Arminian Today

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Posts Tagged ‘United States of America

The House Church Movement and the Future of the USA

We in the West are nowhere near the persecution level of those living in Muslim nations or communist nations such as China or Vietnam.  We know little to no physical attacks here for the gospel.  While I know a few open air preachers who have been arrested for preaching and have been physically attacked by people, most people just go through their day-to-day lives without fear of attack for their Christian faith.  That may change in the future but for now, we enjoy only verbal persecution from the secular media and from the liberals on college campuses.

I do believe, however, that the house church movement will become a dominant force in the Christian culture in the coming years.  It is the house church movement that has sustained (by the grace of God) the disciples in China.  It is the house church movement that sustained the saints of God in the former communist Soviet Union.  It is the house church movement that is growing in Europe as people grow tired of the institutional church and are looking elsewhere for true faith.  It will be the house churches in the United States that will see growth and souls saved as they remain steadfast in the Word of God.

Why will this be?  For several reasons but let me just name a few.

1.  Authentic Faith.  

House churches offer a place for people to live out their faith with others.  There is no hiding here.  You can just show up at a traditional church and no one may even know you are there or even care in some cases.  Not so with house churches.   A “large” house church would be over 10 people so you can’t hide.  We will know your name.  We know your life.  We will both disciple and challenge you in your faith.  This, I believe, was the model of Jesus and should be ours as well.  True discipleship is not learning from a book or sitting in a class.  True discipleship is taking the “one another” texts of the New Testament and seeking to obey them (there are 52 in the NT).  This leads to authentic faith and not merely a show on the stage of many traditional churches.

2.  No Money.

House churches need no money.  There are no salaried pastors.  No land to buy.  No buildings to pay for.  While house churches do sometimes take up money for missions or for hurting Christians, house churches have no budgets to meet, no bills to pay.  I once read that 75% of money in the traditional churches goes toward salaries and buildings.  None of that is found in house churches.  If a disciple wants to give money to their church then so be it.  The house church would then take the money and give it to help church planters (missionaries) or hurting disciples.  This is the NT pattern.

Many people reject going to church because of the emphasis they perceive on money.  With the false “health and wealth” churches and the so-called “prosperity” gospel, many are turned off to Christianity because of their false teachers.  The house church movement doesn’t want your money.

3.  Can Move Around Quickly.

The house churches in China are said to move around quickly.  They do this to avoid arrest.  I have heard the same of the few house churches in North Korea.  Because house churches are not locked down to a building, they don’t need government approval to meet nor do they have to meet all the time in one place.  House churches in China often will meet several times a week at different locations to accommodate the needs of the saints.  They don’t just meet on the Lord’s Day.

Here in the United States, traditional churches are locked down in their buildings.  They need people to generate money for their buildings to pay the bills.  At times, the gospel can be watered down and pragmatism reigns as traditional pastors need people to keep coming to pay the bills.  Further, traditional churches fall under the watchful eye of the government.  As freedom falls in the West, traditional churches will suffer the most as people flee them.

The house church movement will thrive at this point with no buildings, no bills, no salaries, no paper trails, no 501C3.

4.  Can Preach What They Want To.

Traditional churches will no doubt face sensor from the government.  It may come a time where it is illegal to preach against sins such as homosexuality (it will be viewed as discrimination or gender bigotry).  The government will monitor the traditional church (as they do in China).  Traditional churches will have to comply or be gone.

House churches will continue to preach the gospel without hinderance.  Why?  Because what can they take from us but our lives (Philippians 1:21)?  Jesus promised us persecution as His followers (Matthew 5:10-12).  Jesus said that if we are His disciples, we will face persecution and hatred (John 15:18-20).  But He told us to be encouraged for He has overcome the world (John 16:33).  In the house churches, we will preach the gospel.  We have no 501c3 you can take.  We have no buildings you can cast us out of.  We have no salaries that require that we go soft on the gospel for the sake of money.  We have no need of this world to survive.  We have the Word of God and the presence of the Holy Spirit so we will be fine.

For more information on the house church movement, please see:

House Church Central

New Testament Reformation Fellowship 

Reimagining Church: Pursuing the Dream of Organic Christianity

Written by The Seeking Disciple

10/21/2014 at 10:26 AM

What Did the Founding Fathers Believe?

I would encourage you to listen to this lecture on what the founding fathers of the United States believed about God, about the Lord Jesus Christ, about Christianity, about salvation?  Dr. Gregg Frazer is a teacher of history at The Master’s College and has written a book (that I plan on reading but have not at this point), The Religious Beliefs of America’s Founders: Reason, Revelation, Revolution.  

I have seen some have already begun to reply to Dr. Frazer.  However, I believe his case is strong that the founding fathers were not in fact biblical Christians but were, as Dr. Frazer says, theistic rationalists.  They often made statements full of Bible verses, about God, about Christianity but in their private writings, they were not disciples of Jesus at all.  They believed Christianity to be full of good morals and good for society (how different from liberals today) but they were not believers themselves.  In fact, Dr. Frazer points out that they always referred to Jesus as “Jesus of Nazareth” and never to “Jesus Christ” or any acknowledgement of His deity or His Lordship.

You can find Dr. Frazer’s lecture here.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

02/23/2014 at 10:50 AM

A Prediction of the Church in Years to Come

With the United States Supreme Court ruling against the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the SCOTUS sided 5-4 to call the act unconstitutional and opened the door for same-sex “marriage.”  I suspect one case from a state where same-sex “marriage” is banned such as in say South Carolina will result in the SCOTUS striking down the state ban on same-sex “marriage” and allowing the law of the land to be in favor of same-sex “marriage.”  This will have sweeping influence on our culture particularly on the religious institutions.  In his majority view, Judge Kennedy wrote that DOMA violated the rights of homosexuals and he wrote that to label the traditional view as the correct view of marriage was in essence hate toward same-sex couples.  In plain speaking, Judge Kennedy was saying that in the future if anyone argues for traditional marriage, they will be using hate language toward homosexuals.

This will be interesting for religious groups and especially true disciples of Jesus.  Every major religion bans homosexuality.  From Catholics to Mormons to Jews to Muslims to Hindus to Protestants.  In Islamic nations, homosexuality is not even up for debate as it is punishable by death.  Yet in the West, where we enjoy limited freedom, homosexuality has been championed as the civil rights cause of the 21st century even comparing it to the struggle African-Americans faced during the 20th century.  It will be interesting to see how Muslims, Jews, Catholics, Protestants handle the push from the secular media and government to accept homosexuality or be punished by law.

For the true disciple of Jesus, we must embrace what the Bible says about homosexuality and preach against it even if we are accused of hate speech which we will be.  It will become the law of the land to not preach against homosexuality outside of churches.  I suspect the Feds will leave church buildings alone but if an open air preacher is preaching against sin and he names one sin as homosexuality, he will be arrested and accused of hate speech violation.  His free speech rights will not be able to help him since the Feds will view his preaching against homosexuality as hate and not free speech.

Thankfully we home school our children and I will continue to teach my boys that homosexuality is sinful just as I do about lying, greed, lying, adultery, fornication outside of marriage, racism, etc.  I know that my boys will face opposition from our sinful culture to not say that some sins are not sins at all.  I will go to my death preaching the Word of God, that my children and God’s Church would stand firm for what God has said about sin and not what the culture says (Titus 2:15).  I know persecution is coming.  Satan has always tried to persecute God’s people but we have the promise of Romans 8:18.  Even if the sinners kill me, I will stand firm for the truth of God until I take my last breath (1 Peter 4:12-19).

Let us preach repentance until they shut our mouths by their swords (Acts 18:9-10).

Written by The Seeking Disciple

06/28/2013 at 3:39 PM

Thoughts on the SCOTUS Ruling on Same-Sex “Marriage”

Today the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ruled in two forms regarding same-sex “marriage” in the land.  First, the Court struck down parts of the Defense of Marriage Act from 1996 that was signed into law by President Clinton.  The DOMA defined marriage as only between a man and a woman.  The Court ruled that the Federal Government could not discriminate against same-sex couples.  The second case that the Court ruled on was California’s Proposition 8 which defined marriage as between one man and one woman.  The Court passed on ruling on this case and thus made the issue of same-sex “marriage” a state-by-state issue.  However, Dr. Albert Mohler rightly points out that the Court opened the door for homosexuals to challenge the Constitutional ban on same-sex “marriages” in states where such bans exist.  Essentially, you’ll see same-sex “marriage” continue in states where it is legal (8 states at this time) and will be challenged in all 50 in due time.  In Dr. Mohler’s view, same-sex “marriage” will be the law of the land soon in the United States.

According to the secular media and even Lifeway Christian Bookstores, the majority of Americans are in favor of allowing same-sex “marriages” and believe that such unions will not hurt the nation.  It seems many in the evangelical church are also buying into the propaganda, that same-sex “marriage” should be allowed and even encouraged in the United States.  No doubt, today was a victory for the homosexuals.

How do I respond?

First, the SCOTUS ruling tells the Church that we are a minority.  Clearly, Christianity has been eroded in this nation.  While I am not going to argue that the United States is a Christian nation, I would argue that, like most of Europe and our English-speaking brethren in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, we are based on Christian morals and teachings. The Protestant work ethic is strong in the United States with a strong focus on individualism.  Yet postmodernism has swept the nation and we are now following our own ideas and values.  The only ones that most Americans despise are those who would say that their value is the only true value if that value is against their values.  Thus when it comes to morality, people now despise Christianity because it says that it alone is the truth of God and that it alone speaks for God.  Ironically, the secular media often defends Islam here in the US despite it claiming the same in many ways.  The fact remains that the Christian moral base that was around even when I was younger is fading fast.

Secondly, the Church can rise up and preach the gospel!  What is going to turn the tide of sin in the United States will be the gospel.  Sinners need to hear the gospel and this ruling by the SCOTUS simply shows that we must rise up and preach the gospel that saves sinners from sin (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).  Now is the time to preach the law of God to the lost (1 Timothy 1:8-11) and to declare that Jesus saves from sin (Romans 1:16-17).  God has promised us the power of the Spirit to do just that (Acts 1:8).  What will turn the culture toward biblical marriage (that alone is true marriage) will be the preaching of the gospel.  While it certainly is a very dark time in our nation, the Lord God can save the lost.  Remember that even in the dark book of Judges, God always had His remnant and He always was in control.  Even in the United States, Jesus is still Lord even if the majority of people reject Him as Lord.  He will still be Lord of all and He will still judge all (Hebrews 9:27-28).

Lastly, the SCOTUS ruling will not bring the wrath of God.  It is simply a sign of that reality.  Romans 1:18-32 is clear that the wrath of God is God giving people up to their own sinful desires (vv. 24, 26, 28).  Same-sex “marriage” is just another sign of God giving us over to our depravity.  The result of sin is always the same: death (Romans 6:23).  Whether it be death by sexually transmitted diseases or death by other means, sin always results in death.

The child of God should rejoice though that God is sovereign.  The SCOTUS ruling does not do anything to His authority nor His kingdom.  He will still reign.  Psalm 2:1-6 is worth reading at this time:

Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,
3 “Let us burst their bonds apart
and cast away their cords from us.”
4 He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord holds them in derision.
5 Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
and terrify them in his fury, saying,
6 “As for me, I have set my King
on Zion, my holy hill.”

Rejoice oh child of the King, Jesus is still in control!

Written by The Seeking Disciple

06/26/2013 at 12:17 PM

Knee Jerk Reactions to Patriotism

It seems there seems to be little ground for patriotism among Christians these days.  You are either/or patriotic or sinning or you are to be completely opposed to any forms of patriotism.  There seems to be little middle ground here.  There are those who say that we should be pro-America in all things and then there are those who say that we should be like the Jehovah’s Witnesses and avoid any form of allegiance to any national governments whatsoever.  Dr. Wayne Grudem outlines five wrong views regarding politics and government here.

I find myself in the middle.

On the one hand I agree with those who are “anti-patriotic” that some carry this too far.  To be a Christian (in some minds) is to be pro-America.  You must love the United States in all things and you must support our nation in all things.  This simply bothers those who oppose such thinking.  To many on this side, they come across as almost anti-America.  They show little tolerance for Christians who display patriotism while they go to their blogs and to Twitter to tear down what they see as “American Christianity on display.”

I do think we need to be careful when it comes to patriotism.  After all, we are disciples of Christ first.  We are not Americans first.  We are disciples first.  Our citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20).  Our King is Jesus (1 Timothy 6:15-16).  Our focus is eternity (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).  Our passion is the kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33) and not the kingdoms of this world which will crumble under the Lordship of Christ (Daniel 2:44).  Our passion should not be to transform our nation through politicians (though I believe we should vote biblically; Proverbs 21:21) but through the gospel (Matthew 28:19-20).  What will transform any society is the gospel (Titus 3:1-7).  This should be the passion for the disciple of Christ (Mark 16:15; 2 Corinthians 5:18-21).

That said, is it wrong then for disciples of Christ living in the United States to love our nation?  I don’t think so.  Our love for the US should not override our passion for the gospel but there is nothing wrong with loving where we are from.  I praise God that the United States, despite all her problems and sins:

  • Is the largest missions giving nation in the history of humanity.
  • Is the largest missions sending nation in the history of humanity.
  • Is a free nation where I am free to pass out tracts, preach the gospel in the open air, broadcast on both TV and radio the gospel, read and study the Bible without fear, and we can meet at any time and any where for the worship of our King.
  • We are free!  In my home where I am typing right now sits a bookcase full of Bibles and books.  Over 30 Bibles are sitting next to me.  Theology texts.  History texts.  Greek texts.  All these are at my fingertips and I don’t fear ever anyone coming into my home to take these from me.  I am free.
  • Despite all the sins, people here in the US still do more to aid others than any other nation.  We send our military and our doctors to help people all over the world.  I personally know both soldiers and doctors who have been on mercy trips to many places around the world.

So I am a caution in my love for the United States.  I do not approve of all that she does.  Our nation needs the gospel.  We need the Church to preach the gospel to the lost.  No doubt about that.  And many of our government leaders need Christ.  They are godless men and women in Washington DC who need the gospel.  Our passion should be to pray for our leaders to be saved (1 Timothy 2:1-6).  The sin of abortion plagues our nation.  The sin of homosexuality is plaguing our nation.  The sins of violence are plaguing our nation.  The United States needs the gospel!  But praise God that we are free (at least at this point) to preach the gospel without fear.  The only fear we have now is the fear of man.

My passion is Jesus first.  Your passion (wherever you are) should be Jesus first.  But it is okay to love your home.  It’s okay to love your people (Romans 10:1).  The kingdom should reign over all things but I see nothing in the Bible that suggests that we should not praise God for our freedoms.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

01/29/2013 at 8:00 AM

Pray For Our President

Today is inauguration day in Washington DC.  President Obama will be sworn in publicly as the President of the United States.  I want to encourage Christians today to pray for President Obama and his family.  Pray specifically these things:

  • His salvation along with the salvation of his family (1 Timothy 2:1-6).
  • Pray for God to grant him wisdom to lead (Proverbs 21:1).
  • Pray for the Holy Spirit to convict him of sin when he sins or when he seeks to pass legislation based on greed, politics, or corruption (John 16:8-11).
  • Pray for his eyes to be opened to the sinful decisions he has already made about abortion, homosexuality, and many other issues.
  • Pray for God to be glorified in Obama’s second term as President (Daniel 4:32) and  rejoice that God’s kingdom will crush all kingdoms including the kingdom of the United States (Daniel 2:44).
  • Rejoice that Jesus is still Lord of all despite Obama being in the White House and He shall reign forever and ever (1 Timothy 6:15-16).
  • Pray for the Democratic Party to turn away from a platform based on Romans 1:18-32 and its full rejection of God.  Pray for God to have mercy and for Obama to turn the party away from ungodliness toward righteousness by the sovereign grace of God (Titus 1:1).

I also urge you to intercede for Congress and for state and local leaders taking office across the United States.  Pray the same for them as above.  Most important for the disciple of Christ is the understanding that Jesus is Lord of all (Romans 10:9-10) and He will crush all kingdoms by His own power and in His own timing (Acts 1:7).

Written by The Seeking Disciple

01/21/2013 at 11:24 AM

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