Saturday, September 29, 2012

Interview With Bill Tipton In Chicago 2012

Just before we left for Brasil Bill and I went to Chicago to get our visas. While there we had this brief discussion. I trust it will be a blessing to all of our Berean Family. 

I spoke with my dear friend Beto today and we praised the Lord for the wonderful times we shared together in the Lord's work in his country. We have such a wonderful Savior and shared so many precious times serving Him in Beto's home country.

With the coming election drawing near I remind all of our Berean Family to pray for the direction of our nation. As always, we have the responsibility to vote for our convictions and principles. Let me remind all of you that you need to take into consideration the Biblical teachings and principles of the Word of God when you vote. Our first allegiance must be to the Lord Jesus Christ and to His Word. I urge all of our Berean family to pray for our country and to pray for our church that God's blessing and His presence might be among us.

 I believe that my responsibility as a pastor, preaching in my pulpit, embraces these four principles.

1. Proclaim the gospel- Matt. 28:19-20.
2. Proclaim the whole counsel of God- Acts 20: 19-20. (This includes God's law, and God's truth as it applies to every ethical and moral situation that we may face. The Christian pulpit must address or prophecy to the culture in which we live. But we do that in the context of the biblical exposition of the Word of God. There are other methods of teaching and instructing  our people as well, but the main emphasis is by proclaiming God's Word.)
3. Exalt the Lord Jesus Christ- John 3:30. (This is the highest calling of the Christian minister)
4. Extend God's Kingdom on earth- Matt. 6:33. (No cause, organization, calling, hobby, or personal pursuit must ever rival or replace the Kingdom of God as it is manifested in the Local Church.)

These are the principles that shape and mold my ministry. May the Lord bless our Berean Family as we approach the coming challenges in our land and in our personal lives.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

My Last Interview With Pastor Rosther

This is my last of three interviews with Pastor Rosther from Brasil. There are many interesting comments and thoughts that he shares with us. Enjoy!!


My prayer today is, "Father, be pleased to roll back the tide of sin in our land. Give us a passion for Your Son and enable us to not only love Him but to proclaim Him to our beloved country. Help us to remember that the answer to the many needs and challenges that we are facing today is found only in the precious Gospel of Your dear Son. Enable us to stand for the truth of Your Word in these dark and difficult times.  Father, fill the earth with the knowledge of Christ as the waters cover the sea. For Jesus sake, Amen.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Finding Strength In God's Promises

Lamentations 3:22-23:

It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.  They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”

The book of Lamentations is about the fall of Judah and its capital Jerusalem.  The nation was captured by the Babylonians and king Nebuchadnezar. This book was written by Jeremiah who is referred to as the weeping prophet.  Jeremiah had warned the nation of its sins and he had exhorted them to repent.  The nation did not heed his warnings and because of that it fell.  This is the cause of the sorrow and sadness of Jeremiah.  King Zedekiah was warned by Jeremiah to repent, but he refused, and in the end the king of Babylon captured him and tortured his two sons before his very eyes.  Then Nebuchadnezar put out Zedekiah’s eyes and put him in a cage and sent him to Babylon like a freak in a circus show.  (See Jeremiah chapter) 39.
The book of Lamentations is a tedious record of woe, sorrow, grief and sadness.  This is a dark and depressing book. See 1:3; 1:22; 2:1; 3:2.  Jeremiah is obviously heart broken. He’s deeply broken. You will be hard pressed to read a more expansive, heart rending description of human misery anywhere in scripture than here. It’s a very sad chapter.  Do you think you’ve got problems? Listen please to these complaints of this prophet from the early centuries.  But in the midst of this terrible darkness shines a brilliant light filled with hope and peace.  Lamentations 3:22-23 are like a star shinning in the darkness of night.  It is worth reading Lamentations just to find these two precious verses that so comfort our souls.  I want to talk to you about God’s faithfulness.  Numbers 23:19 reads:

“God is not a man, that He should lie, 
Nor a son of man, that He should repent; 
Has He said, and will He not do it? 
Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”

Since God cannot lie, we can count on Him to do exactly what He promised—to be perfectly reliable, always steady and stable, never fickle or vacillating. That is His faithfulness. His Word is infallible and unfailing. Since it is without error, it will surely come to pass.  God is faithful.

Let me define a few of the words of this text. The word mercies is from the Hebrew word chesed.  This word means loving kindness, mercy and pity.  In Hebrew the word is חסד.

 The word compassions is from the word rakham and means to cherish, or to have a tender love.  It contains the idea of a mother cherishing the child of her womb. The Hebrew word is רחם
The word faithfulness is from the Hebrew word emunah and means to be firm, to have moral fidelity. It suggests the security of those who are thus protected and cared for by the Lord.  The Hebrew word is אמוּנה.

There is a wonderful hymn from Thomas Chisholm called Great Is Thy Faithfulness.  Thom­as O. Chis­holm was born in 1923. Ac­cord­ing to Chis­holm, there were no spe­cial cir­cum­stanc­es which caused its writ­ing—just his ex­per­i­ence and Bi­ble truth. The hymn first ap­peared in Songs of Sal­va­tion and Serv­ice, 1923, com­piled by Wil­liam M. Run­yan. It is the un­of­fi­cial “school hymn” of Moo­dy Bi­ble In­sti­tute in Chi­ca­go, with which Run­yan was as­so­ci­at­ed for a num­ber of years. This hymn is based on the great promise that I am sharing with you in this post.

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.


Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.  They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23

         This promise in Lamentations should be a wonderful comfort to us in these days. With so much uncertainty in the world, with political corruption, ecclesiastical declension, and with such enormous deception taking place we wonder how can the church go forward? But Christ is on His throne. He will have the victory. Let us never forget what is the answer for the world. It is not human philosophy, man-made religion, pseudo cult-like groups that create a counter culture to the church, but rather, the answer for the world is the advance of the kingdom of God. Let our hearts be encouraged by this wonderful promise. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Continuing Confusion Over Freedom of Speech!

Watching the news after the recent events on 9/11 has troubled me deeply. I recognize that there are millions of Muslims around the world that are neither terrorists nor approve of the actions of Islamic terrorists. But it is equally true that there are millions of Muslims that do, in fact, sympathise with these radicals. It is very troubling that the Islamic communities around the world are often very silent when it comes to protesting as vociferously against Islamic terror as many other Islamists are vocal in shouting insults and death threats to all who allegedly insult them. I woke up last night and could not sleep as I was thinking on these things. I picked up my I-phone and typed this memo to myself.  I thought I would share these thoughts with our Berean Family. If you agree with this, and are as  concerened as I am, then I would encourage you to share this with others.
Seven things most people in America
don't understand about Islam.
1. The Islamic faith allows its followers to lie and deceive infidels. According to sharia law, in certain situations, deception – also known as 'taqiyya', based on Quranic terminology, – is not only permitted but sometimes obligatory. This is why it is difficult to know when to believe what Muslim leaders say to the West.
2. In many cases Islam is not a peaceful religion. Woven all through the Koran, the Hadith and other sacred Islamic writings is the teaching of jihad. Holy war is not just a religious struggle to better a persons life. It is the violent killing of all those who do not submit to Allah and the teachings of Mohammad. While Christianity has its dark and intolerant moments in its history, there is simply no other religion that has a omparable track record that is as extreme and as violent in  its attempt to destroy all other religions and religious points of view. The never ending stream of suicide bombers, terrorists,  and violent threats and violent actions against the West, and the universal call for the annihilation  of Israel, should adequately illustrate this.
3. Islam is often an extremely intolerant religion. Rarely is freedom of speech allowed. This is why the Arab street is often referred to as the angry Arab street. Millions can be whipped up in a rage quickly over things we in America would tolerate as acceptable debate and discussion. In the West, Christian doctrine is debated and denigrated all the time in many different venues from universities, opposing religions, and from atheists. But these debates, criticisms, and attacks against Christianity are not met with calls for death and violence, or mass demonstrations of rage in the public square.
4. Islam has a world-view woven into the Koran that they are destined to subdue all the earth. This is why, unlike Christianity, Islam was spread by the Sword. The very word Islam means "submission". No country or nation ever embraced Islam apart from war or the threat of war. Individuals may convert to Islam on their own, but every nation that is Islamic was brought under the banner of the crescent moon by force. Islam burst out of the dessert in the 7th century and swallowed up vast areas of North Africa, Europe and Asia through violent subjugation. This is an incontrovertible fact of history.
5. Islam is vastly different from Christianity in the most important area of faith. How does one enter paradise? Or in Christian terms, how does one enter Heaven. Islam teaches one must submit to the Five Pillars of the Islamic faith. A persons good works must out-weigh their bad works. It is a works based faith. But one way to speed up the process to paradise is to kill an infidel as an act of jihad. This not only speeds up the process but gives the added bonus of 70 virgins  and 70 wives  to enjoy in paradise. In contrast, Christianity teaches that salvation and the entrance into heaven is by grace. Salvation cannot be earned. Christianity teaches that Jesus Christ was the Son of God who came to earth to die for our sins. He taught those who embraced His teachings to repent of their sins, to receive Him as their Savior, and to turn from their life of hatred and violence and exchange it for a life of love. Love your neighbor as you would love yourself, love your enemies (don't murder them!) and finally love one another.
6. Islam, unlike Christianity, does not encourage or welcome questions. Christianity is not afraid to have its truth claims investigated. Christians believe that there is both internal and external evidence to verify the truth claims of the Bible. Christians believe that only the Bible can stand up to serious and thorough investigation. The rapid and intolerant response of Islam to any and all questions about its validity should speak volumes to those who are trying to discern where the truth lies.
7. Islamic apologists have effectively and continuously taught that to merely say, "I don't believe in Islam," "I believe Islam is not a peaceful religion," "I don't believe in Mohammad" or other similar statements makes you islamaphobic. And this is now seen by many as a hate crime. While people in the West are under increasing pressure to remain silent about their faith, Muslims world-wide are increasingly vocal about their faith. Islamists are not only vocal, they demand others to be silent. Hence, Muslims can rage and protest alleged offenses against their religion, but if Christians protested against a Muslim suicide bombing,  church burning, an assassination, or any other form of terror and persecution that is practiced on a routine basis it is often seen as islamaphobic and racist.  And much of the time these violent acts against Christians are either denied or defended.
The question I have is this, "Do these seven things alarm anyone ?" I believe we should live in peace with all of our neighbors. We, as Christians, should love all men. But this does not mean we should not speak our mind when it comes to the faith once delivered to the saints. We should love all Muslims. We should seek to be a testimony to them of our faith by living a life before them that is filled with kindness, patience, love, and Christ-likeness. By doing this, perhaps, they will see the true difference between the teachings of Christ and those teachings that they have received from their traditions.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

My Second Interview With Pastor Rosther

This is the second of a number of interviews with my good friend Pastor Rosther. What the Lord is doing with this servant of God in Brasil is an encouragement to all of us. I pray that it will be a blessing to our Berean family.
As  the crisis in the Middle East continues to unfold I am very amazed and distressed by many of the comments being made by our political leaders. Instead of apologizing for the video that allegedly offended so many Muslims our leaders should be stressing to the nations in the Middle East that we in America hold dear to the right of freedom of speech. We should be taking this opportunity to emphasize that we accept questions, doubts, even open rejection of any religious belief as the fundamental right of Americans. Furthermore, we do not consider atheism, the rejection of our religious beliefs or those who publicly ridicule faith as reasons to justify murder, rioting, destroying property, or to incite rage in the streets. It is apparent to me that many of our leaders have a very defective understanding of the deep seated hatred that is influencing so many in the Muslim world.
Let us, as Bereans, keep our leaders and our nation in our prayers. These are indeed perilous days.
May the Lord use all of us in His service to reveal the light of the glorious gospel of Christ to our loved ones and friends.
In Christ,
Pastor Dickie

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Another Tragedy On 9-11

Radical Islam Is A Serious Threat To Our Freedom!
The murder of an American diplomat in Libya is a terrible event and once again reveals the ongoing war that radical Islam is waging against the West. For our President to suggest that we reject all attempts to denigrate the beliefs of others is, in fact, an attack on the freedom of speech in our Republic. As a Christian minister I welcome any and all questions about my faith. There have been many times that my belief in the deity of Christ, the resurrection of Christ, the truthfulness of the Bible, and many other Christian tenets that I hold dear have been questioned, ridiculed, mocked and rejected. But the response from me and other Christians has never been one of sending suicide bombers, terrorists, and violent protesters to rage in the streets in defense of our faith. The extreme violence of these people shows how morally bankrupt the ethic of their faith really is. If we accept what our President says about denigrating the beliefs of others we are accepting the myth that all religions are equal and  have merit. It is teaching our children a form of religious relativism. And we would never be able to discuss the real ethical and moral differences between our beliefs without being accused of denigrating some other religion. This is really an attempt to silence Christians and to give the enemies of the Christian faith an opportunity to spread their beliefs without being held to the test of verifying the truth claims of those religious groups. This is an attack by our culture on our religious freedom as well as an attack on our freedom of speech. If this continues those who speak about the validity of the Christian faith or who defend the truth claims of the Christian faith  will be accused of hate speech. How can one discern what truth is if one cannot discuss why one faith may be right or another faith may be wrong? The differences between Christianity and Islam are enormous. They cannot both be right. If someone asks me why I think Christianity is true and why Islam is not true how can I answer that without being accused of denigrating another faith? Our President is setting the stage for a persecution of those who would be courageous enough to speak out on this very subject. We must not be silenced by the nonsense that to explain the truth claims of the Christian faith is somehow offensive and denigrating the faith of others and therefore gives them the right to murder people. Being offended does not give one the right to be barbaric. I think the deplorable behavior of these radical Muslims reveals much about the faith they follow.  
I would recommend everyone to read, The Cry From Constantinople. You can order it on Amazon for your  Kindle e-reader. I believe it is an easy read and explains the real nature behind radical Islam. The war against Christianity and the West continues. We need to wake up to the great dangers this threat is to our future and to our security.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

My First Interview With Pastor Rosther

Bill Tipton and I had a number of interviews with our friends from Brasil. I think these discussions will be a great blessing to you. I am very grateful that the Lord has allowed me to have met some of the most wonderful people around the world. My friends in England, Wales, South Africa, India, Brasil and the many folks at Berean and all over the US has been a great source of encouragement to me. True friends are a rare treasure. I have learned that God sends people into our lives to bless us. We must be willing to humble ourselves and to learn from them. May the Lord enable all of us to be good friends to those the Lord sends our way. Shakespeare said, "Those friends thou hast by their adoption tried, grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel."
Solomon wrote in the Proverbs, "A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." Of course Solomon is referring to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But this is also true of those unique friends that the Lord allows into our inner circle to be a blessing to us. A true friend will not over look our faults or sins but will with love and gentleness correct us and help us to see the errors of our ways. Love desires to be a spiritual help to those we fellowship with and with whom we share the great burden of serving the Lord. Love will be willing to  forgive and forget if true repentance is given. Love will pick up those who are fallen and cast down. love will not forsake a friend because of a misunderstanding. Love will always seek to be a  peace-maker. Love will be loyal in the good times as well as in the hard and tough times. Love does not grow weary with well doing. Love does not desert a true friendship when it appears that there is nothing more to be gained from that friendship. Love does not seek personal benefits in order to have or maintain a friendship. Love remains faithful even in the most difficult of times. Love does not take offense and allows nothing to divide the bond that ties two friends together.
I have also learned that a true friendship cannot exist or be maintained when deceit, lying, dishonesty, selfishness, pride, self-promotion, jealousy, and denial exist. These sinful attitudes not only poison relationships but eventually will destroy them. 
May we all be worthy of our friends. And may we show true friendship to those whom the Lord has providentially placed in our life.
In the bonds of Calvary Love,
Pastor Dickie 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Preaching Christ In Brasil

Preaching Christ Around The World
It has been a joy for me to have had the privilege to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ around the world. Here is one of the messages that I delivered to the conference in Brasilia at the Reformation Conference and the dedication of their new church.
My goal in preaching whether home or abroad is what Paul said in I Corinthians 2:2, "For I determined not to know anything among you save Jesus Christ and Him crucified."
While we have so many blessings here at Berean Baptist Church we also have a great responsibility to share this same gospel here at home with loved ones and friends. My prayer is that we will be faithful in proclaiming the precious message of Christ with those that we encounter in our every day moments.
Here are a few quotes on preaching that speak to us today!
"It ill becomes the servant to seek to be rich, and great, and honoured in that world where his Lord was poor, and mean, and despised." ~George Muller

"Nothing is more needed among preachers today than that we should have the courage to shake ourselves free from the thousand and one trivialities in which we are asked to waste our time and strength, and resolutely return to the apostolic ideal which made necessary the office of the diaconate. We must resolve that we will continue stedfastly in prayer, and in the ministry of the Word." ~G. Campbell Morgan0

"The greatest privilege of earthly life is to give some fellow creature the blessed word of God, and then try by loving speech and example, to bring home to the heart and conscience...the truths it contains." ~J. A. Broadus

"Trouble or no trouble—pains or no pains—controversy, or no controversy—one thing is very sure: that nothing but Christ’s Gospel will ever do good to our own souls. Nothing else will maintain our Churches. Nothing else will ever bring down God’s blessing upon our land. If, therefore, we love our own souls, or if we love our country’s prosperity, or if we love to keep our Churches standing, we must remember the Apostles words, and “hold fast,” hold firmly the Gospel, and refuse to let it go!" ~ J.C. Ryle

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Testimony From Carlos and Fernanda Borges

A Story Of God's Amazing Grace
This is Carlos and Fernanda sharing their story of coming to Christ. I have some interviews with Pastor Roshter that I will share in the next few weeks. It is my prayer that you will find these interviews to be a great blessing to your Christian life and your walk with God. Pastor Rosther is planning on visiting with us this coming year. Please keep us in prayer as we make preparations for this event.
One of the things I have seen in the church in Brasil is the great love and passion that these dear believers have for Christ. May we all at Berean Baptist emulate our dear friends from down below who are such examples to us here in the USA.
When we hear of the thrilling things God is doing in other lands around the world we are reminded of the words of David, "All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before You." Psalm 22:27
As we pray for our own church we must also pray for the nations of the world that the Lord would build His church both at home and around the world.
May the Lord enable all of us here at Berean to be witnesses for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Yours in Calvary Love,
Pastor Dickie