Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hungering And Thirsting After Righteousness or Our Agenda?

Jesus said, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness..."


Think about righteousness. What is that? What does it mean? In a deeper sense, what does "righteousness" imply? In a practical sense, how does hungering and seeking after righteousness affect your life?

A lexicon gives the Greek as "dikaiosynē." Taken is a broad way, we can, and usually do, wrap our version of evangelicalism around it, claiming it has something to do with salvation. However Christians usually read the Bible through their own brand of denominational glasses, if you know what I mean. In a narrower sense, the word deals with justice or the virtue which gives each his due.

It comes from the root "dikaios," "righteous, observing divine laws" or in a narrow sense emphasises the idea of "rendering to each his due and that in a judicial sense, passing just judgment on others, whether expressed in words or shown by the manner of dealing with them."

In other words, Jesus said blessed is the man who hungers and thirsts after that which is RIGHT, that which is correct, that which is true regarding others, that which is honest, that which can be held up in a court of law, even in a court of divine law, even Heaven's court!

To Jesus, the essence of the kingdom of God was to hunger and thirst after that which is ultimately "right" or correct. Ironically, that "essence" can be found in people of many faiths and in people of no faith. And the opposite can be found in people, in leaders of our own faith.

So how do we react to the evil we find in our own faith? How should we react when we see UN-righteousness among our own camp? What do we do about things that are not right?

We confront it.

We confront it with righteousness that can be held up in a court of law, in Heaven's court. We don't gossip. We don't "backbite." We don't attack the messenger. We confront the error. We confront the evil with truth.

We do not confront it with with emotions, with cliches, with false hopes. We confront it honestly and with truth.

I ask you, is it "righteous" to look at an empty building and claim that "God's will" says move away from it, when the people are all around the neighborhood, waiting to come in?

Is that righteousness?

Is it righteous to tell others we want "to reach lost people" later, when we are obviously NOT REACHING LOST PEOPLE NOW???

Honestly, tell me...is THAT righteousness? Seriously, is it?

Are you willing to honestly look at the situation and cast aside error? Are you willing to embrace the righteousness spoken of by Jesus? Are you willing to admit that which is wrong and confront the error once and for all?

Or will you continue to embrace a lie, knowing it is a lie, refusing to face the truth that stands right in front of your face?

Romans 1 speaks of those who are filled with UN-righteousness, with error. Romans 1:32 says "that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them."

Do you have more pleasure in talking about the new building than pleasure in talking to lost people? Do you have more pleasure in talking about moving the church than in inviting lost people to come to church with you next Sunday?

So I ask again, will you continue to embrace a lie, unrighteousness or will you confront it and embrace the truth?

Which will it be for you?

A) The Lie

B) Righteousness...the truth

What is your answer?

Friday, October 5, 2007

Here's The Botton Line...

Five years ago someone planted the idea to the congregation about building a new church out in the country. Many in the congregation didn't buy it. Many saw it as a foolish dream, since the building now sits half empty on any given Sunday. Few options were seriously considered for maintaining the congregation at its present strategic location at the crossroads of the county. Move, move move like all the other churches are doing.

Then, it was published AS TRUTH that this plan was two things:
1) This is "the will of God" to move the church to the sticks and get it away from the very people for whom the church was supposed to minister.
2) This is "our best opportunity to reach lost people."

Yet HERE is the bottom line...

As a church, you have spent FIVE YEARS NOT reaching lost people where you sit today.

F-I-V-E Y-E-A-R-S of stagnation.

FIVE YEARS of big talk.

FIVE YEARS of un-practiced plans "to reach lost people."

FIVE YEARS with sinners all around the church, never steping inside the building.


In five years you can build five office buildings, one building per year.

In less than four years, the United States entered, fought and won World War Two.

In five years, you could have added 50 more people to the church rolls, at ten people per year, less than one per month.

So to the staff and members of FBC Alamo, I ask you...when are you going to stop TALKING about "God's will" and begin DOING God's will???

FIVE YEARS is a long time to talk about something without doing it. Are you actually going "to reach lost people" or are you going to keep talking about it???

Talk or action? Reach lost people or just talk about reaching lost people?



Building A Church On Sand

Jesus said some interesting statements in Matthew 7. Among other things, he said:

--- Take heed of the false prophets, who come unto you in sheep's clothing, and inwardly are ravening wolves.

--- Therefore, every one who doth hear of me these words, and doth do them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his church upon the rock...

--- Every one who is hearing of me these words, and is not doing them, shall be likened to a foolish man who built his church upon the sand...

When you begin with a false premise, you will end with false and disappointing results.

Consider the man who built his church on a solid, honest foundation of souls. The rain came and the floods came and the wind blew and beat upon that door. But that church stood the test because it was built on honesty, on integrity, on truth.

Consider the man who built his church based on false promises and false hopes. The rain came and the roof began to leak. The floods came and ruined the carpet. The wind blew and beat upon the door. And that church, because it was build on false hope and false promises, fell so hard that the sound was heard all over the county.

Jesus actually said it was "foolish men" who built that church. Jesus called them fools.

They weren't winning souls, they weren't discipling others. They just wanted a new building to brag about. They wanted new carpet, new pews. They didn't want new souls. They didn't want new disciples. So the church was built by fools and built on a weak, almost non-existent spiritual foundation. As a result, when troubles came along, the church crashed and left a hand-full of good folks holding a multimillion dollar debt.

Be a doer, not just a talker.

  • Win the souls first,

  • Take care of the property you have now.

  • Worry later about the overflow crowd when you have it.

  • Don't count your chickens before they hatch.

  • Above all, do not build a church on false hopes and lies.
Don't be a fool!


Thursday, October 4, 2007

Let's Talk...Let's Discuss This !

Prove me wrong!

When this blog first came on-line, one person responded to one post, then quickly retracted his words...after I had copied the entire post. When I responded to that post, he never wrote again.

Some other people have contacted me off-line and are reading these blog entries. But some folks, even Christian leaders, just get mad at me. I know you are mad at me. I can tell when I talk to you. I can tell by your actions, by what you have said and by what you have done. It's the old "attack the messenger and ignore the message" idea.

Christians and politicians have a bad habit of doing that sort of thing. When someone presents an opposite viewpoint, they attack their opponent rather than deal with the issues on the table. That's why you get mad at me rather than discussing the issues. You don't want your error challenged.

In this blog, I have stated my positions simply and precisely.

I have stated what the Bible clearly says is "God's will."

I have stated why I think the building program is a cover-up for NOT doing "God's will."

I have given examples of opportunities to actually DO "God's will" according to the scriptures.

I have shown if you don't "do God's will" now, you probably will NOT "do God's will" when you move away from the city. In fact, in light of the lack of discipleship evident at the church today, the idea of "reaching lost people" after moving is a false dream and a lie.

But here is your chance to prove me wrong. Convince me that I don't know what I am talking about. Convince me that I am wrong. So far, I have heard nothing but hype and cliches and platitudes from people who do not win souls. That is not a very good argument for your position.

It is A JOKE to say you have "prayed about it" and that you "know it is God's will" when you haven't prayed about all those lost people around you who are bound for hell.

So convince me that I am wrong. Show me the numbers. Show me how lost people will be reached after the big move to the country, when they are not being reached today.

Show me the plan to reach lost people after the move.

John 13:35 says that "all men will know that [we] are [his] disciples, if ye have love for each other."

I am not mad at you. But I do know that somebody is lying and somebody is kidding themselves. Prove me wrong. When you see me, challenge me on these issues. When you see me at church, show me the plan to reach the lost people whom you are not reaching now.

Show me I am wrong. Prove that you are right. Prove to me "God's will" is in this move.

And while you are waiting, take some time to "work out your own salvation" by fixing the roof on the flat part of the building that is only 45 years old. Those kids in the nursery don't need water on the floor when they are playing.

Now...convince me! Don't get mad like a politician. Talk to me like a Christian. Prove that I am wrong. Prove that you are right. Prove to me that it IS "God's will" to move. Prove it! I am listening.


What's Going On In Your Church ???

Well, let's see. Wait a minute, I'll think of something that's going on in our church.

Oh yeah, we are going to build a new building. We don't plan on winning souls to the Lord as we are now demonstrating. But we're going to build a new building and move away from the sinners. Then we will "reach lost people." Yeah, that is God's will, build a new church so we can, uh, so we can reach lost people.

"Each One Reach One" used to be the motto of a large Southern Baptist church. I always wondered how many "ones" actually DID reach out to another person. I always wondered how many "ones" actually brought another person into that church congregation.

It's clear to see by the stagnant numbers in the bulletin that "each one" is NOT "reaching one" by a long shot. In fact, the stagnant numbers seem to say that nobody is "reaching one" in the whole congregation. It is clear that not much has changed in the last few years. Not many "lost people" have been reached since the church leadership presented their "agenda," calling it "God's will," to the congregation, followed by tons of unscriptural hype, puffed up figures and a phony "farce vote" as one long-time FBC member called it.

The membership numbers have stagnated for the most part over the past 5 or 6 years because virtually no "lost people" are being reached. Sure, there is a new class every now and then. But who are you winning to the Lord? Who are you discipling?

What about those 64 people who live directly to the west of the church? Where do they go to church each Sunday? Or do they even go to church each Sunday? Do you even know where they go to church or do you just NOT CARE??

Do you even know what their name is?

When Jerry Falwell was a young preacher, he stood outside of Lynchburg, Virginia and prayed that God would give him Lynchburg. Then he knocked on every door in the city, telling folks about Jesus and inviting them to church. He was one of the first pastors in the country to begin a ministry to alcoholics and to unwed mothers. Does First Baptist Alamo have a similar ministry outreach?

When was the last time that First Baptist even averaged one new Christian per month??

Folks, you better wake up before it is too late. You are ignoring the will of God (winning souls and discipling them) and you have replaced "the will of God" with an agenda, to move the center of the ministry AWAY from the very people for whom God placed the building on that strategic corner.

And why are some of you clearly angry at me?

Don't get mad at me because YOU are not winning souls and discipling them. Don't get angry because I called your bluff. Some of you are mad at me because of what YOU ARE NOT DOING!
Practice what you preach.

You say it is God's will to move the church "to reach lost people." That is evidently a lie or you are fooling yourself. If you really wanted "to reach lost people," then you would be reaching them now instead of planning to move AWAY from the lost people.

You have three paid staff members listed on the web page. If those three staff members each won only one person to the Lord every three months, you would see an increase of twelve new members, baptized and discipled in one year. Now, if each of those twelve people reached and discipled just ONE NEW PERSON in a year and if each of the three paid staff members reached and discipled one new person each quarter, that would be twenty-four new members in the second year. Twenty-four from the second year added to the original twelve from the first year is THIRTY-SIX NEW CHRISTIANS in two years.

That would put the average attendance well over 200 people each Sunday.

Folks, it's a numbers game. Do the math. Sure, I understand it is the Holy Spirit who draws men to God. But "how can they hear without a preacher??" How can they hear of YOU do not GO and tell them? How can they come to the Lord if people sit on their blessed assurance and "hope" they will come visit the church?

How many deacons do you have at any given time? How many of those deacons brought even one new Christian and discipled them last year?

What about the 64 people who live within two blocks from the church building? If you want to reach those 64 people who live within two blocks of the church, then you better get out there and humble yourself and knock on their front doors.

When you move out in the country, how many people are going to live within two blocks of the church building?

Stop kidding yourself about building a new country-club and calling it "the will of God." Stop kidding yourself that moving to the highway is going to be "our best opportunity to reach lost people." Don't kid yourself. You know that is not true. If being in the center of town, in the center of where lost people are is not motive enough for you "to reach lost people," then you will never reach lost people out in the country.

Don't kid yourself.

You better start reaching those lost people now. Or when you put the congregation into an unscriptural debt of several million dollars, the church will be in grave trouble.

God's will or a country club? Reaching lost people or just talking about it?

Which is it?

Revelation 21:8 says liars have a special place in the lake of fire! " ... all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."

So don't keep lying to yourself about "God's will." You know God's will now. You know what it is. Now go out and do it!