Saturday, August 31, 2013

New Blog - Please add to your Blog Roll


Hey, check out the new blog from my friend and colleague Don Hagner, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Longview, Washington.

Be sure to leave an encouraging comment. Say tuned as he develops this blog. Go ahead, it's OK, add it to your favorite blog roll for others to see.

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Latest and Greatest Controversy

There is a tremendously sad and ridiculous "controversy raging in one of the Facebook groups that I am a member of. It arose when a member posted a rock and roll rendition of the Star Spangled banner by Madison Rising.

The song is sung by the way by a Navy veteran in a most stirring manner.

By no means am I a rocker. The closest thing to a rock and roller I ever got was Credence Clearwater Revival. Most of you know I am "hard-core" honky-tonk country. Yes, I was country before country was cool!

I thought the rendition was stirring, patriotic, and it moved me. I am a former Viet-Nam era Marine Corps veteran. I did not think it was disrepectful in the slightest.

The posting has caused quite a "controversy." One post read, "Why start a post about something we know is controversial when we know it will cause dissension among the brethren? Just sayin..."

The following was my response:

What I have always found bitter about ultra-fundamentalism, or "legalism" is the fact that when someone has a differing view, opinion, preference, or exercises their God-given liberty it is called or considered controversy. As a result the free exchange of thought provoking, Spiritually maturing, growth in Christ is pro-hibited. If offering an opinion on a "rendition" or arrangement of a song is controversial or causes dissension, I wonder at the level of maturity and Christ-likeness. Is there no room for discussion that leads to edification, exhortation and ultimately to exaltation of our Sovereign and gracious God?

What do you think? First, of my reply and second of the rendition?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

I Hate Compromise

I Hate Compromise

Gregg Metcalf
August 29, 2013
all rights reserved

Based on Confederate Railroad's
"I Hate Rap"

I hate compromise, I hate comprise
Couldn’t burn me with some fries
It don’t come as no surprise
I don’t like lies, look in my eyes
I don’t advise you play with guise

I hate compromise, I hate compromise
And it don’t go good with beer guys
I hate the words, I hate the errors
But I love the all the truth bearers

I hate compromise, I hate compromise
I got one nerve left and its about to die
Rather have you poke me in the eye
I don’t walk that walk, I won’t deny
If I talked that talk I will imply
I hate compromise, I hate compromise
And it don’t go good with beer guys
I hate the words, I hate the errors
But I love the all the truth bearers

I hate compromise, I hate compromise
And it don’t go good with beer guys
I hate the words, I hate the errors
But I love the all the truth bearers

I hate compromise, I hate compromise
It would wake Rip Van Winkle I surmise
I’d rather look deep into snake eyes
Than try to listen to all those lies
Don’t try it man it is so unwise

I hate compromise, I hate compromise
And it don’t go good with beer guys
I hate the words, I hate the errors
But I love the all the truth bearers

I hate compromise, I hate comprise
Couldn’t burn me with some fries
It don’t come as no surprise
I don’t like lies, look in my eyes
I don’t advise you play with guise

I hate compromise, I hate rap
And it don’t go good with beer on tap

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

When a Homosexual Mayor Partners with Neo-evangelical Churches

How much can we grieve the Holy Spirit before God says enough and withdraws Him? How much darkness can we embrace before God removes the restraint and influence of His Spirit from this nation and this world?

Have you listen to the 11 minute clip from the so called "Gospel Coalition that was posted on Facebook on August 27, 2013? If you haven't you missed one more opportunity to grieve and weep over the condition of the so called evangelical church. To say I was appalled is an understatement. To say I am shocked and dismayed, well leaves me speechless.

First of all, what an ungodly and ignorant way to open a discussion as to say that we as churches were desperate to find a way to be relevant. Why were the churches desperate? Don't they know the bible? Don't they believe the bible? 

When the church is following its head, vitally connected to the power of God, even the gates of hell will not prevent the church from being victorious and carrying out her mission. The church doesn't need to worry about finding ways to be relevant. She needs to march against the gates of hell with the armor of God and pull down strongholds of darkness.

Second, why in the world does the church want to partner with the kingdom of darkness? Have they not read the warning in 2 Corinthians 6:14? What fellowship does the light have with the darkness? None! Christ told Judas to leave the fellowship in the upper room. He didn't tell the disciples to partner with Judas or the Pharisees in order to carry out his mission.

Third, why in the world would the church surrender her autonomy to the world in order to accomplish anything? The Mayor made it clear that the first major rule to be followed and obeyed was that of "no proselytizing." You have got to be kidding, right?

What are the marching orders of the church? Well, you can refresh your memory by looking at Matthew 28:18-20. What is the responsibility and mission of every believer? We are to be a witness to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We are to preach the gospel to every creature. How can the church allow darkness to dictate terms

To hear the Mayor say that first, this was made absolutely clear, second, that there was no "one single complaint" about that point was horrifying. Either the church no longer cares about its mission and responsibilities or it has decided that dishonesty is now the best policy. If the sharing of the gospel took place then the believers were dishonest and violated the terms of the "partnership."

Fourth the church is not a welfare system. Let me explain. The church does not exist as a system to provide food, clothes, medical attention, furniture, or any other necessity or asset in a sterile setting or vacuum.

 By that I mean we don't set up a "warehouse" with inventory which allows an individual to pick up or out a needed item and leave with no explanation of the reason the assistance is being offered. I do believe that the church [and not the state] should give the basics of life to those who truly are in need. 

However, an explanation of why the assistance is being offered is necessary. The "needy" individual needs to be told that they are being helped by the sacrifice of others because of the love of God that constrains them through the Lord Jesus Christ. To give food or clothing without the gospel is the greatest form of hate known to man. What good does a full belly or warm clothing do if one walks away without being warned of the coming judgment of God?

The church is allowing herself to be robbed of vital and valuable resources while being restrained from being obedient to God. What a great way for the schools and relief societies to acquire new funds when budgets have been cut and normal channels are closed or closing.

Fifth, a major problem that comes from this type of unbiblical partnership is that the church blurs the lines of true Christianity. When we partner with "churches" of varying believes, doctrines, positions, attitudes, and agendas, we confuse the world rather than help it. If we stand for biblical truth in our church yet partner with a church that does not what are we saying. We are saying it is alright to compromise or to be in error. We are saying that at times it is right to do wrong. 

For example have can we say that the pastorate or eldership is limited to qualified males and then partner with a "church" that contains female "pastors?" How can a church accept the biblical truth that homosexuality is sinful and then partner with a "church" that embraces homosexuals?

Sixth, why is it so important that "unity" among 400 churches be so important? Don't misquote that verse from John 17. Christ prayed that all beleivers would be one with the Father as he and Christ were one. Getting 400 churches together in perfect unity or harmony while drinking a coke will not open the hearts of those who are dead in trespasses and sin.

Seventh, at the 10.54 mark of the clip Adams called for blatant compromise. If you wonder what my thoughts are on compromise I shared a little yesterday. Meanwhile back at the ranch, he said if we can agree on 8 out of 10 things can we forget or dimiss the things like oh, homosexual marriage or abortion, and act on the things that we agree on that is important to society. 

Listen, it doesn't matter what is important to society. Society is in darkness. Society is dead. Society hates the light, loves the darkness, and love their evil deeds. This is the world [through Adams] calling for the same things Schuller or Hybels pounced on. Le'ts give society what they want rather than what they need. 

If you say, well I am sure witnessing is going on, then we are sanctioning dishonesty. If we agree we will not witness and then we do what message is that? Now, don't get me wrong. I don't mean to imply if the state says tomorrow, "Thou shalt never share the gospel again," I will. Christ's command countermands the state. I will never approach, Lord willing, the state and say let me partner with you and have the state say yes, but you can never witness, knowing that I will go behind the states back and witness.

Let me repeat myself in a very brief summary. We need to be actively sharing the gospel every opportunity that God gives to us. We need to have compassion and love for those who have legitimate and basic needs. We cannot James said, "Say be warmed and filled and then do nothing about it." However, we can love and have compassion without compromise. We can meet needs and demonstrate the love of Christ without partnering with darkness.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

When Shepherds Compromise

Compromise with the world or with sin is reason for any heart to grieve. Tears should flow. Christ-like anger should ignite. Compromise is evil, it is wicked, and it is despicable. 

Compromise in essence is saying that, "God, as great as you are, you aren't quite enough. I need this other thing to complete me in ways you seem to have  fallen short. No offense God, but it takes a bit of you and a bit of _______ to make me happy."

Compromise in the pew breaks the heart of any truly called shepherd. Pastors spend innumerable hours on their face shedding tears when they discover or detect compromise in the sheep that they love so dearly. I have spent countless times in prayer with tears running down my face when I have learned that some dear person of God that I had charge over compromised biblical principles.

If there is anything more disturbing to me and causes my heart to ache than seeing sheep compromise, is to see or hear of shepherds who compromise biblical standards. I know that shepherds are human beings. I know that they are flesh and blood men. I know that shepherds are susceptible to temptation and sin as much or more than God's sheep or lambs. How do I know? 

"For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do that I do not practice, but what I hate, that I do." (Romans 7:15, NKJV)

I spend more time than I would like to admit fending off the lure and enticement of my flesh to both compromise and/or sin. 

I don't think it serves any purpose to name a name or even the offense. First, it is obvious that the  gentleman does not see what he did. Second, I sadly doubt that if this post were ever brought to his attention it would alter his rationalization process that permitted him to do what he did. Third, no one saw fit to call him on it.

My heart still struggles with the recitation of his actions. More so my heart struggles with the fact that a number of men listened in silence without saying anything at all. Most of all my heart hangs in shame because I too said nothing. I sat there in absolute shock and disbelief at what I heard.

What chance does the sheep have if the shepherds violate biblical principles? When I was in bible college a godly man whom I still love to this day taught me that people will rise no higher than the man in the pulpit. 

Don't get me wrong I am not suggesting or advocating "hero" worship of pastors. I took his meaning to be that my people won't be any more holier, Christ-like, mature, or biblical than I am. If they see me break, bend, fold, spindle, or mutilate biblical principles, why would they act any differently. 

Thank God, He can and I am sure has, hit the over-ride button and cancelled out the sinful effect that my compromises had upon the saints. I believe my people knew and understood I was merely clay. I was a sinner saved by grace. But my actions must be above approach. I am an example to the flock. They are to imitate me as long as I am imitating Christ. I must not compromise lest I teach a tender lamb that they may compromise also.

May God deliver us from shepherds who become dull and insensitive to what they say or do. May we be given by God men who are alert, sober, watchful, and on guard as much as they can be by the grace of Almighty God.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Soul Cast Down

Soul Cast Down
Gregg Metcalf
August 23, 2013
(based on Psalm 142)
(all rights reserved)


Oh my soul
why are you cast down?
Oh my soul
lost in barren ground
blistering sun
beats down on me
blistering sun
burns relentlessly

I looked on my left hand
and found no one there
Looked on my right hand
for someone to care
but refuge has failed me
no one cares for my soul
as far as I can see
and it's taking its toll

I cried out to You Father
please hear my cry
just a little drop of water
for my soul that's so dry
you have brought me low
for my own good
please help me Father
don't be too slow


Oh my soul
why are you cast down?
Oh my soul
lost in barren ground
blistering sun
beats down on me
blistering sun
burns relentlessly

All of my enemies
are stronger than me
they have set snares
placed secretly
they wait for the time
for me to fall down
I can see them coming
they are all around

Bring my soul out
of this dark prison
please grant my request
I know I am risen
put my soul at rest
flood me with plenty
and hold nothing back
let my praises be many


Oh my soul
why are you cast down?
Oh my soul
lost in barren ground
blistering sun
beats down on me
blistering sun
burns relentlessly

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Greatest Need of Every Generation!

"In every generation, there is a need for a re-statement of the gospel, which includes the presentation of the full essence of the gospel."

--Source Unknown

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Are You Praying for Your Pastor?

"May God help me, if you cease to pray for me! Le me know the day and I must cease to preach. Let me know when you intend to cease your prayers and I will cry, O my God, give me this day my tomb, and let me slumber in the dust."

--Charles H. Spurgeon

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Work of Trust

“Trust is not a passive state of mind. It is a vigorous act of the soul by which we choose to lay hold on the promises of God and cling to them despite the adversity that at times seeks to overwhelm us.” 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Dinosaur (My Version)

Dinosaur (My Version)
(my apologies to Hank Williams, Jr.)

This idea came from the fact that my wife and I actually walked out of a service this past Sunday. We tolerated the "me me, make me feel good, Jesus is my boyfriend, seven-eleven music. But we had to walk out on the most inaccurate preaching I have heard in a long long time.

Hey brother them ain’t a pair of black wing-tips
And they sure don’t look like a pair of dress shoes
And that ain’t good ole gospel hymns your’re playin
But it sure sounds more like rhythm and blues

You’re singin a song about being out in the rain*
Well changing colors makes no sense to me*
It scares me to think about just what you wanted*
Do you happen to know anything by Charles Wesley

Cause you see I’m an old fashion dinosaur
My kind of church seems to be no more
Have pity on a dinosaur
This ain’t for me
Excuse me brother
But where’s the door

It used to be I found comfort in the church of my father
We’d sit in the pews and listen to the pastor
Now and then the preachers point would hit home
Now it seems that everything is just a little faster

And you know these flashing lights sure make me dizzy
And this music is very strange to my ear
it looks like they’ve turned the building into a stage show
I’ll be leaving just as soon I find the way out of here

Cause you see I’m an old fashion dinosaur
My kind of church seems to be no more
Have pity on a dinosaur
This ain’t for me
Excuse me brother
But where’s the door

* CeCe Winans, More Than I Wanted

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Two Mind-blowing Words

But now... Thrilling words for a believer. Simple, aren't they? Just two words, yet how pregnant with comforting and exhilarating exhortation.

Romans 7:5 tells us, "...when we were in the flesh [that is when we were an unregenerate man in Adam], the sinful passions [that is our appetites and/or desires] which were aroused [that is inflamed, stimulated] by the law [that is the moral law of God] were at work in our members [that is our various body parts including the mind, emotions, imaginations] to bear fruit to death.

Born a man in Adam we were under the control, dominion and authority of sin which dominated us. Being born a man in Adam placed us in the position whereby sin produced a harvest. The harvest or as Paul put it "fruit" was death. Physical and spiritual death.

But now! Now what? "But now we have been delivered [aorist tense - a past act already accomplished] from the law [that is from the penalty, power, condemnation, and necessity of the law to redeem or sanctify us] having died [aorist tense - past act, never to be repeated] to what we were held by [the dominion of the moral law and its condemnation] so that [there is a purpose and reason we died and freed from the law] we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter [bad choice of word - actually in the oldness of the writing - the law].

The law of God was never designed to redeem nor sanctify a sinner. The law condemns us and incites our passions or appetites to sin. The law was designed to drive us to the awareness of our desperate need and to cause us to flee to Christ for salvation.

I am glad I died as a man in Adam and was resurrected to newness of life as a man in Christ. Thank God for the but now!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Holiness: The Ultimate Objective of Salvation

What is the ultimate objective in salvation?

  • Heaven?
  • Mansions on streets of gold?
  • Forgiveness of sins?
  • A better life?

All those things are certainly a part of our salvation. There is no doubt that there are great and majestic benefits and by-products to our great salvation.

Herein lies the problem with most presentations of the gospel in evangelical circles today. The gospel is peddled as some "fix-all" or "cure-all" for all that ails you.

Salvation is peddled as a guaranteed ticket to heaven. It is presented as a means to make you happy, hopeful, and honored. 

The ultimate objective in our salvation is our sanctification. It is our being made holy. The incarnation of Jesus, his life, his crucifixion, and his resurrection, his ascension, and his giving us the Holy Spirit is for the ultimate purpose of making us holy.

"just as He chose us in Him, before the foundation of he world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love." (Ephesians 1:4, NKJV)

The ultimate purpose of your salvation is that you are and are being made holy. It is not merely forgiveness of sin, an escape from hell, or the promise of heaven. It is holiness.

"For this is the will of God, your sanctification..." (1 Thessalonians 4:3a)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Tormented Souls

Man is addicted to the notion of earning his own salvation by the works that he thinks he can do.

However, these same sinners who think they can perform to an acceptable level to the god of their imagination vehemently hate any preacher of righteousness or holiness.


Preachers of righteousness or holy works are a torment to their conscience.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Slander: Occupational Hazzard

"We have also reminded ourselves that if our preaching does not expose us to these 'slanderous' attacks [Romans 3:8] the probability is that we are not really preaching the gospel. No man was so slandered as Martin Luther, who under the guidance of the Spirit rediscovered the great truth that led to the Protestant Reformation. He was constantly exposed to all sorts of slanderous statements in regard to both his teaching and his personal life. Any man who preaches the doctrine of justification by faith truly will be misunderstood. This is because of the staggering character of the great doctrine."

--Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
 (20 December 1899 – 1 March 1981)

Excerpted from Romans: The Law: It's Functions and Limits, Exposition of Chapter 7:1-8:4, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, The Banner of Truth Trust, page 3

Friday, August 9, 2013

Book Review: Wesley an Men Who Followed

Title: Wesley and Men Who Followed

Author: Iain H. Murray
Publisher: The Banner of Truth Trust
Published: 2003
Typeset: 12/14 pt Galliard
Pages: 263
Genre: Non-Fiction - Biography
Binding: Hardback
Price: $27.00

Wesley and Men Who Followed is a wonderful marriage of delight and disappointment! Iain Murray has given us a grand view into the life and ministry of John Wesley, the founder of what we know as Methodism.

The purpose of the author seems to be the fulfillment of a personal debt to those men and institutes who influenced Murray. Murray writes, "I owe much to men who either were Methodist or had been so in times past."

The theme of Wesley and Men Who Followed is a historical and biographical explanation of a movement that expanded globally and remains after some three hundred years.

Murray's thesis centers on a defense of Wesley and his flawed theology.

Murray used narration to tell the story of Wesley and the Methodist influence around the world. In using narration Murray takes the reader chronologically through Wesley's life and the development of his theology. Murray also told the story of three other men who carried on the work and message of Wesley.

I found Wesley and Men Who Followed to be very interesting and easy to read. One can read this book easily in three or four sittings. I found Murray to be both accurate in much detail and information. Murray is an able researcher. However, I found coupled with Murray's usual objectivity, some subjective license. Murray left out much of Wesley's flawed thinking and theology.

It seems that Murray allowed his "debt" to excuse or defend Wesley's flawed theology more than a clear explanation of Methodism. I hate to make these charges since Murray is one of my favorite writers. I delighted in much Murray's research and information on this highly influencial leader. I was equally disappointed in Murray's treatment of the questionable and/or bad theology of Wesley.

Murray seemed to be making much effort in providing a place in church history Wesley and his movement. Murray glossed over Wesley commitment to Arminianism, Wesley's attack on both predestination and justification and baptismal regeneration.

To Murray's credit is the fact that he attempted to detail and explain Wesley's position on "perfectionism." Murray tried to be objective but sadly failed. This could have been an excellent opportunity to chronicle Wesley's life and to demonstrate the horrendous effect of his theology on the church both then and now.

I disagree with Murray's main arguments that Methodism has a positive place in church history. I feel as if what ever debt Murray felt he owed due to the heavy influences of Methodism on his life and ministry prevented this book from being a major expose of flawed doctrine.

Many of the conclusions drawn by Murray are not derived logically from the evidence of Wesley's own words, thoughts, actions, and practices. Murray's book suggest the possibility that Wesley was a victim of his time and the prevailing theological atmosphere of his day. Murray's book suggests the possibility that there is legitamacy to Wesley's theology.

As far as the qualifications of the author, Iain Murray has been in the Christian ministry since 1955. In 1957 Murray co-founded The Banner of Truth Trust serving as the senior editor until 1996. Murray served as an assistant to Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones at the Westminster Chapel. Murray pastored Grove Chapel in Camberwell, London and St. Giles Presbyterian Church in Sydney. He is has authored numerous books including a number of biographies.

This book is a hardback. There are minimal illustrations. Murray makes extensive use of footnotes. The typology is 12/14 point Galliard. There are no maps. The book contains and author and general index. There is no bibliography.

In conclusion I was disappointed. Murray who is first class author and outstanding biographer missed the mark this time. Murray seemed to defend a great man with flawed theology.

Where are your affections?

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things that are above not on things that are earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4, ESV)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Are You Truly United to Christ?

Christian, do you truly care for Christ and the things of Christ? Or do you merely care to escape the sufferings of hell?

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." (Matthew 5:6, ESV)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Christian, Remember What You Know

As you begin this day Christian, remember:

  • God loved you from eternity past
  • Washed you from your sins by the blood of Christ
  • Made you a priest to offer the sacrifices of praise
  • Entered you into His service
  • Feeds and strengthens you

Remember also, God encourages you to obey Him because He has already loved you and has already pardoned your sins.

Have a great day!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Man Could Not Invent God!

An ineffably holy God, who has the utmost abhorrence of sin, was never invented by any of Adam's descendents.

--Arthur W. Pink

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Being A Christian Is Terrifying!

Christian, are you terrified? You should be! Have you ever read James 4:5? 
I mean really read it?

"Or do you think the Scriptures say in vain, 'The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously'?" (James 4:5, NKJV)

The word "yearn" is translated from a verb that means to "greatly desire, long, earnestly desire, long after, greatly long after, lust or desire."

As a Christian you are subject to two (2) forces that which greatly desire, longs earnestly, desires, and even "lusts" to govern or rule you. The Christian has the Holy Spirit of God who lives within the Christian which "yearns" or "lusts" to the point of outright jealousy. 

What does that mean? What does the Holy Spirit lust after in such a jealous manner? You! The Holy Spirit desires, longs, yearns, or lusts to make you to be conformed to the image of His dear Son. The Holy Spirit is given to you at the very moment of your regeneration in order to enslave you to righteousness. You are under the power of the Holy Spirit to become "perfect"or complete in Christ-likeness.

God puts a "principle" of divine life in you at the moment of your regeneration. This principle is righteousness. This principle works on us. God works on us. The Holy Spirit works on it. This principle of righteousness enslaves us and continues to do so until the day we enter the presence of God.

So, why is that terrifying? Why do I say that being a Christian can be a terrifying thing?

God has many ways of making us faultless and blameless and conforming us to the image of Christ. Many ways, most which are uncomfortable. The minute we become Christians we must be very careful of what we think, say, or do. If you do not work at killing sin in your body, obey the principle of righteousness, and/or resist the working of the Holy Spirit God can and often will:

  • Inflict chastisement upon us
  • Develop difficulties in our life
  • Develop confusion in our lives
  • Produce pain, suffering, or sorrow
These things are all a part of God's gracious plan for our lives. These things mean that God is at work perfecting and maturing us. 

"For this is the will of God, even your sanctification." (1 Thessalonians 4:2)

"He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." (Philippians 1:6)

God is gracious and merciful. However God's Holy Spirit lusts jealously for us to be conformed to the image of Christ. A part of God's gracious mercy is to bring the level of necessary pain or discomfort in to our lives in order to work out His process.

This is why I say at times it is terrifying to be a Christian. At least for me. Yes, I have great comfort and God is so good and gracious to me. But maybe I am so far from where I need to be that the pain and suffering is a welcome thing.