FYI...periodic notes from Dr. Scott
Dr. Scott A. Lemenager
Special Assistant to the President & CEO
Evangelical Church Alliance
The Trinity-Why does the ECA ask for specific beliefs in a Statement of Doctrine? Many well-meaning people think nothing of the Church having clear statements on the Trinity. The ECA has historically followed the first four great ecumenical councils of the Church. These helped the early church and help us today.
First Council of Nicaea in 325
First Council of Constantinople in 381
First Council of Ephesus in 431
The Council of Chalcedon in 451
I want to be a Giant Killer
At our recent Gathering in Goodyear Arizona, I had the privilege of giving the charge to our candidates and the audience in attendance. 1 Samuel 17 is the narrative of David and Goliath. The writer reminds us that our battle can be. won, "not by sword or spear, but by the will of God, for the battle is the Lord's." Nevertheless, we know David picked up five (5) stones. In his lifetime David faced a total of five Giants. Here are five principals we learn from David's encounter with the Giant. They are like his five stones.
1. Tests come more than once
2. Understand you are not alone
3. Let others help you
4. Intentional accountability leads to success
5. Praise God always
The ECA respects members and prospective members who may need to carry dual credentials. Membership and credentials are concomitant with the ECA. An ECA member with dual credentials is asked to honor first the ECA Tenets of Faith, Ministerial Ethics, and ECA Constitution and By-laws.
Reason for Church
Some time ago I was reading an article in the Federalist when I came across a thoughtfull piece that I pass on to you.
If you read it take it with a proverbial grain of salt. https://thefederalist.com/2017/03/03/5-reasons-millennials-never-go-church/
What are you reading this summer? Here are my current selections that I'm working through;
Culture Shift, R. Albert Mohler Jr., Multnomah Press. (c) 2008
Desire and Deceit, R. Albert Mohler Jr., Multnomah Press. (c) 2008
The Collapse of Parenting, Leonard Sax, Basic Books. (c) 2016
Why Gender Matters, Leonard Sax, Harmony Books. (c) 2005/2017
The Justice of God in the Teaching of Jesus, J. Arthur Baird, Westminster Press. (c) 1958
Audience Criticism and the Historical Jesus, J. Arthur Baird, Westminster Press. (c) 1959
Church Marketing 101, Richard Reising, Baker Books. (c) 2006
Here are a few important points to remember from our recent Annual International Conference in Charlotte.
Mike McCormick reminded us in "Who Planted the Trees?" 1. Tragedy to Triumph--seeds for the future are planted in the leader that often experiences tragedy. Remember HALT--Short-term pleasure can amount to a life of pain. Protect against being Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired.
Dave Richardson encouraged us to develop the tools to discern the truth. Truth corresponds to what is real. Truth and reality must cohere. All people work with assumptions and there are 3 types that reflect our view of truth. #1 Only the Physical exists, #2 Only what is non-physical is real and important, #3 Two things are real; the Creator (non-physical) and his creation (physical). Everyone is a person of faith and every institution promotes one of these types. Know who is speaking into your worldview.
Statement of Doctrine
One of the reasons the ECA asks each applicant for a brief SOD is to be sure that you can adequately answer the most basic questions of our faith. If you know someone is applying to the ECA, remind them that we are not going to teach our applicants what to say. Nor do we accept plagiarized material. Always keep studying.
I have been thinking alot about the recent apostasy of some leaders in the Christian Church. One of my daughters sent me this blog article and I think it speaks loudly to the issues we face. https://cogentchristianity.com/2019/08/13/skillets-john-cooper-on-apostasy-among-young-christian-leaders/
What are you listening to? I'm sharing my smart phone apps that truely help me in my connection to current issues and historic teachings. We may not always agree with each and every podcast or teaching, but a good minister needs to know what is on the airwaves.
albertmohler, refnet, reasonablefaith, ligonier, RZIM, pragerU, moodyradio
We had a woderful and joyful time in Pittsburgh for our fall Gathering. Here are some notes from the sermon on Psalm 25. Proposition: Every Minister needs to set their heart on God's Wisdom. Transition Statement: We will find that need met in the (4) four major themes of Psalm 25.
- Protection...vs 1-3 and 15-22 Protect me
- Guidance...vs 4-5 and 8-10 Guide me
- Forgiveness...vs 6-7 and 11 Forgive me and Remember me
- Prosperity...vs 12-14 Instruct me
The Fear of the Lord is the focus of all the Wisdom Literature and this is the outcome from being forgiven.
John Piper has said "Baptism is the outward expression of calling on the name of the Lord in faith. The water is a picture of the cleansing, but faith is what unites us and forgives us."
Do you listen to podcasts? I heard a good one from Alister Begg. He said the "Call" is both inward...you testify to God's leading, and outward...a body of believers recognizes the gifts of the "Called" one. In Ephesians 4:11 and 12 we are to Shepherd...know your flock, spiritually and relationaly, know the Bible. The Shepherd/Teacher helps everyone to grow in the knowledge (of the Bible) not to know everyone. We are also called as "Teacher." Balanced, spiritual instruction that helps the flock become mature in Christ. Sound instruction is not story telling or magic, but it is hard work.
I heard this from somewhere and wrote it down.
- Recognize gifts belong to Christ and His people, they are not for us, but for them. (Gifts are a Trust)
- We speak as uttering the very words of God.
- Everybody will not like you so don't try to be liked by everybody. Grow your increasing awareness that ministers are here to please God and not "Man." You might say, "I will be your servant but you will never be my master."
- Serve God with the strength he gives so that you may praise our Lord Jesus Christ.