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Spare Change - July

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What is the “Families for Life” Podcast?

Pastor Brian Van Doren and I have started a podcast for our church.  It is primarily focused on parents, but it is beneficial for all believers.  There also may be other episodes, from time to time, that address the wider church body.  I hope you have had a chance to check it out.  You can find it at www.oakhillbc.org/F4L or wherever you listen to podcasts (Apple, Google, Spotify, etc.).

It has been a dream of mine for a while now to start a podcast.  I love the podcast format and have been a fan of it for some time.  I was a fan of talk radio, both political and sports, I still enjoy listening to some of these shows, like the Dan Patrick Show, for instance; however, the long format radio show is not good for focusing on one subject.  There are podcasts that are more like documentaries and some are treated like a radio show, but in most cases, they can focus more in depth on one topic.  The podcast format also allows for you to get your show out to a wider audience.  We are seeing people from all over the country, and even someone from the UK, listening to our show!

We started this podcast because both Pastor Brian and I have a desire to help equip parents.  We both were looking for an avenue to give biblical teaching and encouragement to families in the church.  Also, we are parents and we want to continue to grow in our parenting.  Another thing that helped was that during the quarantine we had more time, because many of our activities were cancelled; however, even after the quarantine is over, we want to continue this because we have found it to be very helpful to parents.  There are several people that have told us how much it has encouraged them.  For the foreseeable future we will continue to produce episodes.

We have begun the podcast using a book from Lifeway called Settle for Nothing Less.  Lifeway Kids’ department partnered with Lifeway Research to poll a bunch of parents on their adult children’s spiritual health.  They want to know what were the positive and negative influencers in their lives.  Meaning, what helped or hurt them in keeping a hold of their faith as they grew up.  This is an important topic because many Christian parents, me included, worry about their children in this way.  What the research returned was ultimately not surprising.  There are several factors that contributed to kids holding onto their faith into adulthood; you may be wondering what they are...well, you will have to tune into the “Families for Life” podcast to find out!

Ultimately, we just want to encourage your family to walk closer to Jesus!  If there is anything that either of us can do to help your family, please let us know.  Also, if there are any subjects you want us to touch on in future episodes please email me at   I hope you will check out the podcast!  As we say at the end of each episode, “We’ll see you next time!

 

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Spare Change - June

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Anchored in God’s Word

I have already addressed this topic in a couple of articles in a roundabout way, but I think it's helpful to revisit it, this time head on.  We must be anchored in God’s Word to keep pursuing gospel centered, God honoring faith.  We cannot please God without faith and our faith must be grounded in the Word of God.  Moreover, we cannot veer from the doctrines that are taught therein.  Especially the doctrines on the Word of God:
inspiration, inerrancy, sufficiency, necessity, and authority.  We do not have time here to break down each subject so I would recommend Taking God at His Word by Kevin DeYoung for further explanation on these doctrines.  This is a short book that is packed full of theological goodness.  I hope you will check it out.

It is my observation that throughout church history there has always been a tendency to drift from sound teaching that is based in God’s Word.  If you look back over the different controversies such as divinity of Christ, the nature of the trinity or what constitutes salvation, to name a few, we see a common theme.  There is often a tendency for false teachers to rise up by twisting, ignoring, or changing scripture.  Then people begin to follow that person and the church must address it for the sake of keeping sound doctrine.  The very essence of salvation is often in question.  We find these false teachers preaching a different gospel than what is found in God’s Word.  For 2,000 years
Christians have fought this battle, sometimes we have lost and sometimes we have won.

The real problem is false teachers do not walk away from the scripture in one giant step.  It usually is a combination of many small steps.  They begin to question one of the core doctrines found in the scripture, then change the meaning by interpreting scripture in a new way or they just deny that part of the scripture.  It can happen in many ways, but it always goes back to a denial of one of the core doctrines of God’s Word.

One of the greatest examples is the Reformation.  We find that the Catholic church had only authorized the Latin version of the Bible, which by the early 1500’s was primarily only taught to priests.  The common people had to take the word of the church on everything.  By then the Catholic church had defined salvation, not through faith in Jesus, but through the religious sacraments like communion.  In essence they taught a works-based salvation.  A few brave souls sought reform and were instead excommunicated.  They wanted the Bible in the common languages (some like William Tyndale gave their life for this cause) and they wanted to return to salvation in Christ alone through faith alone.  This only happened because people returned to the scriptures.

Do you see how important it is to make the Word of God the preeminent source of truth in your life?  You must know the Word, create biblical doctrine from it and then view all of life through that lens.  Once we have done that, we continue to fight to stay anchored in the Word.  Repeatedly throughout our life we must remind ourselves that we cannot veer from God’s Word, because it is these very words given to us to know the grace of God through the gospel of Jesus Christ.  It is the truth by which all truth must be measured.

There are so many ways the Word of God is being perverted, ignored, or misinterpreted today.  We need to be more vigilant than ever.  Do not under any circumstances blindly follow a teacher without comparing their doctrine to the Word of God.  We must draw a line in the sand and defend this belief no matter what.  If we fail to do so, we will stray, drift, and find our faith shaken.  Only the never-changing Word of God can keep us on the path that Christ laid out for us.  The challenge for us remains to study God’s Word continually.  Do not stop filling your heart and mind with its teaching.  Continue to go back to the well of scripture and drink deep, often.  

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