Posts Tagged ‘Defending the Faith’
In 2011, Roger Oakland introduced us to Trevor Baker and his music, and we’ve been listening to him ever since. Trevor sings about many of the things Lighthouse Trails writes about, and it doesn’t take too long listening to Trevor to know he’s a man after God’s own heart. His songs are a mixture of easy-listening ballads and thought-provoking lyrics. We asked Trevor if he could write a little something to our readers to tell them about himself. Here is what he had to say:
Twenty years ago, when the Lord first began giving me songs, I remember the struggle that went on within my heart. “Lord, are these just my own thoughts, or are You the inspiration behind the lines that come from this pen of mine? Lord, why am I always writing about the ugly side of religion and how people should run from the many spiritual gurus, both new and old, that seem to be untouchable and unquestionable kings and queens of the day?”
These rulers of the people speak partial truths to keep the money flowing in to prop up their man-made ministries where “self ” rules the day and Christianity is a business and an ego maker rather than what Jesus intended.
Jesus upset the tables of the money changers in the temple and then prayed, “I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes” (Matthew 11:25).
So I have realized through the years that warning people about the big dogs that rule the religious landscape has left me with few friends. The thing I can’t escape though is the unmistakable peace I sense when God gives me a song and the tears I see in concerts of those rejected by the social religiosity of the day—misfits that have never been welcome throughout history.
My message is simple, go to the garden alone and walk and talk with Jesus, as the old hymn put it. A broken and contrite spirit He will not leave in distress in a church age that has lost its bearings. Jesus said we can come to him and cast our burdens on Him, and He will direct our steps through the religious mine fields and give us rest.
Most today, it seems, would rather line up to hear all of the religious superstars instead of going to the garden alone to receive real nourishment from the Lord. This, I believe, is one of the biggest contributing factors to the bankrupt society we see today.
Editor’s Note: While Lighthouse Trails does carry most of Trevor’s music CDs and DVDs, those who cannot afford these materials should visit Trevor’s website where you can get his CDs on a donation basis. You can also listen to 30-second clips of all his songs on our site as well as a video of Trevor in concert. Trevor lives in Saskatchewan, Canada with his wife Jennifer. They have two grown daughters and two granddaughters. Trevor travels extensively around North America singing at churches and conferences. Below, we have posted the lyrics to one of the songs from his Road Less Traveled CD. You can also listen to this song too. We hope you enjoy this sweet humble brother with a great voice and songs that have tremendous meaning.
Wish I Had Your Life
By Trevor Baker – Canadian singer and songwriter with a message
When I watch the people
In the stream of life
With frivolous pursuits
Their minds all clouded in reality
You wonder what’s the use
And I want so much to tell them
That their life would mean much more
If they’d see the Lord
And knock upon His door
And so I try to live my life
In such a way that they might see
That Heaven is the treasure
And the Lord, well, He’s the key
And while many can’t be bothered
With what they call the narrow way
Still from time to time
Someone will say
I wish I had your life
What is that thing
That makes you tick?
You seem to have a light
And this dark world
Has got me licked
Tell what’s inside you?
Is there something I should know?
I’m not quite sure where you’re goin’
But I think I’d like to go
Now days like that
Are more than often
Few and far between
As I walk this pilgrim highway
I’m well aware it’s all up stream
I have moments filled with sadness
There are nights I’d like to cry
And I’ve used that loaded little word
That they call why
Can’t they see the God of Heaven
Is the One Who made this place?
He formed the sky, the birds, the fish
And most of all the human race
And I know that most
Seem all content
Just caught up in the fray
But in the crowd
There’s more than one
That wants to say
And though thousands
Shrug their shoulders
And even sneer as they move on
It won’t be long’ till someone wants
To hear my song
More From Trevor:
LTRP Note: As many of you know, berean defender of the faith, Dave Hunt, went home to be with the Lord earlier this year. The note below is from The Berean Call website from Dave’s wife, Ruth. While we have never personally met Ruth, we carry her excellent book, East Wind and are grateful for this work. And as the apostle Paul says, in referring to the believer in Christ, “Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (for we walk by faith, not by sight:) we are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 5: 6-8)
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I would like to express my deepest gratitude to all of you for your dear cards and letters and prayers. They have meant so very much to me. I hope that you will understand that I am no longer able to respond individually, but please know that every note has been read and is cherished. I am truly blessed to have so many dear friends.
I must now share with you that my doctors have declared me terminally ill and have given me approximately four months to live. I am not in any pain and am being well cared for by family, friends, and caregivers.
I truly look forward to this glorious transition and the fact that I will soon be with my beloved Savior and with Dave and others who have gone on before me. The Lord was so kind to me in answering my prayer, which was that He would allow me to stay well enough to care for my dear David until he went home to be with Him. I was blessed to be there, holding his hand, as he drew his last breath, and I knew that he was with Jesus! How kind of God to have given me that privilege.
I thank each one of you for the many, many years of loving fellowship that we have shared, and I pray that you will be comforted by the fact that I am perfectly at peace. I look forward with much joy to our grand reunion in heaven one day soon! “What a day, glorious day, that will be!”
Another Letter From Assemblies of God Pastor: Many AOG Ministers Concerned About Contemplative Issue
I have never responded to you before, but I do wish for you to know that I have been following your series of articles concerning Ruth Barton speaking at the AoG GC with extreme interest. You see, I am a credentialed AoG minister. I, along with many other ministers and lay people inside the AoG are extremely concerned with what has been taking place within our fellowship over the past few years. In fact, there are several conservative factions inside of the AoG that have actually been able to bond over the common cause of bringing a halt to the contemplative prayer movement that has been lurking around in our fellowship. I just wished to thank you personally for all that you do for the gospel. I would also like you to know that many of your Ruth Barton articles are being used in AoG Theology discussion forums on Facebook. It may amuse you to know that many of the older line AoG ministers, who would not even look at a Lighthouse Trails article before, have come to respect your writers, and how well they research their articles. I would just like to ask that you pray for us as we go through this time of testing in our fellowship. It seems bad now, but I am hoping and praying that it will lead to a Reformation within the AoG. Again, thank you so much for your great articles and your research. It has really been a bigger help than you will ever know.
In His service,
By Heather Clark
Christian News Network
Following the announcement that NBA star Jason Collins had come out as a homosexual, ESPN commentator Chris Broussard declared on national television today that homosexuality is a sin against God, and that a person who willingly lives an unrepentant lifestyle cannot call themselves a Christian.
“I’m a Christian,” he began as he spoke on Outside the Lines along with LZ Granderson, an avowed homosexual. “I don’t agree with homosexuality. I think it’s a sin. I think all sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman is [sin] and LZ knows that.”
“Personally, I don’t think you can live an openly homosexual lifestyle, or [engage in] premarital sex between heterosexuals [as a Christian],” Broussard continued. “If you’re openly living that type of lifestyle, then the Bible says you will know them by their fruits. It says that it’s a sin, and if you’re living in unrepentant sin — whatever it may be, not just homosexuality — adultery, fornication, premarital sex between heterosexuals, whatever it may be, I believe that’s walking in open rebellion to God.” Click here to read more and to watch a video of this.
LTRP Note: Every day, we receive letters, e-mails, and phone calls from believers around the world. So many of them are standing courageously for the faith, even in the midst of ridicule, loss of friends, and often church homes. Here is an ode written by one of them. It is dedicated to those believers who love the Lord and His Gospel message and believe it is worth defending:
Ode to the Watchers on the Wall…
They are the watchers. Tirelessly they stand on the wall and watch . . . sometimes blowing their horns to warn of danger and creeping dragons. The people shake their heads and just walk away . . . ”Don’t believe everything you see, foolish watcher!” they say, even though the watchers can see what they can’t. Foolishly, the people naively open the gates and welcome the dragons in now. Proudly they walk by flaunting their green guests. “See, this is a good guest,” they sneer, oblivious to the puff of smoke wafting behind them. The watchers know that it’s only because of their swords that the dragons don’t devour the whole village at once. Watchers are never well liked . . . they don’t apply for this job, but the King grants such a position only to those He chooses. They must accept the honor . . . it’s not that they are worthy, but they have each been rescued from the mouth of a fierce dragon . . . so they know the stench and recognize the sounds of a dragon . . . . and now they watch for them . . . because they owe their lives to the King and his family.
Written by Carla from BC, Canada
“Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand. So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.” (Ezekiel 33: 2-9)
By Ted Kyle
From Ezekiel 9:4-5 comes this challenging report: “And the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity.”
If the reader’s first reaction is to think, “These are Old Testament words for a far-distant time and place; it means nothing to me,” I beg you to think again. The God of the Old Testament is also the God of the New Testament. His nature has not changed one iota. The Old and the New are related. Furthermore, Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 10:11 that “Now all these things (virtually the entire Old Testament) happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. We are not governed by Old Testament Law but we are supposed to learn from those hard-won lessons.
In Ezekiel’s vision, God commissioned the angelic beings who had charge of Jerusalem, including the Temple (Ez. 9:1), to sweep through the city and destroy most of the residents. They were to have no pity. They were to “slay utterly old and young, both maids and little children, and women” (9:6). The only exceptions to this general slaughter were to be those who mourned because their city and nation were sliding ever deeper into sin.
Was this a warning vision or a prophetic vision? Probably both, in a general sense, for we know that God did ultimately use the Roman army to wreak His vengeance on the Jewish nation, and particularly Jerusalem, its capital city, where the slaughter was frightful. Included in the destruction was the Temple, which was burned and then enthusiastically demolished stone by stone, we are told, to recover the gold that had melted and run into the joints and crevices between the stones.
I greatly fear that God’s fulfillment of this vision will be reenacted in our country in our day, unless America turns back to God. We, as a nation, have already closed our schools, our courts, and our councils against God and have more and more declared Him either irrelevant or actually subversive. Meanwhile our churches, so many of them, are spiritually asleep and drifting further from the precepts and practices of God’s holy Word.
I believe Ezekiel’s vision also contains a pointed warning for the Church. Note the last part of 9:6: “ ‘And begin at my sanctuary.’ Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.” Verse 7 continues: “And he said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: go ye forth. And they went forth, and slew in the city.”
Where would these angels of death find their first victims? Among the priests and Levites who served the Temple. And first among them would be the “ancient men,” the leaders. The application for the Church is so obvious it cries out for emphasis: God’s judgment will fall most heavily upon the pastors and elders who lead their flocks away from the true Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
This, of course, is as it should be. God entrusted the Church with a leadership role: She is God’s ambassador to the world! (cf. Eph. 6:20). She is charged with staying true to the Bible. More, she must be vibrantly alive. She must be a beacon of faith, and a bastion of righteousness. In short, she must once again truly represent our glorious Savior, Jesus Christ!
Without this taking place, I fear God’s terrible judgment on America and the Church is inevitable.
The question remains: How much do we, as God’s children, care? Does the already deplorable and rapidly worsening spiritual condition of our country grieve us? The answer may tell us much about our own spiritual condition!
This is the time for all true believers to “be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world” (Phil. 2:15).
Let your light shine as you weep for your country!
by Kevin Reeves
History is filled with stories of those who have stood for truth, many of whom gave their lives to defend the faith God had put in their hearts. History is also filled with those who tried to squelch that truth. In his riveting account of the Nazi empire, historian William L. Shirer meticulously documents the internal workings of a system that once threatened to take over the world. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich is a chilling account of the effects of mind-numbing propaganda.1 The endless barrage of misinformation, incredibly, molded a once-beaten and fragmented people into the icon of elitism, which culminated in grisly death camps and the cold-blooded murder of those deemed lesser humans. A firsthand witness and opponent of the Nazi regime, Shirer recounted instances of conversation with German people, when he dared contradict the ludicrous governmental and media declarations of ethnic, cultural, and military superiority. He was met with shocked silence or an amazed stare. He noted that to question the Nazi machine’s view of anything was considered blasphemy of the highest order. It dawned on him that the minds of many of the people had become so warped that they were no longer able to think for themselves or evaluate anything by a higher standard. Shirer observed that with the rise of the new German empire, the truth had become whatever Hitler and Goebbels said it was; they were the final arbiters of reality— spiritual and otherwise.
Some may think it is extreme to compare the spiritual deception and control tactics within the church today to that of the Nazi regime and the death camps, but we should remember that the church in Germany in the 1930s was very much like the church is today—having a head in the sand mentality about spiritual deception and turning religious leaders into super-human heroes who can do no wrong. Perhaps we are not all that different than Christians in Germany back then. We should not fool ourselves and think we would never be duped like that. The apostle Paul issued a warning to Christians:
Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. (I Cor. 10:11,12)
Despite all of this, there is hope in the Lord; He is “Faithful and True” (Rev. 19:11). And He promised to preserve His church, that true body of believers whom He calls the Bride of Christ. Praise His name—there is hope. When truth is challenged, mocked, and thrown against the wind, we can be sure, it will never be altered. And that Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path.
The Lord is calling His people out from the midst of the false, to adhere to His truth, no matter what the cost. Let us respond with joy and thankfulness, knowing His grace is sufficient to strengthen us and give us courage.
Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. (Hebrews 13:13-14)
(Excerpt from The Other Side of the River by Kevin Reeves, pp.214-215)
1. William L. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (New York, NY: Simon and Schuster/Touchstone, 1959).