2019 FUTURE OF CHRISTENDOM CONFERENCE: Advancing the Kingdom Through Enterprise

October 18-20, 2019 Lancaster Convention Center, Lancaster, PA

 

God, in His love, mercy, and infinite wisdom has not only provided the means of forgiveness through His Son Jesus Christ, but has also provided, in the Old and New Testaments, all necessary directions and instructions for a just, happy, and productive society. Read more

 

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    October 18-20

    Future of Christendom Conference: Advancing the Kingdom Through Enterprise

     

     

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    Highlights from 2018 Future of Christendom Conference

    Oliver Cromwell

      "Not only strike while the iron is hot, but make it hot by striking"

    The Bondage of Retroactive PC-ness in the Media

    Recently, Whoopi Goldberg was featured in a Yahoo news article because of her desire to see the controversial film Song of the South re-released. Song of the South features racial terminology by today’s standards, for which it was subsequently trashed, even though the host was James Baskett, the first black male performer to receive an Oscar. Her reasoning was that the apparent racial insensitivity should be something discussed amongst the viewers. Disney has not made the film available in years, and one is hard pressed to get their hands on it these days.  

    What’s interesting about Disney’s ban of Song of the South is that it is the first of many, many more. You see my friend, Disney will have to eventually ban every single one of its Masterpiece Collection films. It is like a snake that eats its own tail: the further it gets, the less there is.

    The set-up of political correctness is such that it allows no room for consistency. The rules are meant to be changed, so that the entity which it desires to trap fights smoke and mirrors. Political correctness is a labyrinth with walls that slowly close in and has only an entrance, no exit. It is created to suffocate all who adhere to it. Think of a drill instructor breaking in new recruits. When asked a question, the new recruit thinks he is following orders or responding correctly, but the drill instructor purposely finds fault with every answer given. The correct response is that there is no correct response. The same is true for the PC crowd. When one asks, “what is politically correct?” the correct response is “nothing.” Nothing is politically correct.

    Nothing is politically correct because that which does fall under politically correct is only so for the time being. Just give it a moment, and that which had represented the new will eventually represent the old. That which was shone in glory will soon be shown in shame. That which was leading will soon be that which is holding everything back. Politically correct ideology is invented for one thing: to suppress liberty.

    The commandment “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is antithesized by the liberal and increasingly conservative mindset of “I hate you so much that I am willing to sacrifice my freedom so that you don’t have it either.” This approach sacrifices one’s own freedom to punish and enslave the freedom of others. This was evident in the early church, when Paul says in Galatians 2 that“false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery.” This is the end game of political correctness: punishment and slavery. And Disney is a glutton for it.

    The standards for what is acceptable in American pop culture changes every decade. Disney has been making films for 80 years now, so you can probably do the math and ponder what kind of work they need to do to reduce their politically incorrect footprint. Think about it: all of the cultural appropriation, the micro-aggressions, the gender assumptions, the binary gender representations, the patriarchal structures, to say nothing of stereotypical feminine portrayals. Best of all, these sins are retro-active. When you add all that up, it’s like a rap sheet that would make Charles Manson blush, am I right? What were you thinking, Disney?

    Disney, of course, is guilty, guilty, guilty of whatever sin the politically correct machine wants to throw at it now and unfortunately for Disney, the Piper does not have a place to lead all of its rats. There is no end game here, since Disney has touted itself as being a bastion for cultural relevance, and with this prize, behind door number one is a lifetime humble pie. Disney Studios will spend the rest of its foreseeable future burning the castle to build a mansion, destroying the mansion to build a house, and demolishing the house to construct a prison. They have submitted themselves to a yoke of slavery.

     

    -        Luke Saint, adapted from “Streetwise Theology”

    The Man Who Nobody Liked

    Now, don’t misunderstand; he was famous and very influential, and he definitely impressed people. But he was, well, not a very nice guy. He was ridiculed, mocked, and attacked. Some people said that he “turned the world upside down.” Instead of spreading love and goodwill, he spread dissension. He often made “good” people feel bad, and bad people feel good. 

    He was placed on trial and accused of disturbing the peace. At one point in his ministry, forty main stream religious, influential men make themselves a vow that they will not eat or drink until they . . .. not arrest. . . not destroy his reputation. . .  not burn down his house. . .  but kill him.

    Clearly, this missionary was not well liked by the main stream Christianity of his day. And how would today’s church view him? What a terrible representative of Christ to stir up opposition like that!  Why, he’s not very Christ-like,is he?  Bring him off the field. Stop his support! Dis-associate!

    His list of near-death experiences makes him look more like some sort of paid mercenary or daredevil with a death wish. This Gospel-bearing missionary escaped in a basket over the city wall from a very motivated band of offended cutthroat religionists waiting on the outside. According to our modern view of missions, as a servant of Christ, he should have had a triumphant exit from the city, right through the front gate! After all, is this how a minister of the gospel should build his reputation? Where’s the love, the joy, the peace, not to mention the accolades, the feature articles, the contacts with powerful politicians, and the speaking circuit?

    Now, after this harrowing experience, one would hope that things would have improved for this missionary, but they did not: By the time he was done, he had fought with lions. He’d been stoned. He’d been grossly humiliated by being publicly beaten on eight, yes, eight separate occasions AND called crazy by a very powerful public official, who wondered aloud if this Gospel man had learned too much and gone insane as a result. He arose undaunted from three separate shipwrecks in a time when the only life jacket available was a piece of wood to hang on to if you possibly could, if it wasn’t too slippery, or too large, or if you weren’t already conked on the head.

    And to summarize, he was beaten so often he could hardly say exactly how many times, and the same with his imprisonments.  He lost count.

    -Joel Saint, adapted excerpt from the MARS “Water Cooler Warrior” Lectures

    I Reckon Not

    As a kid I was never as impacted by movies or exposed to as much TV as a lot of people my age, but I do remember watching a few movies with my dad. I particularly remember being struck by the character of Clint Eastwood's The Outlaw Josey Wales. Here was a man who found himself unwanted and unwelcome in his own homeland and in his own day who struck out to find a place that was a little bit closer to tomorrow or a little bit further away from yesterday. Image result for josey walesOn his journeys, as he encountered a number of seemingly absurd situations and was continuously confronted by a world that appeared to have gone mad, it was relied on that he would fall back to his  trusty line of “I reckon not". Anybody who's seen the movie can understand the emotional impact of him saying to Chief Ten-Bears, “I reckon not". One of the striking things about those scenes and about that character is that we don't have very many men today who are willing to take such stands; men willing to stand up to the absurdity of the world gone mad around them and simply say, “I reckon not”.

    If we look to the Bible, Jeremiah the prophet spent most of his ministry saying, “No”. The Lord called on Jeremiah to say “No" to the kings of Israel when they foolishly thought that they could challenge the Babylonian kingdom. And then after the fall of Jerusalem, when they believed that they should go down to Egypt to try and restore some of their political clout, the Lord sends Jeremiah forth to simply tell them, “No". 

    When Jesus Christ is tempted by Satan in the wilderness, His response to Satan is “No”. 

    It is important to be able to look the world squarely in the eye, to stand up straight, set your shoulders back, plant your feet, and say “No".  Image result for noOne is oftentimes called a hater, a bigot, a stick in the mud, a racist, backwards, etc., or any number of pejoratives that can be thought of for simply facing our world and its craziness and saying “No”.

    Failure to manifest this courage, particularly failure on the part of husbands, fathers and men in general, has led to the breakdown of our families and communities.  When the world wishes to beat down the doors and expose the ones we care about to its vileness and corruption, we must have the courage to look it steadfastly in the eye and say “No".

    ~ Robert Hoyle

    Facing Down the “Legalist” Label

    I cannot tell you how many times I have been accused of being a legalist, and while my brother would insist me a legalist, he makes the claim he is under grace not the “Law” as if grace will allow him to live freely in or out of sin.

     

    The two paragraphs quoted below are from John Colquhoun (Ka-hoon) (1748-1827) “A Treatise on the Law and the Gospel” (1816) ----Republished 2009 Soli Deo Gloria Publications (pg.32).

    “The great design of God in giving the law in the hand of Christ to His people is not that by their obedience to it they may procure for themselves a right to eternal life, but that it may direct and oblige them to walk worthy of their union with Christ, of their justification in Him, of their legal title to and begun possession of life eternal, and of God Himself as their God in Him. Their conformity of heart and life to its commands, instead of procuring their title to salvation, is a principle part of their salvation already begun, and a necessary preparation for the consummation of it through eternity. (Hebrews 12:28; 1 Peter 2:9)”

    “The law as a rule of life to believers, especially in this view of it, is very different from the law as a covenant of works.  The precept of the law as a covenant is “Do and live,” but the command of the law as a rule is “live and do; the law of works says, “Do or you shall be condemned to die, but the law in the hand of Christ says,  “You are delivered from condemnation; therefore do.”  The command of the former is “Do perfectly that you may have a right to eternal life,” but that of the latter is, “You already have begun possession of eternal life, as well as the promise of the complete possession of it, therefore do in such a manner as to advance daily toward perfection. By the former, a man is commanded to do in his own strength; but by the latter he is required to do in the strength that is in Christ Jesus.  The Lord Jesus says to every believer, “My grace is sufficient for you; My strength is made perfect in weakness; therefore do.”  The commandments of the law, both as covenant and as a rule, are materially but are not formally, the same.”

    Upon receiving Jesus through faith, we are “to do”, attempting to keep the law as we work out our salvation.  How much clearer the law and my Christian responsibility has become. 

    As we discuss different subject matter, we will be able to position our self with a clear understanding of God’s Law and how we are to apply it so as to keep both grace and duty to the “Law” having some understanding, even as we know the frailty of man’s reasoning, with his poor thinking, seeing through the glass darkly.  

    ~ Randy Toman, MARS Board of Directors

    Quixote Dons

    I was shocked and horrified, to be honest. Here was the oldest conference on reformed theology, and all anyone wanted to talk about was Luther, Calvin, and Calvinism. This was not a conference on reformed theology. This was a museum of antiquity. We weren’t here to talk about reformation, we were here to celebrate a 500-year-old one. We weren’t here to discuss the future, we were here to relive the past.

    The question and answer session was especially enlightening. I can’t believe it, but my question was read by one of the speakers, and subsequently addressed. My question was, in essence, “Now that we have learned about all this stuff, how do we go home and reform our society, starting with 3500 babies being murdered daily?”

    Here is the response:

    “I think a very significant question, it is true. I don’t know those numbers, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they were true. It is a horrific sin being committed in a very polite way…we have babies being slaughtered in nice white buildings, maybe close to our churches and I think it can only be compared to…Molech worship…we offer our infants on the altar of lifestyle and self. As a culture, our murdering them, how great must the wrath of God be against us. People say to me…do you think God will ever judge us? I say, what do you think’s going on? What do you think judgment looks like biblically with what we are seeing here? Let me answer the question though, let me answer it a couple ways. Do we see in the Apostles and in the Lord Jesus Christ, a diversion in the church from its gospel centered redemptive work towards a radical intervention of gross cultural sin? The answer is no. Jesus said the poor are always with you and I am with you now, that is not a callousness towards that, it’s a primacy on the great redemptive work that is the mission of the church. When Jesus gave the great commission, the great commission did not include a militant, violent, essentially the energy of the Zealots…they had a righteous cause. There is much to be said for the Zealots in that sense. But it is not cause militancy in intervention to keep gross sins from happening. That is not part of the great commission. What is part of the great commission? The proclamation of the gospel, the bringing of people into the church, the discipling of people, the very work which we are doing this weekend. So I think it’s very important that the church not denigrate or push to the side the great work given to us that has the most strategic, eternal implication: the work of the gospel in the midst of the church. That includes conferences like this. Paul, in Romans 13, when he counsels, when he orders obedience to the civil authority, it’s probably Nero… Why was there a disproportionate amount of women in the early church? Because they were being abandoned by their parents and Christians would go get the girl and they’d raise her. Likewise let me praise and honor the work of women’s health services. I think it’s a wonderful expression of Christians zealously, laboring with the women who are contemplating abortion, to help them think through it, to give them options, support them, we should be doing that. It does not denigrate the ministry of the word of God or the church. In fact, the best thing we can do, as a church, to reform the culture is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. Are we surprised that an atheistic, secular-humanist society like ours, over several generations, has turned its face against God...The remedy for the situation is the grace of God that comes the Lord Jesus Christ.  So don't misread me: I'm not against Christians exercising civil rights to protest in appropriate ways…the thing we must not fail to do is to preach Christ in the midst of the congregation and bear testimony. There is no hope for reform in our culture apart from  turning to the Lord Jesus Christ and the most important thing we can do is what we are doing this weekend.”

    Notice the first part of his response: “Do we see in the Apostles and in the Lord Jesus Christ, a diversion in the church from its gospel centered redemptive work towards a radical intervention of gross cultural sin? The answer is no.”

    I wonder at a conference celebrating sola scriptura and now it’s sola-the-apostles-and-Jesus. Reducing application to the New Testament is foolish for a knucklehead sitting in your typical pietistic pew, but for a conference speaker to say such a thing? It’s shameful.

    Have you ever seen an AHA or BAMH video? Pull out your watch and time how long it takes for them to start preaching the gospel. You go zero to scripture in less time it takes for a conference speaker to write out Ephesians 5:11. The fruit of these protestors is unbelievably tangible. The testimonies of people coming to know Christ, let alone the children physically saved from being killed, is more than enough so that lately, protesting is the new 95 theses. Or maybe it’s just making the 95 theses cool again.    


    What you are seeing here is a Quixote Don. If you are familiar with Don Quixote, then you might understand why I have reversed the name. Originally, Don Quixote set out to battle giants on his horse and antiquated armor, and battle he did. Except that the giants were windmills. He was delusional, and everyone watching him knew it.

    Here’s where the switch comes in. A Don Quixote fights windmills that he thinks are giants. But a Quixote Don fights windmills and makes the onlooker think he is fighting a giant. He finds a windmill. He puts on his armor. He mounts his horse and grabs his lance. He attacks! What a fight! Look at him go! Everyone thinks he is fighting Goliath! The only person in the room, though, that knows it’s all a fake, is Quixote Don.

    These leaders would have us think that they are fighting the good fight, setting out to battle the cultural idols of our day in a fierce show of hubris. But they are not idiots. They have picked windmills while the real giants prey on everyone outside, and even inside, their churches. The institutional church will continue to root for the windmill slayers and condemn those who take on real giants.

    ~ Luke Saint, MARS Board of Directors