Sunday, December 1, 2013

Response to the NCFIC Panel



Recently there was a question asked at a  a panel of professing believers at a National Center for Family Integrated Churches conference. Let me say first of all, that at this point, I am rather grateful that the church in which I am one of the Elders is not a member of this organization.  I really don’t know much about this panel, other than that I have learned from Joel Beeke.  I freely admit that I ought not to be the one speaking, for many are more than qualified.  But, I also believe that the response against this should be overwhelming until there is true, sincere and clear repentance on the part of this panel. 

Let me first ask, where are the men on this panel?  Is not such a lack of response a witness of weakness in the face of wrong?  It seems that speaker number five gave a  condescending plea for “compassion” for these poor brothers who were so unfortunate as to have been brought up like this.  These rappers need to be “brought in and discipled.”  Sir, I would go to war a thousand times with these brothers then anytime with the men on this panel.  Where are the men on this panel?  Where are those who would stand up and rebuke this slander of brothers in Christ?  I am offended that neither Joel nor anyone else present addressed the obvious malice in the words of these men.  The condescending attitudes towards other servants of God has no place in those I associate myself with.  I and many others issue a call for repentance!  You men who were on this panel need to examine your hearts.  How dare you stoop to such malevolent levels as to call our brothers in Christ disobedient cowards?  

 Surely there was something in your hearts that cried out that these words were completely inappropriate.  Even sinister.  Is it no cowardice to do nothing when wrong is being done or wrong things said?  How appropriate it would have been for someone present to man up and speak out!  This is nothing less than racism.  What other cultures would you go in and demand that the Christians there accept your own European white man ancient church culture?   You men who uttered these words ought to be ashamed of yourselves for taking part in the slander of other men of God who have battled the real enemy daily, preaching, planting churches, evangelizing and discipling.  These men are on fire for God and are being used of God.  In fact, this, along with the resurgence is a work of God and you may find yourselves to be opposing the very work of God.  And why “Reformed Rappers” in the first place?  Do you not know that there are rappers out there with very weak theology?  Worldly rappers?  Why the “reformed”?  What are you trying to protect?  We ought to be praising God that the gospel has penetrated to this culture also and the gospel is going forth in our inner cities, but you sirs have rather attacked your brethren. 

The first speaker tells us that God cares not only about the words, but about the presentation.  Of course, he, like the others, gives us not one scriptural source for their beliefs from what I remember, but there is a chance that my passions overtook me and I didn’t hear a bare mention.  They have scruples about rap music and demand that we bow to their views.  As a former traditionalist and legalist, my hackles rise at the very mention of things like this.  These men were claiming to speak for God, without God’s authority.  Is it not dangerous for men to claim to speak for God and provide no scriptural proof for what they are saying?  Should we not warn the church of such dangers?
This first speaker in his arrogant salvo claims that the focus in rap is not on the words.  This is laughable.  Rap is first and foremost about the words.  It’s all about the words.  Then he says that music is to help us remember words.  Is this a fact?  Well, then, you have thousands of young people literally memorizing the Word of God due to our brethren who rap.  They are memorizing “reformed doctrine”, verses, etc. on a level which would be hard to compare to with any other style of music or culture.  

Then, this first speaker goes on to say that rap is about drawing attention to the rapper.  How condescending once again.  I personally know some of these brethren and have met many others and have not had one encounter where I would say that these brothers are not humble.  Not one.  Now, surely there is a proud rapper out there.  We all struggle with pride.  But these brothers have gone to war in one of the most difficult cultures to work in and here we are sitting back launching attacks against them instead of encouraging them.  These young men are speaking into the lives of thousands.  Thousands of young people and are giving them meat.  They are teaching them.   They are preaching the gospel and we, unlike the apostle Paul, cannot even rejoice in that.  I say again, shame on you all!

The second speaker,  again says that God cares “how we say it”.  Again, no scripture.  I am not saying that God doesn’t care how we say it.  I am saying that the level of intellect displayed during this panel is certainly not one to be proud of.  Here is some awful logic.1.  “God cares about how we say what we say”. 2. “You aren’t saying things about God in the way God wants them to be said”.  So, 3. “You should not say things that way”.  Brilliant!

This second speaker goes on to say “Some of them are much more doctrinally dense than some of our songs…however”.   So, it doesn’t matter that some of the rapping is theologically more intense than many of our Hymns, “we think it is bad”.  How about we just tell them to go back to the plantation and gather around their sheds and sing their great old Negro spirituals?  Just don’t bring them into our white church!  

The second speaker goes on to speak about the “cultural milieu” rap grew out of.  OK, so why don’t we just eliminate that culture, huh?  Let’s stamp them out of society so they don’t taint our white churches!  Here the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is changing people and redeeming a culture and this man just can’t see it.  He actually goes on to say that what is redeemed changes, meaning of course, that in his view, if a black person becomes saved, he will certainly not use rap music to preach the gospel.. No, he will go on the streets with “whiter” types of songs, well like Hymns from the 1700’s and 1800’s of course, written by good European blood type people.  Ugh !  We are at that point again where cultural standards are a test of spirituality, and of course, it’s a biased test written by white men.

   In fact, at this point, I am willing to say that unless these men repent, they should not be listened to, supported, or encouraged to pursue ministry or further relationships in the church.
Geoff Botkin actually says something like, this rapping reveals “the weakness and surrender of those serving their own flesh”.  I cannot condescend low enough to respond appropriately.  Then he uses the words referring to our brethren as “disobedient cowards”. Sir, you speak evil words here.  These were words that ought not to be mentioned in the fellowship of the saints.  If I were in fellowship with you I would withdraw myself and wish that you were even “cut off”, from the fellowship of the saints, until you repent.  And a small quote on a comment section is not enough.  This panel needs to repent publicly.  Soon!  

These brothers you have maligned are confronting the world in a way that you never dreamed of doing.  These brothers are going into the ghettos, our cities, into the streets and are preaching the Glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ!  

Speaker number 5 launches into a diatribe about Toby Mac.  Not a Reformed Rapper, but what’s that got to do with it as long as it helps shore up the arguments.  He goes on to speak about maturity and Christian Manhood.  A 50 year old man with a backwards hat.     Sir, we don’t need you to pull anyone up to Christian Maturity and manhood.  We need you to simply get out of the way while we go to war.   

Speaker number 6 then says that “some forms of music cannot be separated out of the culture from which it comes.”  His proof text is that some young men wear earrings and he is able to teach them that the earring is identifying them with an unwanted culture.  This is nothing les than ungodly legalism.   Teach them how to dress.  Teach them how to sound.  Teach them to be “whited-sepulchres”.   And they will.  Oh they will Mr. Morecraft. 

 Joe, then goes on to say that “rap music is the death rattle in the throat of a dying culture”.  Yes, again, strong logic being present by this entire panel.   
 
Again, these men must repent.  We must stand against such nonsense.  

To all my brethren who have been spoken against.  I am sorry.  I am sorry you had to hear this.  I’m sorry it is out there.  Don’t listen to it.  You are being used of God mightily.  You know that.  We know that.  We have seen the fruit.  We are witnessing a work of God.   God is behind this.
Keep on keeping on.    
I wish I were a better writer and more qualified.  I probably made a mess of this whole thing, but I couldn’t help it. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

GRACE CAMP MEETING 2013

Excited to announce that our Grace Camp Meeting date for 2013 is April 11-14.  Our three main speakers are Mack Tomlinson, Curt Daniel and Charles Leiter.  What a treat for us as these dear brothers have consented to come and be a help to us for these days.  Grace Camp Meeting has always been such a blessing to so many and it is a wonderful opportunity for us to serve others in many ways.  Right now, I am just asking you to pray.  Please begin praying now for God to work in our midst during this years Camp Meeting at Rockport.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

4th ANNUAL GRACE CAMP MEETING - ARNOLD, MO.

4TH ANNUAL GRACE CAMP MEETING - ARNOLD, MO


Rockport Baptist Church is sponsoring their 4th annual
Grace Camp Meeting, April 7th - 10th.
We have been seeking the Lord diligently since the first of the year and are excited about what the Lord is going to do.

Here is a link to the church website where you can register. There is no charge for the conference, but we would like to know how many we will have to feed.

http://www.rockportbaptist.org/

Just click on the Grace Camp Meeting icon to register



Hear are some sermons from our speakers:

Curt Daniel

http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=1030101035340

Mack Tomlinson

http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=10311001692

Bob Jennings

http://www.sermonaudio.com/search.asp?SpeakerOnly=true&currSection=sermonsspeaker&keyword=Bob^Jennings

contact me for more info
Bob Schembre
314-807-6359

Friday, March 25, 2011

Parenting – Consistency, Consistency, Consistency

(some practical biblical advice on training young children)

How does one train his child to be well-behaved? Certainly there are different temperaments that we have to deal with when raising children, but the bible gives us plenty of instruction as to how to normally raise a child. In this article, I want to offer some practical advice concerning training a child to obey.

Genesis 8:21 teaches us that the imagination of a child's heart is evil. Proverbs 22:15 teaches us that foolishness is bound in his heart. Children are naturally inclined to disobey their parents. God has given parents the responsibility to save their children from destroying themselves in sin. The method that God has given us is discipline. (Prov 22:15)

It is important that parents realize that their responsibility to lovingly discipline their children begins when they are born and ends when they leave home. For the sake of this article, I am going to focus on the early years.

Our children are conceived in sin and have a natural disposition to lie, disobey and rebel. (Psa. 51:5) Babies are born in sin and immediately are inclined to begin ordering their lives around themselves. It is the responsibility of the parents to train their children that there is a certain time to eat and a certain time to sleep. Good parenting involves quickly establishing as consistent of a routine as possible for their new baby. From birth to departure from the home, children need guidelines. These must always be administered with grace, but they must be firmly held to in love. It is the responsibility of the godly parent to begin teaching their children early that the life of the family is centered on Christ.

It is time consuming and exhausting to properly raise children. One the most important lessons that children must be taught is that they must obey. The only way that children learn to obey is if the parent teaches the child discipline and if failure to obey is rewarded with correction. The biblical means of correction begins with spanking, or to use biblical terms beating them with a rod. Of course, this does not mean beating as you would beat a wild donkey. Spankings are to be given with discretion and in love. But they are to be given firmly and consistently. The amount of correction needed depends on the offense.

In the early months of child-rearing, all of the discipline involves routine, including feeding, changing, playing and putting to bed. The parents must be consistent if they are to expect the child to ultimately learn that there are guidelines and rules in the home. Within 6 months of the child being born (some will naturally disagree here), the child will need to begin to understand more punitive types of correction. This will involve mainly a touch and a firm tone in response to negative behavior. Most mothers who breast-feed are keenly aware of the need for this when the child around this age or even earlier get their first teeth. Beards are also a good way to begin training children. When the child is old enough to understand the touch and negative tone, they should be trained to obey. Some gentlemen think it is great to have their beards pulled upon, but when the child gets a little older it is not so funny. (Ok, I am joshing a little here.) The point is that we must take our parenting seriously. Parenting is so much more than discipline, but without discipline our jobs will eventually become almost impossible.

The next stage of correction comes as the child begins to get around a little. This will be between the ages of 6 months to a year. By one year they should be getting around very well and if you haven’t begun to discipline them, parenting will begin to get much more frustrating. Parenting is teamwork and the father should ensure that when he is home, he is actively involved in raising the children. He should help in maintaining a loving atmosphere and a firm hand in correction.

When the child begins to do something that is not permissible, like grab a table lamp or stick their fingers in a light socket, it behooves the parent to maintain a consistent method of correction. Remind them of their former training with a firm touch and a firm tone, saying “NO”! Yelling will never do in the home and should not be permitted. (I only wish I had always kept this rule.) The tongue is a world of iniquity and must be kept in submission to the spirit of God. If the child repeats the negative behavior a firm swat should quickly ensue. Be very careful of using your hand to do this. First of all the Bible does always mention using a rod. (Proverbs 23:13,14) I have investigated this word on a number of occasions and am persuaded that the closest we can get to the instrument in mind is a small wooden instrument. We used a small wooden spoon. A small dowel rod between ¼ and ½ inch and no longer than one foot long would be appropriate in my opinion at this age. A small branch off of a bush with the rough places smoothed off would seem to fit here biblically also.

Normally this will be enough of a deterrent at first even through diapers, but before long the child will catch on that there isn’t much pain associated with diaper protection and will not take it seriously and may in fact take it as a kind of a game. I think the best course here is to remove the diaper and give a swat. I know that most parents will think this is too much trouble. I understand that, but we are required to be good stewards with these children that the Lord has given us and inconsistency will not do. It may be appropriate to swat the back of side of the thigh, but I am afraid that normally we should see that there is a place that the Lord made to be swatted.

The next stage we can guide our children is in remaining still and quiet for a period of time. Around one year old, I would begin having my children start learning to sit still during devotions. I would always have my bible on my lap on one side and the child on the other. My goal was to be able to read a certain portion of scripture with them sitting still. They were not allowed to squirm, get down or cry out. For any of these actions, I would give them a firm “NO” and the second instance would always be followed with a “NO” and a swat on the side of the thigh. This is normally all it took in order to read the few verses I had selected. If it continued, they would receive the same verbal command followed by a swat. After a couple days of being consistent, they would only need rare reminders.

Recently one of the young Christian mothers of our church told me about how she has “blanket time” with her baby. This means that the child is put on a blanket for a certain period of time, just a couple of minutes and they were not allowed to get off of the blanket, throw things or cry out. Each time the child would disobey there would be a swat and the time was gradually lengthened. I heartily commend this mother for her consistency.

That is what it is all about parents. Consistency. If you are not consistent and firm in your discipline, it will not work and will not be a blessing to your child. Laziness is not excuse. Fathers should take the lead in this matter of discipline and help the mother when they are in the house. Fathers are to take the lead in spiritual matters and in matters of discipline. Normally when there are discipline issues in the home it is because of the passivity of the father. Mothers likewise are required to be consistent. The child needs to know clear guidelines as to what is acceptable behavior.

When going to church, we always left our children in the churches nursery until such a time as I thought it was fair to require them to sit still for the required amount of time. This was up to my discretion as I got to know the temperament of the child, but it was normally around the age of two. This was a new experience to them so I prayed for those around me to have patience as I trained them. When I was in the pulpit, I allowed my wife to make her own decision about what she thought she was able to handle. The added benefit to having me in the pulpit of the small churches I was normally Pastor of at those ages was that I could look at the child and sometimes I would even give a verbal command while I was preaching. (the tone was such that they knew they were in trouble after church.)

But there never was a time in church, in our home, during devotions, at the dinner table or otherwise that our children were not clear on acceptable behavior. We had those riotous moments at young ages when one child would throw something from his high-chair across the table, but if this action was repeated it quickly became an action that we did not tolerate. In fact, the only time I remember our children being unhappy at the dinner table was when I was sinfully responding to some issue and would bring it to the table. I can’t tell you how deeply I regret those sinful times.

It is important to teach children how to behave properly. We could go to someone’s home for a visit and the children would remain seated in their places while we talked and visited. Before the age of two, guests would have to be patient, especially if we were the quests, while we trained our children to be quiet and to sit still. There were times when a limit was obviously reached and we would have to retreat to a separate room where the child usually came back from quietly sobbing. When this was in restaurants it was always encouraging when coming back from the rest-room or car to get stares from those in the restaurant who did not believe in discipline and would frown, while others may knowingly nod their approval. But we are required to be consistent and the place where we are should matter little. Our children profited from correction and began enjoying gathering with others. In fact, at early ages, they learned that there would come appropriate times when they could actually engage in the conversation and be a part of the community. Engaging socially was something that was first learned in our home and around quests. The only way that this is accomplished is through consistent discipline.

Perhaps next time I will cover later ages or answer questions some people have.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

4TH ANNUAL GRACE CAMP MEETING - ARNOLD, MO

4TH ANNUAL GRACE CAMP MEETING - ARNOLD, MO


Rockport Baptist Church is sponsoring their 4th annual
Grace Camp Meeting, April 7th - 10th.
We have been seeking the Lord diligently since the first of the year and are excited about what the Lord is going to do.

Here is a link to the church website where you can register. There is no charge for the conference, but we would like to know how many we will have to feed.

http://www.rockportbaptist.org/

Just click on the Grace Camp Meeting icon to register



Hear are some sermons from our speakers:

Curt Daniel

http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=1030101035340

Mack Tomlinson

http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=10311001692

Bob Jennings

http://www.sermonaudio.com/search.asp?SpeakerOnly=true&currSection=sermonsspeaker&keyword=Bob^Jennings

contact me for more info
Bob Schembre
314-807-6359

ARE YOU ABLE TO BE REBUKED?

If you have not been rebuked lately, what is wrong with you? Do your friends
think that you are so thin-skinned and fragile that you could never take any
negativity? Or are they simply in the habit of living out compromised lives
regardless of the consequences? Or is it simply that you are too prideful and
everyone knows that any attempt at correcting you would result in such a
prideful rebuff and defense that they are not prone to offer much of anything in
the way of advice.

According to the scriptures, rebuke, reproof and correction ought to be a part
of the Christian community. It should be exercised only when needed and in love,
but it should be exercised. I think that the main problem is that in our day of
egalitarianism no one wants to be told that they are less than they should be.
We insist only on affirmation. This is the cry of the day. But in the
Christian community this is to live in an unbiblical way.

Pride is at the root of it all. If you cannot receive a rebuke without being
defensive, you are prideful. Many people are adept at giving out correction,
but poorly receive it. This is to show that one has no understanding and is not
wise. (Proverbs 9:8)

In order to receive rebuke, one must be walking in humility and dependence on
God. We cannot have high views of ourselves and walk in wisdom. (Proverbs 10:17)
We will not be ready to receive needed correction and instruction if we think
that we have no need of it.

We must believe that God is Sovereign in order to receive rebuke. If we are
continually seeing men opposing us, it is fairly certain that we are
self-centered. God may indeed use men to sanctify us, but it is in seeing the
hand of God in our lives rather than mere men opposing us that we are able to
rest in His Sovereign power and humbly receive whatever instruction comes our
way, so that we might carefully weigh its truthfulness. (Proverbs 1:25; Proverbs
12:1)

We must understand that we have a great need to learn and gain understanding.
One who chafes at personal instruction is prideful. He is rebellious and lacks
faith. He is living a life of self-sufficiency thinking that he has all that he
needs to live. This person is in danger. He is spiritually blind to his own
deficiencies and is not able to see his need, therefore when correction comes,
his first inclination is self-preservation. He is merely preserving his image,
defending his perception of himself and ensuring that the fa├žade is never torn
down.

How do you receive a rebuke? How do you accept correction? How do YOU receive
reproof?

If you are not able to, then you must repent of your pride and humble yourself
before God that He may exalt you in due time.