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For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever  believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
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Pastor Daniel CasieriWe live in an age where the visible and notable movements within the church are vast attempts to become a reflection of society with little or no interest in becoming a refuge from it or a light to it. It is a time where church leadership is trying to look and dress and speak like the typical prospective new convert.

We have reversed the traditional process where the flock desires to emulate its leaders, and so the leaders strive to emulate the flock. The call of the Apostle Paul to “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ (I Corinthians 11.1)” has gone quite out of style.

It is perhaps our surrender to the political correctness of the times and a confusion as to the clear commands of God. The strategy for evangelism in our time is to show the world how much like them we can be, how tolerant of moral diversity, how accepting of alternative customs and lifestyles, how joyfully we adapt to every new sartorial trend and form of entertainment, and to be less moved by the urging of our Savior to ‘go and sin no more’.

Elder William KujanpaaAt LCF Baptist Church, however, we are committed to discipleship and evangelism as it is portrayed and commanded in the Scriptures, which begins with a call, proceeds with a lifelong commitment to discipleship, and an acceptance of loving accountability which promotes genuine godliness, and at times even costly and sacrificial godliness.  It is a good beginning to recognize the person of Christ for who He is.  It is also good to belong to a fellowship of other disciples who are committed to their personal progressive sanctification through solid scriptural teaching and biblically qualified leaders.

“This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work.”

I Timothy 3.1

Desire, for Paul, however, is not enough. He goes on to list a number of domestic qualifications that must be readily apparent in a man so called. Such a man is expected to be self-controlled in his personal habits and temperament, a faithful husband. He must, of course, be able to teach, implying the conspicuous presence of wisdom, a breadth of understanding of Christian dogma, doctrine, and history, with a biblically verifiable position on the controversies that afflict the churches of God. There is also the required spiritual gift which implies an inner urging to study deeply, to impart knowledge freely, and to contend earnestly for the faith.

Deacon Russell Protentis We are told that he must be a man “who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence...”  The apostle presents the rhetorical question: “for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?”  So, an elder must be a proven ruler.  Not merely a committed ruler, but a ruler with an obvious result.  That result is obedient and faithful children, or rather, children who are cheerfully obedient.  His are children in whom he has cultivated a genuine sense of righteousness and morality, sons and daughters who respect his commands, submit to his authority, and cherish his paternity.
These are the kind of men that the people of our church have entrusted to lead us.  They are men who exhibit a stalwart masculinity, not succumbing to the spirit of the age calling for a homogenized treatment of the genders.  Our elders are men, and men of God, who rule their houses well, are loved and cherished by their wives who are their faithful, loving, beautiful and dutiful, hospitable co-workers.  They are men who are respected and emulated by their children and the friends of their children.  They are men who’s ‘yes’ is yes, and who’s ‘no’ is no.  They are leaders that we can go to for their counsel knowing they will speak the truth in love.  It is their mission to “Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock...(I Peter 5.2,3).”

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