Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Heidelberg Catechism

Of God the Son and our Redemption His Name
Lord’s Day 11
29. Why is the Son of God called “Jesus,” that is, Savior?
Because He saves us from all our sins,[1] and because salvation is not to be sought or found in any other.[2]
[1] Mt 1:21; Heb 7:25; [2] Isa 43:11; Lk 2:10-11; Jn 15:4-5; Acts 4:11-12; 1 Tim 2:5
30. Do those also believe in the only Savior Jesus, who seek their salvation and welfare from “saints,” themselves, or anywhere else?
No; although they make their boast of Him, yet in their deeds they deny the only Savior Jesus;[1] for either Jesus is not a complete Savior, or they who by true faith receive this Savior, must have in Him all that is necessary to their salvation.[2]
[1] 1 Cor 1:12-13, 30-31; Gal 5:4; [2] Isa 9:7; Mt. 23:28; Jn 1:16; Col 1:19-20, 2:10; 1 Jn 1:7

Monday, July 23, 2007

Who Is This Jesus?

Here it is my first sermon in the main auditorium or sanctuary. I went a whole 57 minutes. If you dare to endure... click this link. Thank you to all who have been praying for me and have been encouraging me.
Grace and Peace to you all.
Chris Allen
Coram Deo!!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Pope: Other Christians not true churches

Please Look at the article at: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070710/ap_on_re_eu/pope_other_christians;_
It is also pasted at the bottom of this posting>>>

Isn't it interesting how the RCC (Rome and the "infalable" Pope of THE Non-Church) is calling the TRUE Church the "Non-Church"?
This sort of thing causes all kinds of problems with the rest of the church. With the World's view of us as Christians or what the Pope is calling the "Non-Church", and if the world takes sides with the people that open their arms to all religions???
Isn't it funny that the "True Church" (according to the Pope) is the same church that embraces Islam and the infalable Pope John Paul II proclaimed the Quran as "The word of God".
Talk about persecutions coming from all sides!!!!Not good.... not good at all!!!!!
I would love to hear John MacArthur's comments about this. But no worries mates:Romans 8:33-3933Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."[
l] 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[m] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.Bring it on Pope Benedict! Lets start another Reformation.I'll stand with Luther:"Unless I am convinced by Sacred Scripture and plain reason - I do not accept the authority of the popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other - my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen."This is why we have got to be strong on the Gospel. We have to be strong on the doctrines of the church. God is sovereign, not the Pope.We should be talking about election, Christ and Him crucified, those chosen in HIM before the foundations of the world!Here I stand.... Is anyone going to stand with me??
Grace and Peace,
Coram Deo!!! (Before the face of God)

Article below>>>
Pope: Other Christians not true churches
By NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press Writer Tue Jul 10, 8:49 AM ET

LORENZAGO DI CADORE, Italy - Pope Benedict XVI has reasserted the universal primacy of the Roman Catholic Church, approving a document released Tuesday that says Orthodox churches were defective and that other Christian denominations were not true churches.
Benedict approved a document from his old offices at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that restates church teaching on relations with other Christians. It was the second time in a week the pope has corrected what he says are erroneous interpretations of the Second Vatican Council, the 1962-65 meetings that modernized the church.
On Saturday, Benedict revisited another key aspect of Vatican II by reviving the old Latin Mass. Traditional Catholics cheered the move, but more liberal ones called it a step back from Vatican II.
Benedict, who attended Vatican II as a young theologian, has long complained about what he considers the erroneous interpretation of the council by liberals, saying it was not a break from the past but rather a renewal of church tradition.
In the latest document — formulated as five questions and answers — the Vatican seeks to set the record straight on Vatican II's ecumenical intent, saying some contemporary theological interpretation had been "erroneous or ambiguous" and had prompted confusion and doubt.
It restates key sections of a 2000 document the pope wrote when he was prefect of the congregation, "Dominus Iesus," which set off a firestorm of criticism among Protestant and other Christian denominations because it said they were not true churches but merely ecclesial communities and therefore did not have the "means of salvation."
In the new document and an accompanying commentary, which were released as the pope vacations here in Italy's Dolomite mountains, the Vatican repeated that position.
"Christ 'established here on earth' only one church," the document said. The other communities "cannot be called 'churches' in the proper sense" because they do not have apostolic succession — the ability to trace their bishops back to Christ's original apostles.
The Rev. Sara MacVane of the Anglican Centre in Rome, said there was nothing new in the document.
"I don't know what motivated it at this time," she said. "But it's important always to point out that there's the official position and there's the huge amount of friendship and fellowship and worshipping together that goes on at all levels, certainly between Anglican and Catholics and all the other groups and Catholics."
The document said Orthodox churches were indeed "churches" because they have apostolic succession and that they enjoyed "many elements of sanctification and of truth." But it said they lack something because they do not recognize the primacy of the pope — a defect, or a "wound" that harmed them, it said.
"This is obviously not compatible with the doctrine of primacy which, according to the Catholic faith, is an 'internal constitutive principle' of the very existence of a particular church," the commentary said.
Despite the harsh tone of the document, it stresses that Benedict remains committed to ecumenical dialogue.
"However, if such dialogue is to be truly constructive, it must involve not just the mutual openness of the participants but also fidelity to the identity of the Catholic faith," the commentary said.
The document, signed by the congregation prefect, U.S. Cardinal William Levada, was approved by Benedict on June 29, the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul — a major ecumenical feast day.
There was no indication about why the pope felt it necessary to release the document, particularly since his 2000 document summed up the same principles. Some analysts suggested it could be a question of internal church politics, or that it could simply be an indication of Benedict using his office as pope to again stress key doctrinal issues from his time at the congregation.

Coram Deo!!!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

CIY - Christ In Youth Conference


This is just some reflections on my recent experience at a Christ In Youth (CIY) Conference in Savannah, Georgia. This is the big event of the year where thousands of high school teens from all around the country will converge at various locations around the U.S. The experience for the kids is quite enjoyable as they get to hear some music that is similar to what is being played on Christian Radio Stations and some other praise and worship songs that are currently popular at Christian Churches around the country. Each year the theme is the focus of the event for the week. This year the theme was called "ONES... Because we were never meant to be alone".
You can imagine that this theme is something that all teenagers can relate to. Look at this introduction to the conference in the Student Magazine:

"First up...you are going to have to purposely invest in yourself. We encourage you to pour yourself into worship and discussion opportunities. We were never meant to be alone. Learn to live in community this week- take time and invest in your friends and your youth group. (God has a way to take that investment and use it to impact your life.)"...

It continues...

"Most importantly...listen for God. Maybe it's been a long time since you really felt close to God. Maybe you are not even sure what you are looking for this week. Whatever your current spiritual condition, enter into this week with a sense of expectation. Expect that God will move in your life. Expect that your friendships will deepen. Expect that your youth group will grow closer. Expect that God wants to speak to you. Endeavor to listen.
-- The CIY Conference Team"

I'm not sure if I follow what they are meaning with all that expectations of God. It sounds very "Charismatic" and this is just a sample as to the depths this conference went concerning the deep penetrating and mostly hidden hurts, frustrations, pains, troubles, and overall mess their life seemed to be in. If it didn't seem so before they came... the emotions of the conference brought those things that were hidden or suppressed to the surface. Each day had a specific focus.

Day 1: Identity - The kids decorated or designed actual masks that were to display how they tried to portray themselves to other people like their friends. At the evening worship time the kids were to go forward and throw these masks in a garbage can, as if they were throwing away this false image. "I had trouble throwing mine away because I wanted to be like Jesus, the apostles, and some great church leaders like Augustine and Luther... But, I did it anyways"

Day 2: Injured - This time the kids focused on the pains that have been caused by others

Day 3: Isolation - This is about barriers that kids put up around them as a reaction to the pain that they have endured.
The kids wrote their pains on plexi-glass windows that were about 4ft. wide by 8ft. tall.

Day 4: Influence - This is how they can make a change in their relationships with others and be an influence in improving or repairing those relationships and ultimately being an influence to hopefully establish a relationship between those around us and Christ.

There were also some elective classes being offered and I attended one for the adults called "Engaging the Soul of Youth Culture". It was lead by the leader (Johnny) of the worship band called "Foundation Red" who is also an employee of CIY and a director of the conferences. He presented some statistics of the influences on teens today and how much time they spend with some type of electronic media stimulation. A lot of the problems that teens are facing were among a lot of the discussions. The main question being asked is "What can we do to reach more teens in today's society with all this electronic media".

I very much appreciated this question because I love to hear the desire to evangelize.
However, the focus, like the theme of the conference, was too often on the symptoms of the problem. And thus the solutions being expressed around the room were geared towards treating the symptoms. I expressed my concern with just putting the band-aid on wounds instead of preventing the wounds in the first place. I said... "What if we were to go back to presenting the Gospel. It is the Gospel that points everyone to the "root" of the problem and that is Sin. Everything in the bible is about God's Holiness and what He has done to repair that relationship that has "Isolated" us from Him."
I'm not sure, but I don't think anyone thought going back to the Gospel was a good idea. But, it wasn't my idea, I got it from the Bible.

On Thursday evening, I was helping backstage after the band had finished the start of the evening worship and they were waiting to go back out on stage after the preaching was done.

I ended up talking to Johnny. I told him that I appreciated him, especially that there was more to him than being a band leader and playing a guitar, and that he really took it seriously about evangelizing kids and reaching them for Christ. We talked about the conference this week and he asked how the kids were doing with such heavy lessons everyday. I told him that it was indeed a very heavy emotional conference but the conferences tend to be that way anyways.
I told him that it was impacting the kids a lot to talk about these deep hurts and emotions.
But, I also told him that I may just be too devoted to the Gospel that it seems that it should be the main focus of reaching these kids above anything else that they do. I told him that from studying Church History, the people who did some of the greatest things for Christ and reaching the lost... weren't "trying" to "DO" anything. (i.e. Calvin, Luther, Spurgeon) They were just trying to be faithful to God and His word and more specifically, the Gospel.

I don't know if I hit any kind of nerve or anything with that but I sure felt like God was pushing me to say what I felt needed to be said and it was just a split second opportunity to be back stage to help with moving the large plexi-glass windows to behind the stage. I don't know if anything can come out of my conversation with this Brother in Christ, but maybe it was for me to grow, or maybe for me to encourage a dear brother, or who knows. But, I was truly blessed to have been able to speak a concern of mine that I have been holding for sometime and God just opened the door... and all I had to do was walk through.

This week was enjoyable and I thoroughly enjoyed sharing God's word with these teens. The music was enjoyable and I love the worship band experience, although I wouldn't be comfortable with this kind of "Worship Service" to honor and worship God back at the home church. I had some really wonderful theological conversations and discussions about the Church as whole with some of the pastors, youth coaches, and this CIY staff member.

Grace and Peace,
Chris Allen
Coram Deo!!!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

CJ Mahaney gives his testimony at the Desiring God Conference for Pastors.

A friend sent me the link to this testimony of CJ Mahaney. Leave a comment and let me know what you think.
Chris Allen
Coram Deo!!!

Monday, July 02, 2007

The Heidelberg Catechism


I'm sorry that it has been so long since I have posted on my blog. I have been away attending a week long youth conference in Savannah, Georgia with Christ In Youth (CIY.COM). It was a nice week but it was also a frustrating week. But I'll try to write more about that later.
Below is another part of the Heidelberg Catechism about God's Providence.
When I look back on my life and see how God has orchestrated things and events in my life, there is no way that I would be where I am today if things would have gone the way the I thought they should. I praise God that he doesn't allow me to mess things up anymore than I already do. If I had held the keys for one second on the providence of my life and not God. I surely would have ruined everything. Thank You Lord for being sovereign over EVERYTHING!!!

Grace and Peace,
Chris Allen
Coram Deo!!!



Lord’s Day 10

27. What do you understand by the providence of God?

The almighty, everywhere-present power of God,[1] whereby, as it were by His hand, He still upholds heaven and earth with all creatures,[2] and so governs them that herbs and grass, rain and drought,[3] fruitful and barren years, meat and drink,[4] health and sickness,[5] riches and poverty,[6] indeed, all things come not by chance,[7] but by His fatherly hand.[8]

[1] Jer 23:23-24; Acts 17:24-28; [2] Heb 1:3; [3] Jer 5:24; [4] Acts 14:15-17; [5] Jn 9:3; [6] Job 1:21; Ps 103:19; Prov 22:2; Rom 5:3-5; [7] Prov 16:33; [8] Mt 10:29; Eph 1:1

28. What does it profit us to know that God created, and by His providence upholds, all things?

That we may be patient in adversity,[1] thankful in prosperity,[2] and for what is future have good confidence in our faithful God and Father, that no creature shall separate us from His love,[3] since all creatures are so in His hand, that without His will they cannot so much as move.[4]

[1] Job 1:21-22; Ps 39:10; Rom 5:3; Jas 1:3; [2] Deut 8:10; 1 Thes 5:18; [3] Ps 55:22; Rom 5:3-5, 8:35, 38-39; [4] Job 1:12, 2:6; Ps 71:7; Prov 21:1; Acts 17:24-28; 2 Cor 1:10