is to be preached only to the elect. Only those who feel the full burden of their sin, Hyper-Calvinists suppose, should be encouraged to seek relief in the Lord.