Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Last week someone sent a copy of a URL to one of the boards I frequent. The website was something called “God hates veterans.” It is published by the same people, in Kansas, who maintain the “God Hates fags,” website.
After reading the web page, I was quite offended and I let the people responsible know how I felt. Here is the content of what I sent them:
Mr. Phelps (I will begin addressing you as Reverend on the same day I extend that extreme honor to Jesse Jackson),
I read your God Hates Veterans page. Wow. You’ve certainly got our number.
As a veteran, a confirmed Calvinist, a Christian who does not question his election, and a Baptist pastor, I must congratulate you on being the greatest bigot I have ever encountered – and I have known a few.
Yes, I hate homosexuality, perversion of all sorts, sin, and Satan. I do not, however, spread hate-filled messages throughout my universe. I can’t imagine what is gained by such foolishness. I preach Christ, and Him crucified. Yes, we must be serious and truthful about sin. We must not teach “easy-believism.” But the Gospel is, in fact, a positive message of the offer of salvation from our sinful situation. While I was yet a sinner, Christ died for me.
I question your salvation. Read God’s Word as a tonic, not a toxin. Get right with God. May He have mercy on your soul.
Pastor Curt Lovelace
Acton-Milton Mills Baptist Church
I was not expecting a reply, but I got one. It’s a beauty! Below you will find that reply in all its glory. I’ll leave any assessments up to the reader.
Isa 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. - This is Curt Lovelace
Shame on you!!!!
You call yourself a man of God, yet you pick at the Saints of God? You know NOTHING of God or the Bible. You need to listen to the sermon from December 4. It addresses you -
Shame on you for volunteering to serve a nation that has forsaken God (Ps 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.) Any God fearing person would run from serving in this evil nations' armed forces. What is the matter with you? Can ye not discern the signs of the times?
Mt 16:1 ¶ The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven.
2 He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.
3 And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?
4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.
Not only did you serve in the fag infested, God hating military, you BRAG about it. You've propped up the military and the flag as your idol and have far more reverence for them than you do the Lord your God.
You think FAR too highly of yourself.
Ro 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
You are ashamed of the gospel of Christ, and you don't even know what that means. You have to preach the WHOLE counsel of God, not just what people will pay you for.
Ac 20:27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
Mr 8:38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.
Ro 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Ro 9:33 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
Ro 10:11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
2Ti 1:8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; 2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Where is your spectacle?
1Co 4:9 For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.
How can you be a spectacle when no one knows who you are? It's your job to preach to this nation, and you're not doing it.
Isa 58:1 Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.
2Ti 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
You are not the city set on a hill which cannot be hid.
Mt 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
Where is your banner?
Ps 60:4 Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah.
Isa 13:2 Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them, shake the hand, that they may go into the gates of the nobles.
Does the world hate you?
Lu 6:22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.
23 Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.
Joh 15:18 ¶ If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
1Jo 3:13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.
Why don't you love your neighbor?
Le 19:17 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.
18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.
Mt 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Your quarrel isn't with us, it's with God. God does not know you, and you're headed straight for Hell.
Mt 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
By the way, you can take your title "Reverend" and shove it where the sun doesn't shine. Was that supposed to be an insult? All you've done is proven your total ignorance of the scriptures. The word reverend is used one time, in reference to God, not man.
Ps 111:9 He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.
Only a fool would apply the attributes of God to himself.
It didn't escape my attention that a "Christian", "Baptist pastor", and "confirmed Calvinist" such as yourself didn't put one Bible verse to support your claims. That's incredibly pathetic. Next time you decide to take on the Saint's of God, you might want to at least try and support your claims.
Don't forget to listen to last Sunday's sermon and read all of godhatesfags.com, godhatesamerica.com, priestsrapeboys.com and smellthebrimstone.com.
Thanks for writing. You're going to Hell, have a nice day!
An humble Tachmonite, and thankful member of Westboro Baptist Church
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Wow! That's the response of this citizen of Patriot (and Red Sox) Nation to the Indianapolis Colts. It does, indeed, look like they can go undefeated. The Patriots, of course, needing medical doctors more than they need coaches these days, are toast.
This makes us older New Englanders to hark back to the days when there were no Patriots. We only had the Giants. Charley Connerly, YA Tittle, Mel Triplett - those were the days!
Of course, back then we also had Colts - in Baltimore. That undrafted guy with the high shoes - Unitas was his name - used to throw regularly to Raymond Berry.
Another little bit of more recent history reminds me that the Steelers seem to be vulnerable to that 80 yard, first offensive play stuff. I recall the Patriots doing the same thing to them in a playoff game a few years back.
I can sit back for the rest of the year and enjoy watching what may be the best pro football team ever to play the game. And the QB even seems to be a nice guy.
Monday, November 28, 2005
Most of us have heard at least one sermon on the Greek word "ekklesia." We know that it has to do with being "called out," and that it means the assembly of those called to be in Christ. We use that word to describe the Church.
I like to look at this term, "called out" from a different perspective, also.
Other fighting words are found in, 1 Tim. 6:12, in which we read:
Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
Paul explains this concept of fighting for the faith further when he writes to his young protege Timothy, in 2 Tim. 4:7:
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
One final, and obvious, example will be offered here. It is found in Jude 3. Here we find this challenge:
Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.
In the movie “On the Waterfront,” Marlon Brando uttered the famous line: “I coulda been a contender.” That means he could have fought for the title. We don't have to fight for the title. It is already won by the blood of Jesus, which purchased the Church. We still need, however, to be contenders.
Monday, November 21, 2005
(See 1 Samuel 4)
While in the throes of childbirth (and death) Eli's daughter-in-law named her son Ichabod, and stated that the glory had departed Israel. One has to ask the question of the Church today: Where has God’s glory gone? There are numerous reasons to ask the question. I'll note just a few.
1. The church has lost its voice as a moral force. At one time the society looked to the church for answers to tough moral and ethical questions. Moral leadership was expected from the Church. Today, between sexual and financial scandals and political folly, the church is considered a joke.
2. The Church has Abdicated for the sake of “getting along.” The Church today, instead of shining like stars in a crooked and depraved generation (Phil. 2:15), wants to blend in. It was noted in 1 Samuel 4 that the forces of Israel ran away from the Philistines. Today the Church is running - but not away. The Church is running toward the world. The world has irreverence; so can the Church. The world commits sexual sins without remorse; so our children should be allowed to shack up, too. The world is entertained by filth; so should we. The world has loud, usually mediocre music; well, the Church should, too. The world thinks it’s all right to cheat; the Church should keep up. The world allows its children to dress like tramps; so should we. The list goes on. We are supposed to be different. The church today is as different as a chameleon, blending into the background – no matter what the background is like.
3. The church can be its own worst enemy. Church splits; squabbles; trials; general buffoonery. They’re all expected of the Church today. Nobody is surprised when a pastor is put out because of non-theological issues. Nobody is shocked when eschatological differences explode denominations and fellowships. And I’m not even yet including the alleged churches of the left whose social agenda includes approval for abortion, homosexual practice and religion without God.
But, there is one key Biblical Truth to remember:
The church is still God’s remnant. God has promised that he will always keep a remnant. Elijah thought the church was a goner when he whined to God that he was the only follower left – and now the enemy was trying to kill him! God responded by telling Elijah, “I reserve seven thousand in Israel-all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and all whose mouths have not kissed him.” Gently, God fed and sheltered Elijah – and sent him off into retirement. The church does not depend upon Elijah’s efforts – or mine. God is in control and He has promised that He will always have a remnant. The church may change what it looks like, but it is not going away. Paul wrote, in Eph. 1:17-23:
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
It’s not our church. He will maintain it. We have only to be faithful and obedient – and recognize Christ’s Church as the Holy Assembly of God’s chosen people; His bride.
Monday, November 07, 2005
Not only that, but I drove by churches with signs for Halloween parties and heard and read many essays on "redeeming the holiday." I cannot see this as anything other than the Devil's holiday. I honestly don't see how any thinking Christian can see it otherwise. Witches and other pagans certainly celebrate it that way. I know that some churches try to "Christianize" it or "redeem" it, but all they are doing is joining forces with the evil one. Just because they aren't dressing up in ghoulish costumes doesn't change the fact that they are out there with the ones who celebrate the unGodly ideas of the day.
Especially in today's spiritual climate, it is important to think through what we do as Christians. We need to "think Christianly," not just go along to get along. I hear some Christians rationalizing that they just don't want their children to miss out on the fun the other kids have. Does that also apply to the fun the others are having with promiscuous sex and illicit drugs? Even members of churches who are separtist and don't have anything to do with other churches somehow manage to go right out and have fellowship with the Wiccans and others on this night of darkness.
The Apostle Paul had some thoughts on this topic. He wrote:
Is joining with the dark side in its "holiday" coming out from them? We are to minister to pagans. In order to do that we need to be among them and have some relationship with them. We are not, however, supposed to live like them.
BTW, we also had an awesome Reformation Party at our church.
Thursday, September 29, 2005
One of the most important freedoms which was restored after Soviet occupation ended was freedom of religion. Sandra and I spoke at a Christian Living Conference in Silute, visited a Bible-based drug and alcohol rehab center in Klaipeda, and visited with Christian families in Kaunas and Druskininkai. I also preached in a small Baptist church in Silute. People are hungry for spiritual growth. They had questions; they wanted more information, knowledge, wisdom, spiritual growth.
One of the downsides of freedom of religion, of course, is that people are free to explore whatever religion they choose. In Lithuania there is now a widespread movement to return to pre-Christian paganism. These neo-pagans seek a return to something called ROMUVA, which they consider to be the Indigenous Lithuanian Religion.
Frankly, I find very little difference between these Lithuanian pagans and their American counterparts in the New Age religious “movement” in the United States. The extreme environmentalism and general anti-Christ attitude of American New Agers is little more than a return to earth worship.
In these two movements, however, I see positive things. Reacting to a time in which they were allowed no religious expression whatever (save that which may have been offered in the occasional “state church”), Lithuanians are now seeking meaning in things of the spirit. Likewise, slowly recovering from an era in which materialism (in the historic, philosophical sense, not in the sense of overspending at Christmas season) has reigned, many Americans are also seeking deeper spiritual meaning for their lives.
Americans will remember the bumper stickers during the 2004 election campaign which proclaimed, “Anybody but Bush.” Likewise many who claim to be seeking after truth and meaning will declare, “any god but God.” As the Apostle Paul explained in Romans, chapter 1, men will suppress the truth they know about God and create their own, false gods, even worshipping themselves rather that the God who created them. While claiming to be open to all spiritual experiences, many men and women are only open to those experiences which “feel good,” or which require nothing of them. After all, Jesus said, “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” Who wants to repent when you can have all those groovy beads and smells and incantations?
Some, however, will be confronted by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and will be moved in their hearts to accept Him and the salvation which only He can offer.
While not enamored of paganism, whether of the Baltic, Celtic or modern American variety, I do welcome the openness with which many today accept that there is more to life than molecules and proteins and acids. It is up to Christians to speak to their pagan neighbors (and they don’t have to be part of some New Age group to qualify) of the True meaning of life. There is an openness to such things today, why should we let the Devil be the only one speaking to these spiritually needy folk?
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
Thursday, August 18, 2005
There are as many views on being reformed as there are on being “born again.” Not all of them involve Christianity – or even religion. Let me start with a description from a website called www.reformedtheology.org.
Generally, all the churches that grew from the sixteenth-century revolt against the Roman church, can be called reformed. However, the term "Reformed" specifically designates that branch of the Reformation of the western church originally characterized by a distinctively non-Lutheran, Augustinian sacramental theology with a high ecclesiology but little regard for ecclesiatical tradition that is not traceable to the Scriptures or the earliest church. Those churches in the "Reformed tradition" are regarded as being in the line of churches that grew from the Reform in certain Swiss free cities and cantons, in non-Lutheran Germany, and in Hungary, Bohemia, and southern France in the early and mid sixteenth century.here).
The leaders of this branch of the church understood themselves to be "reformed" in two ways: first, they were "reformed" from what they believed to be the defective practice of Christianity promulgated by the corrupt Roman Catholicism of the day. Sometimes, this position is summed up in the phrase "Ecclesia Reformata, semper reformanda," which means "the Reformed church, always to be reformed." In the context of the sixteenth century (and the mind of the Reformers) this phrase does not mean that the church is always morphing into something new with the passage of time (a common misconstrual in our own day). Instead, this seventeenth-century motto is consistent with the Reformers' idea that they were not innovating, but "turning again" to the form of the church and belief originated by Jesus Christ, lived out by the first disciples and early church, and born witness to in the writings of the Old and New Testaments shorn of later additions.
Second, as implied above, Reformed means rejecting the idea that tradition can provide a sufficient form for matters of belief. Instead, the Reformers insisted that "the Word of God" was the only ultimate source of appeal in matters of faith, and that all other sources of knowledge, including a church's tradition, had to appeal to this central source. The entire article can be found
It is not my intention, at least in this post, to get into all the details of theology that characterize being Reformed. In fact, it is not possible, anymore, to describe a Reformed theology. There are many. Coming out of the Reformation of the 16th century, there was a Continental Reformed view and a Scottish Reformed view. The early Anglican church was Reformed (according to their foundational document, the Thirty-Nine Articles). Early Baptists, in England were all Reformed (see the 1689 London Baptist Confession. This is practically a carbon copy of the Westminster Confession of Faith written some 40 years earlier, with some obvious differences in ecclesiology). Until they were corrupted by the German liberalism if the 19th century, American Congregationalist churches were all Reformed. Each and every one of these strains of Calvinism differed in some respect from the others. Yet, each can lay claim to a Reformed heritage (sadly lacking in most of them today).
Next time I’ll take a stab at describing some of the purely American branches of Reformed Theology.
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
What is Calvinism? That question is like asking “What is pasta?” or “What does an American look like? So, over a span of time I will post several short essays on the topic, unless I get bombarded with requests to stop. BTW, for those few of you reading this, I do not advertise this blog or anything. If you would like others to read these things, pass on the URL!
This is a topic on which I have great experience and some knowledge. I became a Christian at L’Abri Fellowship, in Switzerland, under the tutelage of Francis August Schaeffer. I graduated from a Presbyterian – and Reformed - seminary. I consider myself to be in the flow of “Calvinist” thought.
What is a Calvinist? Depends on who you ask. There are the caricatures, of course. When I want to put the worst face on things I tell people I’m a Calvinist. They always think the worst; that I must be some unfeeling, emotion-challenged automaton who only knows the Five Points of Calvinism and the sovereignty of God – and generally hates people, the world, and kittens. There is a pretty good explanation of “Calvinism” from a non-partisan viewpoint on Wikipedia.
When I’m feeling that a question has been asked which actually seeks an answer regarding my theological viewpoints, I usually respond that I am a Christian of the Reformed persuasion. The first and most important element of my belief system is that Jesus saves. There’s a lot of freight in that one statement, but what it all boils down to is this essential truth.
After that we have to understand that the Reformed faith came out of the Reformation of the 16th century. The Church of the time (AKA Roman Catholic) was falling down under the weight of corrution and ignorance. Martin Luther was by no means the first to try his hand at reforming the church (he had no intention of leaving; he wanted the church to be better). God chose Luther's time and Luther's activities, however, to begin a cleansing movement. Following Martin Luther, John Calvin was a reformer, born in Noyon, France and best-known for his leadership of the city of Geneva during the first tumultuous years of the Reformation. At some point, I will spend a little time on Calvin's life and times, as well as that of Martin Bucer, an important influence on the entire Reformation.
Reformed theology is often thought of in reference to the acronym TULIP (see explanation in Wikipedia article) and several Confessions of faith, including The Westminster Confession of Faith and catechisms, The Heidelberg Catechism, and the London Confession of 1689. Calvin was the first great systematizer of Reformed theology. His Institutes of the Christian Religion remain a wonderful explanation of theology. His commentaries on books of the Bible are still on my shelves and well-thumbed.
There are more than 700 different denominations of churches across the globe which refer to themselves as Reformed. There are at least 7 or 8 different “strands” (not a technical term!) of Reformed theology in the US at this time. Another topic for me to get into at another time.
That’s enough of an intro at this time. I’ll see if there are any responses – questions – before proceeding.
Thursday, July 28, 2005
Some basic info: I'm almost at the generally accepted retirement age (although I will never retire); I live on a lake; I am a pastor of a rural church; and I am involved in a lot of foriegn travel for the purpose of offering assistance to both missionaries and foreign nationals. My wife and I often help people with homeschooling, which we did for years. The aforementioned daughter and her sister were both homeschooled all the way through high school years and into college.
Any topics you want to discuss?