Newsletter Articles from Pastor Marc
 
 

Pastor Marc to FBC Diana Family (Jan 2015)

Happy New Year! I pray that you have been able to enjoy the Christmas season and that you have found solid ground beneath you as you have reestablished your daily routine. There is so much that seems naturally tied to the ending of one year and the beginning of another. The previous year’s experiences are usually inventoried and assessed, annual tax preparations begin, and New Year resolutions are made. This can be both disappointing and exciting. If last year wasn’t so wonderful for us, then we are able to see new possibilities and opportunities in the year ahead. If we find ourselves less advanced in one way or another than we had hoped to be at this time in life, then we may plan to make a more diligent attempt to achieve thoughtful goals over the next 12 months.


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Pastor Marc to FBC Diana Family (Feb 2015)

2015 is off and running, and FBC Diana is too. You may have noticed already, but our church family has grown recently. We are very glad to have welcomed 2 new families and one soon-to-be family to our membership. We are also glad to welcome Mark Jonah as a faithful leader in our musical worship. As you likely know, Mark Jonah has voluntarily spent many weeks with us, and his leadership in musical worship is marvelous. Our congregation is truly grateful for Mark’s willingness to serve as Minister of Music.

In all that we have seen and experienced recently, we are wise to look again to the Scriptures in order to remember who we are and what we are to do. Throughout 2015 we will be asking the question, “Who is FBC Diana?”

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A Familiar Refrain and A Stark Reminder

On December 7, 2014 I preached a message entitled, “Do you really trust the Bible?”[1]  This message was part of a series of presentations, which I planned and delivered on the first Sunday of each month during my time as pastor of FBC Diana in 2014, that were designed to provide a Christian (and more particularly a biblical) response to some contemporary cultural issues.  While some might imagine that the Bible is hardly a contemporary cultural concern, a Newsweek article made it clear that there are at least some in our contemporary culture who still find it necessary to launch assaults upon the Holy Scriptures.


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Why do we have a “Membership Process?”

Why do we have a “Membership Process?”

The topic of Church Membership has garnered great interest in recent years, and a discussion of the meaning and value of Church Membership can be a rewarding in the context of any local church. Biblical investigation, historical study, and personal introspection are all in order when addressing Church Membership.

We are able to look to the Scriptures, as well as church history, for our understanding of every aspect of the Christian faith and the practice thereof. When church history agrees with Scripture, we may gain insight from the application of biblical truth in a context that is not our own. When church history diverges from the teaching of the Bible, we are better equipped to learn how we may avoid the trap ourselves and learn from the mistakes of others.

Because First Baptist Church of Diana is a biblically faithful church, the Bible authoritatively instructs us, and we must implement our understanding of the Scriptures accordingly. This means that we are also free from pragmatic or humanistic governing. No tradition, strong feelings, or prideful impulse may cause us to abdicate our responsibility before God.

In fact, it is our great joy and heavy burden to be faithful to God in leadership over the sheep God has placed under our care. This is a task that we all are inadequate to accomplish apart from the work of God in and through us.


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The Synoptic Problem

The so-called Synoptic Problem does not seem to be a problem at all, in the useful sense of the word.  It seems to me that a better title for this issue would be the Synoptic Production or the Synoptic Compilation.  Yet, the Synoptic Problem it remains, and Clements describes the matter by saying, “Even a quick reading of the four Gospels reveals that three of them (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) are alike, especially when contrasted with John.“ He goes on to say that these similar three are called “synoptic” for the very reason that they share a common view of the life, ministry, sayings, works, death and resurrection of Christ.  “A more detailed comparison, however,” says Clements, “reveals a wide variety of differences as well as similarities… From a literary point of view, these facts raise difficult questions. How did the Gospels originate? Did their authors use each other’s work, and did they have other materials available to them?”[1]
 

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Strength in Suffering

In his devotional “Mornings and Evenings,” Charles Spurgeon wrote his own commentary on the passing of Christians from security and strength to further stability and power. This progression is contrary to much of our natural experience, and Spurgeon acknowledges the same. A runner, for instance, begins with full energy and ends with none; and the wrestler finishes his long match with much less vigor than he had at the start. But Christians are anchored and empowered by someone who is unnatural, and their advancement from strength to strength is observable as well as biblical.

The Bible speaks of a God who is not merely a passive all-observing eye. No, the biblical God is the creator and sustainer of every aspect of His creation; He is the ever-active, sovereign king of the universe (Acts 17:24-25).

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