by Terry Laughlin | Aug 20, 2016 | Christian Living Truth's
The Consequences of Not Wanting To Hear From God
The Bible says, “Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil.” (Ecclesiastes 5:1)
There is common phrase that is often heard from people who have attended weddings, baby dedications and other religious ceremonies, “That was short and sweet, just like I like it.” Could this attitude be an reflection of a heart that is not hungry to know what God desire’s in regard to:
Marriage: Yes, it is true that all weddings belong to the couple being married, the sin is having wedding ceremonies asking for God’s blessings without being hungry to hear: 1.) What a marriage covenant really is from God’s prospective. 2.) Not having a Christ centered focus in regard to making marriage vows that express serving each other as you were serving Jesus. 3.) Reminding all who attend the ceremony, they are their brother’s keeper. Everyone who bears witness to wedding ceremony are to do their part in praying for, watching over and protecting the marriage covenant as God’s plan for man and woman. The liking of short and sweet has kept many ignorant about marriage being God’s plan from the very beginning, not the conjecture of mankind. Civil Unions are for those who have no desire to guard their steps in touching the holy institution of marriage, one man, one woman, until death do you part. Jesus makes it very clear, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Matthew 19:4-6) Obedience to God’s plan for marriage and the desire to seek His moral precepts for men and women is the foundation to guarding your step in touching Holy Matrimony.
Baby Dedications: The conjecture of man in regard to baby dedications are over shadowing God’s truths to dedicating a child unto the Lord’s intercession, protection and guidance. Many baby dedications have become a service to show off the parents babies in their sweetest outfits, rather than a service preparing parent’s and congregations to seek God’s perfect will. One pastor wrote, “Our baby dedication services have become an interruption to the theme of the service, rather than the whole service having the theme of dedicating children unto the Lord.” (Merrill, D., & Shelley, M. (Eds.). (1984). Fresh ideas for families, youth & children (p. 121). Carol Stream, IL; Waco, TX: Christianity Today; Word Books.) There is a famine of wanting to hear God’s truths. Today, most parents want short and sweet, leaving them ignorant to God’s truths: 1.) Children are God’s gift, what that really involves. (Psalm 127:3) 2.) The challenge, “Will you, by God’s help, guidance, and intercession provide a God-fearing, Word filled knowledge home. (Ephesians 6:4; Proverbs 22:6) 3.) Be Biblically equipped to pray for their children. A quality ministry has a complete prayer guide for intercession for children. (Peterson, E. H., & Miller, C. (1987). Weddings, funerals, & special events (Vol. 10, p. 135). Carol Stream, IL; Waco, TX: Christianity Today, Inc.; Word Books.; http://standatthecrossroads.com/prayer-guide-children/)
Regarding your step in approaching all religious ceremonies, weddings, baby dedications, baptisms, the Lord’s supper (communion), etc. involves having a listening spirit so you are not ignorant in the holy things of God, enabling you to have ceremonies that are pleasing to Him.
by Terry Laughlin | Aug 20, 2016 | Pastoral Appreciation
Keeping Biblical Integrity in Ministerial Ordinations
God ordained ministers of the Gospel present a high level of integrity in conduct of life, in proclamation of Biblical truth, and loyalty to the calling God has placed upon those who serve Him. The Apostle Paul exhorted Timothy, “…set the example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. …devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift, which was given to you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” (1 Timothy 4:12b-16)
According to First Nation Church and Ministry, Kansas does not maintain a central registry of members of the clergy, and you are not required to undergo any specific formal training. People have seen this freedom presented by Kansas law on ministerial ordination as an opportunity to cheapen the pulpit. Thus, anyone can get on line, log onto different on line ordination websites, make their way through the on line process, after paying a minimal fee, have ordination papers enabling applicants to perform marriage ceremonies, do baby baptisms, and other religious ceremonies. One on-line sites writes, “Your complete ceremonial minister credentials package… includes all of the documents you’ll need to legally perform all life’s celebrations including weddings, etc. Ordination as ceremonial minister is valid and accepted anywhere in the world.” Most on line ministry ordination services do not inquire about the doctrine the applicants are teaching, examine the candidate’s conduct of life or if he/she is living in a reverent fear of the Lord. Whenever compromise is allowed in ministry ordination, people embrace false teachings, accept lifestyles that break God’s heart and continue to mislead the spiritually blind.
Holy Spirit anointed leaders take serious the Apostle Paul’s exhortation to Timothy. They spend years doing the hard work of study, so they can determine their Holy Spirit given gifts. These ministerial candidates allow themselves to be examined by spiritual leaders who have proved themselves faithful to God in the exercising of their Spiritual gifts. After three to five years of study, preparation and examination comes the school of hard knocks. For a determined number of years, set by the overseers of the ministry a candidate desires to be ordained with, the candidate must prove himself/herself to be faithful: 1.) Can the ordination candidate be found faithful to exercise his/her gift through sacrificial love in trials, through the temptations of success and for the glory of the Lord. It is about Jesus, not the candidate. 2.) Can the ordination candidate pray through to a healthy completion his/her gift through “prophecy” (prophēteía) which is Holy Spirit revelation or direction in the call God has set before him/her. (Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers; Acts 13:1-3) 3.) Can the ordination candidate get others to join hands with him/her in ministry in hopes to influence others to respond to their work in the Lord? (Lea, T. D., & Griffin, H. P. (1992). 1, 2 Timothy, Titus (Vol. 34, p. 139). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.; Numbers 27:18-20; Deuteronomy 34:9) This time tested system has kept the church of Christ in line with the Apostle Paul’s instructions, “Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands.” (1 Timothy 5:22)
Ordinations embraced by the conjuncture of mankind have no influence on God called, Christ purchased, Holy Spirit anointed men and women sold out to the Glory of the Lord. Which one do you look to for spiritual nourishment, for performing religious ceremonies and Biblical truths?
by Terry Laughlin | Aug 6, 2016 | Patriotism
Often during elections we hear national leaders claim to have faith in God, yet live a life that is in contradiction to the whole council of God’s Word. In His teachings about false prophets, people who teach false doctrines which are contrary to God’s Word He said, “You will know them by their fruit.” (Matthew 7:16,20) These are words of truth that should cause us to examine our lives, the fruit it produces and the very words we speak.
It is amazing, people will allow themselves during the election process to be enamored by leaders who have ability or skills, who are able to communicate and inspire – while purposely ignoring the character of the candidate. In evaluating character you may start from their past to gain a baseline on what to search for today. In elections it seems candidates employee their critical abilities to analyze others weaknesses, thus, much time and money is spent in tearing others down so as to build themselves up. Politicians who are truly sold out to the Lord are kind and tenderhearted toward each other. (Ephesians 4:32) When Samuel grew old he appointed his sons as Israel’s leaders. The Bible says, “they turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice.” (1 Samuel 8:3) The results of their corrupt leadership moved the people to want a king like all the other nations had. God had Samuel solemnly warn the people – the king who rules over them would not be a blessing to them. And when the people wanted relief from the king they had chosen, they would cry out to God, but He would not answer the people. (1 Samuel 8)
Placing people in governmental leadership who are dishonest, who are controlled by special interest groups and feel that political party rites are more important than the people they serve rites are, the political process become adulterated and corrupt. It is foolish to appoint a fox to watch over the hen house – it equally foolish to appointment a person of low character to watch over the house of governmental rule. To appoint poor character to leadership positions is like having a King Saul, the people’s choice (1 Samuel 8-9) who was always sorry for the circumstances he and the people of God were in, but never produced the fruit of repentance.
Fortunately character can be strong with out being perfect. King David, the man after God’s heart (Acts 13:22) had many faults, yet he was a leader who showed the fruits of repentance when confronted. America needs people in leadership like King Hezekiah, he confessed the sins of the people, he reintroduced worship to God, he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. (2 Chronicles 29)
Napoleon said, “the most dangerous general was one who fought based in fantasy. So it is with a person trying to lead based on fantasy or ignorance of the character of his or her associates.” To vote for a leader of this country based on how they impress you, while ignoring their character is an unwise thing to do. The heart of a leader that please the Lord is that of Solomon, “Now Lord… Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who can govern this great people of yours.” (2 Chronicles 1:10)
Political Character Matters – The character of the person you vote into office, will be a blessings or a curse to the people of the United States of America.