Search This Blog

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas-A Promise Kept

Merry Christmas to everyone. Here's my 08 Christmas sermon.

Christmas is thought of in many ways by different people. For many it is a cultural holiday filled with family traditions. Christmas is seen as a time to get together with family and to share gifts. One stat I ran across stated that “Americans used 28,497,464 rolls and sheets of wrapping paper, 16,826,362 packages of tags and bows, 372,430,684 greeting cards, and 35,200,000 Christmas trees during the 1989 Christmas season.”

In contrast to the cultural celebrations of Christmas, the Bible explains it as an amazing time to reflect on God as the Great Promise Keeper of the Greatest Promise ever made. The prophet Micah takes up the grand theme of the promise of Christmas in chapter 5 verses 2-5a. His prophecy strips away all of our cultural trapping and reveals the essence of what Christmas is really all about. It is a promise God made many many years ago and a promise that God has kept.

1st Christmas is about a Strange Promise, Micah 5:2
“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah," Micah 5:2.
Here in this verse, as strange as it seems, God speaks to a little town, Bethlehem, as if it were a person. The verse stresses the insignificance of this town. It was so insignificant that it was omitted from the extensive list of Judah’s towns in Joshua 15:33-60. Historically, Bethlehem held no regional significance, and unlike Jerusalem, it held no national significance. It, therefore, certainly held no international significance.

Yet some 2800 years after Micah penned these words, if you were to google the phrase "famous towns," you would run across places like Paris, Vienna, Hollywood. And in that list you would see the little town of Bethlehem. That is for one reason God, who makes promises, is the great Promise Keeper. Now today, if you go anywhere in the world you'd be hard pressed to find a person who doesn’t know about the little town of Bethlehem.

The obvious question is, how did this little town rise to such a place of international prominence? It is not famous because of a natural resource it has, like oil, or some industry that happens there, like cars. But it is famous for one reason--its most famous Son was born there in fulfillment of God’s promise of Christmas.

2nd, Christmas is about a Miraculous Promise, 5:2b
Micah adds, “One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.”

From the little town of Bethlehem One would come forth who is sovereign. His activities began even before His birth. The NT makes it clear that He is the Great “I Am” in the burning bush. Although He would be fully man, the apostle John, in similar fashion to Micah, makes it clear that He would also be the eternal God (John 1:1-3; 8:58). This is the miraculous promise of Christmas.

3rd, Christmas is about a Merciful Promise, 5:3
"Therefore, He will give them up until the time"
That means that before the coming of this Great Sovereign, God would give Israel over "to absolute abandonment because of her sin" (1:5-6; 2:1-5; 3:4, 9-12; 4:10; 6:9-16)] EBC. Although God gave Judah great privileges, they did not obey Him. Although He sent them prophets, they did not listen to Him. Although He lavished His love on Him, they did not love Him and instead loved the ways of the nations. To discipline them, God gave them over to the nations. Yet God will not always be angry with His chosen nation, Israel.

Micah states, "When she who is in labor has borne a child, then the remainder of His brethren will return to the sons of Israel." The she in this context is clearly the nation of Israel (4:9-10), and the child borne is clearly the Messiah whose days stretched back into eternity. God would give Judah over to suffer the fate of her sins until She, that is Israel, gives birth to the coming ruler. So her destiny is tied to His. When He reigns, she will be exalted.

4th, Christmas is about an Incomplete Promise, 5:4-5a
According to God's promise of Christmas in Micah 5:4-5a, God is not done yet! These verses link the work of Jesus in His first and second comings together. God fulfilled the Christmas Promise He made in Micah 5:2. God’s Sovereign Ruler was born in Bethlehem. He became a real man to die for helpless sinners. And through God's Coming Ruler, He will secure for God a people who will love and serve Him. So Jesus birth, death, resurrection, and ascension did not mark the end of His work. This same Sovereign Lord, Jesus the Christ, will come again. "And He will arise and shepherd His flock. In the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD His God. His People will be blessed because of it. And they will remain, because at that time He will be great to the ends of the earth. This One will be our peace."

Jesus will bring peace on earth. There is hope for the world because God promised to send us a Royal Savior. And the fulfillment of that hope is dependent upon the fulfillment of the Christmas promise God made long, long ago. God made a regal promise, and His promise of hope to the world is Jesus. The key to everlasting world peace is the greatness of little insignificant Bethlehem, which in turn is dependent upon the greatness of Israel, which in turn is dependent upon the greatness of its greatest King—Jesus.

God has made many promises.
  • He promises us His presence, “I will never leave you” (Heb. 13:5).
  • He promises to lead us, “When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice” (John 10:4).
  • He promises to give us rest, “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).
  • He promises to cleanse us from our sins, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
Yet the promise on which all the other promises are dependent is God’s promise of Christmas. Yes, it took Him a long time to fulfill the first part of the Christmas promise, and it’s taking a long time for Him to fulfill the promise of His return. But don't give up hope, don't stop waiting, don’t stop believing, don’t despair because Jesus is still coming back to town, and when He comes He will make all things new. And to those who love His first Christmas appearing, those who love the cross, those who love the hope of His appearing, He will rescue; He will exalt, He will empower them to reign with Him forever more.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Los Angeles Bible Training School Banquet

It is a gift to be able to serve God in any capacity. It is measureless privilege to be able to serve God by teaching the Bible. God has blessed me to teach in several prominent Christian schools (Biola University, the Master's College), but my favorite place to teach is at the historic Los Angeles Bible Training School. I am humbled by its rich history. I am inspired by the great faculty that has gone before me. I am passionately motivated to come along and serve the student body who like me have a burden for the urban community.

The preaching, fellowship, and testimonies were great like always. And Naomi and I enjoyed our annual banquet date-night away from our die-hard battered charged six kids. Enjoy the pictures below from this year's banquet where Dr. Alex Montoya was the keynote speaker.

President Paul Felix, Dr. George Moore, Me, Dr. Alex Montoya, Chancellor Dr. Alonzo Levert, Dr. Les Lofquit.

Naomi & Me

Friday, November 21, 2008

Did African-Americans’ Yes Vote on 8 Repudiate King’s Dream?

A nation will be as strong as its laws are wise. America’s legal system, without credible dispute, was founded on a biblically based system of law. That foundation has served to help make America one of the greatest nations in the history of the world. Americans are as wealthy, healthy, generous, strong, educated, compassionate, and, yes, tolerant as any people who have ever walked the face of the earth. Central to producing such a great nation has been a normative structured family of two people, one male and one female, given the task of raising each succeeding generation. As a nation, this has been the Judeo-Christian family value by which we have prospered.

Admittedly, America, the place where every person is said to possess the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, has not always lived up to its lofty aspirations. As an African-American, Langston Hughes spoke for many of his brothers and sisters when he said, “America was never America to me.” But praise God that because of the brave efforts of many Americans of diverse ethnic backgrounds, the terrible legacy of overt institutionalized racism has been dying a slow death for many years now. The testament to this cultural transformation is November 4th 2008, when Americans of all stripes elected the first African-American President.

Yet on the same night when African-Americans danced in the streets all across America, celebrating the mortal blow delivered to institutionalized discrimination, many homosexuals accused them of being a principal party in institutionalizing another form of discrimination. Gay activist Wayne Besen wrote, "There is something particularly galling and repugnant about people who have felt the sting of discrimination, turn around and step on another minority. What happened at the ballot box feels like a personal betrayal and the hijacking of history." He poignantly added, “Let's not pretend that the repudiation of Martin Luther King Jr's dream by African American voters did not hurt more than, say, rejection by white evangelicals. It did.” While I can empathize with his deep disappointment and even anguish, my response to his rationale is, wow! The basis of his charge is that on the same night many African Americans voted overwhelmingly for Obama, 70% of them voted yes for a traditional one man one woman definition of marriage in California. African Americans were the key voting block responsible for the passage of prop 8.

Besen deduced that African Americans voted to “take away a gay person's right to marry primarily based on a book -- the Bible.” He also believed that the less educated a person was (regardless of their ethnicity) the more apt they would be to vote yes on 8. I actually agree in part with his analysis as to why African Americans voted yes on 8. The secularization of our education system by the Left makes it so that the more education a person receives, the more secular their value system is likely to become. I am not advocating that people stop going to school. I am noting how radically Left our educational system has moved from the Christian foundation of nearly all of our Ivy League schools and our collective education system. For example, no on 8 proponents used an expensive TV ad campaign to persuade voters that they didn’t have an agenda to introduce a homosexual lifestyle in our schools. The catch is that, at least in part, the campaign was paid for with a million dollar donation from the California Teachers Association. Why? They realize what everyone knows—that people just don’t wake up thinking there is no difference between having a mother and a father and being raised by two intimately involved women or two romantically engaged men. You have to undergo a substantial amount of re-education to believe that. Besen openly admitted that the future strategy for same sex marriage advocates must involve re-educating people to embrace a secular worldview rather than a Judeo-Christian one. So I agree with Besen that the Bible played a key role in informing the decision for many African Americans to vote yes on 8. There is a much higher church attendance among African Americans as a group than other ethnic groups in the US, and, therefore, African Americans are much more inclined to embrace a biblical definition of marriage instead of a secular one. Read Besen’s article “Proposition 8 and Race” particularly his “solutions to ponder” section.

The point with which I profoundly disagree with many prop 8 opponents is that they imply a significant number of African Americans voted yes on 8 because they read the measure incorrectly. For sure the nearly 40 million dollars that prop 8 opponents spent to confuse voters affected many people. However, the equal amount spent by proponents of 8 clarified the issues for African Americans. Once in the polling booths, folks didn’t have a problem understanding the 14 words on prop 8. They clearly understood them and the nearly countless negative implications a no vote meant for Californians and our nation as a whole. What many African Americans and everyone else who voted yes on 8 were thinking is, Where would we stop if we legally defined minority status based upon sexual desires, and granted those groups civil rights? Wouldn’t we have to classify bi-sexuals as a minority group and redefine marriage again? Wouldn’t we have to define polygamists as a minority group and redefine marriage again? And wouldn’t we have to grant incestuous partners civil rights to marry? That’s to say nothing of what would happen if we adopted a gender-neutral worldview? Which bathrooms would people go in? Would teachers tell little elementary school girls they could marry each other when they said that boys were yucky? Don’t all little kids think that the opposite sex is yucky? If a great number of kids grew up embracing the no on 8 secular worldview, then how would we produce a new workforce to outpace our nation’s mortality rate? Far from erroneously marking yes instead of no, many African Americans thought the issues through quite well and decided to thoroughly reject the notion that what someone chooses to do in their bedroom should be the basis of granting them minority status accompanied with civil rights to redefine the ancient tradition of marriage. If it is not obvious that man and woman are designed differently to come together in a complimentary way in marriage for the survival of human society, then everyone had their right to vote “no” on 8. As law abiding people, it should seem that at this point all Californians should honor the twice stated will of the people and all of human history which has defined marriage as being between a man and a woman.

Last, let me emphatically state that voting yes on 8 in no way makes someone an unloving, hate mongering, unreasoning, intolerant religious bigot, “a hijacker of history,” or a repudiator of King's Dream. A person can vote yes on 8 and affirm one of the greatest truths in the Bible, John 3:16, which explains how God so loved all sinners that He gave His unique Son to die so that those who are actually guilty of death could experience His love and forgiveness. The apostle Paul writes:
  • Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.
God doesn’t force people to find their joy in obeying His ways. And US government doesn’t force its citizens to vote to affirm the desires of any one group. We can all choose or vote according to our conscience.

Most Americans used to proudly sing "God Bless America." Despite her many failings, America as a nation has in significant ways acknowledged God’s ways. And in doing so has validated in her experience God's blessings. But of course Americans can choose to reject God and choose secular ways of thinking. And more and more often America is choosing to do that. The consequences of these choices would have to be the subject of another blog (cf. Romans 1:18-32). While we wait to see if the California Supreme Court justices will once again overrule the will of the people and rule that sexual preference constitutes a minority group with the civil right to redefine marriage, let me affirm as a Christian I am proud that so many of my African American brothers and sisters voted yes on prop 8. The witness of history testifies and the Bible confirms that they made the wiser choice on prop 8 on November 4th. And wise laws make a nation stronger for all of its citizens, even those who disagree.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What President-Elect Obama’s Victory Says about Racism?

It says a lot, and it says a lot of good things to Americans and particularly to African Americans. Like millions of Americans I sat glued in front of my television last night. With grumblings from my 6 kids ranging from 3-12 at my side, I made them join my wife and me as I told them that they were witnessing one of the most significant events in American history.

White Europeans arrived on these shores of America in 1607, and in 1619 the first slave ship transporting Africans as cargo arrived. And for the next 250 years America’s new immigrants would be subjected to some of the most inhumane treatments that any peoples have ever suffered on the face of the earth. Then what appeared briefly as a glimmer of hope in 1865—with the Emancipation Proclamation—was quickly put out by the nightriders, enforcing the cruel Jim Crow segregation laws that institutionalized racism for the next 100 years.

But over and against the filibustering democratic congress, Civil Right laws were passed in 1965, ushering in the beginning of the end of the nightmare of American institutionalized racism. However, change takes time and persevering until it comes takes courage. The hatred inflicted upon African descendants for three hundred and fifty years made two Americas—separate and very unequal. Racism created one America for African Americans and another for everyone else. Over the centuries that passed from 1619, the cultural divide between these two Americas grew deep and wide.

Few expected the social conditioning of racism accumulated for nearly four centuries to evaporate overnight. Few assumed the deep emotional scars inflicted upon the psyche of African Americans would be healed in days, weeks, or months. Few thought that the weightiness of the collective guilt of hate crimes perpetrated by many (but not all) White Americans would disappear as a result of one vote. Everyone looking realistically for the day when America would live up to its ideal of judging people based upon the content of their character rather than the color of their skin knew that the journey to equal treatment of African Americans would take years and even decades.

I was born in January 1964, at the dawning of the first rays of hope that America would be America for African Americans too. I am among the first African descendants of America who possessed all the rights of other Americans. I didn’t have to ride on the back of buses like my mother. I was never told that because I was black I wasn’t smart enough to have a job like my father. My children have never been sold away like my great great great grandmother’s or my wife raped by a white man. I do not fear hooded night-riders pulling my son out of my home, beating him, burning him, and then hanging him for disrespecting a white woman. I am among the first of African descendants in America whose success will be determined by embracing the American spirit of determination and hard work rather than having to accept failure because I lacked white privilege.

As an African American conservative, I differ with President Barak Obama on a long list of substantial issues. But on this fundamental issue relating to racism I enthusiastically agree: For decades America has not been static in dealing with its racist past, as Reverend Wright and others have supposed. Instead, it has made steady and significant progress. Because of Ruby Bridges, Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King, I went to the school of my choice, as did President Elect Obama, as well as many other African Americans. Because of the continual death of racism, America would have elected its first Republican African American president 13 years ago had Colin Powell chosen to run. The proof that America’s break from its past didn’t happen last night is last night itself. With worldviews informing them that the economy, national security, social issues, or abortion were of primary concern, millions and millions of Americans voted for a certain candidate they believed embraced their concerns. Unlike Americans generations ago, the great majority of Americans who voted for or against an African American candidate didn’t consider his skin color as a determinative factor. The post slavery, post Jim Crow Law, post civil rights generation of Americans have a radically different outlook on race and racism than our fore-parents.

Is racism in America completely dead? Of course not, and it never will be. So long as people are sinners and different, some will choose to sin by elevating their differences over others. All ethnic groups will experience this evil. But racism as an institutional evil perpetrated by Whites primarily against African Americans is a relic of the past. If this were not true, then we would not be celebrating this first black President-elect today.

The task now, and my prayer is, that for my African American brothers and sisters, (1) we take steps to consciously help close the door to a painful chapter in America’s history, (2) we stop fighting the ghost of past white-only forms of racism, and (3) we take the responsibility upon ourselves to work with White and other Americans.

And for my Christian brothers and sisters, we must affirm that God has only made one race—the human race—and we need to model for the rest of America the task of bridging the cultural divide caused by four centuries of racism. This is a critical hour for our nation and the world. If you, like I, believe that the church plays the most critical role in the revival of our nation or its demise, then we must embrace the task of uniting the church, for together we’ll stand or divided we’ll all fall.

Robert S. Scott, Sr. is the pastor-teacher of Los Angeles Community Bible Church and general editor of Secret Sex Wars: A Battle Cry for Purity

You are welcome to post this as a guest blog on your site.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Global Financial Crisis & the Coming One World Cashless Society

I’m no prophet or end of the world preaching dispensationalist, but what’s happening seems prophetic to me. The Bible teaches that from the time of Christ we have been living in the last days. The last days is a technical theological phrase understood by some evangelicals to denote that the next items on God’s prophetic calendar are the cataclysmic events surrounding the return of Christ (entailing, among other events, the Great Tribulation). During the last of the last days, Revelation 13 foretells of the coming of a one world, all-invasive government in which everyone everywhere will be subjected to a cashless society where no one will be able to buy or sell without the government’s approval.

In one stunning week, in what seemed like the stuff of a bad futuristic B movie, the US and world capitalistic free markets morphed into pawns being moved by government hands. The once extolled “let the market fix it” has been supplanted by a new mantra, “let the government have and control it.” From our insurance (AIG) to our houses (Fannie and Freddie) and now to our banks, in the blink of an eye the US economy, once proudly held in the hands of its citizens, has been snatched away by the government. That would be concern enough to sound a prophetic alarm, but these US actions were either mirrored by other Western economic powerful countries or even outdone. Coupling these historic steps with Russia and economic powerhouse China moving in concert to usurp the world’s financial markets, no one can deny that we are witnessing the convergence and universal restructuring of the world’s economies.

Just last week the official China communist sponsored newspaper, “The People’s Daily,” called for a one world currency.1 Two days ago, French President Nicolas Sarkozy declared, ``A new world is being born of the havoc under our eyes.''2

So what should Christians do? We should encourage one another all the more as we sense the time of Christ is drawing near. We must cling to the truth that God is on the throne, and He is moving His-Story forward exactly the way that will reveal the full glory of His wisdom, power, holiness, and grace. And far from panicking, Christians should double our efforts to learn His Word, live according to it, and share it with whomever will listen. And we should anxiously long for the reappearing of our Lord who is going to make all things new (Rev. 21:5).

1“China Paper Urges New Currency Order after ‘Financial Tsunami,’” Reuters, accessed date 10/14/08

2 “French, German Leaders Reject European Rescue Fund,” The Economic Times accessed date 10/14/08

Friday, October 3, 2008

It's Official: Secret Sex Wars is a #1 Amazon Bestseller in Christian Sexual Ethics

What does God do, when seven African American men, write a book based solely on the Bible, calling all of their Christian brothers and especially their African American brothers to walk in sexual purity? He raises it up to become the #1 Amazon bestseller in Christian Sexual Ethics. God is so amazing. Thank you for praying and supporting this movement of God to help men dedicate themselves to God's grace in order to live radically holy lives.

I am struggling to find the words to express how humbled I am that God would wash a filthy vessel like me, in the blood of His Son, and then use me to proclaim His grace and power that in Christ men can gain victory over sexual temptation.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Family Life Today: Secret Sex Wars Interviews, October 1-3

When Paul Felix, President of the Los Angeles Bible School, and I visited Family Life Today, the sight of it took my breath away. Over four hundred employees, ministries reaching to the end of the globle, Marriage Conferences that impact thousands and thousands of people, over 9 millions listeners, and I thought I was going to a radio studio.

One of my favorite Proverbs says, “Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before obscure men,” 22:29. From the tours they gave us, explanations of their worldwide ministries, and our interviews, it became quite obvious to me that Paul and I sat around the table with men skilled in their work.

Previous to my visit to Little Rock Arkansas to tape for FLT, I had personally benefited from their Weekend to Remember Conference. My wife and I attended in 2004. It was a powerful experience. Also I have considered for some time that Family Life is the best Family ministry on the radio. I am sincerely helped and encouraged by their biblically thought provoking shows. Needless to say, I consider it a great privilege to be on their show.

But if you really want to know why I am raving about Family Life Today, tune in and check out their show for yourself. Here’s the line-up for the next three days.

Fighting Temptation God's Way 10/1/2008 (Day 1 of 3)
Christian men are bombarded by sexual temptation--the Word of God can overcome it! Today on the broadcast, Bobby Scott and Paul Felix help listeners create a battle plan for themselves and their sons to fight that temptation the only way that works—God's way.

Taking Steps Toward Freedom 10/2/2008 (Day 2 of 3)
The Holy Spirit is the key to withstanding our culture's message of instant gratification. Bobby Scott and Paul Felix, authors of Secret Sex Wars, help listeners stand strong in the face of sexual temptation by relying on God's Holy Spirit.

Training Our Sons to Overcome (Day 3 of 3) 10/3/2008
Guide your son through the sexual minefields of adolescence! Today on the broadcast, Bobby Scott, Paul Felix, and Dennis Rainey coach dads and single moms on how to do it.

You can find show times and listings for these broadcast at

And you can listen anytime (even after the airing dates) online at

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Worshipping Church: Peace Chapel Revival 2008

Sermons Preached by Pastor Scott

1st Sermon: The Importance of Worship (Selected Texts)

You can tell what you worship by recognizing what you get most excited about. We worship what we long for. The question believers should often ask themselves is, Do I long for God more than everything else in life? Does God still have first place in my heart? If we answer that question with a “yes,” then that yes should be confirmed with the fruit of fervent worship. We should worship God by gladly giving Him our affections, over love, our labor, our talent, our skill, our money, our heart, our everything, our lives.

Worship is important for at least five reasons we will consider as foundational in this sermon:

  1. It is a matter of life and death (Lev. 10:1-7; Acts 5:1-11; Rom. 1:18-25).
  2. It is how we please or displease God (Prov. 15:8; Phil. 4:18). Worshipping God is our raison d'être, that is, the very reason for our being. God made us to worship Him and because of that, nothing else in place of our worship will please God or satisfy us.
  3. It is what marks us as being genuinely saved (John 4:23; Phil. 3:3).
  4. It defines the church (Eph. 2:19-23; 1 Cor. 3:16; 1 Pet. 2:5).
  5. It identifies those who will be with God in the new creation (Rev. 14:6-7; 15:4; 5:9-14; Phil. 2:9-11).
The New Creation will be comprised of only those who worship God. Worship is all we will do when we get to the new heaven and earth. Only those who worship God now will God bring with Him into the new heaven and new earth to worship Him throughout eternity.

Conclusion: 2 Sam. 24:24
When God saved you, He saved you to worship Him. The grace that God gives you He gives you so that you can enjoy worshipping Him. When He saved you, He called you out of the world and made you a part of a worshipping community. He saved you from the soon coming destruction of this world to make you a part of His New Creation that will be filled with worship.

Since God attached that kind of significance to worship, the question is, have we? When you come to the gathering of the saints, do you come realizing that you form the true temple of God, do you come to meet and worship God? And are you prepared to offer Him worship that is acceptable to Him?

2nd Sermon: Acceptable Worship 1 Timothy 1–4

God has made our corporate gathering the place where He comes to receive our worship. Everything in this sermon will be based upon the truths that come out of two passages.

1 Pet. 2:5 says, “you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house (that is a temple) for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

There are several truths that come out of this verse that must shape our understanding of public worship.

  1. We are collectively or corporately the temple, the dwelling place of God. Therefore, the most important aspect of the church assembling is that we assemble to communion with, meet, and worship God.
  2. We are all priests. In the OT the priest took your offering and brought your sacrifice to God. In the NT there is no one who can bring your sacrifice of worship to God but you. Your mother cannot bring your offering for you, your father cannot, your wife or husband, the choir cannot, the pastor cannot (Exodus 23:14-15). If a church is a worshipping church, it is because individually its members come to gather to present their spiritual sacrifices of worship to God.
  3. We all are to offer God acceptable worship as priests. Your offerings must be carefully prepared. God will not accept wood, stubble, and hay. Such offerings neither please God nor benefit the worshipper.

Given that we are priests that must come into His presence to offer Him worship, God has legislated the ways by which we must offer Him worship in our public corporate setting. This truth is found in the second foundational verse I am relying on, found in I Tim. 3:14-15:

“I am writing these things to you, hoping to come to you before long; but in case I am delayed, [I write] so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.”

Summarizing chapters 2 and 3, Paul states that there are certain ways we must conduct ourselves when we are gathered for public worship.

The church, in this context, the gathered saints, is the household of God. The phrase “household of God” expresses the amazing reality that God indwells in a unique way the assembly of the gathered saints. When Christians gather to worship, we are the living temple that is filled with the presence of God. In light of this truth, Paul has undertaken the task in 1 Timothy 2-3 to write out how we must conduct ourselves in public worship.

God has clearly called us to worship Him publicly. He has made us a community of worshipping priests. He has also stated how we must worship Him publicly. Tonight, we will look at God’s mandates on how we are to worship Him publicly. This is not at all a comprehensive list, but this evening I invite you to consider with me 5 acceptable offerings of worship to God.

1st Praying to God is an Acceptable Offering of Worship 1 Tim. 2:1-3

History is silent about revivals that did not begin with prayer, Edwin Orr.

For our vertical life of worship with God to be effectual, our horizontal relationships with those around us must also be unhindered. Jesus stated this point plainly when He said if you’re at the altar to worship and remember somebody has something against you, go and make that right first and then come and worship, Matthew 5:23-24. According to 1 Peter 3:7 that means brothers, God won’t answer our prayers if we aren’t treating our wives right. Parents, that means a reason why your worship may be unacceptable to God is because you lose your temper with your child, treat them harshly, and don’t humble yourself and ask them for forgiveness.

You must make a genuine effort to reconcile with those who feel you have sinned against them or else your worship will be unacceptable to God. Jesus said this, not me. “Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions,” Mark 11:25. The point is an unforgiving worshipper’s worship is unacceptable to God and prayer is a vital part of worship. It is as crucial to worship as breathing is to living. If you want your prayers to revive you with the breath of life, then you must forgive those who offend you, and you must seek forgiveness from those whom you offend.

2nd Living Holy is an Acceptable Offering of Worship 1 Tim. 2:8

We cannot offer God acceptable prayer with unholy hands. I speak nothing of ceremonial washing but of a God pleasing holy life.

What are clean or holy hands? Clean/holy hands are a reference to a clean or innocent life. Our hands here speak of our works or actions. To have clean hands then is to have a clean, innocent life, void of evil works. Note, this is not a life of perfection but one that is lived in God's will.

3rd Dressing Modestly is Acceptable Worship 1 Timothy 2:9-10

The charge here is that when we come before God to worship Him we are to dress in ways that do not seek to draw attention away from God and to ourselves. This mandate is not against a hairstyle. It is against the ancient practice of flaunting one’s wealth by weaving expensive jewelry into one’s braids.

From the context, the Word of God is exhorting believers that when we gather for public worship (1 Tim. 3:14-15) “one ought to conduct himself in the household of God” by adorning (arranging) ourselves discreetly (“to behave in a sensible manner, with the implication of thoughtful awareness of what is best — ‘moderation, sensibility,’” Louw & Nida). This would include the obvious prohibition of coming to church half-naked!

4th Listening to the Word of God is Acceptable Worship 1 Tim. 2:11-12; 4:13; Luke 10:38-42

Paul follows Jesus’ bold act of acknowledging women as disciples of Christ. The position of all of Jesus followers during a worship service is the humble posture of listening with a submissive attitude eager to obey the Word of God (Matt 28:19-20)

The central place, the climactic part of the worship public service clearly is the expounding of the Word of God in the NT.

5th Modeling Christ-likeness is Acceptable Worship 1 Tim. 3:1-13; 4:12

Leaders lead by modeling how others are to live in Christ-like ways that are acceptable to God. The verb “must be” is the dominant verb in this who section (1 Tim. 3:2, 4, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13). The believer’s life is the offering of sacrifice that Jesus died to secure (Rom. 12:1). God requires that leaders demonstrate a life of worship to the worshipping community.

3rd Sermon: Hindrances to Worship

A church can affirm the importance of worship; a church can even understand that to offer God acceptable worship they must worship God in ways prescribed by the Bible. However, they will fail to offer God acceptable worship if they stumble over worldly and satanic hindrances. These hindrances tempt churches to mix acceptable worship with elements that are unacceptable. The result is that these hindrances mar their worship and render it unacceptable to a Holy God.

We considered three such hindrances:

1st Pagan Ecstatic Worship 1 Cor. 10:20; 11:34-12:3; 14:19

We fail to offer God acceptable worship when we mix our worship of God with the pagan practices of out of control ecstatic worship.

2nd Secularizing Sacred Music 2 Chron. 29:25-30; Eph. 5:18-19

We fail to offer God acceptable worship when we secularize music God has ordained would be offered to Him as sacred.

3rd Offering the Worshipper Entertainment 1 Cor. 2:1-5; Ezekiel 2:1-7

We fail to offer God acceptable worship when we design worship services to entertain ourselves. The worshipper is not the audience—God is. The servants of God in a worship service, therefore, are not performers trying to entertain the other worshippers. They are to be holy ministers trying to lead God’s people to offer Him their highest praise in ways that are worthy of God.

4th Sermon: A Worshipping Church Psalm 63

Worship is giving to God the supreme honor, veneration, and reverence in action and attitude, in thought and deed that He alone deserves. A worshipping church is comprised of believers who in attitude and action, deed and thought, offer God their highest adoration in three ways:

  1. Worshippers Seek after God 63:1-4
  2. Worshippers Satisfy Themselves with God 63:5-7
  3. Worshippers Cling to God 63:8-11

Pray that God would make you thirst for Him and nothing else, to seek Him above all else, to be satisfied with Him more than everything else, that you would cling to Him and no one else. Pray that God would revive a heart and life of passionate worship for Him so that in attitude and action, thought and deed you give Him your highest adoration and praise. If you collectively do these things, then you will be a worshipping church, and God will fill you with His joy and shower you with His blessings.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Revival at Peace Chapel: A Worshipping Church

The following is a guest post from DeAntwan Fitts, Pastor of Peace Chapel in Los Angeles. You can visit his church website at

What glorious time we had at last night's revival!

Our revivalist, Bobby Scott, set the tone early in his message for what I am calling a very powerful and relevant sermon for churches of all ages. In his intro our speaker pointed out that the essence of worship is us giving to God and, therefore, that we should not come before God empty handed. One thing that he said in his introduction that really stuck with me is that when we gather together as God's redeemed people, it is for the purpose of meeting God. We should come before Him with reverence, praise and thanksgiving. I see the praise, I hear the giving of thanks, but where is the reverence for God in the church today?

Our revivalist used 1 Timothy 3:14-15 as his background Scripture for how we are to conduct ourselves in the church of God. His exposition primarily came from 1 Timothy chapter 2:1-15. From these verses, Pastor Scott showed us 5 ways God calls the church to offer Him acceptable worship:
  1. We need to pray, 1 Tim 2:1.
  2. We need to be holy, 1 Tim 2:8; Col 3:1-7.
  3. We need to adorn ourselves appropriately (When we worship, we are gathering to meet God. Our attitude and attire should reflect that) 1 Tim 2:9.
  4. We need to listen to and learn from God's word (In full submission) 1 Tim 2:11-14.
  5. We need to model Christ likeness, 1 Tim 4:11-12.
Those, who attended last night's revival, were blessed by the preaching and teaching of God's word.

To my Peace Chapel family, thank you for your commitment to learning from God's word. Your return on this investment is going to be great!

There are still two more opportunities left for you to attend this revival, tonight at 7pm and Sunday at 3:30pm.

Tonight our revivalist will be clearing up some common misconceptions about worship. Do we have to speak in tongues to worship? What does my money have to do with my worship? Find out tonight at the revival.

Yours in His service,

DeAntwan Fitts

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Lessons for Christians from the Olympics

Americans define victory too narrowly. We marginalize the accomplishments of those who, through discipline, sacrifice and determination, push themselves to do their best. If athletes don’t win the gold, we patronize their PRs (personal records) or SBs (seasons bests) and think of them as also-rans.

But many of life’s most important lessons come when we don’t get first place. Way back when, before the Lord saved me, I was bodybuilder with huge ambitions. I wanted to be a national champion. After winning two state titles in Virginia as a teenager, my family moved to California. I was thrilled. I would get a chance to measure up against the best bodybuilders in the world.

I wanted to start small and get a firsthand feel for the competition, so I competed in the Mr. Teenage LA. I got third. I was crushed. My mind reeled in depression from the thought, how can I win a national championship when I can’t even win a city title! On the verge of quitting, something convinced me to give it one more try. After all, I told myself, now I know what the standard is. I just have to train a lot harder, and I might have a chance. A chance is all we all have. I competed in and won the Southern California championship, then the California championship, and then Mr. Teenage Natural (steroid-free) America. Wow! A national title, and earlier that year I almost quit.

The life-lesson I learned is that you can find a silver lining in losing if you look for it. For me, it taught me patience, it taught me to try harder and to know that I might not always win, but I can always strive to do my best. I’ve tried to live according to those lessons ever since.

The Bible often uses athletics as a metaphor for Christian living. The application isn’t that everyone will always be better than everyone else and win. The application is that all of us should strive to do our best for the Lord and to trust God with the results.

So here’s to all the Olympians who reminded us to discipline ourselves, to work hard to maximize our ability, and to marvel how God has made us so that we can do marvelous things.

And for Christians, let’s radically commit ourselves to live out Hebrews 12:1-2: “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Let’s live radically holy lives for the glorious crown that Christ will reward all those who finish the race. Olympians run for “a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable” (1 Cor. 9:25).

P.S. Allyson Felix, daughter of co-author of Secret Sex Wars: A Battle Cry for Purity Paul Felix, won the silver medal for the 200 meters and the gold in the 4x400 relay (running the fastest split). Allyson, we are all very proud of your performance and especially your testimony for our Lord!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Some Are Falling but Others Are Standing by Grace

From priests to pastors, teachers to celebrities, mayors to judges, senators to presidents, leaders are falling into sexual scandals. When will this sobering trend end?

With all of their inspiring talents, leaders are great gifts to the people they serve. However, it is obvious that great talent doesn't keep you from great falls. The public and church members must not be naïve to this.

Rising popularity and power give rise to greater temptations. Personal power can intoxicate some to abuse their influence. Therefore, we need to reject the notion that there are such things as private personal scandals for public officials and church leaders. Private indiscretions are the very stuff of public scandals.

To protect pastors from the pervasive dangers of sexual enticement and the temptation to cover up their failures with lies, we need to encourage them to seek more not less accountability. What good does it do to try to install a sprinkler system after your house has already burned to the ground. Churches need to take preventative steps before the raging flames of sexual temptation singe their church. Pastors are great gifts to the church (Eph. 4:11-12), but they have flaws; and when these are ignored, we all lose.

Here are some tips. Encourage your church to develop a policy concerning leaders and porn. What will your church do if it comes to light that one of your pastors has a porn addiction? What will you do if a Sunday School teacher acknowledges that they have a problem and ask for help? Here are two great resources your church should know about. The first is Covenant Eyes. It is an accountability software that monitors Internet use and emails reports to people you select. Their filter service also blocks objectionable websites from your computer. For example, Christian colleges use Covenant Eyes to keep their students accountable with their Internet choices. I love it because it makes you think before you click and therefore helps a vulnerable Christian develop the discipline to flee temptation rather than yield to it. Encourage your church to acquire this software.

The second great resource is Safe Families. This is a one-stop treasure-trough of resources to help you, your family and ministry combat sexual temptation. It has a host of recommended resources, books, insightful articles, educational power point presentations and on and on.

While Satan has seemingly put temptation all around us, God always makes a way of escape for those who seek it (1 Cor. 10:13). Prepare now before the attack comes. Equip yourself, your family and ministry to be overcomers.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Where Are All the Brothers? By Eric Redmond, a Review

I have to confess I don’t read a lot of books for entertainment. I read books to find answers to life’s riddles. I buy books like mechanics buy tools. I get them to show me how to fix stuff. I guess that’s a man thing. But that’s why I wanted to get this book.

All of us have noticed this problem, but we rarely say anything about it. It’s huge, but too few try to solve it. Men have become an endangered species in the church! When I have been asked about the problem, I’ve searched my brain for deep ecclesiological, anthropological answers. But from now on I am going to tell churches to stockpile Eric Redmond’s new release “Where are All the Brothers?”

The book is ingenious for its simplicity. Redmond doesn’t write to pastors and theologians so they can pontificate about the problem. Why do that? These brothers are already in church. He writes directly to men who are playing hooky—and not in a scolding, or demeaning way, but like a smooth lawyer who’s never lost a case because he knows his jury. Redmond knows his brothers, and he knows why they’ve stopped coming to church. So with honest answers, he point by point overcomes all of their objections. And the amazing thing to me is that he accomplishes this with chapters any brother will read because they are only a couple of pages long! If I ever get to meet Redmond, I am going to ask him to teach me the skill of being profound while keeping it real, clear, and brief.

If you are concerned about getting men back into the church, do what I am going to do. Stop talking about the problem, buy this book in bulk, and give it out to all of your male new visitors, your "come alone to church" married sisters, and then pray for God to bring a rain of men back into His church.

Pastor Robert S. Scott, Sr.
General editor of Secret Sex Wars: A Battle Cry for Purity

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Press Release: The Secret is Out

By Takiela Bynum

The pornography epidemic is spreading like cancer on steroids. This plague is not confined by boundaries because it has touched many nations. It is not restricted by resources because there are outbreaks in every economic level from the ghettos of the cities, the condos of the suburbs, to the mansions along the shores. It is not limited by race because people of every shade can become its victims.

In 2005 Grammy Award winning, gospel music phenomenon Kirk Franklin shared his addiction to pornography with millions.

Each second $3,075.64 is being spent on pornography. The pornography industry is larger than the revenues of the top technology companies combined, including Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo!, Apple, Netflix, and EarthLink.

90% of children ages 8-16 years old admit to having viewed pornography online.

47% of Christians said that pornography is a major problem at home.

Like a drug, this addiction renders its victims helpless, destroying lives everywhere.

Offering hope to what seems like a hopeless situation, seven African American Christian leaders are on a mission to help their brothers win their wars against sexual impurity. General editor Robert S. Scott, Sr., Pastors H.B Charles, Paul Felix, Carl Hargrove, Brian Kennedy, Anthony Kidd, and Victor Sholar came together, each offering their own uniqueness and bringing their own experiences to the table, and compiled the book Secret Sex Wars: A Battle Cry for Purity (

  • Pastor H.B. Charles is the Pastor-teacher at Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida.
  • Professor Paul Felix is President of the Los Angeles Bible Training School and Professor of NT Greek at The Master's Seminary.
  • Pastor Carl Hargrove is the Senior Pastor of Fairview Heights Baptist Church in Inglewood, California.
  • Pastor Brian Kennedy has been the Senior Pastor at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Ontario, California for the past 9 years.
  • Pastor Anthony Kidd is the Pastor-teacher at Westside Bible Church in Los Angeles.
  • Pastor Victor Sholar is the Assistant Pastor at the Los Angeles Community Bible Church.
  • Pastor Bobby Scott is the Pastor-teacher at the Los Angeles Community Bible Church.
All of these men are husbands and fathers, but they are also warriors in the heat of the battle against sexual immorality. They are leaders in their communities, they have been well educated and have gathered the information necessary, whether it be through personal experience or researched data, to empower people everywhere concerning the effects of sexual sins. These men felt a mandate by the Lord to come together and tackle this growing epidemic head on, thus resulting in the book Secret Sex Wars, the first anthology of its kind. This is a straightforward book for our straightforward society. There is nothing sugar-coated or sweet about the damaging results of pornography and yielding to sexual temptation. Expect nothing of the sort within the pages of this book. Enticing images are constantly displayed on television, magazines, and on the Internet. Seductive visions are implanted in the minds of many by almost every form of technology known to mankind. In times past, "sex sells" was a term used figuratively, but now it has taken on a literal sense, and unfortunately, business is booming.

In a recent interview, Pastor Bobby Scott stated that men don't usually talk about their personal struggles. However, at the 2006 LA Men's Bible Conference, which became the inspiration for this book, they did. Men opened up to seek God's help to win their secret sex wars. This is one secret that is worth exposing. "We are at an epidemic level in terms of the HIV virus spreading through our heterosexual community. This is causing damage not only in the general communities, but the Christian communities as well. We've reached a point where we have to lay this issue on the table and address it squarely," said Pastor Scott. "We've seen various leaders in our community struggle, we've all been dealing with this issue in counseling sessions, and this is a topic that we've all been addressing in our churches. Many men and women are being affected by sexual impurity. Our culture is so sensuality-saturated that you can't go anywhere and escape some type of sexual temptation. Let's get together and have a clear and biblical response. The Word of God can set you free. Let's stop using water guns to put out fires. We need to pull the bazookas out and get victory over sexual temptation. "

When asked the question, What type of an impact would you like this book to have on the community? Pastor Scott answered, "To give hope. I want people to know that with God there is no sin that we can't overcome. I'm a living testimony. I was once a womanizer because the world told me that's what a man was supposed to do, but when I got saved, God changed me. He gave me victory. So if you're enslaved to sexual temptation and you don't think you can get out, know that you can. Jesus said that he can set you free, and He can, I am a living witness to that."

Takiela Bynum is the wife of Minister Marterrio Bynum and they have three children, T`eyrr (12), Marterrio II (8), and Marterrion (5). Takiela is the Visionary of, President of and host of blog radio talk show L.A.W.S. Inspiration Station --

For interviews contact
Pam Perry, Chief Visionary
Ministry Marketing Solutions, Inc.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Meet the General Editor of Secret Sex Wars: Book Signing!!!

Come out tomorrow, Saturday, July 11, 2008, meet Bobby Scott and get a signed copy of Secret Sex Wars: A Battle Cry for Purity. He'll be at Windsor Hills Christian Bookstore 4438 W. Slauson ave. Los Angeles, CA 90043 from 2-4 pm.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Jesse Jackson’s Crude Comments about Barak Obama

Fox News reported that Reverend Jesse Jackson, in what he thought was an off the air remark, complained that Barak Obama was “talking down to black people.” Then he added, “I want to cut his nuts off.” I hope this sounds more biblical than self-righteous, but a reverend ain’t supposed to talk that way on or off the air. But this is Jesse, and he has been talking this way for a long time, and people even in the black church overlook it.

Now to his credit, Jesse did apologize for making what he called “crude remarks.” And the truth is that we all say things we shouldn’t. But Jesse’s disparaging off the air remarks reveal a lot about how off the mark he is regarding the real needs of the African American community.

What heinous misstatement did Obama make to warrant a tongue lashing from Jackson? Obama said to a predominantly African-American church on Father’s Day, “Too many (African-American) fathers are AWOL, missing from too many lives and too many homes.” And according to Jackson, that’s the crime that is worthy of castration! Come on Jesse! We need truth in the city to move forward if we are ever going to overcome yesterday’s battles.

Even the most superficial google scan will validate that most of the problems we face in the urban community trace their roots back to fatherless homes.

* 75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes.
* 80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes.
* 70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions come from fatherless homes.
* 85% of all youths sitting in prisons grew up in fatherless homes.

Do I need to continue? How is stating this obvious truth “talking down”? African-Americans can’t keep ignoring these facts if we are going to come up with real solutions. If brothers aren’t going to man-up, get married, and then have children, then men like Jesse ought to man-up and tell brothers to wait before they become another baby’s daddy. As a man called to helping families by preaching the Bible, I don’t agree with Senator Obama on many issues, but he couldn’t be more right on this one. All African American leaders have to start calling men to be responsible fathers and husbands. Especially reverends! It’s a man’s job to take care of his family, not the government's. The Bible rebukes men who don’t take care of their families (1 Tim 5:8), and teaches that God will judge those who keep having sex outside of marriage (1 Thessalonians 4:6).

In the final chapter of Secret Sex Wars: A Battle Cry for Purity, Pastor Brian Kennedy attacks the generational problem of men having babies without becoming fathers. He teaches, he pushes, he encourages, he shows us how to “Raise Our Sons to Walk in Purity.” We’ve got to end this generational curse of having children grow up without their fathers. This is the message that we need to hear in the city, and Jesse, every American ought to rally around it.

* Stats taken from accessed July 10, 2008.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Allyson Felix Blazes Her Way to Beijing

Co-author of Sex Secret Wars: A Battle Cry for Purity, Paul Felix,* is one proud father right now. Yesterday, his daughter, Allyson Felix, blazed her way onto the Olympic team, winning the 200 meters in 21.82 seconds at the US Trials in Eugene, Oregon.

There are nice perks to being a father. Just last week my daughter won her first softball tournament in a 12-and-under league. It was nerve-racking fun. They lost their second game and were moved to the consolation bracket and had to win their next four games to earn the championship. My daughter played catcher for the entire last three games. If you want to know what that feels like, the next time it is 90 degrees, put on a warm jacket and bend down in a squatting position for a couple of hours.

In the championship game, my daughter hit a ground ball to the pitcher, a routine out at first. As she powered her way towards first base, I don’t think I breathed the whole way. I have told her over and over again that she’s fast enough to beat infield ground balls, but to do that she had to run. Those words rang in my head, “don’t look honey, just run, don’t look, just run!” And boy did she run, and run, and run. The pitcher bobbled the ball seeing how hard she was running. She rushed to make the throw. The girl on first stretched to make the catch. It’s close. It’s too close to call. I’m still not breathing. The umpire yells, “she’s safe!” I exhale with a guttural yell. Yes, fatherhood has nice perks, and that was great fun. After our girls won, the dads smiled from ear to ear and high fived like we were 12 and under, and we had just won a world championship.

Now I can only imagine what it must have been like for Paul to watch his daughter blast out of the blocks and blaze (did I say “blaze” already?) her way to the Olympics. Beijing, here comes Allyson Felix and her chance to win perhaps three golds (in the 200, the 400 meter relay, and 1600 meter relay). It’s great being a father and even better when our children acknowledge their blessings come from God. As thrilled as Paul must be to know that his daughter made the Olympic team (a second time), I am sure his greatest thrill is seeing his daughter not run, but walk in the truth (2 John 4). That’s the greatest desire for every Christian father.

One of my favorite movies is Chariots of Fire. In the climax, Eric Liddell, who is a strong Christian, is warming up to run the 400 meters in the 1924 Summer Olympics. A teammate of his American rival slips him a note. It reads, “for those who honor Me I will honor,” 1 Sam. 2:30. That’s my prayer for Allyson, that God will grant her the grace to blaze a trail honoring Him by walking in the truth. The Christians at LACBC are very proud of Allyson and pray that God will grant her great success in the Olympics and before God.

*Paul Felix wrote the fourth chapter in Secret Sex Wars: A Battle Cry for Purity titled “Living According to the Will of God: An Ancient Battle Plan.” He is also the President of the Los Angeles Bible Training School and professor of NT Greek at The Master’s Seminary. Plus he officiated my marriage to my sweetheart, Naomi, 14 and a half years ago. God has blessed Paul with a super gracious and godly wife, Marlean, and two great kids, Wes and Allyson.

Friday, July 4, 2008

African Americans Wage War Against Porn

When you are attacked, you have two choices—yield and give in or respond and stand. I write to plead with you to join the voices of the 7000 who haven’t bowed their knee and waved the white flag of surrender to the smut influence of our sensuality-saturated culture.

Secularists charge that Christians try to force a biblical morality upon them and try to legalize restraints of their freedoms. I honestly can’t fully dismiss that charge. Too often the church chooses man-made weapons to fight what is surely a spiritual battle. The apostle Paul did not do that (2 Cor. 10:3-5). My prayer for the church is that we respond like the apostle Paul by evangelizing our opponents, praying for those who stand against a biblical morality, and preaching the truth with love, compassion, and conviction.

Serving in the urban community of Los Angeles I am often confronted with opportunities to pray and preach against immorality. I write now because of such an occasion. I read an article yesterday from Bil Mooney-McCoy. He is the director of Safe Families 
TechMission This is my favorite one-stop anti-pornography website. It is really comprehensive and helpful. In an article posted on this site titled “Black Church Responds to Internet Pornography Companies Targeting Black Communities,”1 Bil charges that porn company, Club Pink, has registered the domain names and The porn industry commonly uses this tactic to insidiously snake their way onto the screens of unsuspecting Internet uses. In this case, the targets are African-Americans and even children doing research on Martin Luther King.

Is this appalling to you? Does it disgust you? In this case, do you think that Christians or Porn marketers are the ones forcing their morality or lack thereof on those who don’t want it? Do you think it’s wrong if Christians call attention to the porn industry’s deceptive practice of relabeling smut to entrap the unsuspecting?

Christians have a God-given mandate to (1) live free from immorality (Eph 5:3, 7-8) and (2) to raise their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord (Eph 6:1-4). Therefore, we must resist our culture’s attempts to force its lust for immorality upon us. So practically what must we do? Attack those who are trying to seduce us and our children? No, the Bible teaches just the opposite. We must pray for them and pray for our protection and for God to hinder the efforts of porn producers who seek to entice our children and us. We must also boldly appeal to them evangelistically, proclaiming that Christ died to save sinners from a life of immorality and that God will bring His angry judgment against all who persist in participating in it (Eph 5:6).

I thank God for the efforts led by Safe Families and the African-American Christians who stood against the hijacking of Martin Luther King’s name to use it against the African American community. And I pray that more believers, especially African American Christians, will join the war against porn.

1Click this link to read this shocking article:,+01:04+PM

Monday, June 30, 2008

Overcoming Sexual Temptation

I had the privilege of being interviewed by Jesse Lee Peterson this morning about Secret Sex Wars: A Battle Cry for Purity (SSW). Those of you who haven’t heard of Peterson, ( he is a fearless straight shooting brother. He has appeared on “Hannity and Colmes” (Fox News show) where he often argues from the conservative side of issues affecting the African-American community. His passion is to help African American men accept responsibility for their lives, their families, and their community. We had a great interview. He highly recommended SSW to his listeners. He concluded the interview by asking me to offer biblical advice that would help men to gain victory over sexual temptation. So I thought I would give some of the advice that I shared from SSW here on my blog.

1st Get Honest
You’ll never stop committing a sin that you don’t call sin. Our hearts are so deceitful that if we allow ourselves to call what God calls sin a weakness, a disease, or anything else other than sin, then we will not fight against our moral failure radically enough to defeat it. The first step to defeating any sin is to confess it (agree with the Bible’s assessment of that action or attitude). Sins must be confessed to God (Psalm 32:5) and to anyone you have sinned against (James 5:16). The Bible promises that for someone who genuinely repents and confesses his sin, God will graciously forgive (1 John 1:9). To gain God’s forgiveness is to receive a priceless gift, which you could never earn on your own. God removes the guilt of sin and makes you whole again (Psalm 51:1-3, 7-9). That is a wonderful promise, and the good news is that it is real, and it gives attainable hope to all who desire victory over sin.

2nd Get Help
Confessing your sin has to be followed by seeking Christ for help to gain the power you need to live a holy life. Living holy isn’t hard. It is impossible!—that is, without Christ. On your own, you could never defeat sin, but with Jesus the Bible promises that spiritually speaking, you can do all things—all the things God commands (Phil 4:13). And God commands you to abstain from sexual immorality (1 Thess. 4). Your victory depends upon answering the question “how do you gain Jesus’ help?” The answer is you must seek it by prayer. Obey the wise instruction from His Word. Stay close to Him by spending time with other believers who are living in obedience to Christ and avoid those who don’t (1 Cor. 15:33 teaches “bad company corrupts good morals”). If you earnestly do these things, the Bible promises that you will grow to become more and more like Jesus (2 Cor. 3:18), and Jesus lived a perfectly pure life (1 John 3:1-3).

3rd Get Radical
At the end of the day, you will either love Christ enough to obey Him, or you won’t. And according to Jesus, no one truly loves Him who won’t obey Him (John 14:15; Luke 6:46). Loving Jesus is hard, but it’s a good hard because it alone satisfies our soul’s thirst. Nothing is better than loving God. In fact, the Bible calls loving God the greatest commandment (Matt 22:37-38). So on the one hand, God calls us to love Him with everything we have and to love Him more than every thing else even our own lives. And then there is sin enticing us to love ourselves more than anyone and everything else. Everyone loves. The only difference is the object of our love—God or self-centered sin. Sin, therefore, is then the greatest hindrance to enjoying the love of God which brings true peace and satisfying joy. Hence sin is your greatest enemy (1 John 2:15), and it must be radically opposed. Sin must be put to death (Col 3:5), because if you don’t kill it, it will kill you (Rom 6:23). There is no other option.

I thoroughly enjoyed my interview with Jesse Lee Peterson today. We discussed a number of ways to overcome the challenge of sexual temptation. I have only presented a portion of the Bible’s admonition to overcome sexual temptation. However, I hope what I have shared encourages you to cultivate a passionate love for God, a stirring hatred of sin, and a conviction to learn more of what the Bible says about winning the war against sexual sins.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

There is Power in Unity

Here I am, an African-American urban preacher, at a predominately white, rural Bible convention, doing a workshop about overcoming sexual temptation from a book co-authored by 7 African-American Christian leaders. My message could not have been more warmly received. Why is that? Because the Truth is color-blind, and Jesus only has one church, and His Word saves and sanctifies all of God’s children.

I just returned to Los Angeles from Eugene, Oregon and the IFCA International Annual Convention. I try to attend the conventions as often as I can. This year, my good friend Executive Director, Dr. Les Lofquist, invited me do a workshop on my book. The plenary speaker was Dr. Alex Montoya, one of the world’s foremost visionary church planting pastors who serves the Lord in East LA. Listen to one of his sermons about church planting at the conference:

We heard reports of the work the Lord is doing through IFCA chaplains in Iraq. The Lord enabled me to network with the chaplains to see if God would open up doors to use Secret Sex Wars: A Battle Cry for Purity, in the military theater to help our soldiers win their battles against sexual temptation. The Lord led me to missionaries who labor in Uganda, Kenya, and the Congo. We are exploring the possibility of the co-authors making a trip and to hold purity conferences to help our brothers in Africa.

God is working all over the world. We were blessed to also hear how God is using a Korean pastor in the Cal Berkley area to plant churches in Taiwan. We heard from believers laboring in Belarus, Brazil, and India. It is amazing what the church can do when we don’t emphasize the differences in our color and instead labor together for Christ on the basis of the cross. As Les Lofquist reminded me at the conference, Jesus said, “He would build His church” not my church and that He would build it and not me. Jesus is Lord of all in all places, and by faith He wants all believers to be involved in reaching the lost all over the world. May God bless the IFCA’s vision to plant 100 new churches throughout the US by 2020. I am humbled and grateful for the small part I played in encouraging the saints at this convention, and I am proud to be a co-laboring IFCA member with like-minded believers glorifying Christ all over the world.

Grace and peace

Thursday, June 19, 2008

My First Post

Here I sit, in my little space in the world, reaching out to folks in the city who love the truth and stand on the truth. In a world full of compromise there are some who don't. By God's grace may this become a forum where the truth we need to hear in the city is heralded and heeded. I pray that God will use this humble attempt to exalt His Name by proclaiming His Word to strengthen and encourage urban Americans to stand firm against an avalanche of error.