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A Reformed Fellowship

Pastors

All preaching that glitters is not gold–a look at Joel Osteen

The April 22-24, 2011 issue of USA Weekend featured an article on Joel Osteen entitled “My gift is encouragement.” Writer Cathy Lynn Grossman accurately notes that “quite possibly no one smiles more, ear to ear, day after day, than Pastor Joel Osteen.” She continues, “He is the blue-eyed beaming Texas preacher known worldwide for exuberant declarations of health, prosperity, wisdom, confidence, and…

10 questions with John MacArthur

I doubt any person has influenced my understanding of Christianity and preaching more than John MacArthur. A series of MacArthur’s audio cassette tapes loaned to me by a former missionary to Brazil opened my mind and heart and understanding to the concept that the glory of God is central to everything. That must have been about 1980, and I’ve followed Dr. MacArthur’s…

Paul Washer video on the popularity of false teachers

Sometimes we find a preacher unwilling to cave to the craving by our culture for a gospel which satisfies their earthly desires. One of our Cornerstone members sent me a link to this video of Paul Washer. Some may think Washer is too harsh or unnecessarily strident. The same charge has been leveled throughout history at men who opposed false teachers. Our…

The biblical path for an effective church

More books claiming to contain the secret for helping churches grow and influence their communities are written annually than any pastor has time to scan, much less peruse. I sometimes wonder if we pastors and other church leaders too often look to the latest writing of a church-growth guru than we seek to understand what the Bible itself says about the church.…

Ignorant deacons and unfaithful pastors

There is really no easy way to say this, but the state of far too many of our Southern Baptist Churches is poor. One has to look no further than the deacons who serve as de facto elders in many churches. Those coming from other denominations may be unaware of the leadership model commonly found in Baptist churches. In these churches, the…

A Recipe for Apostasy: The Customer Is Always Right

During the past century or so, the concept of pragmatism has become the guiding force behind how conservative churches function and how the gathered church worships. According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, pragmatism is “a practical approach to problems and affairs.” Philosophically, pragmatism is “an American movement in philosophy founded by C. S. Peirce and William James and marked by the doctrines…

Short-Changing the Work of the Spirit

We carry the descriptive name “evangelical” because we believe that people are accepted by God through believing the evangel, the “good news” that Jesus died upon the cross for believing sinners. Sinners who repent of their sin and look to the crucified Christ, who took the wrath of God in their stead, are forgiven and counted righteous by God: “For our sake…

Cool evangelicals and Obama

That Barack Obama supports a woman’s “right” to an abortion is a given. The fact that many evangelical Christians are supporting Obama for President is not surprising. Many evangelicals, particularly young pastors, love being “cool,” and it’s “cool” to support Obama. The one thing I cannot reconcile is supporting a candidate for the highest political office (or any office, for that matter)…

Fewer baptisms in the SBC

One of the distinctives which make Baptists “Baptist” is the belief in a regenerate church membership. In other words, only those who profess faith in Christ and give evidence of regeneration are to be baptized and admitted into the membership of the local church. Because we hold that the Scriptures restrict baptism to believers (with all due respect to my Presbyterian brothers…