This past weekend I attended the gay pride events in Mansfield with around 15 other Christian friends to share the gospel. One thing that was profoundly evident during our time out was that the "feastivities" was a complete flop.
If it was a testimony to anything, it was that Mansfield does not truly support the deviant practice of homosexuality. The crowd was embarrassingly small. One may not even want to call it a crowd. The handful of us who went to pass out tracts and witness were able to canvass pretty much the entire group in less than an hour. To be sure, people came and went, but the number of people did not swell much at all--testifying to the fact that few stayed long or had much interest in showing their support. A friend of mine drove by in the evening and said that things were shutting down quite early and venders were tearing down by 8 pm.
All in all, it seemed that most of Mansfield stayed away from the square.
Even the media involvement was pretty pitiful. The Richland Source, which was perhaps the friendliest of the news sources, seemed to focus more on covering our little group that was out to call to repentance. The Mansfield News Journal's article was so short that it was almost laughable. It looked like someone just tweaked a poorly written press release. To be sure, it was clear that they didn't send a reporter or photographer down to cover it. WMFD ran a good sized clip, but makes you chuckle because there is virtually no one in the background. It looked pretty much deserted. Those who were in the camera gave the impression that it was more of a freak show than a feastival.
It certainly wasn't because of the weather either. The rain may have put a squash on the parade, but the rest of the day was quite nice. The truth is simply that the majority of Mansfield showed they did not support a lifestyle that goes against God's design.
The afternoon was not a complete loss though. Those of us who came out to share the gospel had splendid opportunities to engage with the unbelieving. I personally spent almost a full two hours talking with various homosexuals and homosexual supporters about the things of the Lord.
Each conversation was cordial. We were able to laugh together as we thought through the issues of eternity. Many of those who I spoke to admitted that they did not have an absolute standard for morality. Almost all admitted that the will be judged if they were to stand before Christ on the last day. They understood the gospel when I explained it, but openly refused it. The only exception was one man who said he didn't believe in hell. But when I pressed him, he admitted he didn't know what his god thought about justice at all and he wasn't interested in trying to find out.
Say hello to Genesis Christian Academy, the new Christian high school here in Ashland.
Genesis is a metamorphosis of Veritas Classical, the former Christian high school that ended up closing its doors this past May. Many of the teachers and students associated with Veritas will be continuing to teach under the banner of Genesis this fall.
Genesis came about much due to the hard work of Felicia Dupre, who's son attended Veritas. Dupre was grieved that the school was being discontinued because she thought it was such a great program. She then began talking to parents and teachers about the possibility of resurrecting the institution.
Those talks turned into a giant summer push to solidify classes and a core of students.
Finances were obviously a concern scrutinized during these discussions. The determined goal was to keep the classes as affordable as possible without compromising the quality of teachers.
Now that Genesis has been officially birthed, Dupre & the GCA staff are inviting parents to check out how this new institution can serve their educational needs. The classes and their descriptions have been posted on the GCA website and questions can be pointed to Dupre.
While students may enroll as a full time student GCA, classes are offered in buffet style. In sum, parents may opt their child(ren) in for as many or as few classes as they desire. Some of the classes include algebre I & II, Biology, Bible, Creative Writing, Chemistry, Latin I & II, and Western Civ. I & II. A complete list of classes may be found on their website.
I will be teaching creative writing at Genesis this fall. In the spring I may teach two sections of a great books class, John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress and C.S. Lewis' Screwtape Letters.
Deadline to enroll is August 14th and a parent teacher informational meeting will be held on August 18th. Parents who are interested in finding out more are encouraged to visit the website and send any questions to Felicia.
I will be teaching a creative writing class this Fall as a part of the new Christian High School that is coming together here in Ashland.
The class will be held for one hour each Friday morning for 12-15 weeks. It is a high school level course, but younger students could possibly be permitted if parents think they have the skill level.
The tentative plan is that the class will start after Labor Day and run from 11:00-noon. We will meet at Southview Brethren Church.
Contact me if you'd like to be a part, and be sure to check out the full course description too.
I was asked to participate in today's Election Day Prayer event that is being held downtown. It is put on by Southview Church and the Coalition, a conservative political group here in town. My segment of prayer is to focus on the topic of families. Here is what I plan to say...
As we bow our faces before you we acknowledge that a renewal in our country requires a renewal in our marriages and families. We know that we cannot have the former without first having repentance and reformation in the latter.
We confess that our nation is broken because our homes are broken. We suffer oppression from Pharaohs and Caesars because we have not first had godly mothers and fathers.
So we pray that you would grant us renewal at the grassroots level. May there be a reformation in our land, where we take to heart what it means to be united in the covenant of holy matrimony. May we begin to see that there is nothing more patriotic than the fidelity of a husband and his wife. May you grant us fathers and mothers who, instead of slaying their children, will instead love them and cherish them all their days. May these parents then take up their responsibility to train their children them in the fear of you and not further the decay of our country by handing them over to schools where atheism and relativism are the rule.
As we stand here today, we pray “God save the home.”
But yet, we know that as the king goes, so goes the nation. And for this reason we pray not just for a grassroots revival, but we also pray for our leaders and the policies that they make.
Lord, we ask that you would grant that those who would win out these elections would be restrained from instituting policies that further the destruction of marriage and family in our land. Instead, may they be made to do what is just and promote what is in accord with rule of King Jesus.
We pray that policies that strike against godliness would be revoked. You know how our nation permits (and even encourages) things like divorce, sodomy, and abortion. Moreover, our leaders continue to wrap the chains of debt around us. They oppress our families with heavy taxation. They rip apart families with their welfare programs. All this leads only to death at every level.
So we pray, like our forefather’s before us “God save the king.”
Finally, We pray “God save the church.” Where is the light to be found for our families? It is not in the pure preaching of your word and in the revelation of Biblical Truth. Father, we know that families will only rise out of the ashes when you unleash the gospel and unveil the fullness of its saving power. So we pray that you would raise up godly men to preach your word and send them throughout our nation as heralds of Your eternal kingdom.
All this we pray in the strong name of our King and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
The buzz on the local news feeds today focuses on Galion's public pool. Two homosexuals were denied a family pass because they did not fit the definition of a family as defined by the Galion city ordinance.
We need to keep in mind too that Galion likely forbids pedaphile rapists from wading in the kiddie pools. This is simply outrageous!
Seriously though. This is just another step our culture is taking to baptize perversion and normalize sexual deviance in our contemporary postmodern age. The cry of our day is that you can't put definitions on me and you can't say what is right and wrong.
The link above also shows the WMFD coverage of the city council meeting. In it a council member wears a big cross around his neck and claims to be a conservative Christian who has definite views regarding marriage. HOWEVER, he says, this issue is...wait for it..."about the children and their being able to use the pool."
With "Christians" like this in leadership is there any way the ruling will stand? Not hardly. The weak kneed man has no interest in standing for what is right. If he had any real concern for children he would remain faithful to the Scriptural command regarding marriage and family. He could easily say, "Homosexuals are free to use the pool, but we are not going to change our laws to acquiesce to their perversions."
One of the churches that I highly recommend in the Ashland area is the Grace Brethren Churches (not to be confused with the other Brethren denominations). In particular, I highlight their current Wednesday night study at the Main Street GBC. Throughout the month of April Dick Riley will be teaching through the five points of Calvinism at 7:00.
In other news, my friend, Rich Policz, who leads a Thursday night study called the Fuse at GBC invited me to be part of their annual spring "Wheel of Theology" series. I'll be part of a panel of guys who will be fielding questions about Scripture, theology, and practical, godly living.
Some of the questions that will be floated include what is the Christian view of legalized marijuana? Should Christians be in a secular band? What happens to babies when they die? What does the Bible say about people with disabilities? Are films or paintings with portrayals of Jesus graven images? And more...
Every culture has its temples. The are places of worship and learning. They are places where the gods of the age are enshrined and promoted.
Above all, they are places where the priests and prophets promise a future and a glorious golden age of prosperity.
Today's temples are the government schools. They worship the god of self and espouse the doctrines of Darwin, Rousseau, Marx, and Sartre. They posit that their tolerance, materialism, and existentialism will usher in a new era of peace and prosperity.
Unfortunately, many Christians have believed the lie and been duped into thinking that these sacred places really are the key to the future. Instead of recognizing the importance of fearing God and building a world and life view on the basis of Scripture, they rally to the synagogues of agnosticism and atheism.
But without the fear of God, they are temples of doom. Those who hate Him (as they demonstrate in their epistemology & metaphysics) love death. How can the hopelessness of existentialism produce a future? It posits that there is no future for which we live! Darwin himself saw the end of his worldview and slid into a despairing mental state! Without Christ at the center, there is no future.
This weekend I will be presenting several talks for a seminar on Islam at Richland Correctional. My prison students asked me to do the seminar because they wanted to have the men equipped to do some apologetics with the Muslims they frequently rub shoulders with.
I will also be presenting a summary of the talks at our Sunday night Bible study (August 4th, 6:30 pm). If you are interested in learning how to refute Islam, you are more than welcome to join us for the evening. Email me for directions if you need them.
The talks include: The Dilemma of Islam; Allah: Uncovered and Exposed; The Sure Way of Salvation
Homosexuality is a sin. It is a particularly offensive sin, labeled as an abomination in the Scriptures...and because I've said this I am considered a bully.
At least that is the consensus of those who participated in a recent LGBT seminar in town. You can read about it here.
You will note that what constitutes bullying is not physical or verbal agression. Instead, it is simply not acknowledging a person to be a homosexual and accepting their lifestyle. In other words, to call out their sin and tell them that they are living a lifestyle that is contrary to the law of God will now be considered "being a bully."
This is outrageous in and of itself. It would be like saying we shouldn't call rapists, pedophiles or murders what they are. However, what is even more preposterous is that this seminar had the backing of those who supposedly call themselves Christian. It was held at the Salvation Army, supported by a local church, and put on by a man who graduated from Ashland Seminary and serves as a professional mentor.
What this amounts to is a push to make homosexuality acceptable. The idea is that, if you will not accept it on your own, we will make you accept it. You will become an outcast from society if you do not. In a word: We will bully you into submission by calling you a bully.
But let us thank our local churches and ministries for helping to break down our community and for contributing to the further collapse of our society.
Tonight was Ashland's annual Christmas parade. This is a pic of the tracts that were distributed. You can read the message here. There were almost 100 of them in all.
I made every attempt to hand them to the men first. If ladies were receptive, I certainly didn't hold it back. I made it a priority to make contact with the men though.
I commend Calvary Baptist and Aaron and Amanda Wolfe for their work too. Calvary always does a good job of distributing literature. The Wolfe family put together their own float and distributed gospel booklets. What a great job!
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Matt is blessed to be a husband, father, and pastor in Ashland, Ohio.