Fall Activities and Thoughts
Thankful for God's Blessings!
We are so blessed to be able to have a God who loves and blesses us in all seasons. As the fall is fully upon us we can trust in His promises and care for us. He doesn't leave or forsake us in any season of life.
- He suffers the little children to come unto him
- He cares for the youth
- He provides for our families
- He gives us purpose in through our years
- He is with us as we age and renews our strength
- He will see us through until we meet Him in heaven
Oh that we might continue to taste and see how good our God is and continue to do that each day and throughout our lives.
So, as the days get shorter; the clock gets moved back and the holiday season is just around the corner, let use the time to draw closer to God. Let's renew our walk with Him and get to know Him in a deeper and great way.
With that thought we have included a few things in this newsletter. Be sure to see the Devotional Guide Below. You can print it out or find it on our App as well. It is in the church foyer also. I have included a New Testament Bible reading plan that will help you stain track. If you need anything don't hesitate to contact me.
- Pastor Mark Sage - firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday Night, October 29th
Come out for a good family time. Everyone in the family is included in the fun. We are giving away a lot of candy to the kids. There will be games, activities, a meal, and a devotion from God's Word. We are dressing up in our favorite football team's colors, jersey, or go all out in the whole football uniform or "crazy fan outfit." Best dressed gets a prize. Hope to see you tomorrow.
Read the New Testament in 6 Months
Print this out or pick one up in the church foyer for your Bible reading.
Catching Up on Some Recent Messages and Information
YOU DO YOU?
There is a common expression of this generation, have you heard it? It is: “YOU DO YOU!” Basically it means this – you do what you want to, what is convenient, what is your taste and don’t worry or care about what anyone else thinks as long as you are comfortable. It is a way of justifying someone for their actions that are often wrong or of low or questionable character.
We like to use other phrases that justify who we are such as: “This is just how I am,”or “I don’t have to change for anyone,” or even “Well, this is the way God made me.” Well you may be a sinner, but God did not create you to be in sin and continue therein.
We use phrases like those mentioned about to justify sinful behaviors that have a hold on our lives. It is what people use to justify their overeating or their indulgences in various forms of entertainment whether it be good or bad. It is what causes people to pursue vain and worthless lifestyles and existences that neither provide them any substance in life, income to show, or worthy product or result for their time or effort. It wastes countless hours on video games, television, and social media just because "We Like It!" So, we often will say this to others so we can justify ourselves in our pursuits, "YOU DO YOU!"
My wife and I tease each other sometimes with that statement when she wants to go shopping or I want to go shooting. Now, most things we all do in moderation are fine. If my wife spends a few hours shopping on Saturday or I go shooting at the range once a month, it is not a problem. But if Pastor Sage went shooting for six hours a day, everyday, for five or six days a week, leaving my work undone, my family neglected, and our financial outlook destroyed - and I say to be people, "YOU DO YOU and I'LL DO ME" then that would be a problem.
More important than my own preferences is that it is not just about me. Because I belong to Christ and I have placed my faith in Him as my Lord and Saviour, then everything I do reflects upon Him. I want to challenge you that this attitude of "YOU DO YOU" should never be an attitude a Believer in Christ should ever take. You belong to Christ. You are His. He has a calling for your life and therefore He wants to use you. But when we do for ourselves or what we want, it almost never lines up with what He wants for our lives.
So rather than "YOU DO YOU" how about you practice some better Biblical phrases and live by them:
- YOU LIVE FOR GOD - Romans 12:1-2
- YOU DIE TO SELF - Matthew 16:24; 1 Corinthians 15:21
- YOU CARE FOR OTHERS - Galatians 6:2; Matthew 25:34-37
These are much better mottos for the Christian to live by.
Give everything to and your all for your God, don't follow the world's self-promotion and self-centered attitudes - Give God your very Best and don't settle for your old sinful ways any longer.
- Pastor Mark Sage
Ten Problems with Being Woke (Worldly Perspective)
I put this in our digital bulletin yesterday, in case you missed it I have shared it here:
ARTICLE ON BEING WOKE by Mark Powell
TEN PROBLEMS WITH BEING WOKE
2020 has been an incredibly difficult year. But of deeper concern, than even COVID-19, is the growing threat that Critical Race Theory—popularly expressed as being ‘woke’—has had upon much of Western society.
2020 has been an incredibly difficult year. But of deeper concern, than even COVID-19, is the growing threat that Critical Race Theory—popularly expressed as being ‘woke’—has had upon much of Western society. Leftist thinking that was once quarantined within the ivory-towered walls of the universities, has suddenly escaped into the wet-markets of everyday life.
If you don’t know what I’m referring too then take a look at the excellent five-part series by Dr. Owen Strachan titled, Christianity & Wokeness. For a shorter—and far more shocking—example then see the following lecture by Ashleigh Shackleford:
Shackleford describes herself as a queer, non-binary Black fat femme writer, cultural producer, and artist. But note that according to Shackleford all white people are racists, non-humans and even demons! All this simply because of the colour of their skin. While this is obviously an extreme example, the arguments of critical race theory (CRT) are making significant inroads into the evangelical church. For instance, Eternity published an opinion piece earlier this year with the provocative title, ‘I’m a Presbyterian Minister, my wife is Asian, and I’m thinking about white privilege’.
But according to Dr. Strachan—the Associate Professor of Christian Theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri—the intellectual under pinning’s of this anti-Christian movement are of grave concern. Indeed, Dr Strachan argues in an article for Patheos that for those who are convinced and committed to being pro-woke, then church discipline should be applied!
What follows is a summary of what Dr Strachan outlines in his lecture Christianity and Wokeness as being the reason for such a strong response:
First, because wokeness perverts the imago Dei. Rather than viewing all of humanity as being inherently equal, wokeness divides everyone into different races. Hence, rather than promoting peace and unity, it instead results in conflict and division. Note that in Genesis 1, while the LORD God made animals and plants “according to their kinds”, He made man and woman alone to be in His image. What’s more, because we are all descendants of Adam and Eve (Acts 17:26; Romans 5:12), people from every nation under heaven are fundamentally the same in dignity and value (James 3:9).
Second, because wokeness has a different view of sin. Race, and especially being white, is itself viewed as being wicked rather than our own moral rebellion against a holy and loving God. What’s more, authority systems and structures of any kind are viewed as being wrong while—ironically—establishing new hierarchies which show favouritism to one ethnic group over another.
Third, because wokeness denies the reality of creation order and the goodness of God’s design. According to Strachan, Wokeness is profoundly anti-binary, denying the different roles between men and women (1 Cor. 11:3; 1 Tim. 2:11-15). This affects both domestic and church order.
Fourth, because wokeness foments the sin it seeks to resist and in so doing itself becomes racist. Tragically, being ‘woke’ turns one into the very thing that they set out to oppose. What’s more, wokeness greatly complicates all inter-racial relationships. Just note, for example, the accusations of being a ‘white coloniser’ against Amy-Coney Barrett for adopting children from Haiti:
Ibram X. Kendi, an American author who became the new director of the Centre for Antiracist Research at Boston University in July, railed against Barrett on Twitter for adopting two Black children from Haiti, equating her and her husband to “White colonizers.”
“Some White colonizers ‘adopted’ Black children. They ‘civilized’ these ‘savage’ children in the ‘superior’ ways of White people, while using them as props in their lifelong pictures of denial, while cutting the biological parents of these children out of the picture of humanity,”
Fifth, because wokeness reverses the order of Christianity showing compassion only to some. Once again, according to Strachan, Critical Race Theory cannot create a system of virtue and justice and instead, tried to take Christianity captive. This is because wokeness makes individuals the sum of their different groups. We lose the individual and their value as having been made in God’s image. To paraphrase George Orwell’s Animal Farm, some people are seen as being more human than others.
Sixth, because wokeness redefines what Scriptures views as being good and evil (see Isaiah 5:20). This was especially evident in the Black Lives Matter™ movement. As has become clear, it is profoundly anti-Christian. Not only do their founders proudly acknowledge that they are “trained Marxists”, but their own website states that their goals are to: disrupt the natural nuclear family, promotes transgenderism and queerness while being opposed to every form of heternormativity.
Seventh, because wokeness reads cultural events in terms of its dominant narrative, omitting many of the nuances and many counter truths. Just because there are differences between various cultural groups doesn’t prove that it is due to racism. As one quickly learns when doing any form of research, correlation doesn’t equal causation. Thus, we must always beware of simplistic answers that ascribe mono-causality, and in particular, we need to be careful about reading cultural events to reinforce the narrative we have already constructed.
Eighth, because wokeness destabilises the free market and attacks limited government. Strachan refers to the 1619 project by The New York Times, a revolutionary economic approach which depends on a historical revisionist camp called, The New History of Capitalism. This is a recent scholarly movement that seeks to discredit capitalism as being inherently racist. They argue that half of the economic activity that came into the United States in 1836 was based upon the cotton industry and therefore the slave trade. Hence, slavery drives the free market.
However, Phillip Magness from the American Institute for Economic Research argues that the American economy would have grown a much bigger and better free market without slavery. This is because slavery spreads poverty more than prosperity. In short, Strachan says, “Had chattel slavery never taken hold in the United States we would have been richer than we are today! To be pro-free market…doesn’t mean that you are pro-slavery.”
Ninth, because wokeness destabilises truth making it ‘narratival’ rather than absolute. As what has recently been decided with the Academy Awards, minorities must be elevated. Their stories should gain greater prominence and have their ‘truth’ heard. However, God’s truth is true for everyone in all times and in all places. What Francis Schaeffer referred to as ‘True Truth’. Strachan rightly argues that while we want a diverse church we don’t do it thinking that different groups have a greater grip on the truth as others (see John 17:17-19).
Tenth, because wokeness promotes a new system of righteousness and unrighteousness. Ultimately, ‘wokeness’ preaches a different Gospel. It is not just a gospel of good works, but even worse than that, a system of salvation founded upon an ongoing system of penance. Reconciliation can never be achieved for sin can never be atoned. Hence, rather than leading to peace, wokeness only leads to division.
In 2 Corinthians 10 the apostle Paul exhorts believers to “…demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5). Likewise, in Colossians 2:8 Paul warns, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” Thus, Strachan says: ‘Do not sit quietly by as wokeness takes over institutions, universities, groups, friendship networks, and families. This is not a drill. This is not miles away. This is not a vague and distance threat. This is zero hour. By God’s grace, don’t be taken captive.’
That is the challenge that is before us with the temptation of being ‘woke’. Make no mistake, Critical Race Theory is a profoundly anti-Christian philosophy that should be soundly rejected. It undermines or replaces every major doctrinal tenant of Christianity.
Followers of Jesus, however, have been given something far richer, and that is the gracious gift of new birth. We are not merely ‘awake’, but born-again by God’s Spirit. And as such, through His divine power, we have everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him (2 Peter 1:3).