Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Why? Because There Is No Fear of God in the Church!

Why is Mark Driscoll's cursing in the pulpit and his sexually explicit dreams and visions tolerated in the church? Because there is no fear of God in the church!

Why is the Prosperity (NON)Gospel tolerated in the church? Because there is no fear of God in the church!

Why is the Modalism of T.D. Jakes and the Oneness Pentecostals tolerated in the church? Because there is no fear of God in the church!

Why are Pelagians and Universalists like Rob Bell and Brian Maclaren tolerated in the church? Because there is no fear of God in the church!

Why are "seeker" churches the largest in the land? Because there is no fear of God in the church!

Why is pragmatism treated like a virtue or a biblical doctrine in the church? Because there is no fear of God in the church!

Why are women pastors and elders tolerated in the Church? Because there is no fear of God in the church!

Why do so many Christians have nothing more in common with other Christians than a Sunday morning service? Because there is no fear of God in the church!

Why do the men of the Church allow their women to sit under the teaching of women like Beth Moore and Joyce Meyer? Because there is no fear of God in the church!

Why do professing Christians vote for pro-abortion candidates? Because there is no fear of God in the church!

Why are there more Romanists standing in front of abortion clinics than Christians? Because there is no fear of God in the church!

Why are followers of Joseph Smith on the front line and spending the most money in the fight against homosexual marriage? Because there is no fear of God in the church!

Why do the poor, the hungry, the homeless, and the helpless turn first to the government for help? Because there is no fear of God in the church!

Why are Rick Warren and Joel Osteen considered "America's pastors?" Because there is no fear of God in the church!

Why are prayer and evangelism the two weakest elements in most American churches? Because there is no fear of God in the church!

Why is the teaching of God's Word set aside for self-help homilies and message series based on movies and personalized license plates? Because there is no fear of God in the church!

Why does worship in so many churches look like a bad 80's rock concert. Because there is no fear of God in the church!

Why is the false conversion rate so high in American churches? Because there is no fear of God in the church!

Why do unregenerate members of unhealthy youth groups become unbiblical leaders of unfruitful college ministries? Because there is no fear of God in the church!

Why are there so few Christians on the streets heralding the gospel? Because there is no fear of God in the church!

Why would many professing Christians be shocked and utterly unprepared if the Lord were to return today? Because there is no fear of God in the church!

Why will many professing Christians scoff at a post like this? Why will many Christians protest a post like this? Why will many professing Christians ignore a post like this?

Because there is no fear of God in the Church!

Why? Because there is no fear of God in the church!

Monday, January 28, 2013

"Should I Refer Women to Catholic Pregnancy Centers?"

A dear friend of mine asked me the following question:
"I've found an abortion clinic in our area where we can minister. There are two Christian pregnancy centers several miles away, but a catholic pregnancy center directly across the street from the abortion clinic. Where would you refer the women too, and why? Thanks in advance for your insight."
And here's my answer:
"If I were shot in the line of duty, I would want to be taken to the closest trauma center that would give me the best hope of survival. Once I was stabilized, then I would asked to be transferred to a hospital closer to home.

"Considering the urgency of the situation, I would share the gospel with the woman as I'm putting literature in her hand along with contact information for me and my church, as I walked her across the street to the Catholic no-kill center. And then I would trust her soul to the sovereignty of God."
Another friend who is far more experienced than I am in abortuary ministry had this to add:
"I agree with Tony. Besides, I can almost guarantee the counsel a momma will receive at a Catholic Crisis Pregnancy Center will be virtually the same as at a supposedly 'Christian' Crisis Pregnancy Center. Both will be humanistic non-directive, therapeutic 'options' counseling."
While my friend's assessment of the lack of gospel ministry and biblical counseling doesn't apply to every Christian Crisis Pregnancy Centers (I know of one in particular that shares a biblical gospel with its clients), it does apply to far too many. Be that as it may, the appropriate protocol in the scenario described by my friend is to: 1) save the life of the unborn child while ministering to the soul of the unsaved mother with the law and the gospel of Jesus Christ; 2) get the mother to a Crisis Pregnancy Center for counsel and support as soon as practical. If that means walking her across the street to the Catholic Crisis Pregnancy Center where he she will not receive counsel based on the true gospel of Jesus Christ, so be it. This is why it is so important to have solid, biblical gospel literature with you whenever you minister outside of killing places like Planned Parenthood and Family Planning Associates.


The photo above is the logo for a soon-to-be released documentary titled "Babies Are Murdered Here." This is a critically important film, which shows not only the depravity of those who participate in, tolerate, and support the murder of unborn children, but it also removes the veil of indifference, exposing a brand of American Evangelicalism that is part of the problem and not the solution.

Please visit and "like" the "Babies Are Murdered Here" Facebook page.

Today in the Word: January 28, 2013

Today marks the 28th day in which I have followed the ESV Chronological One-Year Bible Reading Plan. It is the same plan Ray Comfort is using this year. And I'm enjoying the accountability of others who are using the same reading plan.

My friend Saad, who has put together the accountability group, has asked me to share what I'm gleaning from God's Word this year. So, to the extent that I'm able, and with what little wisdom I have, I'm going to try to share some thoughts each day, here. Some days I might write a page. Other days I might write but a few paragraphs. Still other days I may write just a couple sentences. Don't expect anything too profound. These "Today in the Word" posts will simply be me thinking aloud about the Word of God.

Genesis 46:1-47:31

"Then he said, 'I am God, the God of your father. Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will make you into a great nation. I myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again, and Joseph's hand shall close your eyes" (Genesis 46:3-4).

One thing that stood out to me in this passage is how God identified Himself to Israel. God did not simply say, "I am the God of your father." He said, "I am God, the God of your father (emphasis mine)." Had God simply said, "I am the God of your father," the casual (or hostile), unregenerate reader could walk away with the blasphemous notion that there are multiple gods ruling the universe. But God spoke with authority and emphasis. "I am God, the God of your father." God begins by asserting He alone is God and then follows by reminding Israel that He is the God of his fathers.

There is only one God. There is no other (Deuteronomy 4:35, 39; 1 Kings 8:60; Isaiah 45:5-6, 18, 21-22; 46:9).

While other gods are mentioned throughout Scripture, even a cursory reading of the texts reveals that these false gods are either inanimate objects created by the hands and imaginations of sinful men (Isaiah 45:14-25) or they are demonic beings presenting themselves as a god or a representative of God (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).

There is only one God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Romans 3:30; Galatians 3:20; James 2:19).

Something else that stood out to me in today's reading was the sovereignty of God.

I wonder if Israel, old and nearing death, thought only of God's provision and protection to enter Goshen, the choicest land of Egypt? After all, God told him not to be afraid to enter. God promised to be with Israel as he entered the land.

God also told Israel, "I will also bring you up again." God told Israel He would be with him as he entered, but He said something different in reference to Israel one-day leaving the land. He said, "I will also bring you up again."

God told Israel he would enter the land of his own volition. But Israel (as a people group) would not leave Egypt the same way they entered. God would be the one to bring them out. And that's what would happen to Israel 430 years after they entered Egypt. The people, now a nation, who would walk into Egypt would be carried out by the Lord God Almighty. Yes, they would leave Israel on foot, just ad they entered, but not by their own power. It would be the power of God, the will of God, the sovereignty of God that would set Israel free from their Egyptian oppressors.

Thank you, Lord, for showing these things to me in Your Word, today.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Right Given by Men or a Command Given by God?

For decades now, Christians have been taught be weak pastors in weak churches that they must earn the right to share the gospel with unbelievers -- a philosophy of men found nowhere in the Word of God. The result: a generation of Christians who cower, fearful of upsetting unbelievers -- a generation of Christians who defer to the wishes of God-hating lost people instead of obeying the clear command of their King to proclaim the gospel to every person.

If you believe you must earn the right from the lost or be given the right by the lost to share the gospel with the lost, then you should examine yourself to see whose side you are really on. God may see you as an enemy combatant and not a soldier of Jesus Christ.

Evangelism is not a right given by men or governments. It is a command given by God. Who you obey is who you serve. Who you serve is who you love. Who you love is who you worship. And who you worship is your God (or god).

Relevance is Irreverence

Those who seek to make Jesus and His gospel relevant to their culture must change both the character of Christ and the message of His gospel to do it. For Jesus and His Gospel have never been relevant and never will be relevant to a God-hating, gospel-loathing world.

Jesus wasn't relevant in the eyes of His culture. He was so irrelevant they murdered Him to be rid of Him and His message.

Not a single martyr, from ages past to the era of persecution in which we now live, was ever deemed relevant by their culture. They were reviled and murdered because of their love for Christ and the gospel they preached.

If your goal is to be seen as relevant to the lost, then you must become irreverent to Jesus Christ to do it.

Stop thinking this way. Repent. Preach Christ and Him crucified. Worry not about your relevance in the eyes of men. Concern yourself with your reverence for Christ and your faithfulness to His gospel.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Mission Norway: I Now Understand Why I Am Here

Bjorn Storm-johansen, Shane Sands, and I met today with Erik Rortveit. Erik is the regional leader of Normisjon for Rogaland (a county in Western Norway. It was during this very important (and to use the word "historic" would not be hyperbolic) that I believe the Lord brought me to a clear understanding why I am in Norway.


Normisjon is an Evangelical Lutheran organization and organizes over 70 thousand people throughout Norway, including members of Acta (children and youth ministries). Normisjon is one of many independent Lutheran organizations in Norway.

Most big cities in Norway have Normisjon church communities. Normisjon also conducts extensive operations in the chapel and fellowships. In total, Normisjon has 1250 adult communities 600 Acta layers, 270 parishes, and a cooperative relationship with the Norwegian Church.

Normisjon considers the Church of Norway (Lutheran) as its main partner. However, Normisjon is an independent Lutheran organization and is not under the authority or supervision of the Norwegian Church. Normisjon has a presence in 10 countries in South America, Africa and Asia. It also has about 30 missionaries who run the church buildings. Normisjon collaborates with a number of national churches

Normisjon was formed on 1 January 2001. The organization is an association of the Norwegian Santalmisjon (1867), the Norwegian Lutheran Inner Mission Society (1868) and the Langesundsfjord Inner Mission Society.

Indremisjon company was started on the basis of the evangelical revival and renewal movements in Norway in the 1800s. The story starts with the breakthrough of Christian lekmannsvirksomhet (street preachers) in Norway in the period after Hans Nielsen Hauge. Santalmisjonen was started by Lars Olsen Skrefsrud (1840-1910). Missionary work began among the Skrefsrud santalfolket in the northeastern part of India. Skrefsrud was appointed as chief of the tribe and gave them including their own written language. He was honored by the British and Norwegian governments for his work as a missionary. Eventually Santalmisjonens work extended to several countries in Asia, South America and Africa.


Like many denominations and independent churches in the United States, Normisjon is facing the growing negative influences of Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, Bill Johnson (Bethel Church Redding, CA), Joel Osteen, and a host of prosperity teachers. The ministries of entrepreneurs, self-help gurus, "signs and wonders" charlatans, and snake oil salesmen (known of whom teach or promote the biblical gospel). Churches and fellowships are adapting the unbiblical practices and beliefs of the before-mentioned teachers and movements.

In addition, Normisjon finds itself battling dead orthodoxy, a high false conversion rate, women serving as pastors and elders, a departure from the biblical gospel, and a general malaise regarding the preaching, teaching, and reading of the Word of God among members of the organization.


The more time I spend in Norway, the more clarity I have regarding the purpose of my mission. Yes, my mission is to preach the gospel to the lost people of Norway. But it has become evident to me that the primary group of lost people I am to try to reach are the lost people within the Norwegian Christian community.

Accomplishing this mission has necessitated more preaching in the church than on the streets. It has necessitated coming alongside leaders within Normisjon and other Norwegian Lutheran organizations to encourage and equip them, through the teaching of God's Word, to fight for the return of the centrality of Christ in worship, and the preaching of God's Word and His gospel from the pulpits.

The Lord has produced much fruit, even in the short time I have been here, for His glory. Eyes and ears are being opened by the Holy Spirit, allowing significant leaders (including Erik), to come to terms with the reality that Normisjon is in need of Christ-centered, Christ-exalting reformation.

The purpose of today's meeting with Erik Rortveit was further discuss the issues plaguing Normisjon and what should be the first steps in beginning what is sure to be a long, painful, but Christ-glorifying reformation process. Well, at least I thought that was the purpose of the meeting.


Last night, a couple who attended the meeting at the Vigrestad Misjonhus came to me after my sermon and each asked, "How can I know that I am saved?" With the help of Grete Storm (Bjorn's wife) and her ability to translate, we explained more thoroughly the gospel. We watched as their countenance changed from tears and worry to joy and a desire to reach the lost with the gospel. As far as any fallible human can tell, I believed the Lord saved this couple last night.

As I talked to the couple, I noticed a teenage boy sitting alone in a seat in the front row. I assumed he was the couple's son. As I said good-bye to the couple, I asked them if the boy was their son. They said, "no." I turned to the boy and asked if he was waiting to talk to me. He timidly nodded his head. His name was Tollak.

I sat down next to Tollak, rested my arm on the top of the back of his chair, and asked him what he would like to talk about.

Tollak's head slowly tilted forward until his chin almost rested on his chest. Quietly he said, "I  don't read the Bible like I should. I would rather play games or hang out with my friends."

He started to cry. Tollak is 15. He professed to be a follower of Jesus Christ.. He wanted to confess his sin to me, and he wanted me to pray for him.

When I finished praying, I thanked Tollak for waiting to talk to me and for allowing me to pray for him. He quickly turned toward me and through his arms around me, like a son deeply thankful for his dad. I held Tollak for what seemed like several moments. It was hard to hold back tears of my own.

I hope to see Tollak at the Bible study tomorrow night, in the home of Bjorn and Grete Storm.


Erik Rortveit came to meeting with his 18-year-old son, Knut. Knut sat quietly listening as Bjorn, Shane, and I talked about the important matters pertaining to the life and health of Normisjon. After more than an hour's time, when it seemed like there was a lull in the conversation, Knut raised his hand and asked, "May I ask a question?"

Knut began by saying he did not feel like God was close to him. He spoke about his efforts to draw closer to God, which resulted in only frustration and disillusionment.

"Knut, it seems to me that you are striving to be accepted by God -- that you are trying to do whatever you can to earn his love. You never will. You can't."

I went on to share the gospel with him, applying my "mowing the lawn" analogy to explain to him that no one can work for their adoption as a son by God. Since Knut grew up in the Norwegian state version of Lutheranism, I used the "parachute" analogy to help him understand the difference between  meaningless religious practices and true faith.

As I explained the cross and the propitiation of Christ, Knut asked, "Why? Why would God have to do it that way? Why can't he just forgive us?" With that, I spent time explaining to him the Great Exchange.

Knut's eyes brightened. It was obvious he was beginning to understand not only the facts of the cross, but the loving sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.

During my conversation with Knut I would, from time to time, glance at his father, Erik. He was praying. He was praying for the salvation of his son.

Knut said he believed what I was telling him and that there was no reason why he wouldn't repent and believe the gospel.

The four of us (Bjorn, Shane, Erik, and I) prayed for Knut. I prayed the Lord would cause him to be born again (1 Peter 1:3) and extend to him the precious gifts of repentance, faith, and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. We then enjoyed a wonderful lunch and a time of fellowship.


Like many Lutherans around the world, Norwegian Lutheran's ascribe to infant baptism. Some go as far as to believe baptism is required for salvation.

Another young Norwegian whom I've come to love as a son in the faith is Geir Venz. Geir is 24-years-old, married to his lovely wife Sandra, and just heard his first child's heartbeat for the first time.

Geir, having also grown up in the church, came to genuine faith in Jesus Christ only eight months ago. Like all Norwegian Lutherans, Geir was baptized as an infant. Geir's study of the Word of God has brought him to the realization that he must be baptized as a believer, as a public proclamation of his faith in Jesus Christ. And he has given me the honor of baptizing him.

I will baptize Geir on Saturday, the day before I leave Norway.

I am hoping Bjorn and Geir find an indoor pool. Right now, they are threatening/encouraging me to baptize Geir in the North Sea. Need I mention it is January in Norway and not July in Southern California? When I asked Geir if he really wanted to be baptized in the North Sea, he smiled at me and said three words: "I'm a Viking!"

All kidding aside: Geir's baptism will be a very significant moment in my time in Norway. It will be a very significant moment in Geir's life, and the life of his home church under Bjorn's leadership. And it will be a very poignant way to draw my mission trip to a close.


While I still have a few more days left on this mission trip, there is forever a special place in my heart for Norway, the Body of Christ in Norway, and the lost souls of Norway. I have to wonder if this the way missionaries feel when the Lord places a people group in their hearts.

I have already been asked to return to Norway in October of 2013 and in January of 2014.

Thank you to all of you who are praying for me and those with whom I am serving in Norway.

What an honor to watch the Lord work for the furtherance of His gospel and for His glory.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Mission: Norway


Tomorrow, January 8, marks the beginning of what might very well be the most important mission trip I've every made. I am going to Norway (January 8-20).

Norway is a "First World" nation, which is very affluent. Cost of living, median income, and taxes are very high in Norway. I've been told a "Big Mac Combo" could cost as much as $20 US. A simple haircut in a barber shop could cost as much as $70 US. Even though Norway's vast wealth is due, in large part, to the nation's production of oil, gas runs more than $10 US per gallon.

The literacy rate is said to be 100%.

Norway may be on the cusp of a spiritual reformation. God's remnant, the Lord's bride in Norway, is awakening to the dire spiritual condition of her country. There are small pockets of small churches (Lutheran and independent) and house fellowships that hold to the Word of God as their final authority and preach the authentic gospel of Jesus Christ.

My host and friend, Bjorn Storm Johansen, is a leader of one of these small pockets of light. Bjorn's home in Vigrestad will be my base camp during this mission trip. I found it interesting to learn that the name "Vigrestad" is a compound Norwegian word that literally means "Battle Place." Oh, the irony. Oh, the significance!

By and large, the Church of Norway (Lutheran) has abandoned the faith, and is now wearing the unclean garments of dead tradition, various "seeker" church models, and the aberrant "Signs and Wonders" movement.

95% of Norwegians claim to be Christian. Yet only 3% of those who profess Christ attend church on Sundays, with an even smaller percentage truly being born again followers of Christ.

To read and carry the Bible is considered odd by Norwegian "Christians." My friend and mission partner, Shane Sands, was asked one-day if he was a Jehovah's Witness. When Shane asked why the people asked the question, he was told that only Jehovah's witnesses read and carry the Bible.

The leadership of one seeker-driven church's youth group has told their young people they need not read the Bible. All they have to do is say the name of Jesus. They needn't worry about sharing the gospel with people. All they have to do is say the name of Jesus.

The Muslim presence in Norway is growing day-by-day. And make no mistake. Muslims who assert their religion is a religion of peace are false converts to Islam. Sadly, it is the true converts of Islam (militant jihadists) who are establishing a foothold in Norway, especially in the capitol city of Oslo.

We have reason to believe that Muslims living in the Vigrestad area have begun monitoring Christian evangelism activities.


This itinerary does not include times of open-air preaching and street evangelism during the trip.

Tuesday, Jan 8 – Wednesday, Jan 9

Travel to Norway

Thursday, Jan 10

“Back to the Word and Preaching” Conference (Jan 10-13, 2013)
Holmavatn Youth and Mission Center
Varhaug, Norway

1800 Arrival

1900 Dinner

2000 Meeting (Michael Morrow and Don Currin)

2200 Fellowship

Friday, Jan 11

“Back to the Word and Preaching” Conference

0800 Breakfast

0930 Bible Class (Micheal/Don)

1200 Lunch

1315 Seminar: “What Is Expository Preaching?” – Selected Verses Tony)

1500 Bible Class (Michael/Don)

1630 Seminar: “Night Is Coming!” – John 9:4 (Tony)

1800 Dinner

2030 Bible Class (Michael/Don)

2200 Fellowship

Saturday, Jan 12

“Back to the Word and Preaching” Conference

0800 Breakfast

0930 Bible Class (Michael/Don)

1200 Lunch

1315 Seminar: “What Is Biblical Evangelism?” – Selected Verses (Tony)

1500 Q&A (Michael/Don)

1630 Seminar: “Open-Air Preaching” – Selected Verses (Tony)

1800 Dinner

2030 Bible Class (Michael/Don)

2200 Fellowship

Sunday, Jan 13

“Back to the Word and Preaching” Conference

1000 Breakfast

1100 Bible Class (Michael/Don)

1300 Dinner

1400 Conference Ends

Monday, Jan 14

Evening: "The Most Important Word in the Bible" – Romans 3:21-26 (local church)

Tuesday, Jan 15

Morning: "Have You Left the Love You Had At First” – Revelation 2:1-7 (Area Leaders in the Church of Norway)

Afternoon: “Him We Proclaim” – Colossians 1:28-29 (Prayer Group)

Evening: "Marks of a False Convert” – Selected Passages (Local Church)

Wednesday, Jan 16

To Be Determined

Thursday, Jan 17

Morning: Meeting with area leaders of the Church of Norway

Evening: "Do Not Fear Evangelism” – Matthew 10:26-31 (Home Church)

Friday, Jan 18

Evening: "A Life Worthy of the Gospel" – Philippians 1:27-30 (Home Church)

Saturday, Jan 19

Evening: “Who Gets the Glory in Your Story?” – Acts 26 (Seeker-Driven Youth Church)

Sunday, Jan 20

Travel Home

Video Blog

I am going to do my best to post a video journal every day, during my mission trip to Norway. There may be a few days early on when my Internet access will be limited. But I will make videos journals every day and post them as soon as I can.

You can join me on this journey by watching my video journals on my YouTube page, thelawman104.


Would you please join me in prayer, during my trip to Norway? Would you please commit to following the above itinerary and praying specifically and intentionally each day?

Would you please pray for a reformation and a great awakening to overtake for Norway? Please pray for an authentic move of the Holy Spirit, with repentance taking place first in the church and then throughout Norway.

As you can see by the above itinerary, I will preach no less than 11 sermons in 10 days. Add to that any open-air preaching and the public reading of Scripture. And add to that the many conversations I will have with Norwegian pastors, leaders, and laymen. Please pray the Lord allows my voice to withstand the rigors of this trip. Please pray the Lord will give me wisdom and discernment to guard the instrument he has given me.

Please pray for traveling mercies to and from Norway, as well as the daily travel while I am in Norway.

Please pray the Lord will allow me to have good health and strength while I am in Norway.

Please pray for Mahria, Michelle, Marissa, and Amanda while I am gone? The hardest part of every mission trip, regardless of the length or distance, is leaving my four precious ladies. Pray for them daily, as the Lord leads.

If you will commit to covering me and my family in prayer while I am in Norway, please let me know with an email to: thelawman104@gmail.com.

In Closing

I deserve nothing from the Lord. This mission trip to Norway is a gift from God.

This mission trip is a huge personal undertaking for me. The significance of this trip and the weight of responsibility it brings is not lost on me. I will only be up to this task if I cling to Christ every moment of every day, and if the Holy Spirit who indwells me gives me the strength, courage, and love to serve as one of God's heralds in a distant land. While I have no confidence in myself. I have confidence in Christ. For I am crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives within me.

Thank you.

Thank you to all of you who have prayed for me during the several months leading up to this trip.

Thank you to those of you who gave financially to make this trip possible.

Thank you to those of you who have given very practical gifts of warm clothing suitable for winter in Norway.

Thank you to my pastor and church family for sending me off during yesterday's Sunday morning services, with prayer.

God bless you all!

Lord willing, I will return home to my family, my church, and my mission field in Southern California, on January 20.