Showing posts from October, 2012

A Response to Billy Bashers

During the late 1990s, I worked for World Wide Pictures, the film ministry of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.   My job there was calling pastors throughout the United States scheduling evangelistic films to be shown in their churches as part of an outreach event.   Although telemarketing work can get tedious, my job at World Wide Pictures was quite enjoyable.   Most of the time, I talked with pastors and church secretaries who treated me courteously even if they weren’t interested in booking a film. Occasionally I spoke with individuals who were critical of Dr. Graham (some of my co-workers labeled them “Billy bashers”).   One objection that regularly came up was that Billy is “too ecumenical.”   The New Oxford American Dictionary defines ecumenical as “promoting or relating to unity among the world's Christian churches.”   One can aim to unify the body of Christ without compromising the integrity of the gospel.   Jesus Himself prayed in John 17 that we

You’re Covered

Over the years I’ve heard ministers give differing opinions as to whether they should have a “covering” or a fellow minister overseeing them. The New Oxford American Dictionary defines covering as “a thing used to cover something else, typically in order to protect or conceal it.” One apostle I know preaches that everybody should have a pastor. I believe that’s good advice, especially for newborn believers. Whenever leading someone to the Lord, I always encourage him (or her) to find a good church where he can be discipled and grow in the things of God. The Bible mentions people who had spiritual mentors: Joshua had Moses, Elisha had Elijah, and Timothy had Paul. On the other hand, Moses never had a spiritual father nor did Elijah or Paul. Paul even cited that as proof of his apostleship (Galatians 1:15-17). I’ve heard some Christians claim, “I am submitted to God, and no one else!” People who make remarks like that tend to have a rebellious attitude and are not open to correcti

On Bended Knee

At a men’s prayer breakfast I attended earlier this year, one of the other men asked me if it was okay for a Christian to bow to another person during a martial arts contest.   My reply was that it’s permissible if done as a form of respect and wouldn’t involve bowing the knee.   We are to honor men but not give them reverence that solely belongs to God alone. One might also question, “Must a Christian pray on his knees?”   Christ Himself knelt down to pray in Luke 22:41.   So did Stephen (Acts 7:60), Peter (Acts 9:40), and Paul (Acts 20:36; 21:5).   Kneeling before God is a posture representing worship.   Years ago while doing street evangelism with a group from a ministry school, I overheard a student suggest getting new converts to pray on their knees.   Philippians 2:10 does say, “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth.”   But this doesn’t mean someone has to literally be on bended

The Wages of a Laborer

Here’s a slogan you may have seen on T-shirts and bumper stickers: “Come work for the Lord…the pay is low but the retirement benefits are out of this world.”  This is partially inaccurate because it gives the idea God won’t prosper his ministers while on earth.  Yet Psalm 35:27 says, “Let the LORD be magnified, Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.” When you commit to doing the work of an evangelist, you should expect the Lord to bless you.   1 Timothy 5:18 says, “The laborer is worthy of his wages.”   In 1994 I started witnessing on Monday nights with other members of Living Word Christian Center in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota .   Since evangelism pastor Nick Kinn and I were about the same size, I occasionally received clothes from him that he no longer needed. One night when we returned from the streets, Pastor Nick asked if anyone wanted prayer.   I spoke up by mentioning I had just started a sales job that day and needed to make money.   Nick suddenly