UFOs and Aliens are in the news quite a bit lately. A couple of years ago we had Gary Bates from Creation Ministries International speak at the Church. He wrote an incredible book “Alien Intrusion: Unmasking a deception.” CMI subsequently made it into a documentary. With scores of interviews from people who have had alien visitation, or been abducted there have a great deal of empirical data. This data gives the explanation for this phenomenon. This book and movie changed my attitude and gave me great compassion for those people with this experience. If your have had an alien experience or even if you haven’t I encourage you to either read the book, or watch the movie. It will explain a lot, give hope and insight to those who need it.
I’ve been praying through posting short videos here, addressing questions the Church or listeners might have. Obviously, this blog hosted on our own servers are free from any YouTube restrictions or censorship. So please, if you have any questions you’d like to have addressed, leave it in the comments and I’ll see if I can answer it from a scriptural viewpoint.
I highly recommend this book. Dr. Voddie Baucham does a fantastic job looking at CRT, racism and antiracism from a biblical worldview. Plenty of pastors and “evangelical leaders” misjudge him and avoid this book. It’s because they think he’s just parroting “white evangelical” talking points. They fail to understand his first major was Sociology and he’s been predicting what we’re seeing now for over 20 years. In addition, I think it’s important for anyone, including those who would avoid this book, read his story, he has a great perspective. Please pray for him as he no doubt is in the double minority on these subjects. Also, he recently had open heart surgery and is in the process of a long recovery. He is a great gift to the Church at this point in history.
How many of us remember being in school and the teacher would ask, “Any questions?” Of course, there was that guy that always shot his hand up and asked a million questions. We wanted to bean him with something, like our eraser. But then there were those other people that were way to shy to ask any questions for fear of asking “a dumb one” and they’d get ridiculed. The teacher knew that, so they’d then say “there are no dumb questions.”
In Deuteronomy 1 Moses has an incredible admission. Here’s probably the greatest leader in human history, no other human can say they’ve accomplished what he’s accomplished. But in this chapter he reminds the leaders of the tribes how even he had limitations. It was a great honest admission that he just couldn’t do it all. The demands were too much for him. This led him to pick leaders and elders who would adjudicate a lot of the problems for the Israelites. It takes a big man/woman to admit their mistakes but it takes humility. Remember Moses was the meekest man on earth, but it was a great example for his leaders, and for the rest of us.
Some times, people can be struggling with a problem, a relationship, a character flaw and because of pride, never ask for help. They can spin their wheels wandering in their own wilderness just because they’re not humble enough to admit their limitations. A couple can have problems in their marriage, at some point in time one spouse says “we need to get some help, we’re a mess.” But the other spouse is reluctant to ask for help, “well, I don’t want anybody to know what’s going on.” I get that, but it’s only pride that keeps them from getting any resolution, because they just can’t admit they have limitations. It’s not like they’re the only ones that have had problems. In fact, any good marriage, any really good marriage has had it’s fair share of problems. If you have problems to resolve remember, you’re not the only one on that list. The Bible says “you have not because you ask not”, so why not ask for help? If a great leader like Moses can do it, I guess we can too.
San Diego used to have a Recruit Training Center and Naval Training Center. It’s where I went to boot camp. It’s no longer in existence today but I ran a lot there, marched a lot there and did a lot of pushups there too. We also did a lot of waiting. But one of the phrases that was embedded in my head was “Move it out!”. The waiting was over, it was time to get going.
In the first 5 verses of Deuteronomy 1, Moses reminds everyone that God had said, they had spent enough time hanging around Mt. Sinai, and it was time to move it out, get going. It could have taken them as little as 11 days to get where He promised them. They couldn’t have taken the coastal route because He knew they weren’t ready, as a result, instead of an 11 day journey, it took 40 years. There’s a big difference between 11 days, and 40 years! The reason it ended up taking that long was because of their unbelief, disobedience and out right rebellion.
It’s the same for us. Years of being a Christian doesn’t necessarily equate to Christian maturity. If someone says “Well, I’ve been a Christian for 40 years”, I might respond with, “Well, that number rings a bell.” It’s possible for a person to be a believer for that long and still an infant and immature spiritually. Yet, it’s also possible for a person to have know the Lord for a much shorter period of time, say 10 years and that person be more spiritually mature than the other!
The point is, it’s the goal of Jesus and the Holy Spirit to have us be maturing spiritually. To be conformed to the image of Christ as Paul wrote in Romans 8. Is that your goal? Do you want to and are you? Or are you spinning around, wandering aimless in the wilderness?
Just like my Drill Instructor in boot camp, God told Moses to tell the people, you’ve stayed here long enough, it’s time to get going, move it out. In Hebrews 5.12-14, the writer tells those believers, some of them should be teaching the Bible by now. It’s time they should have moved beyond the basics of the faith. The basics are like giving milk to a baby, but imagine if that baby had grown and to the age of 22 and is still drinking milk out of a bottle? It’s a funny picture, but it would be horrifying to any parent because it means there something seriously wrong in the development of their child. By now, they should have been eating solid foods or “meat” as the writer of Hebrews puts it.
Every Christian should be aiming at something, and that something is maturing in the knowledge of the scripture, doctrines. Of sin, salvation, repentance, the person of Jesus Christ, the gospel. Yes it takes some effort, but growing up assumes more responsibility, and it equates to a healthy individual.
So if you’ve been hanging around the same place spiritually for quite a long time, don’t you think it’s time to move it out?
Every spring, the Church takes a day to pull weeds, put down mulch, sweep, apply cold patch to our aging parking lot. Oh by the way, this summer the front parking lot will be brand new! But spring clean up affords the body an opportunity to develop deeper relationships with other like any other small group. Let’s face it, the 5 min meet & greet in service doesn’t cut it. This year so many of the new members showed up to participate! It also gives the body a sense of ownership. Naturally, there’s already a sense of a separation between the body and those of us who on staff. This lets everyone know any separation is only a perception, but it isn’t reality. Also, it certainly glorifies the Lord as it is His property. Finally, there is another benefit and that’s the witness it provides. While no Church should be opulent, or give the idea of super wealth, it should be neat and clean. It’s our hope that as people drive by or drive in, they see a piece of property that stands out in the town.
The School of Ministry (SOM) as the name implies is geared towards ministry. Yes the students get the whole Bible, yes they get principles in ministry and of course they get missions. But there’s a heavy emphasis on serving others, on being a servant. By having it at the Church, they get a lot of hands on practical experience. We let them visit other Calvary’s so they can see the variation within the model.
This year was a miraculous year. Last August, the state was in chaos with regards to schools, policy and procedure regarding COVID. How should we operate? Can we operate? Will we have any students enroll? What if we have to shutdown a month later? There was more uncertainty than certainty. But we give credit where credit is due, the Lord kept us going and we made it to the finish line. These kids were great to have around for these last couple of years and they’ll be missed.
But they go back to their states and Churches, ready to serve the Lord Jesus and His body. I had to include a picture of Pastor Tony, our missions pastor who oversees the SOM. He’s been there for about 28 years, lately he’s been battling cancer and you just can’t keep him down. He had laid his whole life down and is the epitome of sacrifice. I so love and respect him.
I don’t know if in this life we can fully appreciate or comprehend the graciousness of Jesus. Ephesians tell us in order for anyone to comprehend the expanse of His love, it doesn’t come naturally through our intellect. Paul prayed for the Ephesians that they would get a supernatural revelation from the Holy Spirit. Then and only then can we “comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height — to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge.”
I think we need that as well to comprehend His grace towards us, sinners. In Hebrews 5.2 there is 1 little line that many skip over. I know I had for my whole adult life but when I was studying it for communion it struck me. First a little context.
Hebrews 5.2 it says “He can have compassion on those who are ignorant and going astray.” Any Jewish reader would automatically remember in the O.T. this differentiates between sins of ignorance and willful deliberate sins. Like a trespass, I know it’s sin, I know where the line is, and I know what happens if I cross that line, but I don’t care, I’m going to do it anyway. Any one of us, would be gracious to someone who sins against us accidentally, it was a mistake. No big deal. But if someone deliberately sinned against us? I don’t know about you, but my reaction would be to treat that same person differently. Not so gracious.
But notice, not Jesus. He has compassion in both circumstances. The reason is, Jesus understands what it’s like to be a human. He was exposed to everything the sinful culture could throw at Him. He was tempted with pride, power, control, impatience hurt feelings, betrayal, character assassination and more just like you and I.
And so yes, we need a supernatural revelation from the Holy Spirit to be able to comprehend and fully appreciate just how gracious He is with us. This will also help us to be like Him, when we need compassion with other sinners like us.
History shows clearly enough that true spirituality has never at any time been the possession of the masses. In any given period since the fall of the human race, only a few persons ever discerned the right way or walked in God’s law. God’s truth has never been popular. Wherever Christianity becomes popular, it is not on its way to die–it has already died. Popular Judaism slew the prophets and crucified Christ. Popular Christianity killed the Reformers, jailed the Quakers and drove John Wesley into the streets. When it comes to religion, the crowds are always wrong. At any time there are a few who see, and the rest are blinded. To stand by the truth of God against the current religious vogue is always unpopular and may be downright dangerous. The historic church, while she was a hated minority group, had a moral power that made her terrible to evil and invincible before her foes. When the Roman masses, without change of heart, were made Christian by baptism, Christianity gained popularity and lost her spiritual glow. From there she went on to adopt the ways of Rome and to follow her pagan religions. The fish caught the fisherman, and what started out to be the conversion of Rome became finally the conversion of the church. From that ignominious captivity, the church has never been fully delivered.