Up and coming — For Cards Sake

Relieved to finally get this thing up and running, or should I say barely standing. Lets just get to it shall we? Whats going on in the next month: Classes start at UofL the 24th Welcoming week with tons of on campus events, The BCM will be hosting Nerd Prom Weekly Tuesday Night worship fires up […]

via Up and coming — For Cards Sake

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Sufficient

The Baptist Campus Ministry (BCM) has never held as special of place in my life as it does now. As a  college student on the campus of the University of Central Oklahoma I rarely attended. The times many of their events were was when I was serving the youth ministry at my church. Needless to say it never worked out.

Some of my best friends in college were, however, involved in the BCM. They were guys that were hilarious, fun to be around, mature men who could have deep conversations (most of the time), and most importantly they lived out their Christian convictions in a clear way. It was captivating. And they were who I surrounded myself with. That was my involvement with the BCM.

Since coming to Louisville God has opened a door for my wife (Annie) and I to serve at the University of Louisville BCM. It has been a crazy ride. In fact, today I am MC’ing the karaoke night. (College ministry is awesome BTW)

Before moving here I felt a strong conviction by the Lord that more than just coming for Southern we would come for the city, and that He would “give” it to us. I didn’t know much about Louisville, or the University for that matter.  To give you a glimpse into the status of student ministry in Kentucky here are some statistics put out by the Kentucky Baptist Convention (KBC):

  • 5% Of students 12-24 years old in Kentucky profess to be an active Christian.

  • 60% Of church-going high school students will walk away from their faith in college.

Those two statistics alone should make you fall with your face before the Lord. 95% of students 12-24 yrs. are not professing Christians. Add on top of that the truth of scripture that reminds us that many who call on Christ are not saved.

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So what are we doing?

BCM

At the BCM I get to join and champion the vision cast by the director, John Adams. John has a passion so clear for the Lord and a vision that is compelling. He cares for the students and for his leadership. These things make it easy to get behind. We are doing unconventional things. By “unconventional” I do not mean progressive. We teach the Word of God as that. We teach on sin and eternity. We teach on living the life God has designed humans to yearn for, that is, life with Him. We teach the foolishness of the cross as the only way.

This semester we are teaching on the “I am” statements found in the Gospel of John. After that we will conclude with a short series called, “because He is we are.” The BCM is about getting students connected to local churches. It’s about getting students connected in discipling relationships. It’s about seeing students transformed by the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. No tricks. No gimmicks. We preach Christ. We know that the hearing of God’s word will cause students to believe. It is sufficient. Taste and see that the Lord is good.

Farmdale

In our local church Annie and I are seeking to disciple our students. To see them commit to loving the church, the Lord, and their neighbor. These things, we hope, will happen in our college small group session where we will seek to hold one another accountable, pray for one another, and read and apply God’s word as heard in our pastor’s preaching.  We are also striving to equip those in student and children’s ministry roles to be able to develop a strategy to reaching all of the 12-24 window.

What can you do?

  1. Visit http://www.uoflbcm.org/ and http://www.kybcm.org/
  2. Pray for us and the work at the BCM and at Farmdale.
  3. Reach out by email: sean@acts16.com. Let us know you’re praying for us, or thinking about the work we are doing.
  4. Get involved. Whether you’re in Kentucky and can serve at the BCM, or somewhere else, God has called us all as Christians to the work of ministry.

 

Trump, Evangelicals, and the GOP

I often stay away from political conversation, but enough is enough. With Donald Trump pandering to Evangelicals like a child predator selling ice-cream to children, many evangelicals seem to be taking the bait and have fallen hook line and sinker. This unfortunately seems to be the way of the GOP since I have been a voter (2008, Obama v. McCain), yet Romney and McCain seem very much like the lesser of two evils in light of Trump.

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Just this week Donald Trump spoke at the largest evangelical university in the world, Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. This university, not shy in its political leanings or lack of tact when it comes to gun rights seems to me to be the perfect crowd for the predator Trump. He preys on evangelicals using completely unbiblical interpretations of two Corinthians. Now, I won’t harp on how he pronounced it I have in fact heard many evangelical Christians call it that, but to relegate the freedom of the believer to a mere political chess piece is quite…well, right up his alley.

And unfortunately, in light of the current polls this tactic seems to be working. Just a mere two days ago the Trump bandwagon gained another push as the GOP’s favorite lipstick wielding maverick Sarah Palin endorsed the presidential hopeful. With such buzz, and the polls on his side what is there to be done? I don’t know honestly.

What I do know is that I will not be voting for Trump (in the event that he garners the nomination) and that today when I went to get my Kentucky voter registration filled out, the lady asked me to identify which party I most associate with, to which I said “I’m not sure at this current juncture.” Let me tell you what I mean.

Donald Trump and the Anti-Gospel of Make America Great Again.

Donald Trump’s campaign platform is 18-donald-trump-liberty-university.w529.h352
“Make America Great Again” 1 and
as ERLC President Russell Moore most appropriately wrote, the bible isn’t advocating for a “rebuilt” or “better” America it just isn’t. Therefore, what Donald Trump promises is simply not a promise that we should long for to be fulfilled. Now I know what you might be thinking, maybe the words “unpatriotic” are coming to mind.. Maybe you’re saying to yourself, Why doesn’t he want America to be the way it was? The answer is simple; no one should.

America doesn’t need to go back to some nostalgic glory days, it needs to go forward striving to be a people marked selflessness and not greed, humility not pride, generosity not greed. All three of the latter features are some that Trump most aptly embodies, a self made billionaire marked by a personal drive and dedication to make himself the best person he can be. Why wouldn’t we want someone like that in the office?

Self help won’t help anybody.

In Ephesians 2:8-9 Paul talks about salvation as,

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Yet, In a July 2015 interview Trump, distancing himself from what ,for many centuries, evangelicals have held as a means of salvation; repentance. In the interview Trump was asked if he had ever asked God for forgiveness for any of his actions to which he responded, and I quote,

I am not sure I have. I just go on and try to do a better job from there. I don’t think soI think if I do something wrong, I think, I just try and make it right. I don’t bring God into that picture. I don’t.

This is anti-Gospel, this is self-salvation. Trump may claim aspects of the Christian faith but the doctrine of sin and repentance are eerily missing.

Wolf in Sheep’s clothing

I mentioned in the introduction that Trump is a predator similar to that of a predator of Children. He is a wolf in, seemingly, sheeps clothing. He seeks to associate with evangelicals and rallies for their support, to which many have given it, yet he is not like us. His message is not the Gospel of Christ’s atoning work on the cross (Heb 2:17-18; Rom 3:25; 1 Jn 2:2; 1 Jn 4:10), or that man is born with a sin nature that needs to be forgiven by faith and repentance (Isa 53:6; Rom 3:23; Rom 6:23). The gospel that Mr. Trump clings to is the one with little to no power, no substance, and preys on the weak minded and those unsure in their faith. If you are considering voting for Trump in the months to come I would encourage you first to open your bible and to see which side of the fence this man’s evidence puts him on.

Jesus talks about people like this in John 10 saying,

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. 2  But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”

Christ is the gate. Trump is a thief. Do not listen to his voice. Follow your master. As for me, I will not be voting Trump in the upcoming elections and I would encourage you to do the same.

1: donaldjtrump.com

2. http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/18/politics/trump-has-never-sought-forgiveness/

 

A Conversational Challenge

book imageMany of you know that Sean and I lead our church’s college ministry. We meet on Sunday evenings, and this semester we are going over the topic of community using the book Compelling Community by Mark Dever and Jamie Dunlop. Last night was our first meeting of the semester, and this morning I’ve been able to really think through some of the questions the book raised for the first chapter and the discussion we had last night.

Specifically, I’ve been thinking through this question, “What do you talk about with other church members outside of church? To what extent do casual conversations differ from what you’d expect to hear in a local bar/neighborhood picnic/Little League game?”

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