Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Mission Trip to Central India - Please Pray and Consider a Donation

Dear Reform-Shire friends,

On March 19, 2009 I will be going on a 14 day mission trip to India with Countryside Christian Church.

Our team will be involved in surveying the work and ministries of (CICM) Central India Christian Ministries including the women’s ministry, Bible academy, church planting, children’s home, and especially the ministry of Harris and Winnie Walters in Bhopal, India.

The purpose of my letter is threefold:

1. To inform you of some of the exciting things the Lord is currently doing in my life by giving me this opportunity to visit some brothers and sisters in Christ who are reaching an area that the Gospel is moving through in spite of much adversity. I hope that I may be able to encourage our Brothers and Sisters to let them know that we care for them and their mission of spreading the Gospel to India.

2. To request your prayers for the next few months or weeks as our team begins to prepare for this ministry opportunity.

3. To ask you to prayerfully consider being part of my financial support team so that I may experience and participate in this unique missionary opportunity.

The cost of our trip is approximately $3000.00. Anything you can do to help me in this endeavor will be greatly appreciated. Your financial gift is tax deductible. Your check can be made out to Countryside Christian Church. If you would like to donate online please use this link to go to the Secure Pay Pal website to make a donation via their website and I will forward to Countryside Christian on your behalf.

I am really excited about this opportunity to serve the Lord in a very special way, and want to thank you for assisting me in any way possible. May God richly bless you.

In His Service,

Grace and Peace,

Chris Allen

Coram Deo!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Viewpoint - Washington Post Web-chat with Dr. Michael S. Horton

Here is a question that I asked of Mike Horton of the White Horse Inn. And his answer. You'll notice that it is a similar topic that I sent to the Christian Standard Editor.

Grace and Peace,
Chris Allen
Coram Deo!!!

Wichita, Kan.: I have visited some of the Christian Bible Colleges around the country and have sat in some of the classes being offered. I have also visited churches planted by these colleges and they all have become infected by this virus and are now promoters of this Christless Christianity. Question: Since this problem is so sweeping across the country and denominations, do I contact the Presidents of these Colleges? What can we say or do to change the tide? Or are we on the "Downgrade" that Charles Spurgeon warned us about so many years ago?

Michael S. Horton: You put your finger on a major argument in my book. Conservatives often identify "Christless Christianity" with liberalism. However, it is hard to find Christ-centered preaching in so-called "Bible-believing" churches today. Everybody seems to be interested in other things these days.

The prophets, Jesus, Paul, Augustine, the Protestant Reformers, Spurgeon, and countless others had to confront the heresy of self-salvation. It is our default setting to believe that we are basically good people who could be a little better with the right game-plan, support-network, and coaching. "God helps those who help themselves": according to surveys, most evangelicals thought that this was a biblical quotation, when it actually comes from Ben Franklin. The Good News that the Bible proclaims, however, is that God saves those who cannot save themselves.

The first thing we have to realize if there is going to be genuine reformation in the churches today is that the self-trust that engenders Christless Christianity is not just a problem in some times and places, but is the natural drift of our fallen heart. We have to be taught out of it our whole lives as Christians. One generation assumes the gospel; the next generation forgets it; the next one abandons it. But each of us will be constantly tempted to fall back on ourselves instead of on Christ unless Christ is seen as the center and circumference of the church's preaching, teaching, the sacraments, and mission.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christian Standard: Letter to the Editor

Just so you know my letter to the Editor of the Christian Standard Magazine has been posted on their website. I was right that they would probably omit the names of the Colleges that I visited. But, that's cool.
So, now what? Only God knows that. We'll just continue to challenge and observe what is being taught or presented in the name of Christ or even without the name of Christ.

I'm going to be fine tuning my sermon for this coming Sunday in the teen worship service at my church. I'm really pumped about this opportunity, but very nervous about the importance of such a task. All the while I want to be able to show the details of Christ's coming which is most certainly a timely time to deliver the Gospel. I've been told that we need to be careful about giving them the "Churchy" words. But, the Churchy words are necessary and just need some explaining what these scary words mean. I have to balance a solidly Christ centered message all the while keeping their attention without any kind of flash or gimmicks and still keep the message around 20 minutes. Hmmmm...... please pray for me. I have, at times, tend to be critical here on the blog but when preaching I so much want to be encouraging when delivering the Good News.

Grace and Peace,
Chris Allen
Coram Deo!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Good News for Lawbreakers, Part A Romans 3:20-31


Once again here is a message that is so good. You may want to catch tomorrow's message as well. But, the emphasis on the Gospel is so inspiring. I could just imagine this kind of message being preached to the Youth of today. It is direct and right to the point and not spoon fed with sugar or some kind of media or method to make it more tolerable to swallow.
I have heard recently a pastor focus on the commission of certain sins like going over the speed limit or other seemingly small and insignificant sins. To where someone could make a case for not being that bad of a person. "God surely would not be so unfair and not consider them as a good person." The pastor mentioned a few sins and said that if you were to only sin 3 times a day for a year and multiply that say by 60 years. That's a whole lot of sinning. However, the pastor forgets that we sin every second of every minute, hour, day, month year, life and
that is a whole lot of sinning. But, the focus, unfortunately, is on sins and not on the fact that we do not love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and we do not love our neighbors as ourselves. So, the emphasis should really move away from the acts of sin to the fact that we are SINNERS. And as Jonathan Edward's puts it, "we are sinners in the hands of an angry God". Now, we don't like looking at God from this standpoint because we have squelched this attribute of God and have only embraced the ones that we like. But the truth is that we are wicked people. And the law gives us the realization that we are in fact deserving of God's condemnation. As Alistair says, (paraphrasing) if we were to get a grade on how well we were doing in the school of righteousness, we would all get "Fs". No matter what effort or good deeds we do will ever change our grade to anything but an "F".
So, now we know why we celebrate Christmas... "Joy to the World, the Lord has come". We now have someone that gets the grade "A" on our behalf. We are in need of a Savior to come and rescue us from this life of destruction. I can praise Him and share Him as a gift that has come into this dark world. We can't help but share this gift of Christmas since we are blessed by God that His Grace was given. This present was already given and already opened by His Son Jesus Christ.
I listened to the story of Saul and David recently and it was quite interesting to here how God was working in the heart of David and how God protected David. God
had to protect David because the son or descendant that would come out from him would also be David's Lord. The Son of God. The Savior of the World. This was promised to Abraham as well.
Remember when Saul threw the spear at David and all the times he pursued him to kill him? God protected David. He preserved him and this gift to come way before the Angels and the shepherds were to witness the birth of Jesus. And God continues to keep us and protect us as a humanity that was created as a gift from the Father to the Son. But, the Son had to come to Earth to be the Redeemer and redeem the gift (us) and be our atonement.
Why did He do this?
1. Because He loves His Father.
2. Because He loves the gift (us) He receives from the Father.
Isn't that the picture provided by the 10 commandments? Isn't that what the 2 greatest commands tell us? Not only our sins condemn us but our lack of perfect love and holiness condemn us.
That is just mind boggling if you really think about it.

Now that's a Christmas present worth showing to the whole world.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Praise Him all creatures here below.
Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts.
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. AMEN!!!

Grace and Peace,
Chris Allen
Coram Deo!!!

Pathway to Freedom Pathway to Freedom

Title: Good News for Lawbreakers, Part A Romans 3:20-31

Series: Pathway to Freedom more about this series >

Listen Now: Listen in Mini-Player

The breaking of the 10 Commandments are offensive against a holy God. What can we do to restore our relationship with Him? The first step is to discover some “Good News for Lawbreakers” on Truth For Life with Pastor Alistair Begg.

Recent Broadcasts

Good News for Lawbreakers, Part A

Romans 3:20-31, Series: Pathway to Freedom

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Looming Christian College Cri$i$

This is a letter I wrote to the Christian Standard Editor. I hope this email will be seen as a genuine concern for the Church as a whole. It is certainly easier while I'm not a pastor to point these things out and I certainly have had help from Mike Horton and the guys on the White Horse Inn.

Grace and peace,
Chris Allen
Coram Deo!!!

Dear Christian Standard,

I have recently been visiting your online magazine and I have been pleased to see what has been written recently.
I have a hobby or ministry of evaluating preaching and church trends which also includes the Christian Colleges. I want to call churches back to the Gospel and Christ Centered preaching.

Over the years I have observed what has been produced by these Christian colleges and I'm concerned about what many of these "would-be" pastors or worship leaders have been taught. They come to us saying "this is how you should do ministry". And we reply emphatically, "No it is not!!!".

I have also visited and attended classes at 3 Christian Colleges (Ozark, Manhattan, and Johnson). I also have visited several churches planted by these colleges. I must say I am a little disappointed with what is being done in the name of Christ. It seems that the Gospel is assumed, and that we ultimately have a teaching that is moralistic, therapeutic, and deistic. I could get this same teaching from Anthony Robbins, Joel Osteen, or the Mormon Church. So, in a sense what I have seen coming out of these several years is basically a Christless Christianity.

So, to the point of this note to the editor, from my standpoint is I've lost any kind of confidence in the Christian Colleges. And I have a daughter attending one of these at this very moment. I'm especially concerned after recently attending the Missionary Convention I listened to the keynote speaker and interviewed many representatives of colleges and mission organizations. So now I'm starting to wonder if this Christless Christianity has infected the entire American Church. It is very discouraging and it is with a heavy heart that I write this and I plead with you the Christian Churches to do a self evaluation once again and maybe it is time for a "Reformation" to bring us back to a Christ Centered, Gospel preaching, church.

Here is a book entitled Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers

Also, a book and a website by Mike Horton called Christless Christianity.

Grace and Peace,
Coram Deo!!!