Church 101: A Senior Pastor’s First Message to the Church

My church got a new senior pastor last Sunday. Actually, he’s been around for quite a while (at least five years) as the Associate Pastor. But Ken Mbugua officially became the Senior Pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church on October 18th, 2015.

His first message will remain etched in my mind for a long time. Not because he was particularly eloquent in his delivery (though he always is), but because I believe this is one of the few messages worth retaining in a heart that refers to itself as Christian.

The title of this inaugural sermon was “The Preeminence of Christ in the Local Church” and Pastor Ken spent the rest of the time fading into the background as he presented Christ as supreme to his flock.

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“I want us to grasp the one tune, the one foundation, the one focus and the one goal for which we exist and for which we will do all that we do: to worship Jesus in the local church,” he began as he crescendoed into the heights of what it means to be a church. Continue reading Church 101: A Senior Pastor’s First Message to the Church

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When Obedience is Disobedience: A Gospel Primer

“You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!” (James 2:19 ESV)

The difference between demons and the children of God is not in their “beliefs”, but in their “lives”.

God demands PERFECT obedience. So does this mean that we are to always do right and never fail or fall at any point? That sounds quite… UNREALISTIC. No human being can do that, at least not from my own experience. Continue reading When Obedience is Disobedience: A Gospel Primer

Is That Biblical? What Does “Biblical” Even Mean?

Perhaps you have used the word before, and quite often for that matter. “That’s not even biblical“, “Give me a biblical basis for your argument”, “Is the word biblical in the Bible?” I can’t help but wonder, what do Christians mean when they use that word, biblical? I know the form of the word itself implies that it has something to do with the Bible, but what does the word biblical really mean? You may be surprised at how many different responses there are to this seemingly simple question. I am afraid that we have become too concerned with whether or not something is biblical without actually realizing that we could be misusing and abusing the term biblical. This could be a catastrophic omission in our biblical discussions, and it needs to be highlighted.

The reason why I am writing about this today is out of a double sense of mild frustration and deep concern. I am frustrated by how many times that word, biblical is loosely thrown about in an attempt to validate, support or justify whatever doctrine one purports to be true. I am concerned that the word continues to be used by many Christians as a blinding veil over questionable hermeneutic practices and to silence those who may try to challenge questionable or debatable opinions. The following are three common responses that I’ve encountered regarding the question “what does the term ‘biblical’ mean?” Continue reading Is That Biblical? What Does “Biblical” Even Mean?