Thursday, January 11, 2007

Palermo Speaks to 2.22

On Tuesday, January 9th, Jason Palermo was our guest speaker at 2.22 while Pastor Jeff was out of town continuing in his MDiv studies.

He gave a great survey through the OT of Israel's role as a light unto the nations, and used that foundation to help us understand the role as New Testament believers in our world - particularly within the goverment. He also reminded us of Paul's exhortation to believers as to their (our) role towards goverment officials. Was it to lobby them or petition them? How about pray for them?

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

1 Timothy 2:1-7

Should Christians vote? Should Christians protest? Should Christians run for public office? How can we make America a better country?

Questions like these are what prompted Jason's message to us.

We'll try to have his full notes soon, but he ended with some helpful "take away" points that we would do good to consider. As we try to maintain the balance between being a faithful citizen of the heavenly kingdom with being a responsible citizen of this earthly kingdom, Jason suggested that we might run into trouble...

1. When we lose our redemptive focus or emphasis.
2. When we compromise God's mission for an earthly temporal one.
3. When we moralize instead of evangelize.

He concluded with these thoughts:

Christ's that we ought to let our light so shine before men that they may see our good works and glorify our Father who is in heaven. So we influence by righteous example in thinking, attitude, speech and other good deeds - and we make disciples of the nations and their leaders until Christ returns.

For further reading on this topic, here are several recommendations:

Why Goverment Can't Save You, by John MacArthur

Sinners in the Hands of an Angry Church: Finding a Better Way to Influence Our Culture, by Dean Merrill.

Blinded By Might: Can the Religious Right Save America?, by Cal Thomas and Ed Dobson.

Monday, January 01, 2007

New Year's Links

As you start the new year off with resolutions and various new self disciplines, the following links might be helpful:

Jonathan Edwards Resolutions

John MacArthur's suggested "Steps to Self Discipline"

And this Pyro Post regarding things New Year.

Guest Preacher at 2.22

On Tuesday, January 9th, Jason Palermo will be our guest speaker at 2.22 while Pastor Jeff is out of town continuing in his MDiv studies.

Jason, his wife Jennifer and son Elijah are new to Little Rock and the Bible Church, having recently been planted here to begin Capitol Ministries in Arkansas' own capital city.

Many of you met and heard from Jason before Christmas as he visited 2.22 to share about the mission and needs of Capitol Ministries. If you missed it, you can read Jason's brief bio here, as well as more information about Capitol Ministries here.

We are excited about the opportunity to hear Jason (MDiv, Master's Seminary) open God's Word to us, and he's excited too!