Friday, June 24, 2011

Sunday Preview

“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?  As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.  But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.” Luke 6:46-49

Religious Light Bulb Humor

Not sure who wrote these (I did not write any of these) but they're pretty good! Enjoy!

How many Calvinists does it take to change a light bulb?
None. God has predestined when the lights will be on..let Him turn it on if He wants.

How many Church of Christ folks?
CHANGE?? But we have NEVER done it that way before!

How many Neo-evangelicals?
No one knows. They cannot tell the difference between light and darkness.

How many Pentecostals?
Ten. One to change the bulb and nine to pray against the spirit of darkness...

How many TV evangelists?
One. But for the message of light to continue, send in your donation...

How many Fundamentalists?
It better be a 1611 bulb!

How many Episcopalians?
None, they assume darkness is the nature of the bulb and it would be harmful and disrespectful to violate personality of the bulb.

How many Baptists?
Two, one to change the bulb, the other to preach on tithing in order to pay for the new bulb.

How many Premillennialists?
While knowing where the lightbulbs are, they are persuaded to wait for the official lightbulb changer but no one knows when he will arrive.

How many Arminians?
Since the bulb has free will - it must make the decision.

How many Amillennialists?
Two, one to change the bulb, the other to remind others not to fear the old darkness or trust the new light--both are only symbolic.

How many Emergents?
It doesn't matter as long as we love each other.

How many seeker sensitives?
First we must find out what kind of bulbs the community wants then we will proceed.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Restoration Movement Influences in My Life

Recently I was asked to write about some of the people who have had influence in my life regarding the Restoration Movement and my enthusiasm about its principles. The first name that came to mind was Dr. Lloyd Knowles, one of my professors at Great Lakes Christian College. I had attended the Church of Christ since I was eight years old, but it wasn’t until I went to Bible College that I heard the term “Restoration Movement.” I remember reading The Stone-Campbell Movement by Leroy Garrett and Christians Only by J.D. Murch and feeling a kindred spirit with the early leaders of the Movement. I was thrilled by the stories of men with varied denominational backgrounds deciding to drop the names and creeds that divide, taking the Bible alone as their rule of faith and practice, simply calling themselves Christians. Dr. Knowles was the person who kindled my lifelong study of the people, principles, and history of the Restoration Movement.

Another influential person is my father-in-law Ray Merritt. He had a worldly background and was converted to Christ as an adult. He was schooled in Restoration principles in his formative days as a new believer. Later, he decided to answer the call to the full-time preaching ministry. I liken our relationship to that of the apostle Paul and his young protégé Timothy. Ray has been a constant encouragement to me in my faith and ministry. He has also introduced me to others who have shaped my thinking in profound ways.

Proverbs 27:17 says, “Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” That verse reminds me of my friend David Willis from Newport News, Virginia. When we were rookie preachers, we spent countless hours together talking about preaching, the Bible, and how to communicate the principles of the Restoration Movement in our modern day. David was/is a fellow traveler on this journey.

Ray Bennett and George Faull were mentors and teachers in the early days of my ministry. I met them both at the Hillsboro Family Camp in Hillsboro, Ohio. Ray’s passion for preaching and zeal for the tenets of New Testament Christianity resonated with me. Listening to him thunder away about “one Lord, one faith, and one baptism” ignited a fire within me to follow in the footsteps of our Restoration Movement forefathers and direct my listeners back to the Bible. George modeled an open heart and mind, as well as a desire to get it right when interpreting the Scriptures. To this day, these brothers encourage me as a preacher of the gospel.
Several writers have shaped my understanding of theology and our Movement.

Authors like Dr. Jack Cottrell, Don DeWelt, Carl Ketcherside, Marshall Leggett and Victor Knowles have challenged and inspired me. The writings of the early pioneers like Thomas and Alexander Campbell and Walter Scott still have relevance today. Their plea for union among Christians based on the truth of the Scriptures is timeless.

The point is this; the mentors and people of influence in your life will be different than mine, of course. But choose them wisely, because other than the impact of the Bible and the Holy Spirit, the direction of your life will be largely determined by the books you read and the people with whom you associate.

Ain't No Grave

Friday, June 03, 2011

New Sermon Series Begins Sunday

Jesus was a masterful teacher. When crowds gathered around him, one of his favorite techniques was to ask them questions. These questions are as relevant in our day as they were when they were first posed. Our summer sermon series, Questions Jesus Asked, will take a fresh look at some of our Lord’s most penetrating and timeless questions.
June 5 Who do people say that I am?
June 12 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to life?
June 19 What can a man give in exchange for his soul?
June 26 Why do you call me Lord, Lord?
July 3 Whose portrait and inscription are on it?
July 17 Do you love Me?
July 24 How do you read it?
July 31 Which of these three was a neighbor?
August 7 Why do you nullify the command of God?