by John Samson | Jun 2, 2023 | Articles
I am blessed indeed to call Pastor Dan Phillips my friend. He knows his Bible well and serves his congregation well.
He wrote the following and asked me if I had anything I could add before he sent it to the parents in his congregation. I read it and did not have anything to add. I think what he wrote is very helpful.
I then asked him if he would mind if I passed it on to others. He was happy for me to do so. Hence this post here with his words below.
Much love in the Lord Jesus,
Dan Phillips writes:
Dear CBC parents,
We all wish we could shelter our children from the harmful and corrupt elements of our God-hating culture. Apart from living under a rock, this is becoming increasingly impossible. The homosexual-and-much-more agenda has increasingly intruded itself into every area of American life, from the media to sports to department stores to fast food restaurants and coffee shops.
I am writing to try to help you talk to your children. I’ll write it as one side of a conversation. Use any part that helps you address matters that arise in your children’s world.
You asked me what “gay” and “homosexual” and “trans” means, and why you suddenly see the word “Pride” everywhere. I’m glad you asked me! Let me try to explain it to you.
We’ve read Genesis together. You know that God created the world as a perfect, wondrous place. And you know in Genesis 1 He created Adam and Eve without sin, or any of the awful things sin does when it gets inside someone. Adam and Eve loved God and were happy with themselves, with each other, and with their world.
But then Satan came along in Genesis 3, and he got them to be dissatisfied with what God gave them. He tried to make God look like He didn’t care, and like He didn’t really want what was best for Adam and Eve. Satan tried to convince them that they knew better than God what was right and good, and what was best for them. Now you know, that is pride. Pride blows us up like balloons — all big and impressive looking, but with nothing but air inside. So in their pride, Adam and Eve rebelled against God.
When they did, they died inside. The happiness and wholeness they had were gone. They weren’t happy with themselves, or each other, or their world — or God. So they had to find ways to try to make themselves feel happy, and to hide the guilt they had inside. They felt guilty, because they were guilty. They had sinned against God, their Maker.
All those words you asked me about come out of this. They are all about people dead and broken by sin, still trying to find happiness by defiantly shaking their fist in God’s face and pretending they’re smarter than God.
You remember that God made Adam and Eve, a man and a woman. That’s what sex means — it means being a man, or being a woman. People say “gender” today, but gender is really a grammar-term, about words, not people. “Sex” is the better word here. How many sexes did God make? That’s right: two. And when God saw it wasn’t good for the man Adam to be alone, what did God make for him, in Genesis 2? That’s right, a woman, named Eve. So God invented marriage, when a man wants to be with a woman in a special way, and a woman wants to be with a man — only the two of them, with each other.
But all of us children of Adam are sinners, and sin ruins all our good desires and feelings that God gave us. Sin makes us want what we shouldn’t want, and it makes us not want what we should want.
So some poor sad men don’t want to have a woman as their wife. They want another man. And some poor sad women don’t want a man, they want another woman. They are ashamed to want these things, they feel guilty. When we feel guilty, we can only do one of two things. We can go to God, confessing our sins and finding His forgiveness and help. Or we can pretend that we’re okay, and just keep holding to our sin. When people want to pretend these broken, wrong desires are okay, they call it being “gay,” pretending to be truly happy. But they don’t have peace with God, and they won’t be happy when God’s patience comes to an end and He judges them.
And then there are other people so broken by sin that they aren’t willing to be what God made them. God made them a man or a woman — remember, He only made two sexes — but they want to pretend to be something else. Men want to pretend to be women, and women want to pretend to be men. Of course, we are what God made us, and no one can really become the opposite sex. They may try very hard, and even hurt themselves, but it just can’t be done. Still, sometimes we keep pretending, even though it really harms and shames us to do so. And when men or women pretend to be the opposite sex, they call it being “trans.”
So they took the whole month of June to pretend together that all these wrong and harmful things are good, and they call June “Pride” month. Like the Bible says, their “glory is in their shame” (Philippians 3:19).
But things are what God calls them, aren’t they? Not what we call them. So men are always just men, women are always just women, and we can only really marry someone of the opposite sex from us. A man marries a woman, a woman marries a man. Anything else can never really be marriage.
Isn’t it sad to think about people so badly wanting things that are bad for them? Isn’t it awful that what people think will be good for them is really bad for them? But that’s what sin does. It does that to all of us! It’s why children want to disobey their parents. It’s why parents sometimes fight each other, or don’t do such a great job being parents. Sin is behind everything bad that we do or feel.
But remember, God so loved sinful men and women that He sent Jesus to save sinners. Jesus can save any sinner! There is no sin too big for Jesus. He shed His blood so that His people could be forgiven and freed from every last sin of every size! When we turn from our sin and believe in Jesus, we can know that all our sins are forgiven. Isn’t that just the most wonderful news there is?
Even more, Jesus died so that His people could be given new hearts, and so that God’s Holy Spirit could live in our hearts. So God removes our old heart that wanted awful and bad things and hated God, and He gives us a new heart. That new heart wants to love God, and believe Him, and walk in His ways. So all of us, whatever our sins were, can be made new people, children of God, learning to love what God loves and hate what God hates.
So we don’t hate people who want bad things. We would be exactly the same if it weren’t for Jesus. We love people who don’t know Jesus, we pray for them, we want to help them, we want to tell them about Jesus. And when they believe, we accept them and love them and help them to learn to walk with Jesus, just like we’re doing.
Thank you for asking me. Always feel free to ask me any questions you have!
Yours in Christ’s Service,
Pastor, Copperfield Bible Church, Houston Texas
by John Samson | May 24, 2023 | Articles
Transcript (slightly edited) of an excerpt from a message by Dr. Steve Lawson entitled “William Tyndale and the English Reformation” from November 21, 2017 – original source – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWtWdAGjj4s – from the 7 minute 40 second mark)
If I could take a brief moment and help you just trace the flow of the Reformation. In its most simplest terms, the Reformation went from the German Reformation, to the English Reformation, to the Swiss Reformation, to the Scottish Reformation.
That is the flow of the stream of the Reformation. And there was one man in each of those four Reformations who became the point man, who became the chief influencer.
And in Germany it was Martin Luther.
In England it was William Tyndale.
In the Swiss Republics it was John Calvin.
And in Scotland it was John Knox.
In its simplest form, that is the flow of the Reformation.
Let me give you some dates.
Martin Luther was born in 1483. John Knox died in 1572. That is the tightest little brackets to put around the Reformation.
In reality, the Reformation continued in England under the Elizabeth reign, Elizabeth I, in England, which eventually became the birth of the Puritan era. But to understand the Reformation, you just simply need to walk from Luther to Tyndale, to Calvin, to Knox. And one man influenced the next, influenced the next, influenced the next. Let me try to create this for you in simplest terms before we look at Tyndale.
Martin Luther was born in 1483. He nailed his 95 theses in 1517. By his own admission, he was converted in 1519.
At that very same time, the greatest small group bible study in the history of Christendom was meeting across the English channel at Cambridge in the White Horse Inn. And in that small group Bible study was William Tyndale. And while Martin Luther was being converted and being summoned to the Diet of Worms, and while he was saying, ‘here I stand, I can do no other, God help me,’ God was raising up William Tyndale, who was reading Martin Luther.
The small group Bible study at Cambridge were reading the works of Martin Luther. In fact, that small group Bible study became known as ‘Little Germany’ and they would rock the English world.
In that small group Bible study were 9 martyrs, two of whom were burned at the same stake together. Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley, in which Hugh Latimer gave that all time famous line as they were being burned together at the same stake, ‘play the man, Mr. Ridley. We shall light a candle this day in England that shall never be extinguished.’
So they’re meeting in England at exactly the same time Luther is being converted and Luther is being summoned to the Diet of Worms. The flame is spreading to England and William Tyndale is coming to faith in Christ. And William Tyndale comes to the realization that the entirety of England is lost, with a few exceptions of Lollards and those who had been under the influence of the Lollards, who were the preachers sent out by John Wycliffe.
William Tyndale sets out on a mission, that is the most extraordinary mission – to translate the Bible into the English language. He would have to go underground for 12 years and live basically in a backroom closet and translate under candlelight the Bible into the English language. He would never marry. It would take him 12 years. He was burned, hung, and blown up in 1536. That is the very same year John Calvin went to Geneva.
One man steps off the scene, God has next man up.
And the very time that Tyndale is being martyred, Calvin is providentially being led to Geneva having no intention to go to Geneva. There was a roadblock in the middle of the night. He was forced to go to Geneva and he ended up staying and being the force of the Swiss Reformation.
Calvin went there in 1536. He was run out of town in 1538, he was run out of town in 1538. He was gone for three and a half years. He comes back in 1541. He remains for the next 23 years until 1564 when Calvin dies.
In 1553, there comes to the throne of England, Mary I, Mary Tudor, who became well known as Bloody Mary, for good reason. She put to death 288 Protestants – burned them at the stake. And the very first one she burned at the stake, I carry his picture in my preaching Bible. That’s 1553.
And because of the reign of terror that Bloody Mary unleashed upon England, English Reformers and people who were members of English Reformed Churches had to make a difficult decision. Do we stay and face being burned at the stake or do we flee for our life out of England? Many chose to stay, others chose to flee.
One of those who fled was a royal chaplain under Edward VI, the teenage Protestant King. His name was John Knox.
John Knox fled England for his life and he went to, of all places on planet Earth, he went to Geneva. And he sat at the feet of Calvin and was personally under the preaching – verse by verse – of John Calvin.
He was across the street at Calvin’s auditorium, which became in essence Calvin’s seminary in which men were being trained for ministry and were being sent out by waves to the nations. John Knox is now being personally trained and discipled through the pulpit ministry of John Calvin.
And when Bloody Mary mercifully dies in 1538, John Knox is now free to go from the feet of Calvin to his native homeland in Scotland and he hits Scotland like a category 5 hurricane. He hit Scotland like a tsunami would hit the beach. And he established within one year the Church of Scotland and the Reformation in Scotland went further than the Reformation in England.
But the point I want to make with you is there is an unbroken succession from Martin Luther to William Tyndale reading Martin Luther, and William Tyndale launching the English Reformation, to the year that he is martyred, John Calvin steps out of nowhere onto the pages of history and becomes the pastor of Geneva. And while Calvin is there through the persecution of Bloody Mary, it flushes John Knox out of England into the congregation of John Calvin, who (Knox) will then take the gospel and the message and the word of God to Scotland and give birth to the Scottish Reformation. It will be from there that it will be taken across the Atlantic to the colonies of my home country, America. And it will spread eventually around the world.
So just understand the domino effect. Understand the sequence.
Germany, England, Switzerland, Scotland. Luther, Tyndale, Calvin, Knox.
That is the simplest overview of the Reformation from 1517 to 1572, that little window of time.
by John Samson | Mar 30, 2023 | Articles
Paul Washer in his interview entitled “The Preeminent Christ”. Transcript excerpt from the 30:44 mark (slightly edited):
“In Job 28, there’s a story about the miner who goes down into these dangerous pits and swings on a rope in darkness. He turns over mountains, he dams up rivers, everything he does to get this precious jewel and bring it to the surface. That’s the pastor’s study.
You see, one of the reasons I wrote this book, I write for the mechanic and the homeschool mom.
Whenever I don’t want to go to my study because I’m tired. I’m not just studying for me, I’m studying for that mechanic who works 12 hours a day and doesn’t have the library and doesn’t have the time. So I can go into that mine, I can study and study and study to bring out this jewel and hand it to him, the mechanic, hand it to the housewife. Do you see?
So that’s why pastors need to stop running around so much.
And they need to go into their study, but they go in there to find jewels, to find gold, to find things that that people who love Jesus very much, but they’re having to work all day in the world. He needs to go in there and bring that out for them.
You can call it food, you can bring, you can, you can call it another bracelet on the arm. When the servant was bringing back the wife for Isaac, you know, every, I believe that probably every time as they were going day after day, making that journey, he looked back and see the doubt in her eyes. He put another bracelet on her arms, says, no, no, no, He’s gonna be worth it, or maybe they stop at a well, and all of a sudden she looks over and there’s a young man drawing water and he’s a very attractive young man. And that servant brings out another bracelet and says, no, no, no, no, no, wait. He’s worth it. That to me is the job of the pastor.
And that’s why I write the way I do in this book – it’s going into that well and bringing out this and say, look at Him. Look at Him. Mechanic housewife, homeschool mom, look at Him. Keep going. He’s worth it. He’s worth it.”