Sunday, January 31, 2010


Dr. Arthur T. Pierson was a renowned Presbyterian preacher of the late 1800s and early 1900s. It is said in his world travels that he preached over 13,000 sermons. He was author of over 50 books. He succeeded Charles Spurgeon at Metropolitan Tabernacle, London for the two years of 1891-92. He was a consulting editor of the Scofield Reference Bible. He was an organizer of missions, and is credited with spurring missionary work to a greater level in the early 1900s. He is called by some "the father of fundamentalism", having worked with R. A. Torrey, B.B. Warfield, and others on the five volume answer to liberalism titled The Fundamentals, originally published in 1910, and still in print 100 years later in 2010. One of the greatest short pieces I have read by Pierson is this one, which is so relevant, I believe, to today's post-modernism.

“Adopting worldly maxims, catering to worldly tastes, corrupted by worldly leaven, there has been a gradual letting down of the severe standard of New Testament piety, and a constant effort to robe the gospel in worldly charms, in order to attract worldly men to the church.”

“These worldly expedients have proved very successful in secularizing the Church, but have sadly failed in evangelizing the world. They do not even draw the people except so far and so long as their novelty attracts curiosity seekers, or feeds the morbid appetite for excitement. It is time all such measures were abandoned as helps to the work of evangelization. They are rather hindrances; for they destroy the peculiar character of God's people as a separate people, they divert attention from eternal things, and they grieve the Spirit of God, on whose presence all power depends.”

“The fact is, Zion's attractions are unique ; like her Lord, they are not of the world; they belong to another order of beauty, "the beauty of holiness." When the Church robes herself in the charms of worldly attire and adornment, she not only fails to draw the world to herself and to Christ, but she actually takes the infection of the " Spirit of the Age," which, however disguised, is hostile to God.”

From Evangelistic Work, A.T Pierson, p 92, 94, New York; Baker and Taylor, 1887

Tuesday, January 26, 2010



1984! Such a ring to the very words! Orwell's famous novel of futuristic totalitarianism, written in 1948, set forth some frightening predictions. Some of them, at least, have come true. All of them will never come true. George Orwell was not a prophet of God, but a British Socialist, howbeit somewhat moderate when measured against today's average socialist. Orwell hated Communism, yet saw its program as the future 36 years ahead. He chose 1984 by simply turning around the year 1948 in which he was writing.

Many of us wondered what would happen in 1984. Maybe we were a little nervous. We asked “Will it be nuclear war in '84?” “Will our government take over everything in our lives?” Will the Lord Jesus return this year?” He didn’t return then, and I do not know, nor do you, just when He will return, but we know He will, but we must be careful regarding predictions, for "no man knows the day and hour" (Matt. 24:36). 1984 came and went; at least the real time 1984 came and went.

But, whatever your eschatology, you have to be blind not to see that right now in 2010 our world is a powder keg ready to explode in many sore spots. We might say there are many fuses. Iran, North Korea, Central America, the Philippines, etc…any one, or all, at any moment ready to ignite world war and chaos.

In our own land, literally thousands of churches and pastors are experiencing unprecedented government encroachment.

In China, a country reported to have over 60 million Christians, persecution is being stepped up at the present time, as it once was in the former Soviet Union, and its satellites. So, 1984ish things are happening. How far have we come toward Orwell's 1984? Do we Christians really care? Are we hiding our heads in the sand hoping the issues of our day will go away? Are we claiming to be too super-spiritual to be interested in things happening in this life? Do we even speak against government encroachments on our freedoms? A warped conception of “health care”, hurting more than can ever be helped, was attempted to be slammed through the liberal congress. For now maybe that has failed, since Republican Scott Brown won the U.S. senate seat formerly held by the late Senator Ted Kennedy. The government also attempted to take over the auto makers. For now, that too has failed. We get a lot of “double speak” from our liberal politicians. The plan Barack Obama has now is to get the banks and financial institutions under control. All of this is what has happened in the socialist countries of the world, and is very 1984ish.

My friends, Christ must have preeminence in all we do. I do not advocate any other solution! There must be a spiritual revival for our nation's survival — even for world survival. Our heritage is the Word of God and includes religious liberty. It is worth preserving. God must help us to preserve it. Can we not, at least, "Cry aloud and spare not"? If we remain silent while our world is overrun by evil forces, what will we tell our children and grandchildren about why we did not stand?

These are vital questions that cannot be answered with a simplistic "The Lord will rapture us away before things get too bad"! Things are already bad! Sodomy is being financed by American taxpayers! Gay “marriage” has been legalized in some states. The families of the nation are under attack! Divorce and living in fornication are out of control, and almost totally accepted. Over 50 million babies have been destroyed! The anniversary of the infamous Roe v.Wade decision was just last week.

We cannot hide behind God's Sovereignty either! He is absolutely sovereign, but He uses human instrumentality to accomplish many of His purposes. He used John Knox in Scotland, the Wesleys and Whitefield in England, Martin Luther in Germany, etc. Can He use you? Are you willing to be used of God no matter what He wants to do with you?

Join hands with us to turn the tide — by prayer! By evangelism! By speaking out on the issues! By publishing! We will be accountable for not doing good. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17).

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


"For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain" (Philippians 1:21).

Are these words of the Apostle Paul, stating his personal relationship with Jesus Christ, my words also? Are they yours? Paul was not stating these words to brag, nor was he confining their effect to
only himself. These words should be heartfelt and part of every believer's life. It should be our "life verse". I have always said that my life verse is "He must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:30). Even that one is hard to live day by day. Being creatures of flesh, all of us are more prone to live this in reality "To me to live is to be successful, and to die is having to reluctantly leave it all behind".

Of course, to the lost world, living in Christ, walking in Christ, witnessing for Christ are all things that a
madman does. Christ is dead, don't you know? He has been for nearly 2000 years, or so these blinded rebels say. What they are not seeing is that, yes, He died, but He is risen!

What made Paul different is that he
met the resurrected Christ on the Damascus road, and thereafter he was never the same as before. He was a persecutor of the church, but now is a proclaimer of the gospel of the Christ that he once persecuted.

We are not even looking at this time at the second part of this verse. That talks about
dying. No one wants to do that. Understandably so, for God so designed us with survival instincts, yet Paul says for him, to die is gain. We will examine that later. For now, focus on the living part. Is Christ so in us and our lives that we can say with Paul "To me to live is Christ"? That is a tall order. We cannot do it. In ourselves, at least, we cannot do it. The Holy Spirit (who is the Spirit of Christ), must be so in control of us that we do not live our own lives, as such, but "Christ liveth in me".

Our verse is perhaps the key verse of Philippians, and one of the most important in the Bible. Am I, are you, living it
in application? I confess that I am not fully, but I sincerely want to do so. I am striving against sin daily. I am looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith. Yet, I still fall short of the glory of God. I am not giving up, and with God as my helper, I am going to reach that place where I can say with Paul "For to me to live is Christ". How about you?

By Charles Woodruff 1/12/2010