The Spoiled Liberal

the-spoiled-liberalby: Dr. Allen Domelle

The elections are over, and the liberals are already revealing who they are. From a group who preaches the importance of reaching across the aisle, they are sure revealing how spoiled and exclusive they are. From the spoiled brats rioting, their actions are for another article, to liberals like Juan Williams spewing hateful venom, to tweets calling for President-elect Donald Trump’s assassination, the real agenda of liberals is being exposed.

It reminds me so much of three stories from the Scriptures. The first story is of Ahab, who went to Naboth to ask him for his vineyard. The vineyard was Naboth’s inheritance. It was what his fathers had passed down throughout the generations. Ahab wanted the vineyard because he wanted to sacrifice to Baal on the land, but Naboth would have nothing to do with it. Naboth told Ahab in 1 Kings 21:3, “…The LORD forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee.” He knew what Ahab would do with the vineyard, and he knew what the inheritance meant to God and his family. When Naboth wouldn’t give his vineyard, Ahab went “into his house heavy and displeased” because he didn’t get his way. It resulted in an evil plan to have Naboth assassinated because he wouldn’t bow to the spoiled liberals way.

Another story is found when Sennacherib, king of Assyria, demanded that Hezekiah surrender to him. Sennacherib said that if Hezekiah surrendered, that he would give him a “land like your own land, a land of corn and wine, a land of bread and vineyards.” The liberal always says that what they have is better than what you have; however, Hezekiah wouldn’t cower to the threats of the liberal king. This resulted in threats that Hezekiah would be destroyed because his basis upon which he based his decision was antiquated. Although history proves that Sennacherib was wrong, he tried to threaten God’s people into compromise with empty threats like every spoiled liberal does.

The last story that comes to mind is when Balak offered Balaam riches, power and prestige if he would cross the aisle and compromise his beliefs to curse God’s people. When you read the story, you see that Balaam initially rejected the offer, but after more offers and pressure from Balak, he accepted the offer to curse God’s people. Had it not been for divine intervention through a talking donkey, Balaam would have found himself on the wrong side of history. Instead, he went and blessed the people of God, in spite of Balak offering compromise after compromise. When Balak didn’t get his way, he responded like every spoiled liberal responds. His response is found in Numbers 24:10-11 where it says, “And Balak’s anger was kindled against Balaam, and he smote his hands together: and Balak said unto Balaam, I called thee to curse mine enemies, and, behold, thou hast altogether blessed them these three times. Therefore now flee thou to thy place: I thought to promote thee unto great honour; but, lo, the LORD hath kept thee back from honour.” Balak’s final response was a threat in hopes to get Balaam to offer a reconciliatory spirit, which he did not.

The results of this past election have revealed who liberals are and what they want. The rioting, threats and the “concerned” counsel by liberals to President-elect Donald Trump to offer an olive branch to the Democrats is simply another tool out of their playbook to get their way. I’m always amazed how liberals demand that those who stand for right should have a conciliatory spirit and not stand firmly on what they believe; yet, they won’t budge when they are in power. When liberals don’t get their way, they cry, riot, and demand that we should change who we are because they lost.

I believe this past victory gives us great insight into what those who are old paths, independent Baptist should do in response to the liberal cry to be more conciliatory in our stance. There are those in the “Christian” world, and I use this term lightly, who think that the old paths, independent Baptist are running people off with our stance on the Scriptures. Wow; it seems like I’ve just heard this from all the liberals who say you can’t win an election with conservative policies. I have several answers to those spoiled liberal “Christians” who say the old paths don’t work and that we should tone down our beliefs from the Scriptures.

1. I don’t do what I do because it is popular or because it attracts crowds. I do what I do because the Scriptures command me to do it.

Faith-Baptist-Church_Margate-ADWe are commanded in Jude 1:3, “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” God didn’t tell us to contend for crowds, but He said to “contend for the faith.” My friend, when you get to the point that crowds are more important than embracing truth, you are on changing ground. You will always find that those who do right have never been popular. John the Baptist certainly wasn’t popular, and he lost his head for doing right. Jesus wasn’t popular with the religious crowd, and they crucified Him for not falling into lock-step with their agenda. You will find that you will never be in the popular crowd when you stand firmly for truth. What we need today are Christians who fall in love with truth and embrace it, instead of trying to be appealing to the world to attract big crowds. You should never measure what you do by whether it builds crowds or is accepted by the populace, but you should measure what you do by whether it is right or wrong.

2. If liberal “Christians” are so concerned with meeting in the middle, why don’t they make the first move?

Isn’t it always amazing how liberals demand that we make the first step. This has been the Devil’s ploy since the beginning of time. He knows that whoever makes the first move has lost. That is why he tried to get Moses to compromise, but he quickly found out that Moses understood that truth was more important than the opinion of the Egyptians. You can never worry about how the world perceives you; instead, you must be concerned with God’s perception of you. Matthew 10:28 says, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Christian’s response to the liberals cry to move should be patterned after Nehemiah’s response. He said in Nehemiah 6:3, “…I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?” My friend, don’t move when the liberal demands you make the first conciliatory move because you are doing a “great work,” and why should the work of God cease to make a treaty with a spoiled liberal. Always remember that any move is compromise, and God never commands us to move, but He does command us to stand.

3. I’m on the winning side, and history and prophecy prove it.

History has always proven that the old paths work. Hebrews 11 gives us a list of Christians who chose not to listen to the offers of compromise by liberals. No, they were not popular in their day, but history has proven them to be right. The Book of Revelation proves the old paths are right when God sets up His kingdom, not after the world’s system, but after His Word. Christian, why would you want to move away from the winning side? We know that holy living leads to joy and happiness. We know that men and women dressing decently leads to pure minds. We know that young people not touching each other before marriage leads to them walking down the aisle as virgins. We know that soul winning leads to lives being changed. We know that it is through the “foolishness of preaching” that lives are changed. Yes, we know that the old paths work! My friend, the old paths are winning paths that have been tried and tested by God’s Word. Don’t let the antics and attacks by liberal Christian elites cause you to leave what you know to be true from God’s Word.

As you watch the liberals respond to losing the presidency, remember that liberal “Christians” respond the same way. Remember that their antics are a way to shame you into cowering into compromise. The Christian must never fall for their foolery. Stand strong and always remember that the old paths are winning paths because the old paths are where lives are changed, marriages are salvaged, and the youth are challenged to live for God.

Insulate, Don’t Isolate

insulate-dont-isolateby: Dr. Allen Domelle

Every parent desires to protect their child from that which is wrong. It starts when they are first born, and you hold that precious baby in your arms. If it is the first child, the parent is so very careful about what atmosphere they place the child in because they don’t want them to get sick. The new parent is careful about handing the child over to someone else to hold because they don’t want their child dropped. When they hear the baby cry, the parent is quick to run to the child to see if there is something wrong; this is the natural protective spirit of every caring parent.

However, the child will grow up. There comes a point when a parent has to let the child get some bumps and bruises so that they will learn how to make it in life. The older they get, the more the parent struggles with letting their child become an adult because they still see that child as their little baby. If the parent isn’t careful, they will end up isolating the child to the point that they will have a hard time adapting to the pressures of life. Notice, the pressures of life, not the entertainment of the world.

There comes a point when every parent must allow their child to make some decisions on their own. If a parent isn’t careful, they will isolate their child to the point that they won’t know how to make it through life without running to dad and mom to make decisions. Let me be blunt; you won’t always be around for them. There is going to come a day when your children will have to live on their own and make their own decisions. They are not going to become the servant the LORD wants them to be if they have not been taught how to make the right decisions.

When I grew up, my parents did a great job of insulating me from the world, but not isolating me from life. They allowed me to work a job when I was 13 years of age, but they kept a close eye on my spiritual life and attitude towards the LORD. They made sure that I didn’t become friends with the wrong people. My parents taught me how to make the right scriptural decisions because they knew one day I would be on my own and wouldn’t be able to run to them for every decision. They didn’t isolate me from the world, but they did insulate me from the influences of the world.

Genesis 2:24 says, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” I know this verse is talking about marriage, but this verse shows that one day a man will leave his father and mother. It’s a fact of life; your children will not always be able to run to you. They need to grow up and learn how to make it on their own.

God says in Ephesians 6:4, “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Nurturing your child is not isolating them; rather, it is teaching them how to face every aspect of life so they can make it without you. This is the parent’s primary responsibility.

Psalm 1:1 says, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.” This verse teaches the principle of insulation verses isolation. A child can’t help but be around ungodly people because we live in a sinful world, but a godly parent will insulate them from getting counsel from the ungodly teaching and entertainment. God said that the person who doesn’t stand in the “way of sinners” will be blessed, but He didn’t say that we won’t be among sinners. Face it; we live in a world of sinners and scorners. You can’t isolate your child from this crowd, but you can insulate them from sitting with them and walking in their ways. To insulate your child means they are going to live in the world, but you don’t allow them to be like the world. It means that you keep them pointed towards God as they live in this world. The wise parent will learn to insulate their child from these influences while training them how to handle living in a world of these influences. Let me give you five thoughts about insulating your child.

1. Realize your child belongs to God.

Psalm 127:3 says, “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.” The first thing you are going to have to overcome is the mentality that they’re your children, and you can do with them what you want. This is absolutely false! First, you didn’t give your child life, God did! You have to realize that a child is a gift to the parent by God. Second, children are on loan to the parents to raise for the LORD. Your responsibility as a parent is not to raise them to do what you want them to do, but to do what God wants them to do.

Stop trying to train your child to do what you want them to do, and raise them to do what God wants them to do. I believe one of the reasons parents isolate a child is so that the child becomes so dependent on them that they will never leave home. There is nothing wrong with a parent desiring that their child marries and lives close to them, but a parent must come to grips that this may not be what the LORD wants. You are going to have to let them do what the LORD wants because they belong to Him.

NOwens ADMy parents never tried to keep me at home. They always trained me to follow the LORD’s will for my life. My parents NEVER put pressure on me to stay close to home. My dad, who was my pastor, never insinuated from the pulpit or at home that he wanted me to stay close to him. Did he want me to stay close? I’m sure he did, but he emphasized that I follow the LORD’s will for my life because he knew that I belonged to God.

If you never accept that your children are God’s, you will isolate them which will result in children not knowing how to live in a real world. I know what I am saying is not popular, but you must train them to follow the LORD because they belong to Him.

2. Your responsibility is to train them to answer to God; not you.

Yes, when your children are young they should come to you to learn what to do because you are their parent, but there must come a time when you start teaching them to run to God. When Samuel ran to Eli several times after hearing the voice of God, he finally told Samuel to tell the LORD that he was listening.

Your goal should be that your child’s first response to everything they do is to look to the LORD through the Scriptures and prayer for their answers. Certainly, a wise child will still ask their parent’s advice even when they are adults, but don’t isolate them from other wise counselors who can help them. My greatest advice I can give you is to point your children to God for every decision they must make.

3. You will never know how to help them unless you let them fail.

The wise parent will use failure to teach their child how to live life. Proverbs 29:17 says, “Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.” Let me ask you, how are you going to correct your child if you never let them fail? Correction can only come after failure. Failure is what gives you the opportunity to teach them how not to do something wrong the next time. If you isolate your child and make every decision for them, they will never know how to make the right decisions on their own.

My parents often asked me what I wanted to do, but would then teach me if I made the wrong decision. They used the Scriptures to teach me principles that have helped me throughout my life. I have taken that same philosophy with my daughter. I look at any failure she has had and use it as a teaching moment to show her how to make a right decision the next time. By the way, I am not teaching that you should allow your child to sin; but I am teaching that you allow them to make decisions on their own and teach them why those decisions are right or wrong.

4. Trust your training; if you trained them right.

There comes a point when you have to trust your training. This is the hardest thing to do because every parent wonders if they really got through to their child. When I learned to fly airplanes, my instructor taught me how to fly, and when he felt I could do what he showed me to do, he allowed me to fly the plane on my own. This took total trust in his training that I knew what to do. Was there any doubt when he let me take off by myself the first time? I’m sure there was, but at some point he had to trust his training to let me fly the plane.

Likewise, every parent is going to have to trust their training if they trained them right. Proverbs 22:6 does say, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” If you train them according to the principles of God’s Word, you are going to have to trust them to do the right thing because you are not going to always be there.

5. Pray for them, and let the LORD work on their hearts.

Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” There comes a point when you are going to have to trust the LORD to work on their hearts. You should pray that they will do the right thing, and trust the LORD to convict them if they are about ready to do the wrong thing.

There is no doubt that every parent comes to a scary point when their child becomes an adult and has to make decisions on their own. Parent, can I gently encourage you that if you trained them right, they will do the right thing. You are not the first parent to face your child growing up, and many children have turned out right; including you. If you will learn the balance of insulating your children from the world and not isolating them from it, I believe you will be pleased with how your children handle the pressures the world puts on them. If you truly looked at many of the right decisions your child has already made, that should give you the confidence that they will do the right thing. If your child has a heart for God, I believe the LORD will protect them from those times that would ruin them because He cares MORE for your child than you do.

Diversion: The Parenting Nightmare

diversion-the-parenting-nightmareby: Dr. Allen Domelle

I’m always amazed at the tactics parents use to try to control their children. I certainly understand how the modern-day parent is afraid of following the scriptural methods of training a child because of the fear of being turned over to child protective services, but that shouldn’t be an excuse for allowing your children to act unruly in public. All you have to do is walk through a mall or sit in a restaurant to see the modern-day parent trying to control their child.

I was sitting in an airplane on a flight to one of my meetings, and across the row from me was a parent trying to control their child on the flight. That child was disrupting the peace in the entire area. The children were running uncontrollably up and down the aisles disturbing the passengers on the airplane. It finally came to the point when the flight attendant had to come to the parents to tell them to get control of their children.

I’ve watched parents in church for years try to control their children, only to shake my head at their tactics. Parents give their children candy, coloring books, song books, or anything that holds the child’s attention for the duration of the service. Their prayer throughout the service must be a hope that the pastor isn’t long winded.

In many of these instances are parents using diversion tactics to train their children. What I mean by this statement is the parent uses objects to hold the child’s attention instead of teaching the child to obey. These parent use television, video games, toys, bribery, or candy in an attempt to keep their child from being unruly, only to have to face their child’s tantrums again when the diversion gets old. Sadly, the diversion tactic will only lead to a parent’s nightmare because one day that child will grow up, and diversion won’t keep them from doing what they want to do. The result of this will be children who are out-of-control in society, and many times they end up in trouble with the law.

The Scriptures are clear on how parents should train their children. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” You will notice that God didn’t tell the parent to divert their attention away from what they are doing, but the parent is supposed to train the child what to do. Training is never easy, but it is the responsibility of every parent.

Ephesians 6:1 says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.” Obedience isn’t supposed to be a choice; it is the expectation a parent should have for their child. Anything less than obedience must be disciplined. God says in Proverbs 29:15, “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.” There comes a time when a parent is going to have to come to grips with the fact that diverting your child’s attention doesn’t change their disposition. The only answer is to follow the scriptural advice on training children.

Paul-Arcand-ADI don’t claim to be a parenting expert or guru, but I do know what my parents did to help me turn out right. Everyone is always looking for the perfect parent, but you will never find one because all parents are sinners. It truly comes down to one thing: you must stop trying to divert your child’s attention and train them to do right. Let me give you several tips that will help you to train your children to obey instead of diverting them to unruly and destructive behavior.

1. Instruct once, afterwards correct.

Have you every seen a parent who negotiates with their child for decent behavior? It is a joke! The parent who negotiates with their child always loses. You have to understand that this is not a business deal. You are training a child to make it through life, and society is not going to negotiate with them when they are unruly. The only negotiating tactic society uses is handcuffs.

The common negotiating tactic parents use is counting. Their child does wrong, and they call their child’s name and start counting, “1, 2, 3…” as if they are really getting their child’s attention. Finally, the parent either gives up and lets the child do what they want to do, or the parent becomes exasperated and begins yelling at the child in an attempt to get them to obey.

Let me suggest you read Proverbs 13:24 which reads, “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.” The loving parent will instruct their child one time, and afterwards punish them if they continue to disobey. You don’t have to negotiate, count, or cuddle the child to get them to obey. Your children learn how far they can go before they get punished, and they will most often go to that boundary. If your boundary is that you expect immediate obedience, you will find your child will often obey right away.

2. Clearly explain your expectations.

One of the reasons children act unruly is because they don’t know what their parents expect. Deuteronomy 6:7 says, “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” Notice how clearly God expects you to train your child. He says you are to “diligently” teach them. God uses words like, “sittest,” “walkest,” “liest down,” and “risest up.” These are clear directives of a parent who says, this is how we sit; this is how we walk; this is how we act at night and in the day. These are clearly defined lines.

The clearer you are with your expectations, the easier parenting becomes. Your children will understand what you expect from them, and they will understand that anything less than the expectation will result in punishment. It is not cruel, it is simply giving clear definitions of how you expect them to act.

3. Practice for the real deal.

One of the mistakes parents make is they take their children out and expect them to act right in public when they don’t act right at home. Children will act in public the same way they act at home. If you don’t want your children to embarrass you in public, you would be wise to be sure that they are obedient at home.

You will notice that much of the parenting advice God gives in Deuteronomy 6:7 is while they are at home. I believe that God shows this because He understands that if a parent gets their children under control at home, they will act properly in public. You can’t expect a miraculous change of obedience in public if your children are not being prepared at home.

Parent, if you want your child to act right at church, practice church at home. Sit your children down and have them listen to preaching on the couch. Don’t give them coloring books while the preaching is being played, but make them sit and listen just like they would in church. The same goes for eating in public. Make sure your children act right when they are eating at home and you will find that they will not embarrass you when you are in public.

4. Fear is a wonderful motivator: make ultimatums.

Proverbs 1:7 says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Fear shows respects. When you fear God, you respect what He can and will do if you disobey. Throughout the Scriptures, God often says what He will do if you disobey. God is giving ultimatums, and those ultimatums cause the Christian to fear the LORD.

Neither fear or ultimatums are bad if used properly. We have allowed modern psychiatrists, whose counsel has led to a chaotic society, to make us think fear and ultimatums are bad. They are not bad if you mean them and if the result is holy living.

When I was a boy, my parents “threatened” (I use this word lightly) my siblings and me that if we disobeyed, they would deal with us when we got home. Trust me, they meant what they said. The fear they placed in our hearts through their ultimatums produced behaved children who have grown up and become productive in society.

My friend, if your children have nothing to fear, they will continue to act unruly. You need to make it clear that if they disobey in public, and they will, you will deal with them when you get home. If you are in a grocery store and your child is throwing a tantrum, the best thing you can do is leave your grocery cart where it is and take the child home to punish them. If your child is acting up in church, take them by the hand and walk happily out of the auditorium and deal with their disobedience. Stop trying to divert their disobedience with bribery. You deal with disobedience through punishment.

5. Praise success: don’t discourage.

Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.” One reason children act unruly is because they never get praised when they do right. Yes, there comes a point when doing right doesn’t have to be praised all the time, but children desire the approval of their parents. This is why God says in Colossians 3:21, “Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.” If all you do is correct and never praise, you will discourage your child. If the only time your children get your attention is when they do wrong, they will continue to do wrong because they yearn for their parent’s attention and approval. If their good actions get your attention more through praise, you will be surprised how your children will continue to do right because they enjoy hearing your approval.

I’ve heard parents often tell people never to tell their children how well they are doing because they don’t want them to become prideful. I understand a parent’s thinking when they say this, but your children should hear how pleased you are that they are doing right. God made children with a desire to please their parents. If you praise them for doing right, they won’t get discouraged and do wrong to get your attention.

Certainly, this article is not going to change your children overnight, but it should be a help to keep you from using diversion as your parenting technique. Always remember that you can only use diversion for so long, but diversions will lose their interest. If your children learn to do right by obeying, you will find your times of embarrassment will be few and far between.

Allied with the Enemy

Allied with the Enemyby: Dr. Allen Domelle

Nehemiah 13:4
“And before this, Eliashib the priest, having the oversight of the chamber of the house of our God, was allied unto Tobiah:”

It is treasonous for a person to ally with the enemy. Maybe the most famous traitor in history is Benedict Arnold. Arnold achieved the rank of general in the American Revolutionary Army. He led his militia to many victories alongside Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys, but jealousy and anger set in when he felt the Continental Congress had overlooked his accomplishments. This led to him contriving a plan with the British to surrender West Point, but this plot was exposed and he escaped without ever being captured. Benedict Arnold’s name will forever be associated with the word traitor among Americans.

Eliashib the priest committed a treasonous act when he allied himself with Tobiah. Tobiah was the enemy who tried to destroy the efforts to rebuild the wall. Yet, for some unknown reason, he built a chamber for Tobiah to live in outside the temple. Nehemiah’s discovery of this act led to forcing Tobiah out of the chamber and cleansing it from any of his possessions.

It is unfathomable to see Eliashib ally himself with the enemy; however, many Christians have allied themselves with their enemy. The enemy I am talking about is not a person, but it is the sin in their life that has done everything to destroy them. Instead of fighting the sin that has beset them, many Christians have settled at peace with their enemy only to see the peace agreement become their spiritual death certificate.

NOwens ADYou will never overcome sin when you build chambers in your heart for it to dwell in. Eliashib’s act to prepare a chamber for Tobiah to dwell in was a surrender to the enemy. You will never have victory over sin when you continue to keep its temptations around you. Keeping the things that tempt you to do wrong around is like a person on a diet keeping candy bars in the cabinets. The only way you will destroy sin is to destroy the chambers where you allow sin to dwell. You must get rid of anything that leads to the temptation to do wrong. You need to change friends if it is a person or a crowd of people who continually tempts you to do wrong. You must stop going to a place you frequent if that is what tempts to do wrong. You must destroy whatever your chamber is that tempts you to do wrong.

Moreover, you must destroy your peace treaty with sin if you ever want to have victory over it. You must never settle in your heart that you cannot have victory. Being allied with sin is treasonous and destructive to your Christian life. 1 John 4:4 reminds us, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” You don’t have to be at peace with sin. You have the victory residing within you to overcome your sin. When you raise the white flag to sin, you are saying that God is not powerful enough to help you defeat it.

Friend, it’s time to lower the white flag, tear up the peace treaty, and trust in the LORD’s power to overcome your sin. Whatever your sin may be, God can help you defeat it if you will ask him. Don’t make the mistake of being allied with sin. Fight it! You have no chance of victory if you become your sin’s ally, but you do have a chance if you continue to fight.

Suing a Church, REALLY?

Suing a Church Reallyby: Dr. Allen Domelle

Every pastor is always cognizant of the fact that one day his church may get sued. In a day when ambulance-chaser attorneys are very willing to represent clients who sue a church, pastors have to make sure they are extra careful with how their ministry is run. Every pastor knows that the Devil is more than willing to use one mishap to encourage someone to sue the church and cause them to face litigation for months, and sometimes years. Satan knows that this litigation will take focus and energy away from what the church is supposed to do; reach the world for Jesus Christ.

What is unexpected is for a church to be sued or threatened litigation by respected Christians. What surprises me is how well-known “Christian” leaders are not afraid to break the glass ceiling and actually file lawsuits against a church, or have their attorney send letters that threaten the church of litigation if they don’t do what the individual wants them to do. Whatever happened to the fear of God? I’m amazed that in recent years some of my pastor friends have had to deal with litigation because of preachers suing their church.

Never in my lifetime would I have imagined churches being sued or threatened with a lawsuit, especially by people who know better. There used to be a time in America when nobody would do anything against a church. Yet, somehow we have come to a low point in Christianity where people have stooped to the spiritual level of the church at Corinth. The church of Corinth was guilty of court litigation against fellow church members because they felt they had been defrauded. The Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 6:6, “Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?” I can only imagine that the Apostle Paul was just as shocked about Christians suing each other as I am.

Let me make this clear; it is just as evil to sue or threaten litigation as it is to attack or change the KJB, play rock music in church, live a sodomite lifestyle, or commit adultery. It is just as wrong for a Christian to sue or threaten litigation against a church or fellow Christian as it is never to run one bus or lead one person to Jesus Christ. Your Christian credentials are out the window if you would even consider suing a church.

Look at what type of people God lumps together with those who would sue a church. 1 Corinthians 6:8-10 says, “Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren. Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” In other words, those who sue or threaten litigation against a church or fellow Christian are no different from those in the list above.

One may ask, is it ever okay to sue or threaten litigation? What are my recourses if I feel I have been wronged by a pastor or church? Let’s look at the Scriptures to answer these questions.

1. Christians are never to take a brother to law.

1 Corinthians 6:5-7 says, “I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another…” It is very clear from this passage that God never approves of Christians going to court with each other. To interpret this passage of Scripture differently is simply ludicrous.

Consider how damaging a lawsuit is to the name of Christ. Every time a church is sued, the news media is quick to report it. There is no way that suing a brother or church will help the cause of Christ. Someone who sues a church or brother or threatens litigation is simply revealing their selfishness and lack of love for the cause of Christ.

2. Threatening litigation is as if you have already sued the church.

God shows what He thinks about the thought of sin in Matthew 5:28. He says, “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” God says that a man who looks on a woman to lust is just as guilty as the one who committed the act of adultery.

Reidsville Baptist ChurchThis principle doesn’t just apply to adultery; it applies to any sin. Therefore, if an individual threatens litigation against a Christian brother or church, God deems that person to have already gone to law before the unbelievers. In other words, God holds the person who threatens litigation as accountable as the person who actually filed a lawsuit against a brother or church.

3. Take your grievances to the individual and afterward to the church. 

When you are wronged by a Christian brother, God gives procedures you are to take to settle your differences. Matthew 18:15-17 shows that if you feel you are wronged, you are to go first to the individual then you are to take two or three witnesses with you to settle your difference. If that doesn’t work, you are to take it to the church to get it settled. Nowhere does God give the Christian permission to take a brother to law.

4. Be willing to be wronged.

Ultimately, if you can’t settle your grievances, you must be willing to be defrauded for the sake of Christ. 1 Corinthians 6:7 says, “Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?” It doesn’t matter what you lose or how much you have been wronged; God clearly defines that you must be willing to be “defrauded” so the matter doesn’t go to law and hurt the cause of Christ.

5. Let the LORD be the avenger.

Romans 12:19 reminds us, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” Whenever a Christian takes a brother or church to law, they are saying the LORD can’t take care of the situation properly. My friend, the LORD can take care of the situation much better than any earthly judge.

6. Don’t take it into your hands to spread your grievance.

Proverbs 25:21-22 says, “If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee.” So you didn’t get your way, it is not your responsibility to spread your grievance for everyone to know. Instead, you are to do good to those who have hurt you. You can say you are taking the high road, but you are not if you are spreading your side of the story in hopes that you can shame or bully the supposed offender to do what you want them to do.

7. Pray.

This is a novel idea. I wonder how often our situation could have been settled had we gone to the LORD in prayer. The latter part of Matthew 5:44 says, “…pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” You must remember that the LORD can work on the heart. God can do a greater work if you will let Him deal with the situation.

8. Keep doing right; the LORD will reward you.

Galatians 6:9 says, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” When others do wrong, you must keep on doing right. Certainly, the wrong you have endured may not be easy to take, but if you continue doing right, the LORD will reward you “in due season.”

9. Avoid fellowship with a brother who has sued a church or threatened the church with litigation.

Matthew 18:17 concludes, “…if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.” When you know someone has taken a brother or church to law, or you know a brother has threatened litigation against the church, your responsibility is to separate from them. Separate from that person, if for any reason, so that you can go forward and serve the LORD without letting the situation bog you down. You will find that separating from the individual will free your mind from the desires of revenge.

My friend, suing a church is a direct contradiction of Scriptures. It doesn’t matter what the reason may be, it is always wrong. Just because others have chosen to disobey the Scriptures doesn’t make it right when you have been wronged. Listen, we have all been wronged, but for the sake of Christ, it is better to be defrauded than to go to law and make a mockery of the name of Christ.

How to Handle Change

How to Handle Changeby: Dr. Allen Domelle

Whenever there is growth, there is change. Growth is filled with change. For instance, a baby isn’t going to act like an adolescent. An adolescent isn’t going to act like a child or teenager. Likewise, an adult isn’t going to act the same way a child acts. In each of these stages of life, change happens as they grow into the next stage.

If a person doesn’t accept the change of physical growth, they are going to look and act strangely. For instance, imagine a young man who doesn’t accept growth. If he didn’t accept growth, he would stay in the same pants that he wore when he was younger and smaller. The inability to change would cause that young person not to be able to get along with others his age and it would hinder him from reaching his potential had he accepted the changes. Change is always a part of growth.

1 Corinthians 13:11 says, “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” This verse makes it clear that with growth there is change. This verse also makes it clear that as you grow, you must be willing to accept the changes of growth if you want God to do greater things through your life. God has great things in store for every church, and for you as an individual, but those great works will never happen as long as you stay in an adolescent stage and refuse the changes that are caused because of growth. There must come a time in every church and individual’s life when they put away “childish things.” In other words, you must be willing to accept the next stage of life if you want to grow.

In a growing church or organization, changes are not always easy to accept. For instance, a smaller church has a closeness to their pastor that larger churches do not have. The members of a small church have access to their pastor that larger churches cannot have. A smaller church is able to touch him on a regular basis; however, as the church grows, that pastor will not have the time he once had to give to every church member. If that church is going to increase their potential for Christ, they are going to have to accept these changes that are caused because of growth.

The children of Israel experienced many changes from the time that they left Egypt to the time that they conquered the Promised Land. When they were in the wilderness, they had manna fall from Heaven every morning, but when they crossed the Jordan River, the manna stopped falling. When they left Egypt, they followed a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, but that form of leadership stopped once they entered the Promised Land. Their growth depended on their ability to accept the changes that came from forward progress. In fact, one time they refused to change which resulted with their wandering in the wilderness for an extra forty years. When they accepted the changes that God sent their way, they were able to conquer the Promised Land and enjoy the promises and blessings of God.

2 Peter 3:18 says, “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ…” If you are going to grow as a Christian, you are going to have to accept the changes that God sends your way. It ultimately comes down to whether or not you are going to have enough faith that God knows what He is doing. If you don’t accept the changes God has sent your way, you may winnow away the potential that He has for you. There are eight things you need to keep in mind that will help you to properly accept the changes growth causes.

1. Breathe

Spring-CreekBC_WatfordInstead of immediately reacting to the change, stop and breathe a bit to give yourself time to understand and see the good that God has for you through the changes. Isaiah 40:31 reminds us, “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” This time of waiting on God is to help you understand what He is doing through you. Psalm 46:10 reminds us, “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” There are times when you just need to stop and not respond so you can give God a chance to do the work through you that He wants to do.

2. Don’t assume every change is compromise.

Just because something changes doesn’t mean it is compromise. I’m in no way giving credence to those whose change is a result of compromising the truths of God’s Word; however, there are times when God sends change our way for our own good. Proverbs 18:13 says, “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.” To comment on a change without having time to assimilate what the change consists of could make you look foolish. You would be wise to make no comment when you hear of changes, even if the change may be uncomfortable. You may find that once you understand the whole picture of the change that there is nothing scripturally wrong with it.

3. Don’t let your preferences be the measurement for truth.

Just because you don’t like a change doesn’t make it wrong. I’m afraid that we have often labeled someone a compromiser because they didn’t do something like we would do it. The Pharisees were known for this in Matthew 15:9 where it says, “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” 2 Corinthians 10:12 warns, “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” When you make yourself the measurement for truth, you are placing yourself above God and His Word. Preference is not doctrine; so don’t try to force everyone into your mold. The only mold we should conform to is the mold of God’s Word.

4. During time of change, focus on the unchanging.

There is one constant that will help you keep your sanity during times of change and that is to keep your focus on the LORD. Hebrews 13:8 shows us the constancy of Jesus Christ when it says, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” During times of change, staying focused on Jesus Christ helps you to keep the stability you need.

5. Is the change against God’s Word?

The one question you must always ask yourself when change occurs is: does this contradict God’s Word. The church at Berea didn’t immediately condemn Paul and Silas when they heard something different; instead, they “searched the scriptures daily” to see “whether those things were so.” God’s Word is always our final authority, and when change occurs that you are not sure about, you would be wise to spend time searching the Scriptures to be sure that the change doesn’t disagree with God’s Word.

6. Ask the authority about what you don’t understand.

One of the greatest mistakes I see Christians make is that they never go to the authority for an explanation when they don’t understand the changes. Matthew 5:23-24 makes it clear that when you have a problem with a brother in Christ, you are to be “reconciled” to them. In other words, you are to go to them and ask them personally about your differences. You may fully understand the purpose of the change if you will ask the authority with the right attitude instead of gossiping about them or condemning them. Don’t let the change fester inside of you. Most authorities would be happy to answer your questions about changes if you simply ask them.

7. Pray for God to help your spirit.

When you are struggling with changes, ask God to help your spirit. Paul made that clear to Philemon in Philemon 1:25 when he says, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.” During times of change, God’s grace can stabilize your spirit and help you keep a right attitude towards your church and its leadership.

8. Ask God to change whoever is wrong.

One of the prayers I have prayed countless numbers of times when I disagree with someone is to ask the LORD to change whoever is wrong. Proverbs 17:3 says, “The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts.” If you sincerely pray this way, you will be surprised how the LORD changes the heart of whoever is wrong. Sometimes, it will be your heart He changes, and at other times it will be the authority’s heart He changes.

Most of these changes that I am talking about happen during leadership role changes. If you are not careful, you will compare the new leadership style to the old and rebel when in reality the new ideas the new leader has may not be wrong. Now, if they start changing what the Scriptures say, don’t go along with the changes. However, if their changes are purely preferential and style, don’t let your pettiness and refusal to accept what God is doing become the hindrance to the LORD’s work.

If you are like me, I am uncomfortable with change. When I hear of change, my natural response is concern. I’m not expecting you to accept change immediately. In fact, I’m thrilled that you hesitate when changes happen because that hesitation is the guard God placed inside you to give you time to discern if the change is wrong. However, don’t let your hesitation turn to condemnation without scriptural application. If the changes are purely style, swallow your pride and let the authority do what He feels the LORD is leading him to do. If the changes are unscriptural, pray that God would show the authority where they are wrong, go to the authority with the right attitude, and show them from the Scriptures where you feel they are wrong. If you cannot accept the changes without compromise or with the right attitude, politely and quietly leave and find the place where you can unreservedly serve the LORD with a good conscience. Don’t make it your agenda to destroy the place you’ve left, but move on and let the LORD do what He deems is best.

Add Some Sugar Please

by: Allen Domelle

Add Some Sugar PleaseSeveral years ago when I was a young boy, we lived in Pueblo, Colorado. My father started a church there, and the people of that church were good people. I fondly remember our family canvassing the streets for the first Sunday, and then seeing the LORD bless that church. Most of the people in that church were brand new Christians and not transfers from other churches.

A couple of the fine young Christians in that church were Paul and Marbella Baca. For some reason, they took a liking to me and enjoyed taking me to do activities with them. One day, he and his wife asked my parents if they could take me fishing, and my parents agreed to let me go. This may have been my first fishing expenditure of my young life.

The day that they picked me up to go fishing was an abnormally cold day. They didn’t want to let me down, so we continued with the plans to enjoy the day of fishing. When we got to the lake and started fishing, the cold air was biting, and the clothes I had on were not warm enough for the cold air in those Colorado Mountains. Mrs. Baca went to their trailer to see if she had any hot chocolate she could make to help keep me warm. Unfortunately, she had run out of hot chocolate on their previous fishing trip. The only thing she had to give me was a cup of hot coffee. I had never tasted coffee before, so she insisted I drink some so that I could stay warm. To make the coffee palatable for a young boy, she added cream and a lot of sugar so that I wouldn’t have to choke down the bitter taste of plain coffee. The sugar she added made something that was bitter enjoyable to a young boy.

Life is filled with relationships. You have family relationships, work relationships, church relationships, relative relationships, neighbor relationships, casual relationships, and a marital relationship. Each of these relationships are often affected by the words we say or write. If someone was to look at what has destroyed relationships, you could probably trace most of the problems back to words. Your enjoyment of life will truly be determined by your relationships with God and man.

Relationships are very much like the cup of coffee I had when I was a boy, if you added some sugar to them, you would find that the bitter parts of a relationship could be averted and avoided. Proverbs 15:1 says, “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” Words that cause grief to a relationship could be avoided if you would add a little sugar to your conversations and life.

The power of words must never be underestimated. It was through God’s Word that this world was created. It was the words of a few ladies that caused jealousy to creep up in the heart of King Saul. If a person would just add a little sugar in their conversations and treatment of others, I believe the spirit of hate and wrath would be turned away. Let me give you some suggestions on how to add some sugar to your relationships.

1. Be more ready to find the positive than the negative.

By nature, I believe most of us are prone to find negative in everything. I believe this is why God says in Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” You will notice that this whole list is an encouragement for the Christian to look for the positive.

Let me ask you, when is the last time you pointed out the positive in your relationships? Do you always see the negative about every change your boss makes? Are you grieving your pastor because you don’t like some changes he has made that have nothing to do with Scripture? Do you always point out the negative of your spouse instead of seeing the positive? Are you constantly riding the negative qualities of your children instead of encouraging their positive ones? You are creating an antagonistic spirit in your relationships when the first thing you do is point out negative with everything someone does. You might find that others will want to work with you more readily if you are not so negative about everything. If you are not careful, you will drive people to despise any correspondence they get from you because it is always negative. How about adding some sugar by finding the positive in your relationships and projects you do.

2. Regularly say, “Thank you.”

Faith-Baptist-Church_Margate-ADOne of the easiest ways to add sugar to life is to be grateful to those who do something for you. God reminds us in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” You would find that your spouse would appreciate doing more things for you if you learned to thank them for the small and regular things they do. Men, thanking your wife for the meal she cooked or for getting your clothes ready each day would help encourage her. Ladies, thanking your husband for working hard to pay the bills and to make sure you have groceries and a house to live in would greatly encourage him. Many people could have a better relationship with their boss if they learned to see the positive in their changes instead of always giving their mind about what they dislike. Don’t be the individual who is ungrateful. A simple, “Thank you,” is like adding sugar to keep any relationship from becoming bitter.

3. Send kind notes of appreciation.

Proverbs 25:25 says, “As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.” One thing that always encourages me is when I get a note from someone showing their appreciation for my investment of time in their life. It always causes me to want to help them more the next time I see them. You could add sugar to life’s relationships by taking the time to write a note of appreciation to those who are investing in your life.

Let me ask, when is the last time you sent your pastor a note of appreciation for the sermons he preaches? When is the last time you wrote a note of appreciation to your boss or employer and thanked them for keeping you busy so that you can pay your bills? I know, we live in times when we think that is what they are supposed to do, but a note from you would certainly brighten their day as they strive to be sure they have the income to give you a paycheck every week.

Even a spouse should find times to leave notes of appreciation. I don’t mind the special days throughout the year when we show gratitude to the ones we love; however, you are hurting your relationship if that is the only time you show your appreciation. Don’t let the days you are “supposed” to show your appreciation be the only times when you write your loved one a note to thank them for what they do. You might find that a note of appreciation could be the sugar that calms the tension in your relationship.

4. Take the immediate blame for any misunderstanding.

One of the quickest ways to add sugar to your relationships is to take the blame for the wrong instead of quickly blaming someone else. Matthew 7:3 asks, “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” God is teaching us that it is always better to look at yourself before you start blaming another. In fact, God shows just how strongly He feels about this when he responds in Matthew 7:5 by saying, “Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”

Be careful about always assuming that the other person did wrong. For instance, instead of saying, “Where did you move…”, why not say, “I’m not sure where I misplaced…, can you help me find it?” Do you see the difference in this response? One response is accusatory while the other is placing the blame on yourself and asking for their help. If the other person did move something, they will more readily say where they put it if you take the blame. You can add sugar to your relationships if you would be quick to take the blame for misunderstandings.

5. Send small gifts of appreciation.

Proverbs 21:14 says, “A gift in secret pacifieth anger: and a reward in the bosom strong wrath.” Notice how the gift causes the anger to subside. Look at what Proverbs 19:6 says, “Many will intreat the favour of the prince: and every man is a friend to him that giveth gifts.” Again, a person who gives gifts will find people to be more friendly with them.

You don’t have to have a lot of money or send expensive gifts to add a little sugar to relationships. It is not how much a person paid for a gift that really matters, but it is the thought that makes that gift valuable. When people do things for you, especially on a volunteer basis, you would be wise to show your appreciation by giving them a small gift.

My wife is an expert in this area. She is in charge of our church nursery. Our church nursery is staffed by volunteers, including my wife. However, once or twice a year my wife shows her appreciation to those ladies with a small gift. It is amazing how that small gift encourages those great ladies to continue giving their best effort to filling their time slot on the monthly schedule. It’s just a little gift, but that little gift goes a long way.

You could do the same for those who help you. Just a little gift that shows your appreciation may cause others to want to please you more often. If you take those who help you for granted, you may one day be doing the task alone if you don’t learn to send a small gift of appreciation. That gift may not equal the time they have invested, but the gift is like a spoonful of sugar that helps the task to be more enjoyable.

My pastor for many years used to say, “Be good to everyone, because everyone is having a tough time.” One way you could make those tough times easier for others to endure is if you added some sugar to their life. Remember, life is about relationships, and the more you add sugar to those relationships, the more you will add to their enjoyment.

What is Too Young to Pastor

by: Dr. Allen Domelle

What is Too Young to PastorThe future of any organization highly depends on the amount of youth coming up through the ranks. For many years, I have always looked at the balance of age in a church to determine its future. A church that has no youth rarely has the life to continue growing. It is not that those who are older don’t want a church to grow, but they just don’t have the energy they once had to continue growing. In my experience, a church that has no youth is a church that simply tries to maintain what it has.

One aspect I have observed from churches that have a larger staff is that they must have youth (younger men) on their staff if they want to continue to conquer. The younger staff always have the energy and dreams needed to keep the church growing. They tend to push an older pastor to do things he normally would not do. It is very important for the future of a church and church staff to have youth.

Likewise, just as it is important for a church or church staff to have youth, it is equally as important for young men to be stepping into our pulpits across the world. If we discourage younger men from going into the pastorate, we will kill the future influence of the old paths, independent Baptist movement.

What I have observed over many years is the constant discouragement from many well-meaning men who counsel younger men to go on staff for awhile and learn the ropes before they take the pastorate. The problem with this counsel is that many of these men become comfortable in their position and never do what God called them to do in the first place. Another problem I see with this counsel is that if a young man contributes greatly to the growth of the church, many pastors find it hard to let them go because they feel that their departure will hurt the church. We can say this doesn’t happen, but that is just burying our heads in the sand. Too many young men who were called to preach have never followed through because someone distracted them by counseling them to get more experience before going into the pastorate.

The question must then be asked, what is too young to pastor? Is there a perfect age a person must attain before they begin pastoring a church? I believe the Scriptures make it clear if a man is too young to pastor.

1. The only requirement about experience has nothing to do with age.

The only time that God refers to inexperience is found in the word, “novice.” 1 Timothy 3:1 the Scriptures say, “This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.” The “office of a bishop” is the position of the pastorate. God then goes through several requirements for the bishop. One of those requirements is found in 1 Timothy 3:6 where it says, “Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.” The word “novice” is simply referring to a new Christian. The new Christian is not ready to pastor a church for several reasons; that is why God didn’t want a novice shepherding his flock.

odaniel_maranatha-baptist-churchMoreover, being a novice has nothing to do with age. Some people who are in the middle years of their life would be considered novices when it comes to pastoring. Some young men are more qualified to pastor than some older men because they have grown up in the ministry. All I’m saying is that age has nothing to do with whether a person is experienced enough to pastor a church. It ultimately comes down to their spiritual maturity.

Furthermore, a young man straight out of Bible college is probably prepared to pastor a church. If he isn’t, that Bible college has failed. I’m amazed that we send young men to Bible college for four years to learn how to pastor, but when they graduate we say they are not ready to pastor. Not to beat the same statement into the ground, but the only requirement God gives is that they should not be a novice.

2. Younger pastors are challenged not to let their age be a hindrance.

What is interesting is that this pressure for youth not to pastor is not something new. Paul addressed this in 1 Timothy 4:12 when he says to Timothy, “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” Paul knew that people would attack Timothy because of his youth, so he encouraged him to be a good example and not to let his age be a hindrance to what he was doing for Christ.

I started in the ministry at a very young age. I know what it’s like at twenty-one years of age to preach to people who are twice my age. My encouragement always came from the fact that when God called me, He knew how old I would be when I went into the ministry. You must be careful not to use a person’s youthful age against them. If God called them, they are just as called as a person who is older.

3. The burden is to be carried in the youth.

Lamentations 3:27 says, “It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.” One of the greatest assets of youth is energy. When you are young, you have the energy to overcome youthful mistakes. I believe that is why God says, “It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.” The mistakes you make when you’re young are lessons to show you what to avoid when you are older when you don’t have the energy to overcome them.

I recently finished a meeting with my nephew who is pastoring a church just north of Pittsburgh. He is twenty-seven years of age and is doing a great job. Many people have been saved and are seeing their lives changed through his ministry in the year that he has pastored. Imagine all the people who would not have been reached had he used youth as an excuse not to pastor. Though he is relatively young, God is still using him.

My friend, if nineteen-year-old men can give their lives to fight for our country, I would imagine a young man in His twenties who is yielded to the Spirit of God can pastor a church. We must be careful about limiting God’s will and power because of age.

4. Comparing people because of age is an unwise act.

2 Corinthians 10:2 says, “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” It is just as unwise to use age as a comparison as it is in any other area. God didn’t say that we can compare with each other when it comes to age. No! Comparing someone in any area, including age, is unwise.

Ultimately, it comes down to the will of God, and not the will or opinion of men. Proverbs 3:5-6 reminds us, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” It doesn’t matter what man thinks or says; you are to do God’s will and trust Him that He knows what He is doing. If God calls a young man to pastor a church in His youth, we must trust the sovereignty of God that He knows what is best. One of the reasons I believe we are losing this nation is because we have withheld young men from pastoring.

Let’s start trusting God’s will and encouraging these young men whom God has called. If He calls someone, it is our job to send them. Certainly, make sure they are not a novice, but encourage them. God encouraged Joshua in Joshua 1:9 by saying, “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” Let’s take the same encouraging words and encourage those young God-called men to follow through with their calling. As long as they obey, He will be with them “whithersoever” they go.

Close the Hamper

by: Allen Domelle

Close the HamperWhen you invite people over to your house, you don’t take them to the clothes hamper and show them your dirty clothes. You don’t want them to smell the dirty clothing or to see your dirty undergarments. The dirty clothes are kept in a private place so that nobody from the outside sees it. Only your family sees the dirty clothes and cares for them as needed.

In the present-day world of technology and social networking, it has become easy for Christians to open the clothes hamper and show the dirty laundry off to the outside world. For some reason, we think that we have a right to tweet or post on Facebook our disagreements with church leadership without hurting our testimony. Sadly, married couples will take to social media to air their differences with their spouse and then wonder why they’re having marital problems. Family members air their differences with their siblings or parents and are amazed when their family no longer wants anything to do with them.

Friend, it’s not everybody’s business to know the “family’s” dirty laundry The world doesn’t need to know what internal problems your church is having. Airing your problems on social media isn’t going to help you reach your community for Jesus Christ. Posting your disagreement with your spouse isn’t going to help your testimony with those you are trying influence at the church, nor will it help you reach your lost friends and neighbors for Christ. Keep the hamper closed! For the sake of Christ, don’t show off your dirty laundry to the world. It’s not going to make your situation better, and it’s not going to increase your effectiveness within the church or with the lost.

I’m reminded of the time when Hezekiah showed his whole kingdom to the commissioners of Babylon. 2 Kings 20:13 shows us what he revealed when it says, “And Hezekiah hearkened unto them, and shewed them all the house of his precious things, the silver, and the gold, and the spices, and the precious ointment, and all the house of his armour, and all that was found in his treasures: there was nothing in his house, nor in all his dominion, that Hezekiah shewed them not. It wasn’t the commissioner of Babylon’s business to see the whole kingdom. Some things are best left private and dealt with within the family. By exposing his whole kingdom to the servants of Babylon, he destroyed his children’s future.

We wonder why we are losing our children to the world, and we want to blame it on the hard preaching, standards and the busyness of our family’s involvement in church ministries. Maybe one of the biggest reasons we lose the next generation is because we, like Hezekiah, have opened the hamper to the world and shown our dirty clothes. Maybe, if we had dealt with the dirty laundry within the family, our children wouldn’t think that the Christian life is so terrible. Now, don’t take this as a defense to cover up sin. It’s not an attempt to cover sin; it is a plea to Christian brethren to use common and spiritual sense to keep the hamper closed and deal with the dirty laundry in-house.

When it comes to social media and what you should post or read, let me suggest that you always give it the Philippians 4:8 litmus test. Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” If you screened everything you posted or read on the internet or social networking sites, you would quickly find that some things just don’t need to be published or read. This is especially true if you use, “…whatsoever things are of good report…” as one of the rules by which you post or read. Let me give you some suggestions on dealing with your dirty laundry.

1. Just because someone says something doesn’t make it true.

Proverbs 18:13 says, “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.” Just because someone has claimed what they say to be true doesn’t make it true. You would be wise to hold judgment of any situation you read about until you hear the other side of the story. First, you don’t have to take sides in everyone’s drama. Second, you may look like a fool if you take sides without talking directly to both sides to hear their version of the story. It is always wiser to stay out of another’s dirty laundry if you don’t want to get their stink on you.

2. Don’t take people for idiots; they know what you are talking about.

You can think that nobody knows something is going on, but you are opening the hamper to the world when every post or tweet has a theme. Proverbs 12:16 says, “A fool’s wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame.” The fool runs and posts their anger disguised with spiritual words, but people can smell the dirty laundry through the post. People are not as dumb as we take them to be, and to insult their intelligence by implying your posts have nothing to do with your dirty laundry will only bring shame to you in the end.

3. People can’t read your sarcasm in tweets, texts, posts or blogs.

God commands in Matthew 5:37, “But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.” Your ability to be sarcastic cannot be seen in words. Sarcasm can only be read properly in someone’s presence. It is best to only write exactly what you mean and leave the sarcasm out.

4. Don’t come down from the wall to react.

Nehemiah’s response to not come down from the wall when he was criticized and attacked is a good guide for you to use in social networking. You can react to critics, or you can respond to them. Reacting puts you at their mercy; whereas, responding places them under your grace. The best way to respond is to continue doing what you’re supposed to do and completely ignore their attempts to get you to react.

NOwens AD5. Deal directly with those with whom you’ve got the dirty laundry.

I often say that many in Christianity act like gangs with their drive-by shootings. To post for the whole world to see without directly talking to someone is a drive-by accusation. Matthew 5:23-24 says, “Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.” Friend, don’t be a drive-by Christian; instead, go directly to the one with whom you have a problem and settle it privately.

6. Ask yourself if it would please God before making anything public. 

1 Corinthians 10:31 commands, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” If you asked yourself if everything you post or tweet would bring glory to God, you might find that you don’t have as much to say as you originally thought. If what you are about to post doesn’t bring God glory, it will only bring you shame and regret.

7. Pray instead of post.

Matthew 5:44 says, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” You could accomplish a whole lot more through prayer than you will by opening the hamper of your dirty laundry for everyone to see. Prayer will work in the hearts of an individual; whereas, posting your grievance only stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1 teaches, “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” Choose the soft answer of prayer to deal with the “unfair” treatment of others.

8. Use social media as a tool to be a blessing.

James 3:11 properly describes what the social networking world can be when it says, “Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?” Social media can be a blessing or a curse. You can either let your interaction in the social networking world be a fountain to bless others, or you can let it be a fountain that tears down and hurts. Ephesians 4:29 says, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” Everything you do should be to build or encourage others. Don’t let your social networking site become a tool Satan uses to hurt and destroy.

My mother used to say to me and my siblings growing up, “If you can’t find anything good to say, then don’t say anything at all.” That would be wise counsel to follow, not just in your verbal communication, but also in your interaction through social media. Let everything you post be a sweet fountain that blesses, encourages and builds those who read it.

Back to Basics

by: Allen Domelle

Back to BasicsIn the sports world, the teams that build legacies are teams that build on the fundamentals of the game. Some of the great teams in the past decade that have won multiple championships are known for their fundamental play. Other teams have failed because they tried to win by employing fancy gimmicks that have not been tested. Whenever you look at a winning franchise, you will always see that it was built upon the fundamentals of that sport.

When I was a young man and played sports, we spent time in every practice going over the fundamentals of that sport. If it was basketball, we practiced dribbling, footwork, and shooting technique so that we would not pick up bad habits that could cost us a game. Those fundamentals helped us to perform better in the games we played, and they also helped us to win a championship.

It seems today that our independent, fundamental Baptist preachers and churches have forsaken the fundamentals that were used to build the great works of the past. When I was a boy, my father and I would regularly take trips to hear some of the great men from the past preach. When I go through my mind and remember what these men preached, it is amazing how most of their messages were based on the fundamentals of Christianity that build strong churches and great Christians. These men whom I heard preach didn’t seem to be fancied with the new fads in Christianity, but they kept preaching the same old fundamentals that were given to them by previous generations. They were not afraid to “ask for the old paths,” and walk in those paths for their entire ministries.

It seems as if today we have preachers and Christians who are more concerned with politics, psychology, self-help and motivational sermons than they are with preaching and living the fundamentals that build great Christians and solid churches. It is becoming increasingly harder to find preachers today who preach like those from yesteryear, and then we wonder why we are not producing the works and the Christians like those preachers did. The focus of today’s preacher seems to be quite a bit different from the preachers of yesterday. We will never build solid churches and great Christians until we get back to the basics.

One of the things that impressed the Apostle Paul about Timothy was that his faith was exactly like the basic faith of his mother and grandmother. 2 Timothy 1:5 says, “When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.” Timothy turned out to be a solid Christian and a great asset to Paul because he kept doing what his mother and grandmother taught him to do. He knew that the fundamentals built strong Christians.

We will never build great Christians or solid churches until we get back to the basics and continue preaching, teaching and practicing the fundamentals that build strong Christians. The basic fundamentals of the Christian life build a solid foundation that can weather any storm. These fundamentals are living by faith, walking with God, having a daily prayer life, being a soul winner, being filled with the Holy Spirit, training others, and being faithful to church. These things build great Christians. Maybe the reason so few men of God are talking about these things is because they struggle in these areas themselves.

I can often remember hearing Dr. Lee Roberson in his sermons preach on the importance of faith. Anyone who has ever been under his ministry for even a short time would remember him constantly talking about, “Three to thrive.” He would talk about the importance of going to church Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night. He taught his preacher boys that every service was a big service. It was those basics that Dr. Roberson practiced that helped him build the great Highland Park Baptist Church, Tennessee Temple Schools and send out hundreds of pastors and missionaries around the world. His ministry was nothing fancy, but it was led by a man who understood the importance of continually going over the basics with his people, and in return God used him to build strong Christians.

Dr. Jack Hyles was my pastor for many years. He was used by God to build the great First Baptist Church in Hammond, Indiana, and to start and build Hyles-Anderson College, the largest independent Baptist college in his lifetime. Though he was a great pastor and pulpiteer, his ministry was strong because he never strayed from the basics. He was known for his emphasis on prayer, the power of God and soul winning. He constantly impressed upon the church to have a daily walk with God. I remember him saying that sin would keep the Christian from the Book, and the Book would keep the Christian from sin. Yes, he was a great principled leader, but what truly epitomized his ministry was how he stuck to the basics, and those fundamentals built a strong church and produced strong Christians.

Texas-IBSThe men from yesteryear built strong churches and some of the greatest Christians because they understood that these fundamentals will save a nation, build churches, and strong Christian lives, marriages and homes. If we are going to be a part of building strong Christians, solid churches and send out young men to be preachers and missionaries worldwide, we are going to have to get back to the basics. Let me give you a few reminders that will help you to stick with the basics.

1. Staying with the basics takes a determination not to change.

It is not for the light of heart to build and continue with the basics. Paul challenged the church in 2 Thessalonians 3:13, “But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.” He knew they would get tired of doing the same thing over and over again, so he dared them to continue on when they got weary. The preacher is challenged in 2 Thessalonians 2:15, “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.” To “stand fast” is to be determined and unmoveable. You will have to be determined not to stray from the basics when you see others around you running to change.

2. Don’t be quick to take on change.

Proverbs 24:21 says, “My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change:” There is nothing wrong with change as along as change doesn’t contradict scriptural doctrine, principles or methods. What I have seen throughout my life is that many are always looking for the newest and biggest thing when they need to stay with the basics that build Christians and churches. Don’t let the desire for the “new” deter you from the basics. Living by faith, prayer, studying the Scriptures, soul winning and being faithful to church will do more for a Christian than anything else. Reminding Christians of this regularly will not hurt them in the least.

3. Basics need to be repeated.

Training takes repetition. Throughout your schooling, you will remember that much of the time was not spent learning new topics, but most of the time was spent repeating what you had already learned. Deuteronomy 6:7 says, “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” You will notice the repetition of teaching that God stresses in training children. That same repetition works in with the Christian as well. You will constantly have to repeat the basics if you want Christians to continually follow them.

4. Keep the basics palatable by dressing them differently.

The truths of the Scriptures never change, but God certainly dressed them differently to keep them from becoming mundane. The challenge for any person will be to keep the basic of the Scriptures the same but change the presentation of them so they stay fresh. My wife often helps medicine to taste better by giving something sweet along with it. That sweetness has helped my daughter to take the medication she needed to make her healthy. Certainly, we should deliver the basic medicine of the Christian life, but you could make them more palatable by putting something sweet along with it.

Recently, my pastor did something like this for the teens in our church. Our church is a soul-winning church. It has been a staple of the Longview Baptist Temple for years. To help soul winning stay fresh for the teens, he recently had a youth activity on a Sunday afternoon when they went soul winning first, and then he brought them back to the church for hamburgers and fun activities. That helps the teenagers from looking at soul winning like a spoonful of distasteful medicine.

Find ways to change up how you present and practice the basics without changing them. Challenge people to pray by finding different things for which they should pray. Make church attendance exciting by keeping the services exciting and the sermons content fresh. Keep soul winning compelling by having different times throughout the week to go soul winning. Find ways to keep the basics fresh, yet the same.

5. Give the basics time to work.

Galatians 6:9 reminds us, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” The basics work, but you have to keep performing, practicing and teaching them until the reaping season. Don’t be discouraged by the wait to see the fruits of your labors. If you keep doing the basics, you will find that they will work just like they worked in the past.

Friend, if you were to look at the sermons and truths that have impacted your life the most, you would find that most of them had to deal with the basics. Preacher, instead of getting wrapped up in the latest ministry fad, keep teaching, preaching and practicing living by faith, walking with God, having a daily prayer life, being a soul winner, being filled with the Holy Spirit, training others, and being faithful to church. If you keep emphasizing the basics, you will find that God will use you to build strong Christians who are bearing fruit for many years to come.