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-“It’s Friday but Sunday’s Coming”

by Dr. D ~ April 19th, 2019

Here’s my favorite message for Good Friday. It has become a tradition to post it every year on this day:

It’s Friday but Sunday’s Coming” by Dr. Tony Campolo.

Here’s a link to where the famous tape can be downloaded.

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The whole tape is great but the best part is toward the end when Tony Campolo recalls one Sunday when he had a little preaching competition with the head pastor at the church where he was attending.

Dr. Campolo tells how he preached the perfect sermon in every way and had taken the congregation to ‘the heights of glory’. As he sat down beside his pastor, Dr. Tony patted him on the knee and simply said, “Top that.” The older black pastor looked at him and said, “Boy, watch the master.” Then Dr. Campolo recalls for us the very brilliant message which followed.

The following is just a taste of what the climax is like in the 45 minute tape/sermon.  it doesn’t really do justice to the original but this printed abbreviated version is inspirational none the less:

It’s Friday But Sunday’s Coming—

It was a simple sermon, starting softly, building in volume and intensity until the entire congregation was completely involved, repeating the phrases in unison. The sermon went something like this:

It’s Friday. Jesus is arrested in the garden where He was praying. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. The disciples are hiding and Peter’s denying that he knows the Lord. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Jesus is standing before the high priest of Israel, silent as a lamb before the slaughter. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Jesus is beaten, mocked, and spit upon. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Those Roman soldiers are flogging our Lord with a leather scourge that has bits of bones and glass and metal, tearing at his flesh. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. The Son of man stands firm as they press the crown of thorns down into his brow. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. See Him walking to Calvary, the blood dripping from His body. See the cross crashing down on His back as He stumbles beneath the load. It’s Friday; but Sunday’s a coming.

It’s Friday. See those Roman soldiers driving the nails into the feet and hands of my Lord. Hear my Jesus cry, “Father, forgive them.” It’s Friday; but Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Jesus is hanging on the cross, bloody and dying. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. The sky grows dark, the earth begins to tremble, and He who knew no sin became sin for us. Holy God who will not abide with sin pours out His wrath on that perfect sacrificial lamb who cries out, “My God, My God. Why hast thou forsaken me?” What a horrible cry. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. And at the moment of Jesus’ death, the veil of the Temple that separates sinful man from Holy God was torn from the top to the bottom because Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Jesus is hanging on the cross, heaven is weeping and hell is partying. But that’s because it’s Friday, and they don’t know it, but Sunday’s a coming.

And on that horrible day 2000 years ago, Jesus the Christ, the Lord of glory, the only begotten Son of God, the only perfect man died on the cross of Calvary. Satan thought that he had won the victory. Surely he had destroyed the Son of God. Finally he had disproved the prophecy God had uttered in the Garden and the one who was to crush his head had been destroyed. But that was Friday.

Now it’s Sunday. And just about dawn on that first day of the week, there was a great earthquake. But that wasn’t the only thing that was shaking because now it’s Sunday. And the angel of the Lord is coming down out of heaven and rolling the stone away from the door of the tomb.

Yes, it’s Sunday, and the angel of the Lord is sitting on that stone and the guards posted at the tomb to keep the body from disappearing were shaking in their boots because it’s Sunday, and the lamb that was silent before the slaughter is now the resurrected lion from the tribe of Judah, for He is not here, the angel says. He is risen indeed.

It’s Sunday, and the crucified and resurrected Christ has defeated death, hell, sin and the grave.

It’s Sunday. And now everything has changed. It’s the age of grace, God’s grace poured out on all who would look to that crucified lamb of Calvary. Grace freely given to all who would believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross of Calvary was buried and rose again. All because it’s Sunday.

At the end of the message the pastor shouts out:

It’s Friiidaaaay!

And the whole congregation responds:

But Sunday’s Coming!

*Top

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-Celebrating The Resurrection of Jesus and Easter 2019

by Dr. D ~ April 15th, 2019

Here are links to some of the past articles we have featured on this site on the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the celebration of Easter:

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ by N.T.Wright:

Listen to this! New Testament scholar N.T. Wright is right on in this short video on the Resurrection (2:23):

 

Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?

Yes! If not, as Paul says (I Cor. 15:14) the entire Christian faith is in vain. Here’s a link to a great article on all of the facts concerning the resurrection of Jesus–a timely pursuit for the Easter season:

Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?

by William Lane Craig, professor of philosophy at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California. This is the best and most concise article that I have found on the Resurrection of Jesus. 

 

Was Easter Really Borrowed From a Pagan Holiday?

Here’s a good article by Anthony McRoy that contradicts the popular notion that the Christian celebration of Easter was borrowed from pagan sources:

“Was Easter Borrowed from a Pagan Holiday?”

McRoy provides historical evidence that the name ‘Easter’ was actually derived from the Old High German ‘eostarum’ which meant "dawn" and not from the name of a supposed pagan goddess.

 

Good Friday?

Finally, here’s a link to our most popular article of all time during Easter week and one we traditionally post on Good Friday:

-“It’s Friday But Sunday’s Coming”

May you and yours be blessed this Easter season.                 *Top

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-Happy St. Patrick’s Day 2019

by Dr. D ~ March 17th, 2019

Happy St. Patrick’s Day 2019. Here’s our traditional post for this holiday- “The Real Story of St. Patrick”:

The Real Story of St. Patrick

image Happy St. Patrick’s Day! A day to go to your favorite pub, eat corned beef and cabbage and wash it all down with plenty of green beer. Oh yes–a day of parades and celebration of Irish nationality.

But who was this St. Patrick anyway? A man born into a Roman Christian family in Wales around 385 AD with a given name of Macwyn Succat. He didn’t make it to Ireland until he was kidnapped at 16 and enslaved by Irish bandits. After six years of service he heard a voice from God instructing him to escape slavery and make it back home.

He did miraculously escape and went on to study at a Christian seminary to become a Priest. Then had a vision from God to return to Ireland as a missionary.

There were really no Christians at the time in Ireland and he singlehandedly established the church in that country while refusing tribute and support from the noblemen and kings. He converted and baptized thousands of pagans, and ordained hundreds of Priests and set up an untold number of Christian communities and churches.

He is recognized by all major Christian churches–Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Lutheran, and Anglican since he ministered before the church divided into all the different denominations we have today. So Protestants have just as great a claim on him as Catholics. And those of us who have Welsh blood running through our veins have as much right to claim St. Patrick as any Irishman.

Rather than a day with a built-in excuse to get drunk, I believe that it is a day for Christians to celebrate the reality and continual miracles of the Christian faith. A day to celebrate that God continues to give visions and directions to missionaries even today.

St. Patrick transformed an entire nation bringing the Gospel to an Island in darkness. Missionaries today continue to leave the comforts of home and family to spread the word of Jesus Christ to every nation in the world.  That is the real legacy of Macwyn Succat also known as St. Patrick.                *Top

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-Methodists Will Keep Traditional Views on Homosexuality and Marriage

by Dr. D ~ February 28th, 2019

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The United Methodists voted at their General Conference this week in St. Louis, MO to Keep their traditional views and policies on homosexuality, marriage, and ordination. From the Christian Post:

The United Methodist Church will maintain its official position that homosexuality is contrary to Christian teaching, in a decision following days of contentious debate over the issue. …

… delegates approved the “Traditional Plan” in a vote of 438-384. The Plan maintains the denomination’s stance against homosexuality, gay marriage, and the ordination of noncelibate homosexuals while promising to better enforce those rules.

<Read the whole article>

Response: A few years ago I contended that sooner or later every American church would have to publically declare where they stood on homosexuality and same-sex marriage. This week the United Methodist Church voted to keep their traditional Bible  based views. However, the majority of the vote to maintain their present stand actually came from delegates representing Methodist churches in other countries, especially from Africa.

Most of the articles I read before the conference predicted that the delegates would vote to change the church’s policy and open the door for regional bodies within the denomination to decide on their own policies toward homosexuality, same-sex marriage, and the ordination of LGBT clergy. Most also looked for schisms to follow expecting the more conservative churches in Africa and the American Bible belt to leave the denomination. Instead, we now read about the more liberal American churches rebelling against the confirmed traditional policy and doing their own thing anyway.

As I have written before, conservative American Christians are at a crossroad:

…evangelical Christians are now or will soon be at a crossroads where they must choose between a high view of Scripture and possibly be marginalized by the dominant American culture or abandon traditional Biblical teaching, accept a more liberal view of scripture, and go along with the cultural flow. …

As the pressure comes to bear on Bible supporting Christians and churches across the nation, some members may choose to leave the increasingly controversial conservative  congregations for more socially acceptable churches and denominations. Some pastors may even respond to the losses by finding ways to re-interpret those troublesome homosexual passages in the Bible.

Those who continue to maintain a traditional high view of scripture may find themselves increasingly being marginalized and even demonized by the larger culture. Soon there may be a real price to pay for Biblical faith and evangelicals may be tested and forced to choose between the Bible and a respected place in 21st century America.

I saw this ‘demonization’ in action this week in the media response to the Methodist vote.  One AP article that I read in my local newspaper had nothing good to say about the vote and was rather one-sided and included responses only from the LGBT supporters. Basically the article implied that the Methodist conferees chose to be bigots and haters rather than choosing a more enlightening and loving route. Nothing in the article showed any understanding that the Methodists were maintaining a traditional Christian view that was two thousand years old and based upon the Bible.

Also, there was little care or understanding in the main stream media that a liberal change in policy would have resulted in the loss of most of the African churches in the denomination and many in other countries along with hundreds of conservative American churches.

It will be interesting to see how the current cultural dynamic plays out in the more liberal Methodist churches in America. Expect rough seas ahead for the ‘United’ Methodist Church with some rebellion and schism.               *Top

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-A Progressive War on Conservative Christians?

by Dr. D ~ January 31st, 2019

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When Karen Pence announced that she was going to teach in a Christian school the major media went into an attack mode. One Washington Post editor even questioned how traditional Christian schools that were ‘anti-LGBT’ could still be in existence in today’s America. Forget the fact that the Christian schools do not actually single out LGBT sex but any sexual relations outside a traditional marriage between one man and one woman. The School policy is really nothing new but merely reflects traditional Christian orthodox beliefs which have been around for nearly two thousand years.

Over and over again, Trump administration and judicial nominees, that hold conservative Christian positions on abortion and marriage, have been challenged by a number of progressive Senators, including Bernie Sanders and Diane Feinstein and others, who seem to imply that Christians who continue to hold orthodox Christian positions should not be eligible for public service. In fact, Bernie Sanders has doubled down on that view and has been rather forthcoming on that issue in spite of the Constitutional provision against religious tests for public office.

Recently Senators Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and Kamala Harris of California tried to avoid the ‘religious test’ problem by opposing a Trump judicial nominee for being a member of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic Christian fraternal organization that merely reflects the beliefs of the Catholic Church.

The Senators are suppose to be diligent in questioning nominees in order to insure adherence to the Constitution of the United States, but lately so many of them have been challenging those who merely oppose progressive views. From David Harsanyi  of Townhall:

Merely asking a nominee whether her beliefs might stop her from fulfilling her constitutional duties is a relevant question.

For many liberals, though, the problem is that the beliefs of many Catholics and other adherents of various Christian theologies — or, for that matter, Jewish ones, as well — are increasingly undermining progressive ideals, not constitutional ones.

The attacks against conservative Christian views are not just coming from progressive politicians but also from progressives in the media and in academia.

Christian student organizations are getting kicked off campus by many colleges and universities across America because of new progressive ‘diversity’ requirements being instituted at most public schools. The academic authorities call the conservative Christian student groups ‘discriminatory’ since they require all of their leaders reflect a traditional Christian lifestyle based upon the Bible. Campus authorities increasingly hold that diverse students of all religions, genders, and nationalities should be allowed to be leaders of ‘Christian’ student groups, even atheists. At the same time, conservative Christian professors are increasingly having a difficult time receiving teaching positions and particularly tenure in American colleges that aren’t specifically Christian.

Then there are ‘progressive’ atheist groups that are demanding that Christian schools not be allowed to receive any kind of government support through vouchers or even indirectly through government guaranteed student loans. Some have demanded that the IRS drop such ‘discriminatory’ schools and organizations from the non-profit roles. Many of the same groups are now approaching quasi-governmental organizations like regional school accrediting groups and athletic organizations like the NCAA hoping to get Christian schools kicked out, unrepresented, and unaccredited.

Besides the attack on Karen Pence and a WP editor questioning how Conservative Christian schools even exist, main stream media folks have demonstratively taken sides against orthodox Christian views and have not only tainted their reports with biased views against conservative Christians but many times have completely left out stories of Christian persecution around the world. Particularly if Islam and Muslims were involved.

Not only that, but when it comes to religious freedom, many progressive media folks, politicians, and academicians now claim that it’s nothing more than a poor excuse for discrimination and the Constitutional provision needs to be reinterpreted and more limited in scope and application than it has been in the past. In the process, you have some major law schools in America, political figures like Pres. Obama, and progressive judges pushing for the First Amendment to be understood as only ‘Freedom of Worship’ which would limit religious freedom to the four walls of a church or official place of worship.

Increasingly you also have progressives demanding that discrimination should not be tolerated for any reason and LGBT rights should supersede and override religious freedom in spite of the First Amendment. As time goes on, there seems to be more and more judges who agree with them on that issue. All would be lost except the Supreme Court still supports religious liberty most of the time.

So what is really happening? There is an actual cultural battle against conservative Christian views in the media, in academic circles, and among progressive politicians. It is a war pitting progressives against Conservative orthodox Christians. All have come to the realization that conservative Christians are standing in the way of ‘progress’ and need to be removed from the public square and in some way their influence needs to be reduced and finally eliminated. Particularly, their political power since Christians have opposed and blocked them on abortion and the implementation and primacy of LGBT and transgender rights.

What is really ironic is that Christians are constantly being surprised at all of this  public opposition seemingly at every turn and really do not understand that they are in a war for the hearts and minds of the American people. In the middle of this,  many conservative churches and religious leaders have ignored what is happening.  So many Christians have not been alerted to the fact that they are actually in a fight for their very freedoms and way of life.  Add to that, many Christians are in agreement with progressives on social programs for the poor and end up voting for many of the very same progressive politicians who are trying to diminish our religious liberty and freedoms.

Up to this point, the Christians who are trying to protect our freedom of religion have concentrated on the political process and looked for remediation in the courts. However the real battle is cultural and we have nearly lost that one. Most Christians assume that the First Amendment will continue to protect them. However, in just one generation freedom of religion has been turned on its ear to effectively mean ‘freedom from religion’ in the public square and the battle continues and the future does not look good even though the election of Pres. Trump has slowed down the attrition somewhat.

But what is ahead for Christians may not be satisfactorily resolved legally. If the hearts and the minds of the majority of the American people end up against us then there will be no remediation or legal recourse. It will end with public marginalization, rejection, shaming, and exclusion. 

What I am talking about is already being demonstrated by progressive politicians in the Senate, and by those in academic circles. The shaming of Karen Pence for teaching in a Christian school has taken an even more disturbing turn. From National Review:

…a local private academy called the Sheridan School decided to prohibit its sports teams from playing games at Immanuel. The reason? …some students felt “unsafe.” No, really. …Unsafe? Absurd. Just absurd. But it’s worse than absurd. It’s bigotry.  …

It’s time for Christian parents, pastors, and politicians to understand a simple fact — in the fight for religious freedom, we often focus our efforts on the less important battleground. Legal protections matter less and less when the culture drifts so far from Christianity that shunning, shaming, and exclusion become the norm. …

And in this more-important cultural fight, it’s critical to wrap our arms around principles, not politicians. …it depends on Christians exercising a degree of personal courage and resolve …

Silence and compliance only embolden those who seek to sideline Christian thought and belief. …Christians must be equally willing to speak the truth and defend their faith. Otherwise, fear and shame will do what censorship cannot — drive the Christian faith from America’s public square.

<Read the whole article>

This could be the beginning of a new norm unless the millions of Christians stand up unashamed for their faith and beliefs. Christian schools, institutions, and non-profit organizations all across America could find themselves marginalized and shunned because of their Biblical stands on sexuality and marriage. Note also that such actions may not be legally addressed nor does the First Amendment really apply.

Christians must wake up and challenge progressives and not quietly slink into the night. Progressive PC views demand that a diversity of cultures and religions be honored and respected. However, conservative Christianity does not seem to have a place in their PC diversity and that hypocrisy needs to be pointed out and challenged. Ironically Islam holds many of the same views on sexuality and yet progressives go out of their way to support the right of Muslims to publically practice and live their faith.

America could be a far different and unwelcome place for orthodox conservative Christians in the near future unless we stand up and be counted. One of the most effective tools in the Christian arsenal is prayer. It is time to get serious in our prayer lives. We need to pray for those who oppose us and pray for the American church to rise up and fulfill its calling and destiny. Also we need to continue to ask God for a new cultural awakening and revival in America while there is yet day.               *Top

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