Grace and peace to each of you in the name of Jesus. This is a time when it is difficult to recognize the same values and morals that many have grown up with in this country. Some would even say that right has become wrong and wrong has become right. This, however, is simply the evidence of societal norms changing due to generational influences. As generations change, the laws that govern society change with it.
For example, when I was growing up, marijuana was simply not viewed as acceptable and individuals went to jail for indulging in it. Now, it is legal and sold in stores. Public vulgarity was looked down upon by all societal standards, but now is the common language in school classrooms by students and teachers.
While the change in societal norms has been going on since the dawn of time, there is a larger question that looms over us as a people of faith. Does God’s standard change along with society? At first glance, the obvious pat answer, resoundingly, is ‘No’, and rightfully so. But what are we teaching our children who are ostracized for being nerds, or straight laced.
There seems to be a double-message going forth that is confusing millennials and those younger. On one side, the teachings of Christ promote a message like, ‘Turn the other cheek’, yet the society in which they live, appear to be rewarding the ‘bad boy’ behavior by glorifying it through social media.
It has become apparent that the message of Jesus is now, and may have always been, counter-cultural. The message of Jesus is not now, nor ever has been, the popular notion of the current day. His message is calling all of us to a higher level of how and who we ought to be. Societal laws govern on the predominant voice of the people at the time. God’s laws are eternal and never change. Societal laws govern on what is. God’s law governs on what ought. And that is the difference between ‘doing right’ and ‘being right’.
Grace and peace to each of you in the name of Jesus Christ
As the bible denotes that God has given some to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers let us examine more closely a common distinction that is overlooked. Specifically, the differentiation between evangelists and pastors.
Often, when an individual announces that he/she is called to ‘preach’ somewhere in the near future there is announcement of an urgent call to pastor as well. While I do not ever question God’s call of any individual, I do want persons to clearly understand that one does not automatically and mutually include the other. Preaching and pastoring are two different gifts.
All too often we hear of persons whose gift can literally preach you under the pew, yet their church has closed its doors. Conversely, we all know of persons whose preaching gift may not rival someone else’s yet they are not only existing but thriving as a pastor. What makes the difference? One is operating in his/her gifting, while the other may not be.
I am not naïve enough to limit success to these criteria alone as I do understand that the will of God is operative in every situation. I also understand that neither gift is totally exclusive of the other. However, I simply want to point out that preaching is more related to the gift of the evangelist than the pastor. Pastors are purposed for the teaching of body of Christ, while preaching is more suited for the unbeliever to be brought to Christ.
If all pastors had to do was preach to the body during a Sunday morning worship service most churches would probably still be opened. Pastoring, however, involves a multiplicity of skillsets that each require fulltime attention. Pastoring truly is a gift from God separate yet interdependent upon the others. Let’s thank God for the ones who have answered the call to shepherd the sheep.
From the desk of the Archbishop: Lucifer is not God’s BFF
Grace and peace be to each of you in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Truly the Lord is moving by His Spirit in this season of Lent. We have witnessed His awesomeness in ways that only He could have done. Prophecies are being fulfilled almost immediately and miracles have gone forth like never before here in the New Oasis. God is showing us who He is and who we are to Him.
Due to the fact that it is Lenten season, I may not be able to follow up on the teaching from yesterday as quickly as I would like. I am, therefore, sending forth this abbreviated treatise so that no one is left thinking that God and the Devil are BFF. The doctrine of inclusion I believe falsely adopts this premise because of the initiation of Lucifer’s original purpose proposed by God. This particular doctrine, if I’m not mistaken, offers an assertion that Lucifer ought to be able to enter heaven along with all others. There is a major scriptural disqualifier, however, that may not have been fully taken into account.
Isaiah 14:12-15 says, “How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How are you cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart; I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High. Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit.”
Lucifer messed up his assignment with God when he got the bighead, because of his corrupted heart. Apparently so many individuals were following him that he began to believe himself to be worthy. This is obviously when Lucifer’s identity became Satan or adversary.
The question that looms over us, however, is one of time and interpretation. To be more succinct, we must consider answering the question, “When in creation did Lucifer turn on God”? The fact is however, biblically there was a time when Lucifer no longer did God’s bidding. God, however, did not remove him rather gave each of us the ability to overcome him by the cross.
The Season of Sacrifice
As we have entered this Liturgical Season of Lent, let us be reminded of the sacrifice that Jesus made but also expects from each of us as believers. The song says, “The Father gave His Son, and the Son gave His life”, which indicates that sacrifice is basic to the Christian belief. Yes, Jesus did die for our sins, yet the psalmist asks, “What shall we render to God for all of His mercies?”
We live in a time when the emphasis of Christianity has been placed on our receiving from God, rather than our giving to God. Any sacrifice, any inconvenience on our part seems to have become almost antithetical to popular Christian beliefs. In fact, the common practice now, apparently, is to make serving Christ as convenient as possible in order to attract new converts into the faith. What, however, are we unconsciously teaching the believer about the walk with Christ? Is it possible, that unintentionally we have presented an enabling Christ who is viewed as synonymous with ‘Santa Claus’ rather than ‘the Suffering Servant’.
The Gospel message says that “If we suffer with Him, we will reign with Him.” This is not an indication that we must die as Christ did, because Jesus was the perfect sacrifice. To be like Christ, however, it seems that we should be willing to make sacrifices ourselves. Being a Christian is not only about being healed of every manner of disease. Sometimes being a Christian is about keeping that thorn in the flesh. It’s not always about getting what we want. Sometimes it’s about His Will being done, not ours. Remember that God so loved the world that He gave, not got. Let’s be more like Him!
For those of you who have been a part of New Day Fellowship of Churches, International for some time, you are already aware that the organization was birthed from United Methodism. While our heritage originally mirrors the Anglican doctrine and polity from which the United Methodist Church first became a reformation, we, now, must begin to identify our own path.
New Day Fellowship of Churches, International by intent, resolution, and doctrine must and has changed our name to reflect who we are and what we stand for. Our new name is now New Day Kingdom Assembly of Churches, which is already registered in the County Clerk’s office.
To this end, all documents, certificates, licenses, ordination papers, consecration documents, etc., must now reflect the new name in order to be recognized by the reformation from this point on. Persons who have the former paperwork and credentials from the Fellowship need to turn in those documents and receive the new ones as soon as possible.
What is a Reformation?
The following excerpt will hopefully bring some light on to what the idea of a reformation is and/or why it needs to exist:
REFORMATION is the act of reforming, or the state of being reformed; change from worse to better; correction or amendment of life, manners, or of anything vicious or corrupt; as, the reformation of manners; reformation of the age; reformation of abuses.
Historically, the Protestant REFORMATION points to a time dating back to the 1500’s in the Church’s history. The visible Church was steeped in unbiblical teachings and practices put forth by the Roman Catholic Pope and Church councils who claimed infallibility; abandoning Apostolic teaching recorded in the New Testament recognized, upheld, and taught by the early church fathers – they placed themselves over the authority of the Holy Scriptures and perverted the true gospel. However, the invisible Church then, as in all generations, maintained and upheld the true gospel as taught in Holy Scripture.
Through the REFORMATION, the true gospel and the essential doctrines of the Christian faith were brought back to light and this largely through the reformer Martin Luther. Out of the REFORMATION, 5 essential doctrines emerged restoring the Church to its historically biblical roots:
1. Sola Scriptura – “by Scripture alone” – the Bible is THE ONLY infallible and authoritative Word of God and sufficient for all matters of life-the only standard for the Church’s teaching. Therefore, the Scriptures must be given faithfully and carefully to the people – in the language of the people.
2. Solas Christus – “by Christ alone” – Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and man, thus, salvation from sin’s penalty and power is secured by the death and resurrection of Christ alone.
3. Sola Fide – “by faith alone” – Salvation is received by faith alone. We need only believe in the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins and receive Him as Lord. True saving faith is evidenced by a life of repentance from sin.
4. Sola Gratia – “by grace alone” – Salvation is solely a sovereign work of God only received by His grace (kindness undeserved). There is nothing man can do to save himself from the penalty and power of sin.
5. Sola Deo Gloria – “to God alone the glory” – God is sovereign over all events of history – including salvation – all are orchestrated by Him for His and the glory of Christ alone. Therefore, every activity of the Christian is to be lived under the Lordship of Christ to the glory of God alone.
Moreover, New Day Kingdom Assembly of Churches will exist to refresh, revive, and renew some of the basic biblical doctrines of the faith that have undergone exhaustive revisions during the passing of generations. In lieu of certain occurrences in recent times that have seemingly compromised the biblical stances in some areas New Day Kingdom Assembly of Churches hopes to revisit the original intents of the Bible.
We believe as did our forefathers that the bible is the standard and measure of our faith. In addition, we also adhere to the faith statement as contained in the Apostles Creed. As the reformations and/or the denominations from which we were birthed, we are connectional in structure and Apostolic in nature.
As we establish ministry tenants across the globe we hope to celebrate the sacraments with dignity and sacredness as did our scriptural ancestors. The sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion are the two means of grace that are biblically espoused and therefore, we believe in the adherence of them in every New Day Kingdom Assembly church. Other rituals may be observed in some cases, but they are not considered a means of grace which is sacramental.
Marriage is a sacred act to be engaged in by one man and one woman. It is not to be engaged in by two persons of the same-sex, neither by a person and another species, nor by persons outside the legal age limits of the governing laws of the land. Marriage is an honorable estate and should be experienced by two consenting adults (again one man and one woman).
New Day Kingdom Assembly of Churches will exist and be governed by its by-laws as they are from time to time revised by the governing board of bishops. Please note that New Day Kingdom Assembly of Churches is not democratic in essence, rather it is theocratic. While we do honor and respect the wishes and wisdom of the masses, the final say rests with the God-leader whom He has put in place as the International Archbishop. Church politics have no place among this movement of God for the world.