Thursday, April 1, 2004

April 1, 2004

10:38 PM Kim Jahns sent an e-mail from missionaries in the Middle East with further insight into the impact of “The Passion of the Christ” in Muslim countries.

In just a few short days, more Arab Muslims have been able to clearly hear (and see) the Gospel in their own language than we would be able to reach in a lifetime of ministry in the Middle East… . In two short hours, more Qataris heard the Gospel than I have been able to reach in nearly 5 years of living here. The Arabic subtitles were completely accurate – they didn’t water ANYTHING down or change any language that Muslims would not agree with. All of us watched the film in absolute amazement in what God had done.

9:03 PM We just added five new sermon series to the website: State of the Church messages 9 messages Christmas messages 12 messages The God of All Comfort 6 sermons (These messages became the basis for the book Keep Believing). Christian Giving 6 sermons The Songs of Christmas 4 sermons 9:00 PM How do we minister to homosexuals? Al Mohler strikes just the right balance with his call for courage and compassion. 8:41 PM God Bless President Bush for signing the Unborn Victims of Violence Act. 8:32 PM “The Passion of the Christ” is drawing huge crowds in the Arab world. (Hat tip to Lydia Tan.)

“The film is so popular here that they have been canceling the other films to show ‘The Passion’ in all the theatres at the cinema complex,” said a Christian living in Kuwait. “I would estimate that well over 50 percent of the people in the theatre were local Muslims including women completely veiled.

8:28 PM Lynette Hoy has a good report on the Rally to Protect Marriage yesterday in Springfield. Want to be a good writer? Marvin Olasky says to cut out the adjectives. 8:49 AM Someone asked me a hypothetical question–or perhaps it wasn’t entirely hypothetical. Would I baptize a man who was living with his girlfriend? It’s a good question because we run into this sort of thing all the time. My answer goes like this: The circumstances matter, of course. How long has the man been a Christian? Has someone taught him the biblical view of sexual morality? Has he been challenged to stop living with his girlfriend? Does he understand what baptism means? Has someone discipled him in the basics of the Christian life? Why does he want to be baptized? These are all relevant issue that would need to be considered. Many people who come to Christ in genuine faith need to be shown what it means to live for the Lord. I certainly think that where we are dealing with a new and untaught believer, we need to be gracious in way we deal with people. But the fundamental answer is no, I would not baptize a man who was living with his girlfriend. Baptism does not demand moral perfection, but it does imply a conscious intention to leave the life of sin behind and become a cross-bearer with Jesus. Would we baptize a drug-dealer? Not if he intended to continue dealing drugs. Would we baptize a homosexual? Not if he intended to continue in his immorality. We can’t be responsible for what we don’t know, but we are accountable for what we do know. When we know of a serious moral issue involving someone who wants to be baptized, we must bring it up and deal with it forthrightly. If he acknowledges that living together without marriage is sinful and if he decides to stop living in sin, then yes, we would baptize him. If he chooses to live in sin, then we ought not to baptize him lest we incur God’s anger by making a mockery of his commandments. It’s not up to us, it’s really up to the man in question. Does he want to follow Christ or not? 8:04 AM Looking ahead to the weekend at Calvary: Saturday 9 AM Easter Eggstravaganza. Calling all kids for an Easter egg hunt in the west parking lot. Invite your friends to come with you. We plan to share the true meaning of Easter with everyone who attends. Sunday—Time Change—Spring Forward—Set your clocks ahead one hour! Sunday—All services—I’m preaching on the most controversial portion of The Apostles’ Creed—”He descended into hell.” I’ve gotten more questions about this than about anything else in the Creed. Do we even believe it? If we do, what does it mean? Come Sunday and find out.

Do you have any thoughts or questions about this post?