Wednesday, January 30, 2008


If there is one person who has embodied Christianity, over the past century, it has been Billy Graham. Whether you are Reformed or not, there always seemed to be a high respect for him and the work he has done in the area of salvation.
And while, in recent times, his beliefs about the "wideness of God's mercy" has cause some to drift away from him (myself included), he gave--in my opinion--one of the greatest quotes I have ever heard. Despite how you feel about Rev. Graham, you have to marvel at the comfort that his statement gives:
"There are days that I feel saved, and there are days that I feel lost. Thank God my salvation doesn't depend on anyone of those days".

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


I have never been a fan of Oprah Winfrey, and I realize this statement may cause some to want to revoke my "black pass". However, I just received an article that could cause a shift in many people's thinking of her.

It appears that Oprah has teamed up with a New Age leader by the name of Marianne Williamson, and has started a year-long teaching on her XM Satellite show called "A Course in Miracles". This teaching is designed to get an individual to have a New Age worldview in comparison to the Biblical Worldview that God commands that we all have.

Listen to some of the lessons that this course will teach:

Lesson 29 (which happens to be today's lesson) teaches that God is in everything and that love is all around. God can even be in coat hangers, wood, and waste baskets if one believes it.

Lesson 61 teaches that you are the light of the world instead of Jesus (John 8:12)

and Lesson 70 teaches that salvation comes--not from Christ--but from the individual.

In short, Oprah Winfrey is behind a teaching that is heresy at its essence, and we should pray for God to put a halt on this wicked system that--if not redeemed from--will draw many (Oprah and Marrianne included) into eternal destruction.

And for your reading pleasure (or displeasure), here are some information links: (This is the "Oprah and Friends" web site with today's teaching) (Here is an interesting article by Warren Smith that gives deeper insights into this New Age idea) (Here is the Wikipedia article of the book)

Monday, January 28, 2008


As a graduate of KNOX Theological Seminary, I have become very familiar with the Evangelism Explosion (EE) idea. Personally, I feel that it is a well thought out, non-confusing way to teach Christians to share their faith with unbelievers. I received a whole lot out of EE, and I praise God for the fact that many of my Brothers and Sisters in Christ can trace their Christian roots back to the outlines presented in this program.

However, I have also noticed throughout the years that many supporters of this program have erroneously taken the two diagnostic questions, (1) Have you come to the place in your spiritual life where you know for certain that if you were to die today you would go to heaven or is that something you would say you're still working on? and (2) Suppose you were to die today and stand before God and He were to say you, "Why should I let you into My heaven ?" what would you say ?, as some sort of way of proving one is saved.

And while I believe these questions can do a lot to determine whether someone is unsaved, I feel in many respects that it lacks in proving the antithesis of this statement. To make my point clearer, just yesterday I was sent an e-mail from a guy I previously worked with at Coral Ridge Ministries, Inc. (CRM) stating that he has now renounced his Christianity and has taken an agnostic outlook. Now putting aside the fact that Scripture is ridiculously clear that one cannot disconnect themselves from a true saving faith (Eph. 1:13-14; John 6:44, 65), and that if one does "fall from the faith" it is only proof that they were never a part of it in the first place (1 John 2:19), this guy--being totally unregenerate at the time-- was able to give the proper answers to these two questions in a job interview for a position at the ministry. Thus, he was considered to be a Christian despite the fact that he was notoriously known to have violent outbursts and constantly exhibited an attitude and behavior that many professing unbelievers would be ashamed to show in public. But because he heard things about Christ from childhood, and that CRM's interview process examined his "Christianity" solely from the basis of the two questions above, he was able to deceive a whole ministry into thinking he had a true relationship with the LORD.
When I examine Scripture and see how it defines a true Christian, it is funny that I see nothing about a declaration of allegiance alone being the determining factor (see John 7:21-23; James 2:18 and 1 John). In short, there is always an emphasis on the outward workings of a man or woman who professes faith, and I believe that we as Christians should not be gullible to the reality that, because of familiarity, many unbelievers could give just as solid statements of faith as believers and yet can be eternally damned. In my jail ministry, I always tell the guys to not take the EE outline as your evangelism tool as it is. But rather, use it to craft a witnessing instrument that fits your style of delivery and gets to the crux of a person's true salvific position. In short, we need not only to be workmen in interpreting Scripture, but we should also be workmen in our evangelism.
So, in the final analysis, I am deeply praying that God will be pleased to grant this young man a true salvation in Christ, and I hope that CRM (and other ministries that use the EE outline or any one like it in that manner) will do a better job in constructing interview questions that gets to the cornerstone of one's true eternal status, as well as being a careful watcher of one's actions, since this is usually the mirror of one's belief.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Today marks the 35th Anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision, which legalized abortion here in the United States. Since this tragic ruling, it is estimated that an abortion happens every 24 seconds in our country. In addition, this ruling has been the backbone for groups and movements, like N.O. W. and Planned Parenthood, to get legal approval and federal funding in exercising rallies and abortion banks in an effort to raise support for the murder of innocent babies.
Thus, we have seen a murder spree occur, in our time, that can only be paralleled to the child murders that occurred under Pharaoh (Exodus 1:22) and King Herod (Matthew 2:16). And many children, that possibly could have been our leaders of tomorrow, have had their opportunity taken away based on a ruling founded solely in selfishness and deceit. Quite simply, the legalized murder of our children is proof that the heart of man can truly be "wicked and deceitful above all things" (Jeremiah 17:9). And we, as Christians, need not be passive when it comes to the manslaughter of the next generation.
This is why I would like to encourage you to make your voice known today that we, as Christians, will not stand for this blatant disregard of God's Word. Whether you choose to take sometime and pray for the parents who are considering abortion, talk with your own kids, family members, friends, and co-workers, or will attend an anti-abortion church rally tonight (I will be attending one at Glendale Baptist Church in Miami), do not let this day go by without encouraging others (as well as ourselves) in the evils that this decision has brought--not only to our country--but to our world as well.
FYI: Coral Ridge Ministries will be airing on GodTube tonight a documentary called "Why Me", which will deal with the struggles and deceptions that the evils of abortion can bring. It airs at 7:00 and 10:00 PM. If you would like to see a trailer for the movie, click here.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


Below are excerpts from two different songs:

Song 1: "Alas! and did my Saviour bleed, And did my Sovereign die! Would he devote that sacred head For such a worm as I! Was it for crimes that I had done He groaned upon the tree! Amazing pity! grace unknown! And love beyond degree"! (Isaac Watts)

Song 2: "I love me better than that! I’m going to get my life back! I’m gonna take it back! You see I’ve made up in my mind: I want my joy back, I want my peace back, I want my strength back, All my sisters help me sing: I want my joy back, I want my peace back, I want my strength back, I want my mind back, My self-esteem back, I want my keys back". (Shirley Murdoch)

Now here are two questions for you:

Number One, Which song is considered the Gospel song? Both!

And, Number Two, Which song is truly the Gospel song? Number 1!

Notice the difference in the two questions. While one song clearly gives a doctrinally sound Gospel message, the other (in today's church) would be considered "Gospel" because it fits today's popular "freedom theology" message.

Sadly, in the church today, the true Gospel in our music has become out of style like Zoot Suits. Music, in times past, that glorified Christ, proclaimed the message of the Cross, and was not shy about expressing our true sinful status apart from Christ has been replaced with a liberation feel that focuses more on our felt needs and downplays our true fallen condition. And, unfortunately, many sinners continue to listen in their homes, blast in their cars, and sing these "Gospel" songs with no desire or prompting to repent and trust Christ for salvation.

In addition, many churches, nowadays, have gotten away from more doctrinal focused music--like the Hymns of the faith--and has replaced them with songs that have little doctrinal focus or spews heretical teaching altogether. For example, here are some lyrics of certain popular songs sung in most churches today:


(2) Wash me over again, wash me over again;
In Your precious blood, wash me over again.

(3) Jesus, Jesus, Jesus! Jesus, Jesus, Jesus! Jesus, Jesus, Jesus! Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!
Healer, Healer, Healer! Healer, Healer, Healer! Healer, Healer, Healer! Healer, Healer, Healer!

In sharp contrast, here are some songs that were popular, during the time when my Mother was a child and going to church, only 50-60 years ago:

(1) Jesus, keep me near the cross; There a precious fountain, Free to all—a healing stream—Flows from Calvary's mountain.

(2) Guide me, O thou great Jehovah, Pilgrim through this barren land; I am weak, but thou art mighty; Hold me with thy pow'rful hand; Bread of heaven, Bread of heaven, Feed me till I want no more.

(3) Amazing grace—how sweet the sound—That saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found—Was blind, but now I see.

Look at the difference between the two ideas! I believe this is proof positive that the decline of solid theology is not only affecting our pulpits, but also our worship as well. And, if we are not careful, 30 years down the road the watery doctrinal songs of most of today's "Gospel" artist--like "Hold My Mule", "I made a Step", and "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus" will be the norm and songs like "Amazing Grace", "Precious LORD, Take my hand", and "A Mighty Fortress is our God" will cease to exist in the minds and hearts of people.

Already, I am seeing this trend happen in my jail ministry. The younger guys always ask me to play the latest Kirk Franklin or Trin-i-tee 5:7 song in the Sunday Worship service because these are the songs that define the outlook of today's Christianity. However, when I tell them that the songs they are requesting do not fit the structure of the Christ-centered worship experience I desire for the service, they either look at me funny or will debate me on my reply. And I am afraid that this will be the mentality of the next generation if we continue to neglect the wonderful gift of true Gospel music that God has given us from the pens of Fanny Crosby, Isaac Watts, Civila Martin, Horatio Spafford, Thomas Dorsey, and others.

So, as Reformed people who desire to see our doctrine engulfed in every area of our worship, let us take a trip back to the old path. Let us add and emphasize the doctrines of the faith more in our worship music. Because, the reality is, the lasting effects of Reformed Theology beyond our generation may depend on it. If we want the next generation to "keep the flame going", we must show them first how to light the embers correctly.

Friday, January 18, 2008


Just like anyone else, I have many quotes that I love to meditate on and share with family and friends. Throughout this year, I will be sharing some of the quotes that I have treasured throughout the years, and I want to start with the following quote by Clive Staples (C.S.) Lewis, the Author of "The Chronicles of Narnia" series:
"You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you. It is easy to believe a rope to be strong and sound as long as you are merely using it to cord a box. But suppose that you had to hang by that rope over a precipice. Wouldn't you then first discover how much you really trusted it? ... Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief."

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Just recently, I have started doing a weekly devotional with my beautiful girlfriend, Debra, entitled "Come Down, LORD". The book is based on Isaiah 63:15-64:12, in which the prophet is pleading for the LORD to revive His people again into His good graces after they had disobeyed Him in their sins.

This book, written by Roger Ellsworth and published by Banner of Truth Publications, is an excellent read if one is trying to revive or refresh their relationship with the LORD Jesus. And being in a culture where most revivals are meetings that usually make one more tired and spiritually famished when they are completed, this book brings one back to the real essence of the true method of revival outlined in the Word of God.

The book (which is only 56 pages in length) covers the following topics:

1. We Miss You (Isa. 63:15-16)
2. We Need You (Isa. 63:17-64:2)
3. We Wait for You (Isa. 64:3-4)
4. We Will Meet You (Isa. 64:5)
5. We Have Wronged You (Isa. 64: 5-7)
6. We Belong to You (Isa. 64:8-12)
7. We Beseech You (Isa. 64:9)

And listen to some of the quotes that I have observed from reading just two chapters from this book:

"When we begin to smile complacently upon our sin, He (God) stops smiling on us and turns His face away". (pg. 9)

"The people of God have often heard the world tauntingly say: 'Where is thy God?'. But it is a sad thing when the people of God have to ask themselves that question". (pg. 11)

"When we who are God's people drift into sin, God for a while gives us opportunities to repent. If these opportunities are scorned, He just lets us go by giving us over to our sins. The first form His chastisement takes is removing from us the desire to turn back to Him". (pg. 17)

"God may never stop loving us when we get into sin, but He does withhold the expressions of His love and thus makes us think He will never love us again. We may argue and convince ourselves that God does still love us, and such reasoning is well and good, but it will never replace the actual manifestations of God's love. How much better it is not to have to convince ourselves that God loves us, but to have ready at hand abundant manifestations of His love". (pg. 12)

"There is only one thing that can melt the mountain, boil the water, and consume the brush of the sinner's heart and that is the fire of God! The power of God is our need! I am convinced that the church cannot truly evangelize until she gets on her knees and seeks the convincing, converting power of God!" (pg. 20)

During the coming weeks that Debra and I discuss this book, I will place some of the most powerful quotes from this book on this blog. But, if you want to read this book in its entirety, please pick it up at your local Christian bookstore. It is truly worth the money!!!!

Update: I was just informed by Debra that "Come Down, LORD" is possibly out of print. However, you can purchase the book from Amazon or any other similar site.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Although we are celebrating Dr. King's birthday onMonday, this day (January 15th) is actually the day he was born 79 years ago. Truly, everyone in America--if not the world-- has been impacted by Dr. King in some way. I remember, back in 2005, I had a chance to go to Atlanta for the "All-American City" contest and it was a surreal and humbling experience to walk through his childhood home as well as see his actual clothing, Bible, Grammy (which I didn't know he had), as well as the horse buggy that carried his casket in 1968. In addition, it was a real blessing to purchase and hear for the first time his "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" as well as the full "I've been to the Mountain Top" speech, which still gives me goosebumps when I think of the prohetic aspect of the message.

But perhaps the one thing that Dr. King said that will always stick with me is his quote that the most segregated time during the week is 11 AM on Sundays. And in a day and age where there are some (myself included) who are trying to push for racial harmony in the church, I often wonder how far has the modern church advanced in dispelling Dr. King's assessment. Being an African-American Reformer as well as having a jail ministry, I often wonder how much I am striving to get the message of the Reformation to everyone in my ministry, let alone just my brothers of race. I often wonder, during my time in Seminary, did I strive enough to promote racial harmony to my brothers and sisters of different races. I often wonder if I am stressing to the congregations, that I preach to, how much they need attack racial divisions in their daily walks with Christ.
And while I yearn to see the day that Reformed theology will dominate the Black Church, I feel that if this feat does not bring us in closer fellowship with our brothers and sisters of other races, then we have won a battle for godliness at the expense of the overall war!
Let me know what you think about this!!!

Saturday, January 12, 2008


Anthony Carter has a recent article on his blog Non Nobis Domine about a "church" that just opened up down the street from his own in Atlanta, GA. The name of this "church" is called the Paramount Church, and if you have never seen a real Seeker Sensitive/Emergent church here is your chance.

WARNING: This could be quite painful to the believer who is concerned about and cherishes Biblical Truth!

Monday, January 7, 2008


One of the things that I find interesting in the Body of Christ is the unique beliefs that come from our Charismatic brothers and sisters. Now, don't get me wrong, I am not saying that I hate these people or that everyone who is Charismatic are unbelievers, but I find their interpretations of God and the way that He handles His people quite entertaining.

For instance, I was in the Barber Shop this past Saturday, and I heard two ladies discussing "the anointing" of a pastor and his congregation. The ladies were saying since a pastor is given "the anointing" from God that it should trickle down upon the congregation and bless the entire church in the same measure. In other words, since the pastor is head and gets blessed by God, then everyone around him should expect the same level of blessing.

Now forget the fact that there are some people in the congregation who are unbelievers and are automatically disqualified from receiving any spiritual blessings from God (John14:13-15), and there are others in the congregation who are disobedient and thus strain their relationship with God. According to these ladies, none of this matters as long as the pastor is following the ways of God. So, in short, the pastor becomes the cannon of the spiritual health of his congregation. But, despite this interesting deduction of the ways of God, in reality it is not automatic that the congregation will be equally as blessed as a pastor that is obedient to God. This can be seen in the examples given above, as well as Biblical examples such as Jesus and His disciples (i.e, Judas Iscariot) and Annanias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11).

In conclusion, while I do believe that God can bless a ministry that has a faithful pastor and the congregation can be reapers of it, to say that the measure is equal with everyone is just plain untrue! And to believe and teach this error can be license to give people a channel to live however they want because ultimately their fate lies within the hands of their pastor. And to have your fate in the hands of anyone but Christ will, at the end, put you on a ground of sinking sand.