Everything Ain't Ducky with Duck Dynasty Outstanding teaching, Pastor Reed! I have never seen this show, but have heard many Christians I respect praising it (invariably citing the prayer at the end as a sign of its orthodoxy). I didn't think much about it until I was in Wal-Mart yesterday and saw a gaudy display for Duck Commander Wine. I was stunned. Any credibility they had as Christians--especially as Christians in the media that could potentially reach the slack-jawed and glazed-eyed multitudes who waste hours watching the idiot box--was irretrievably lost. Professing Christians making and profiting from selling booze? They will have much to answer for when confronted with all those whom they ensnared and caused to stumble. You made many excellent and insightful points and your research into these pop culture subjects was thorough as always. I will ask some pointed questions and share what I learned from you the next time a Christian acquaintance starts trying to tell me some supposedly hilarious line that Si or Phil said on the show last night. Thank you, Pastor Reed, for your willingness to be a watchman on the wall and to warn Christians against deceptive ungodliness (your warnings will likely ruffle the feathers of fools who flock together and who like their worldliness with a thin veneer of religion).
Boldly Going Where No Preacher Has Gone Before! Outstanding series, Pastor Cooley! Informative, edifying, and convicting. I listened to all nine sermons and yes, you stomped on my toes and cranked the thumbscrews. I did a lot of wincing while listening.
You're right that there is no biblical rebuttal or refutation of the truths you've brought out in your Hollywood Series. I admire you for speaking out boldly against television, movies, and comics, even calling out Christian and "family-friendly" icons like Michael Landon, Walt Disney, C.S. Lewis and JRR Tolkien. Disney is wicked and has a dangerous agenda, and now they own Star Wars and the Marvel Comics pantheon (a term people use not realizing just how sadly true it is). Their influence is staggering and pernicious and the alarm needs to be sounded.
What hit me hard was your asking in several sermons whether listeners knew more about TV and movie stars and characters than they do the Bible. I am second to few in Star Trek and Twilight Zone trivia, but admit I flip and flop around my Bible to find Habakkuk and am often at a loss on where to find key passages. It's a shortcoming I aim to correct.
You boldly go where no preacher has gone before. My prayer is that many other pastors will be stirred from their complacency and follow in the trail you've blazed.
Edifying and Informative! Thank you, Bryan, for another edifying Lord's Day teaching. You brought up many, many interesting and important topics. I was stunned by your reporting that Campus Crusade for Christ dropped Christ from its new, postmodern name, which I discovered is simply "Cru". What a slap to Bill Bright and a spitting upon his legacy. You provided many insights into the modern perversions of God's Word. Yes, "Trinity" and "Rapture" don't appear in our KJV, but the concepts are there (though literally every modern perversion removes I John 5:7, a Trinitarian prooftext). Where I disagree with you is your dismissing the Sermon on the Mount to an earlier time (is that hyper-Dispensationalism?). Your criticism of the "pacifism" among the Amish and Charity Churches struck me as a caricature. Their belief in "nonresistance" is more than just pacifism, but includes no political or military involvement. It's seeing oneself as only an ambassador here. An understanding of the "two kingdoms" is necessary to see the belief in context, beliefs drawn more from Paul than Matthew. A great message overall, Bryan! (And by writing that I'm guilty of another example of "newspeak," using "message" instead of the good ol' fashioned "sermon.") May the Lord continue to bless your right dividing of the Word, brother!
A Decent Primer on the JWs Pastor White provides a wide-ranging survey of the Jehovah's Witnesses and their thought and practice. He touches on a number of topics rarely mentioned in talks by his fellow popular apologists, who often focus solely on the JW denial of the Trinity. His extensive research and especially his first-hand experiences debating JWs lends his teaching credibility (and he'll be the first to tell you this--White's robust ego characteristically occupies center stage here!). I appreciated White's acknowledging that JWs are diligent and dedicated Bible students, even if their arguments are often canned and boilerplate rebuttals memorized from Watchtower publications that can be upended by a believer well-versed in his or her Bible. Conversely, I didn't care for White's caricature of JWs as fearful, whether packing their bookbags when challenged or scared to visit an evangelical church because of three-headed monsters. As White acknowledged, many JWs are former Catholics and Protestants all too familiar with what goes on in our churches. (On the flip side, many evangelicals would likely be skittish to visit a Kingdom Hall.) For a follow-up teaching, I'd be eager to hear White address the unwritten JW prohibitions on children and college (as well as against beards!).
Good Sermon! Pastor Roberson passed on to heaven in April 2007 at the age of 97. In this sermon he mentions being 85, which would place this sermon around 1994. For a man of 85, he still has a lot of power in his preaching, though longtime listeners familiar with Pastor Roberson may find he has mellowed (not to be confused with compromised!). His sermon calling for compassion is a welcome one. This was the sole sermon by Lee Roberson I could find on SermonAudio, a shame because Roberson's brand of biblical preaching is needed now more than ever.
Savory Meat for Mature Christians Another wonderful and wide-reaching sermon, Bryan. Yes, the "local church" as hireling "pastors" would have us believe is a man-made fabrication. A book that will provide a wealth of sound biblical and historical evidence to silence the churchianity boosters is Pagan Christianity by Frank Viola and George Barna. I appreciated your acknowledging Dr. Ruckman isn't infallible. He's taught me a lot about the KJV, but on other issue (e.g., abortion), he's in error. Conversely, I winced when you called John MacArthur a heretic. His Calvinism is an error, but he's taught me a great deal of truth regarding premillennial dispensationalism. With a biblical foundation and the discernment that comes with that, we can overlook the error and grasp the truth. So many excellent points in your message, but a final one was your criticism of churches that fail to equip the people. Sunday mornings at my local Baptist church is invariably a salvation message (right down to the altar call with the ladies playing "Just as I Am"). The time comes for growing Christians where only strong meat will satisfy our hunger. I thank God for online ministries such as yours on SermonAudio. May the Lord continue to bless your work, brother.
A Soul-Stirring Testimony An inspiring testimony, Bryan! I enjoyed hearing your story this Lord's Day morning, which provided me encouragement and edification unlike any I could find in the local lukewarm churches. Interestingly, I usually at this time listen to teachings from Denny Kenaston and Mose Stolzfus' Charity Ministries, also Lancaster County-based. Like you, Kent Hovind and Peter Ruckman have each been tremendous influences upon me. That so few know of these men and their work testifies to the sorry state of the faith today, where ear ticklers like Osteeen and Warren are household names. I only just discovered you yesterday when coming upon your convicting sermon addressing Insurance, Separation and Television. I'm dropping anchor and intend to listen to all you've posted, brother. It's encouraging and a blessing to tread the old paths alongside a brother such as yourself.
Out of Hollywood Babylon An outstanding sermon that 99% of pastors would never preach because they themselves have large-screen televisions and DVD libraries filled with worldly movies. I especially appreciated your exposing the "good, clean" movies and TV shows of yesteryear as shot through with humanism and new age ideologies. I myself am a former Trekkie and fan of retro-television who has renounced it as a spirit-eroding time waster. Yes, we are in a battle, and the enemy delights to see God's professed people sidelined into inactivity by Hollywood's bread and circuses. I would enjoy hearing your critique of television news, which has degenerated into info-tainment with soap opera elements. Instead of facts and information, it's focused on "celebrity" personalities, tawdry sex scandals and tantalizing cliffhangers to keep the viewers hanging on through the crass commercials and tuning in tomorrow. News addiction and the idolizing of newscasters like Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly et al. is a problem plaguing Christians, but one seen as a civic virtue. Thanks you again, Pastor Reed, for another uncompromised teaching. May it find ears that will hear.
A Countercultural Message Christians Need to Hear! Amen to all you've said, Pastor Reed, and you said so much in a short span of time. An incontrovertible challenge to professing Christians. I can't imagine anyone refuting the truths you've brought to light here. I attend an otherwise sound IFBaptist church that sadly does just as you said--canceled the evenings service and instead offers an after-service potluck followed by a short afternoon service (with assurances that everyone will be home in time for kickoff). Sports is a secular religion, rooted in paganism and a catalyst to coarse and crude behavior. I stand amazed that so many seemingly strong believers are as swept up and away by sports mania as the worldlings swigging beer at Hooters. I believe most of our fellow saints are simply ignorant and not rebellious. As Hjalmar posted earlier, yours is a "lonely message" that few preachers have the courage to preach. As a result, most pew warmers are unaware they're sinning and shaming the gospel by feasting their eyes on this hedonistic bacchanalia held in a coliseum modeled on the Colosseum where our earliest Christian brothers were killed. Here's praying that your courageous and countercultural call for holiness and obedience finds many ears willing to hear uncomfortable but undeniable biblical truths. Press on, my brother.
Great Sermon! I especially appreciated Kevin's describing homosexuality as the "dry rot" of society--very well put. I did think you brothers were holding back in your calling to account Philip Yancey, who has now gone the way of Tony Campolo. Whatever salt there was in their works has long since been squandered. Evangelicals need to distance themselves from Yancey and Campolo. Yancey has been drifting for a long time, as any reader of his Christianity Today column can testify (and his left-leaning and modernist compromises were among the reasons I let my sub to that rag lapse). Insightful remarks on pornography, too.
Encouraging New Year's Eve Message A good, wide-ranging message from Dr. Tozer, which despite the 1960 date was by Tozer's internal references preached on Sunday, December 31, 1961 looking ahead to 1962. Still timely and relevant after almost 50 years.
Signs of the Times This was one of Kevin's most substantive shows in a long time. So much great information coming so fast, Kevin was uncharacteristically quiet. I think he was as intriqued by Gordon's information as I was. Gordon is a Christian media ecologist and is exposing the agenda of our consumerist, media-driven and media-shaped society in the tradition of Marshall McLuhan ans Neil Postman. What he exposes here is how Christians are as duped by the world's infantilizing agenda as are non-Christians, buying the latest CCM CD and wanting their churches to entertain them with the latest ear-tickling sounds. Even bigger than the music issue and sad loss of hymns is Gordon's discussion of adults who refuse to put childish things away and grow up.
Tempest in a Teapot Yes, I had to read Arthur Miller's play THE CRUCIBLE in high school and it was an overtly anti-Christian work that perpetuated many of the myths of the Salem Witch Trials. The nadir was reading the play INHERIT THE WIND (and then watching the movie), a work that viciously mocks fundamentalist Christians and dismisses as hopelessly ignorant a literal reading of Genesis. Those are two examples that spring to mind, BUT what I remember most from high school English is being introduced to Shakespeare and Dickens and many other wonderful works of literature. As Christians it's tempting to become paranoid and suspect a cabal of publishers and teachers are crafting anti-Christian textbooks and syllabi. Such is not the case, and I speak as a certified secondary English schoolteacher. The books don't set out to undermine faith, even if not promoting it. Chaucer, Milton, Blake, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy and a host of other Christian authors still enjoy a place in the canon for upper-level courses. For the majority of students in the dumbed-down "Language Arts" classes, studying thoughtful works of substance has been replaced with reading popular young adult fiction and drawing pictures afterwards. Trivialization is more the threat and reality than the anti-Christian agenda Kevin suggests here.
Life Imitates Art The Twilight Zone episode "People Are Alike All Over" featured a premise similar to the one Ken Ham discusses here with human beings placed on display in a zoo. It's interesting if not distressiong to see reality imitating (aping, if you will) the fantasy and science fiction of yesteryear. I appreciate Ken Ham for bringing to light these disturbing trends and for drawing our attention to the truth of Genesis. This is an area where professing Christians need to be evangelized and educated because so many are still carrying around the baggage they were weighed down with in high school biology class and that has been reinforced by the popular culture. I trust God to give Ken Ham a wide audience with ears to hear.
Good Points / Unfair Caricature of Fundamentalism Alan Cairns opens his show with a segment rightly criticizing the actions of Fred Phelps and his family, which comprise the congregation of Westboro Baptist Church, those hate-mongers on a crusade against homosexuals and America in general that appear protesting at military funerals. while in full support of Cairn's reasoned evaluation, I do object to the sermon's title, "Fundamentalism's Lunatic Fringe," because Phelps & Co. are NOT Fundamentalists like John R. Rice, Jack Hyles, Lester Roloff, et al. It's frustrating to see the technical definition of a fundamentalist (one who holds to the fundamentals of the faith) being superseded by the Martin Marty and popular media re-definition of fundamentalism as describing wild-eyed, frothing believers. Good teaching, that quibble aside.
A Hard Message Full of Truth An outstanding message. We need such unflinching, counter-cultural preaching in America, where entertainment is the obsession of so many professing Christians. Instead, churches (especially "seeker sensitive") give approval to Hollywood by promoting its poluution within the walls of the churches. I recently attended a men's meeting where a 10-minute clip from the film Gladiator was shown. The John Eldredge-influenced leader also encouraged dads to watch the movie 300 with their sons. I was stunned. Each of these movies is Rated R and neither pictures biblical manhood. Another church I visited a couple years ago played a clip from The Shawshank Redemption right in the middle of the sermon. I pray that Brother Murray is not long a voice crying in the wilderness and that his message is heard and taken to heart by those with ears to hear.
Timely Call To Take Our Eyes Off Sin-Enslaved Men Thank you for this insightful message. I am a former Dittohead, a once-loyal listener to El Rushbo back in the Clinton years. I ignored several pastors who warned against Limbaugh as no friend of Christianity. The scales fell from my eyes eventually, as his tremendous ego, girth and addiction to creature comforts like cigars revealed him to be a worldly hedonist only playing the role of a conservative. Rush's inviting Elton John to sing at his sham wedding should be incontrovertible proof to any remaining Christian Dittoheads (an oxymoron?) that Rush is a con man playing them for suckers. The Gores separating is another symptom of the sickness spreading through our culture. I see the sins of the father were visited upon the children as now the Gores' daughter decided to end her own marriage on the heels of her parents'. Elton John reminds me of the Hans Christian Andersen story "The Emperor's New Clothes." Don't people see in him a vile Sodomite? He flaunts his homosexuality, yet he's invited to sing at events like Princess Diana's funeral and to provide music for the Disney children's New age-infused film The Lion King. The lines are being drawn. The Lost are understandably blind to these things, but believing Christians?? May the Lord use your message to awaken the sleeping.
Sobering Information and Wise Counsel A strong, informative message, Brother Larry. In this day when the media fails to meet its mandate of informiong the people, we need alternative news reporters and individuals sharing information. and men like yourself to bring it to a wider listenership. I also appreciate your wise advice to be prepared. Too many Christians are addicted to their idle/idol entertainments and are failing to discern the signs of the times, which plays right into the agenda of Obama & Co.
Great Sermon! Another message addressing a difficult topic, especially timely coming at the start of summer when people traditionally travel and visit with family, whether by choice or, as you implied, out of a sense of obligation. For me the struggle with visiting unsaved relatives is my hope I can be a witness to them, but I often leave being reminded that even Jesus was not received as a prophet among his own. You left me with much to mull over on this Memorial Day.
The Old Time Religion: More Timely Than Ever From several months before man walked on the moon and wallowed in the mud at Woodstock comes this uncompromising message that is still timely and relevant 41 years later (even as Richie Havens and Arlo Guthrie fast become trivia questions). Pastor Geehan gives an earnest warning to Christians, highlighted by an expounding on the phrase "the worm dieth not" from Mark 9. Geehan also warns against "declension," a term little used in 2010 but nonetheless practiced everywhere under the term "backsliding" or that cooling off from being on fire for God to a lukewarmness that God promised to spew from his mouth. So many believers have abandoned their first love, watching American Idol instead of studying the Scriptures. Among the statements that stirred me to thought and convicted me were Geehan's criticizing stores for opening for business on Sundays, flouting the sabbath. Forty years later so many devout believers (myself among them) think nothing of whiling away a Sunday afternoon in a store, stopping by Starbcks, etc. It's fascinating but frightening how fast the barricades fall from taboo to unquestioned acceptance (Christian rock music in churches and tattoos are examples in our age of hitherto unthinkable things now raising few eyebrows). A compelling and convicting wake-up call.