Friday, September 26, 2008

Adorning the Gospel

It amazes me how much time and effort we put into finding the right job and choosing the right university, but when it comes to finding and choosing the right church, we are willing to compromise essential and sound teaching and settle for a church that we’re comfortable with.

With our jobs we expect exceptional training, management and organization. We demand that our employer provide the necessary tools to increase and utilize our skills and expertise so that we may gradually progress in our workplace.

With our universities and schools, we anticipate that our professors teach and instruct us with proper and well-thought out curriculums to prepare us for the workplace. So much time is devoted to studying, learning and applying the principles taught to us by these instructors.

Yet, when it comes to the church, we settle for silly and asinine sermons and teachings that, at best, give us wisdom and guidance that are no different than what we find on Oprah or Dr. Phil Today. And at worst, lack any substance or Biblical truths and consequently create thousands of false converts that comfortably sit in church pews today.

In contrast to the standards of the modern church, Paul’s letter to Titus gives us a detailed outline of God’s standards for church leaders and what they should be teaching

Firstly, a leader is not qualified on the basis of aptitude, education, oratory skills, physical appearance or natural ability but rather on moral and spiritual character. He must lead a blameless life, free from scandal and corruption and be devoted to encouraging the church through sound Biblical doctrine. And I’m not talking about a “be a better you” type of encouragement but a solid exhortation to live a holy life. And in addition to shepherding and caring for the flock, a church leader must equip the saints to evangelize and defend the truth (See Titus 1).

So…Paul puts an emphasis on inward character of church leaders and encourages them to teach and live sound doctrine. The modern church seems to put an emphasis on the outward appearance; get a cool haircut (spiky or messy with lots of gel), wear the latest and trendiest clothes (torn jeans, striped collared shirts from Express and absolutely no ties) and listen to cool music (U2, Radiohead, etc.). Sound doctrine? Expositional teaching? Good character? That stuff doesn’t appeal to the public…we need relevant teaching! Oh…and let’s not forget about the booming sound system.

Speaking of teaching, Houston has its mega dose of megachurches known for shallow and superficial sermons that hide behind a mask of relevance and self improvement. We teach people how to become a better you and live life to the fullest. Wanna find a date? Go to your local church and they’ll be sure to hook you up by the weekend. I’m not kidding…how else will we get people to come and listen to our shallow sermons? Have we forgotten that we are called to preach Christ crucified which is the power of God unto salvation (1 Corinthians 1:22-24)? Walk into most modern churches and you will not hear the Gospel and if you do, it certainly isn't the Biblical, God-centered Gospel but a man-centered, self improvement message which is really no gospel at all (Galatians 1:6-7).

Back to Paul’s letter to Titus…you can read through chapter 2 and from the outset, God commands Titus to teach sound doctrine. And this is essential and imperative whether you’re young or old, male or female. It doesn’t matter if you’re leading a youth group or teaching a Bible study for senior citizens; sound doctrine is indispensable and absolutely necessary. And rather than doing sermon series based on CSI or Dr. Seuss, Paul tells Titus to teach the church on topics such as self-control, purity, and Godly speech so that they may obtain a sound and good faith that leads by example. And as leaders in our church, these are the things we should teach and pass down to the younger generation.

If you’re a believer, what is your church teaching? Are you under a pastor who is encouraging you with Biblical truths and equipping you to live a holy life that is an example to those who oppose it? And if you’re a church leader, are you teaching what is in accordance with sound doctrine and feeding your sheep by rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15)? Or, just as Charles Spurgeon recognized over a hundred years ago , are you merely amusing goats?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Abortion at a Glance

Here are some statistics on abortion:

  • Since 1973 there have been over 40 million abortions. Texas has the third highest legal induced abortions at 74,801 (CDC).
  • Texas does currently enforce parental consent or notification laws for minors seeking an abortion (AGI).
  • World Magazine rated Texas the #2 Pro-Life state in the U.S. (Source).
  • There has been a continuing increase of legal induced abortions in the U.S. since 1973, peaking in 1990, and then generally declining (CDC).
  • Unmarried women account for 82% of abortions with a ratio of 572 abortions for every 1,000 live births
  • Women between the ages of 20-24 obtained 33% of all abortions (CDC).
  • 50% of U.S. women obtaining abortions are younger than 25; women aged 20-24 obtain 33% of all U.S. abortions and teenagers obtain 17% (AGI).
  • Adolescents under 15 years obtained less than 1% of all abortions, but have the highest abortion ratio, 744 abortions for every 1,000 live births (CDC).
  • 47% of women who have abortions had at least one previous abortion (AGI).
  • Black women are more than 4.8 times more likely than non-Hispanic white women to have an abortion, and Hispanic women are 2.7 times as likely (AGI).
  • 43% of women obtaining abortions identify themselves as Protestant, and 27% identify themselves as Catholic (AGI).
  • On average, women give at least 3 reasons for choosing abortion: 3/4 say that having a baby would interfere with work, school or other responsibilities; about 3/4 say they cannot afford a child; and 1/2 say they do not want to be a single parent or are having problems with their husband or partner (AGI).

Overall, the abortion count is 4,000 per day, 25,000 per week, 109,000 per month, and 1.3 million per year. And let's not forget the countless women who are left with the regret and shame they experience after having an abortion.

And since we’re in the middle of a presidential election, you can find out where the candidates stand on this issue by clicking here.

And click here for if you need general information on abortion such as abortion alternatives, pro-life organizations, etc.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Planned Parenthood's Racist and Hedonistic History

Founding President, Margaret Sanger
Margaret was a belligerent socialist that denounced marriage as “a degenerate institution” and sexual modesty as “obscene prudery”. Her publication, The Women Rebel, was published under the masthead, “No God and No Masters”.

While Margaret was exiled in England, as a result of her extreme views, she was indoctrinated with the Malthusian philosophy that believed in population control by any means necessary (sounds like abortion). She even condemned charity and philanthropy because they enabled the weak and the poor to survive and flourish.

Even worse, she adopted the policies of Eugenics, which is defined as “the study of hereditary improvement of the human race by controlled selective breeding.” While this may sound like a genuine scientific theory, this was the same ideology that motivated the Nazis to abuse and kill millions of disabled children and woman. And today, this policy is universally condemned as a mere political and social prejudice rather than scientific fact. The prejudice can be recognized in one of Margaret Sanger’s letter to a friend. Here is what she said:

"We do not want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten that idea out if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members."

Is it a surprise that black women are more than 3 times as likely as white women to have an abortion, and Hispanic woman 2 ½ times as likely ?

And Planned Parenthood’s president, Alan Guttmacher, who succeeded Sanger state that Planned Parenthood is “merely walking down the path that Mrs. Sanger carved out for us”…and it’s a path Faye Wattleton, Planned Parenthood’s president during the ‘80’s, claims they are proud to walk.

Planned Parenthood
A quick glance at Planned Parenthood’s website will reveal not only their financial interest but also their ideological agenda to remove any restraints (i.e. God, marriage, etc.) from sexuality and encourage self-indulgence. In fact, they have an entire entire website dedicated to teens and youth full of cartoons, games and movies…all used to indoctrinate teens with a hedonistic ideology that usurps any and all authority.

Just look at the advice one “expert” gives to teens.

“The only person who can tell if you’re ready to have sex is YOU!”

Here’s another exchange between a student and expert.

Student: “I'm ready for sex. I've got these condoms but I don't want to use them, I need some birth control pills. I would like to know [of a] place where I could get some without my parents finding out, or any other adult. Thanks for your time.”

Expert: “In general, parental permission is not needed for birth control. However, there may be certain locations where, for one reason or another, the provider will require parental permission. Confidentiality is up to the provider. Planned Parenthood health centers are committed to providing services that are confidential and affordable, especially for teens, who may face special family and financial circumstances. To find a Planned Parenthood health center near you, call 1-800-230-PLAN.”

And on and on it goes. More advice from Planned Parenthood tells teens that having sex everyday is normal and can actually have “positive health benefits that you might not expect”. As far as any moral constraints, PP proclaims that we should “celebrate our sexuality” by recognizing that it “can be fun and fulfill many emotional needs”.

To top if off, PP suggests that homosexuality is normal and developed before birth and claims that “religious authorities often encourage negative feelings about sexual orientation and gender identity”.

So Planned Parenthood’s agenda is clearly laid out. While promoting a hedonistic lifestyle with no restraints, the natural effects are unwanted pregnancies that consequently end in abortion. And if abortions are increased, so is the financial bottom line of Planned Parenthood. Unfortunately, while their pockets are getting fat, millions of babies are aborted and millions of women are left to deal with the “choice” they made.

*All statistics and resources from

Planned Parenthood to Perform Late-Term Abortions in Houston

Planned Parenthood is making headlines in Houston with their expansion and renovation of the former Sterling Bank Building on the Gulf Freeway near the University of Houston.

A law passed in 2003 requires that abortions carried out between the 16th and 24th and one-half week of pregnancy be performed only at a licensed ambulatory surgery center and this expansion will qualify the clinic to perform late term abortions.

Planned Parenthood’s spokeswoman, Rochelle Tafolla, suggests that abortion protesters “thrive on hyperbole. It’s all about emotion and very little about fact. They make outrageous claims and show grotesque photos.”

Rather than posting more “hyperbole” on the issue of abortion and Planned Parenthood, I thought I’d simply lay out the facts in my next two posts.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Church of Montrose

Anyone who reads The Houston Chronicle has come across front page articles that consistently promote the paper’s left wing agenda. Unfortunately, this bias crosses over to their weekly Religion section which is featured every Saturday.

The featured article this week covered Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church’s ordination of an openly gay pastor, Lura Groen. The church had been without a pastor for five years until Groen, despite her “sexual preference”, was able to “win their hearts”.

In regards to her sexual orientation, Groen confesses, “It’s just my personality not to want to lie about who I am.”

Groen boldly asserts that the church "does not have the right to set a different standard for her and her straight colleagues". However, she insists that the church she loved and grew up in taught that God loves everybody. So as long as the church sets a convenient standard that fits her worldview, then she is willing to embrace and adhere to it.

Unfortunately Groen’s childhood church preached a different gospel that conformed and shaped a god to fit the lifestyle of a homosexual; a god completely lacking any reference to sin, judgment, righteousness and holiness. What’s even more alarming is we are now seeing the fruits of their labor. According to the article, there are now 15 to 20 openly gay clergy in the city of Houston. And if you take a trip down to Montrose and Westheimer, you’ll see more and more churches preaching the same message that “God loves everybody”'s a watered-down message that loudly proclaims, “I will not worship the God of the Bible but a god that I am comfortable with”. And according to Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church’s website , it’s all about making it as comfortable as possible for YOU.

Rather than preaching a false gospel that creates a false image of god and consequently encourages us to remain in our sinful nature, the Bible commands us to put off our old selves…our old selves being our sinful desires and lusts of the flesh…just as we put off old and filthy garments. While Groen may seem humble in her profession to “not lie about who she is”, God commands all men everywhere to repent of their sins and place their trust in Christ (Acts 17:30). And in doing so He promises to set us free from our sinful nature (Romans 7:23,8:2), create in us new desires (Ephesians 4:22, 24) and give us the strength to resist and overcome our temptations (