Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Dr. George Wood--A Message To Pastors, A Message To Believers

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Dr. George Wood, head of the 3,000,000 plus member Assemblies of God church in America, with over 66,000,000 members worldwide, has opened his heart to his pastors.

Titled, "My Greatest Hope and Deepest Concern", he expresses just that.

He writes, "The secular worldview and culture of this age differ radically from biblical faith and practice, and even oppose them."

I wrote and spoke about that yesterday. And will continue to do so with God's help and your support.

Dr. Woods tells the pastors, "This worldview admits to no ultimate truth about reality: no God-created beginning or God-controlled ending of history, no inherent meaning or purpose to life. The culture is relativistic: anything goes as long as everyone agrees and no one gets hurt."

But people are being "hurt" by this evolving world view of secular relativism.

Wood says, "The cultural consequences of this world view are devastating."

In this he gives instruction to his Assemblies of God pastors, and in doing so perhaps gives instruction to all believers.


"When anything goes, someone always gets hurt," he says.

And asks, "How can my grandsons Jacob and Reese, become men of God in the midst of this age?" Then he asks pastors how Christians can be "holy" as required in Hebrews 12:14, in this same cultural environment.

First, he says---Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind---then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is.

The pastor of the pastors says, we, as redeemed or restored (saved) people can rise above the debilitating sin in our culture through the power of God and the gospel of Christ.

He says "numerous worldviews and cultures compete for our attention in the market place of ideas" while he calls pastors to be "discerning", knowing how to "look past the slick marketing and fancy packaging of ideas."

And he says : In a pluralistic culture, preaching holiness requires preaching "doctrine", both theological and ethical, and "apologetics."

"If people do not understand biblical doctrine, they will be led astray", he says.

So true.

One popular misunderstanding comes to my mind and its driven by both celebrities and activists with a non-biblical agenda. Jesus said, "No man comes to the Father but through Me" (John 14:6). It has become popularized to claim to be a Christian, yet in the name of cultural tolerance, also claim that you don't believe Jesus is the "only" way to God. Oprah, our President and other high profile people have and are making that statement. To believe that, or claim to believe it, makes a person feel more inclusive and loving. More "tolerant" of all the other religions that claim otherwise. However, that is false doctrine.

Another popularized "slick" idea put forward this past year by Rob Bell and others is that a loving God would not send people to hell. Therefore there is no hell.

In his book, "Love Wins Out," he teaches it would be unreasonable to believe that God would eternally punish someone for failure to "accept Christ" in this very short moment in time and eternity called life. Bell and others are teaching that would not be "fair" and people are being led astray by their teaching.

God is just. He administers justice, not fairness. Fairness is a tool of relativism which allows an individual to become "as God" and administer "fairness."

Fairness with no higher authority is tyranny.

The relentless advance of homosexual activists have given us so-called pastors who are explaining that the Bible does not condemn that behavior and that redefining marriage is a "Christian" act of love and compassion---just like that displayed by Jesus. This false doctrine teaches people that, as President once explained, the verses in Romans and elsewhere that identify that behavior as sin are "obscure" and obsolete. And misunderstood.

If they do not understand biblical ethics and lifestyle, "they will not behave according to biblical standards and will often repudiate them," Dr. Wood says.

"And," he says, "we must aim" to change both hearts and minds if we are to influence this culture for the better and provide a better life for our children and grandchildren.

I took 3 things from this:

1. It is strong and timely counsel to pastors. And to those who are not pastors.

2. The emphasis for cultural renewal is spiritual renewal. Cultural renewal only comes through spiritual renewal and awakening.

3. Christian pastors need to show up and preach biblical doctrines, ethics and behavior. My sense is that he may be saying its time to move away from a complete religious diet of "how to feel good" to a more balanced and biblically wholesome diet of "believing good", discerning good" and behaving good."

Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Informed. Be Pro-Active. Be Prayerful. Be Blessed. Be Useful.

7 comments:

  1. The world seems to be winning the so called culture war . But I believe our roots in this country go beyond what academia attempts to change .To Christians it just seems so obvious that we have so many children coming from broken homes , and a culture that is so confused that will attempt to promote the view that calling it a broken home is the problem , not the chaos so many kids are growing up in . Poverty and the hurt and lack of commitment that is needed to be shown to children by the moms and dads is causing things to get worse , for our values to be placed in self made concepts that change with the situation we find ourselves in . Revival is what is needed .

    Pray and be the Hands of Christ to others , may we all support one another in the church . God help us to be more like You .

    Mick

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    1. You might think that "To Christians it just seems so obvious that we have so many children coming from broken homes", but keep in mind that divorce rates are lower among atheists and agnostics than conservative christians.

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    2. The problem of the culture does not discriminate. But I have not seen to many atheists' speaking to the need to honor standards and the Marriage Contract to support Mom and Dads . The ones who blog here tend to support any kind of marriage , regardless of gender , and do not support Universal Values that we all can support . In 1960 less then 5 percent birthrate were to unwed Mothers, now closer to 50 percent . This with hardly any sex education , access to free birth control , and abortion on demand . If you want to blame the statistics on Conservative Christians you seem to be proving my point . Mr. Wood was speaking to Christians , especially Pastors to step up to plate . He was not putting down atheists.. He was speaking to some basic fundamental truths that protect children , communities and all of us .

      Mick

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  2. All roads DO lead to God. It's just that all roads DO NOT lead to heaven.

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  3. Are we fighting too many wars? In trying to win the culture war we often lose the war against the Church. Just look at how many leadership teams have chosen to back away from doctrine and ethical stances because they are a "stumblingblock" (yes I used that on purpose to make us think) to our culture coming to Jesus.
    We must never ask ourselves what kind of Jesus people will come to and promote that. Instead we must ask ourselves, "Who is Jesus, really?" Only then can we by all means reach some.

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  4. Thanks Marty . The Lord is someone that people will be attracted to if we get out of the way I agree. The culture wars and the religious right was self defeating in many ways . To promote someone to act a certain way without God in their life is seen as a bit arrogant .

    God wants us safe , he wants our families to be together , he wants our lives to be committed to Him . This is because of Love , the culture wars sure have not revealed the Love of Christ to the world and I believe has hurt the church .

    Mick

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    1. Valid points Mick. I think what has hurt the church the worse is denominations. Christ is not diviided, neither should the church be. The Bible and only the Bible is necressary for the teaching of sound doctrine.

      Do we want to be on the right path? Do want God's word commands, "preach the gospel, by ready in season and out of season to give a reason for the hope that is in you", "deny ourselves, pick up our crosses daily and follow him"

      We(the church) are afraid of suffering or causing offense. We are called to suffer for Christ. If we are true to the gospel, it's inevitable. We will be at war until Christ returns. Why are we afraid? This isn't our home!

      Safe? No, Jesus wants us obedient until he calls us home.

      Craig in Lacey

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