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Showing posts from 2015

Five Questions I'd Ask Pope Francis

With even many evangelical leaders seemingly drawn to the magnetic star power of the visiting Pope Francis, if I had just a few minutes with him, I'd ask him five questions. 
1. Sir, if you are interested in helping the poor, as seen in the fact that you take the bus to work, then why not do something more than symbolic and melt down some of that gold in St. Peters? That way you can feed tens of thousands for several years.
2. You are an outspoken critic of capitalism. Let’s see now. Italy’s labor-market rules have remained largely unchanged since the modern Italian state was established. When last year Prime MinisterMatteo Renzi attempted modest efforts to reform Italy’s notoriously matrixed labor laws, Italy’s largest union, the Italian General Confederation of Labor, led many thousands of people in a revolt. They insist on guaranteed jobs for all. Indeed, sir, under theCassa Integrazione Guadagni (income-assistance scheme), businesses that need to downsize can put some worker…

Tullian Tchividjian Bounces Back?

It is unfortunate but every so often a Christian, including a pastor, wanders away from the sheepfold and finds himself perilously ensnared by sin and in grave danger. In keeping with the duty of the church, especially its elders, it becomes necessary to vigorously seek the full repentance and restoration of the lost sheep. As in the case of the prodigal son (Luke 15:3-8) the contrite heart is one both heaven and the faithful saints celebrate. 
In the case of Tullian Tchividjian we have an example of a lost under-shepherd. Having admitted to adultery, the South Florida Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) deposed Tchividjian on August 11, 2015, ruling him unfit for Christian ministry.
Tchividjian followed his removal from the pastoral office by filing for divorce from his wife, Kim, on August 27th. They were married in 1994 and together have three children.
Deposition from office is a serious infliction of church discipline. The goal of all church discipline is the r…

John Barber August 2015 Mission Newsletter

COVENANT GROWSCovenant College of Theological Studies and Leadership in Kenya continues to grow. The student body is now at 36 and the school maintains 50% self-support through tuition and fees. The story of Covenant is one of faithfulness: God’s faithfulness to a small group of leaders who believed the Lord desired rigorous biblical and theological training for those already in ministry, and also for those yet to enter pastoral ministry. I feel very blessed to have played a role in starting this school in 2010. This coming November, eleven more men will graduate with B.A. in Theology in conjunction with New Geneva Theological Seminary.

PROPOSED NEEDCurrently the school is still meeting in Nakuru Kenya, but for practical reasons must return to Nairobi. That will require the purchase of land and the erection of buildings to house classrooms and other facilities. Please pray how you might lend a hand toward this end. A positive is that the U.S. dollar is very strong in Kenya and a little…

A Little More Chutzpah Please

Since the Court's decision on same-sex marriage, I’ve read numerous writings by pastors about how the church should respond. In general, they say we should be clear that the gay lifestyle is wrong, but as well we should be compassionate, loving, gracious, fence-builders, and ready to offer a defense of the faith. 
All of these qualities are certainly Christian. But what is lacking is a sense of urgency. That is, a perception of the serious, alarming, and destructive impact the current institutionalization of immorality poses to the health of this nation and to churches. Pastors may as well be counseling us on “How to engage non-Christians at the community yard sale.” 
But there’s a world of difference between how one engages unbelievers at a social gathering and Jim Elliot’s posture before the Auca Indians. Our public posturing on homosexuality, same-sex marriage, and soon transgender-ism, can say all the right things. But unless the church responds with a bit more chutzpah to the n…

The End To Marriage!

If you think that the Homosexual community's only interest in marriage is equal rights, you're wrong. Listen to this leader in the lesbian community, Masha Gessen, admit, to full applause, the real agenda: the compelte elimination of marriage as an institution.





My Facebook Exchange With a Homosexual

I recently had this exchange with a homosexual on FB. I think this should be our direct answer to anyone in, or who supports, this sin. It's the gospel. The homoexual is replying to someone else when I chimmed in. Let this be our most central and loving response to all who oppose God's creation ordinance of marriage between a man and woman. 
Gay man: “Making it to where gays can get married (Like myself) isn’t a privilege. It is EQUAL RIGHTS. A privilege would be 'Gay people don’t have to pay taxes.' You know, like Churches. You are allowed to have your beliefs all you want too, but when it comes down to equality, if your religion doesn’t support it, shut your mouth. There are about 1500 Gods out there in this world, and you believe in 1 of them. You are about as atheist as everyone else."
John: "There is really good news. God loves you. He really does love you. So much so that he took the form of a man. And as a man, the man we know as Jesus Christ, he sacrifi…

When the Pillars Are Removed

Years ago, Robert Bork wrote the book, Slouching Toward Gomorrah. In time, we starting running toward Gomorrah. Now we’re there.
But now that we’re here, a large problem faces freedom-loving people. Tyranny. Let me explain.
It’s clear that most American policymakers have rejected the “laws of nature.” The internal rationale of nature that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman is now being suppressed so severely, it’s as if “Who’s buried in Grant’s tomb” can be answered any way you want. And guess what? You’re all right. There are no wrong answers. I mean, we wouldn’t want to infer that any one’s personal moral choices are wrong, would we?
Most American lawgivers also now reject the laws “of nature’s God.” Biblical morality has no place in American jurisprudence.
Then there is written law. Judges no longer“interpret” the law. The create it. That was made clear when Chief Justice John Roberts fixed Obamacare to make it work. That caused Justice Antonin Scalia to call the…

We've Lost America... Unless

Many Christian people, troubled over the Supreme Court's decision to give formal recognition to same-sex marriage, have been discussing the next steps.

Here's our problem:

Most Christians in the U.S. are first and second generation believers without a legacy of suffering for the gospel. They have been fed a steady diet of entertainmement, leadership principles, dead tradition, and mollified spirituality. Most do not evangelize. They rarely pray except in the face of a crisis. And they are not schooled in spiritual warfare. They have not been tested.

That's not the sort of training that makes for warriors for Christ.

Worse yet, too many church-goers have gone on record supporting the Court's decision! Let me tell you. Our nation is weak abroad because we are weak at home. How can we stand against immoral threats to freedom abroad when we celebrate immorality at home?

To turn back the tide of institutionalized immorality and see true spiritual revival and reformation in…

Did God Just Give America Over?

Romans 1:26-27 records, “For this reasonGod gave them over todegrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which isunnatural,and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another,men with men committingindecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.”
In the history of theology there have been two prominent ways to interpret these verses. One is that homosexuality is a sin that God will someday judge. But the other interpretation, which interestingly is held by both liberal and conservative scholars, is that homosexuality IS God’s judgement on people that went too far in their rebellion. Their judgment has already started. Ironically, then, when a homosexual says, “God made me this way”, they’re right! Now that doesn’t mean God approves of homosexuality. Just the opposite. It means God doesn’t approve, so much so in fact, that he has sentenced the rebel to …

Sorry, I'm not Circling the Wagons on Homosexual Marriage

Since this morning, when I first heard of the Supremes’ decision to give carte blanche to gay weddings, I've been reading a litany of Facebook posts and Internet articles about how churches can weather the storm that’s apparently coming our way. 
One article advises that the churches draft a clear statement of faith that includes “a statement on marriage, gender, and sexuality." It goes on to say “Be sure that your statement on gender identity establishes a normative connection between gender and biological sex.” Say. Didn’t we already do that? I think it’s found in Genesis 1:26-28 and elsewhere.
Now what if a same-sex couple comes and wants you to perform their marriage? Another article recommends that you just tell the couple you only marry members of your church. That way you don't have to marry them plus you avoid any legal push back. Well, I have a better idea. Just say, "I don't marry homosexual or lesbian people because homosexuality is a sin against a Ho…