Archive for November, 2009

So You Think You Can Pastor?

October 14, 2009 by pastorpeterko

I was challenged as I read this morning about John Piper’s personal call to full-time pastoral ministry. This is an extract from the letter his father Bill Piper, himself an itinerant evangelist, wrote to him when John felt it was time to take up the call. As a new pastor of a church plant, I’m only just beginning to realise how much I’d been shielded from the wider range of pastoral experiences until now. Therefore it’s a huge encouragement and a challenge to me reading it at this point in my ministry:

Now I want you to remember a few things about the pastorate. Being a pastor today involves more than merely teaching and preaching. You’ll be the comforter of the fatherless and the widow. You’ll counsel constantly with those whose homes and hearts are broken. You’ll have to handle divorce problems and a thousand marital situations. You’ll have to exhort and advise young people involved in sordid and illicit sex, with drugs and violence. You’ll have to visit the hospitals, the shut-ins, the elderly. A mountain of problems will be laid on your shoulders and at your doorstep.

And then there’s the heartache of ministering to a weak and carnal and worldly, apathetic group of professing Christians, very few of whom will be found trustworthy and dependable.

Then there a hundred administrative responsibilities as pastor. You’re the generator and sometimes the janitor. The church will look to you for guidance in building programs, church growth, youth activities, outreach, extra services, etc. You’ll be called upon to arbitrate all kinds of problems. At times you will feel the weight of the world on your shoulders. Many pastors have broken under the strain.

If the Lord has called you, these things will not deter nor dismay you. But I wanted you to know the whole picture. As in all of our Lord’s work there will be a thousand compensations. You’ll see that people trust Christ as Savior and Lord. You’ll see these grow in the knowledge of Christ and his Word. You’ll witness saints enabled by your preaching to face all manner of tests. You’ll see God at work in human lives, and there is no joy comparable to this. Just ask yourself, son, if you are prepared not only to preach and teach, but also to weep over men’s souls, to care for the sick and dying, and to bear the burdens carried today by the saints of God.

No matter what, I’ll back you all the way with my encouragement and prayers.

For the full article written by Justin Taylor on John Piper’s call to ministry 30 years ago, have a read here from The Gospel Coalition.



Brian McLaren, a leading guru in the egregiously ecumenicalEmerging Church de-formation of the Christian faith aka Emergent Church—now morphing into Emergence Christianity (EC), says — “Enough is enough” in his post Religious Right Insanity, Evangelical Cowardice:

I’m disgusted by the latest absurdity from the religious right covered in the clip below. I’m also depressed by the lack of courage among Evangelical leaders to speak out strongly against it (also covered in the clip below). How about it, Evangelicals? How many of you will join Frank Schaeffer and say, “Enough is enough?” (Online source)

The clip McLaren places in his post discusses the use by some “evangelicals” of Psalm 109:8 concerning President Barak Obama. It sounds to my ears a chance for Shaeffer to use this idea, by a group he initially says is “a crazy fringe,” to promote his book while grinding an ax against the evangelical movement and taking a shot at those “deluded” people who would hold a pre-trib pre-mil eschatology.

Well now I’m saying, Enough is Enough: Religious Left Insanity, Evangelical Cowardice. You see, I’m disgusted by the latest absurdity from the religious left in the EC with their Growing Gay Agenda In Evangelicalism as they attempt to convince us that the deviant lifestyle of having sexual relations with another of the same sex, i.e the sin of homosexuality, is a viable one for the evangelical Christian.

In posts like But Do Emergence Christianity And Brian McLaren Really Love Gay People? I shared that couldn’t care less what [insert celebrity-level evangelical leader here] has to say concerning their opinions about the issue of homosexuality; I care: “What does the Bible—God’s Word—itself have to say.”

If so-and-so’s opinions, speculations, and/or teachings, line up with that (see—Acts 17:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:21) then I will agree; if not, then it matters little what they say. And since Holy Scripture is crystal clear regarding the sin of homosexuality I’m also depressed by the lack of courage among evangelical leaders to speak out strongly against the EC’s homopression in lying to GLBTQ people.

Now, if only I had a book to promote, eh.


Jaime Mirhan

  1. What if a person has accepted Christ in his heart and prays everyday, but he doesn’t go to church nor reads the Bible. Then will he still be saved? – True acceptance means you are now living in the economy of God and not of man. Going to church may not be a requirement but doing so may help one improve his spiritual growth. Accepting and not doing the command of God may be considered hallow faith. If one truly believes in the Lord he will make it a point to worship God with fellow believers. Many people who fall into the trap of “Easy Believism” or “Cheap Salvation”, meaning receiving the Gospel just because you want to go to heaven but not to the point of living the life our heavenly Father desires us to live.
  2. 2. Will the Roman Catholics be saved by God? – Salvation is not based on what religion you are in. Let me clarify this, salvation is based on one’s true relationship with Christ. There are people who consider themselves Roman Catholic just because they were raised that way but their belief is based biblical truth (no worshipping of idols, sacraments doesn’t saves, only Jesus can wash away sins). Therefore, it boils down to what is salvation. The basis of salvation is no other than receiving by faith that Jesus is our Lord and Savior. Savior – only Christ is the means of salvation. Lord- since He paid the price of our sins, He now owns us and therefore we need to serve (obeying His commands) Him as master.
  3. Is Mary considered an idol for Protestants? – For the protestant, Mary is just an ordinary human being, capable of sinning and was born with the original sin. Worshiping an image of Mary is considered idol worshipping.
  4. Does a person really need to choose between Catholicism and Protestantism, can’t a person be saved if he has no religion as long as he is a Christian? He isn’t a Catholic nor a Protestant. – Please base my answer on questions 1 and 2. It is not about religion per se but relationship with Christ.
  5. 5. Are Catholics and Protestants equal in God’s eyes even though Catholics believe in praying to the saints and Mary? – They are equal in God’s eyes however, people who will received Him will get their rewards in heaven, but to all the things they do here, they will all face the same rewards and consequences. Remember the story of David, when he sinned, he reap the wrath of God. His son died and his children’s fight one another. But when we follow the will of God, we will reap good fruit. It is like, when you study hard you will pass the test, if you didn’t you will fail. God is just. So if one will worship or pray to the saints or Mary, the Lord will not be happy about that because in His commandment He forbids worshipping anything, anyone “… for the Lord our God is a Jealous God” (Exodus 20). Praying is a form of worship.
  6. 6. If #4 wasn’t really that understandable, a clearer version of the question would be, do Christians really need to be classified, Protestant or Catholic? – Honestly, it is not about the classification, it is about the way we truly live our life and devote our faith.

Hannah Samantha Key

  1. If someone was not chosen person of God, then he/she accepts Jesus Christ as his/her personal Lord and savior, will he/she still be saved? Why or Why not? – If one truly received Christ therefore he is chosen. That is the only way you can know if one is chosen or not.  If one is not chosen, that one will never ever truly receive Christ as savior.


  1. Why did God allow people to live when He knows He’s not going to choose them? Why should there be people suffering in hell? –  According to His sovereign will. Only God can answer that. This is what He revealed to us through His Word. This is the question I am to ask God when I meet Him in heaven.



  1. 3. What is the purpose of life and the teachings of the gospel when all people can be saved? – Yeah, true what is the purpose? If all are saved, no need for that right?


  1. 4. Why did Jesus Christ only die for some chosen men and not for all? – Only God can answer this question. But according to His Word, this is His based on His sovereign will.


  1. If God all loves all the people in the world, why does he choose from them and not save all? – God is love, but He also is just. First of all, it is in the Bible that God chooses His people (John 10, Eph. 1). It would seem unfair, remember, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). We are all bound to hell; it was just through God’s sovereign grace that He had chosen some to be saved. The fairness is that all must go to hell, the mercy part is God making some saved. But God treated us equally in this world, we enjoy the same benefits the other do, like sunshine, air, plants, and more. But we must understand the gravity of our sins first, before we ask if the Lord is fair or unfair. How do you take the sins you have committed? How repentant were you whenever you sin against the Lord? These are the “fair” questions we need to ask ourselves. The problem with us people, we always want God to play fair for our benefit. Will we, people, accept fairness just to benefit others? I doubt, people will think that way, if so, we should have not ask the fairness question in the first place.

Frederick Go

  1. What is the feeling when you are saved? – Very good, unexplainable relief.


  1. 2. What is your stand in salvation? – I already explained it in class.  I believe in the TULIP of Calvinism.

T Total Depravity (i.e. Total Inability)

U Unconditional Election

L Limited Atonement (i.e. Particular Redemption)

I Irresistible Calling

P Perseverance of the Saints

If you truly desire to know my view, come to me and I will explain this to you. J


  1. Why do Catholic do the sign of the cross and the protestant don’t? –  It is just an act of respect for the Roman Catholic believers. Better respect those who do it.


  1. 4. Can (Will) gays go to heaven? – God made Adam and Eve and not Adam and Steve (Read Genesis Chapter 1). Remember Sodom and Gomorah? They were homosexuals (Read 1Corinthians 6). When we accept Jesus as Savior and Lord, we are expected to follow His Words. We are now new creature. (2Corinthians 5:16-21)


  1. 5. If Catholic and Protestant have a fight, What (Who) will God favor? – Neither, God will not be pleased if they fight.  The Bible taught us to love and not to hate.

Benedict Tan

  1. Do you believe that the world will end at 2012? – No, I never believe in the predictions concerning the End Times. (Matt. 24:36)


  1. 2. Will all present Israelites go to heaven? No matter their fault? Even if they have not accepted Jesus Christ in the their hearts because they are God’s chosen people. (I heard another pastor say this.) – NO!!!! The New Covenant in Jeremiah 31:33-34 speaks of the faith each believer will receive through the Holy Spirit. They need to accept Jesus as their Savior before they will be saved. The same thing with us gentiles. No Jesus as savior and Lord, No salvation. (May I know who is this pastor? J)


  1. 3. The other Books that were rejected by the church are the stories in these books true? Why were they rejected? – The stories in the Apocryphal books were not validated as true, at least by the council who approves of canonizing the books of the Bible. They were rejected because they were not able to meet the standards set by the council.


  1. Who came first the caveman? Or Adam and Eve? – Are you sure about this question? Isn’t it that Adam is the first human being created by God? So, who do you think came first? But I give you credit for making me smile… J


  1. 5. Do you believe in divorce? – Yes, I do. I only accept divorce based on Biblical teaching.

Jamila Uy

  1. The sign of the cross is a big issue between Protestant and Roman Catholics. Why don’t Protestant do the sign of the cross? Doesn’t it symbolize the Holy Trinity which both Protestant and Catholics believe in?  – Some protestant are making a big issue out of it, but I do not think there is an issue in the sign of the cross. May do it or not. It will not make you more holy if you do or more sinner if you don’t. Just respect. The problem lies on the motive of doing it not on the act of doing it. Do the Roman Catholic believer know what is it for? Where in the Bible can you find the sign of the cross? Was it required?


  1. 2. If God’s people are already pre-chosen by Him, what about those who haven’t been chosen? Will they just go to hell? What if they decide to be saved? Will they be sent to hell still? – First, if not chosen, directly goes to hell. Second, if they decided to believe, meaning to say they were chosen. No one will truly believe if he is not chosen.


  1. 3. Does purgatory exist or not? When a person dies, his soul directly goes to heaven or hell, according to Protestant belief. That would mean that that person would already receive God’s judgment. But isn’t judgment day on the 2nd coming of Jesus? If that were true, wouldn’t the souls of the dead still be waiting for the judgment? – Purgatory doesn’t exist.  When one dies, the soul will go directly to heaven or hell (Read Luke 16:19-31). The soul will experience the preliminary judgment (meaning those went to hell will already suffer, while in heaven will be rejoicing, the place can be considered, the lobby of heaven or hell) but one day, when the Lord will judge men, the gates of hell will be opened and there they will experience the pain and suffering that they never experienced before.

  1. Protestants believe that once a person is saved, he is forever saved. But what about saved Christians who sin again? And like if they commit a huge sin, are they still considered saved? – Did Jesus Christ die only of your past sins? Or did He die for all your sins? Jesus Christ died for all our sins, and only through His blood that our sins will be washed away. However, as true Christians, we will be sinning lesser and lesser as we know the will of the Lord to us. We will focus on glorifying God rather than glorifying Satan. If a “Christian” keeps on sinning after receiving the Christ, that is a questionable belief. He did not truly received Christ as Lord and Savior.


  1. Protestants believe that one can be saved through faith alone; Roman Catholics believe that one can be saved through faith and good works. Which is right? How about Christians who are faithful but don’t do God’s commandments, like telling about God’s Word? Is believing in God enough? – The Bible said “we are justified by grace through faith alone so that no one will boast” (Eph. 2:1-10). If God is our Lord and Savior aren’t we to obey His commands? If so, the one who is “faithful” is not faithful after all. If he is, he will do the commandment of God. Can one be faithful yet unfaithful?  Having faith in God is enough to be saved, but how will you prove you have faith? (Read Matt. 7:12-27)


  1. 6. When Jesus gave Peter the key and made him the first pope, doesn’t that mean we should believe that the apostles can intercede for us and send up our prayers? Also Mary, she was considered the first disciple? What about the saints? Are they to be believed or not? – Where in the Bible can we find that Jesus gave Peter the key and made him first pope? Nowhere. And how did you connect this with prayer of intercession? No connection at all. About Mary being the first disciple, where in the Bible can we find it? But the Bible talks a lot about the saints; the saints that were addressed there were living Christians. Read the greetings of Paul (Rom. 1:7, Eph. 1:18, 1Thess. 3:13, Jude 1:3). We will only believe on what is written in the Bible and not on what man say. I can see that you are struggling a lot about these things you hear or you practice, may I suggest you to go and read your Bible and look for someone to explain to you what it means. Look for qualified pastor to explain the Bible to you more so you can join Bethany Fellowships and I always entertain questions like this. Because my motto is “Know what you believe and why you believe it.”

  1. 7. Protestants believe that one should pray only to Jesus and not the saints or Mary to intercede for us. But isn’t Jesus God? Aren’t they one and the same? The Holy Trinity is one, right? – We only pray through Jesus because He is the only mediator God have provided for us. No one can replace the role of Jesus Christ. When we pray, we pray directly to God through Jesus’ name. You are right, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit is one. The same in substance equal in power and authority. But God sent Jesus to be our mediator so that can come to God. Jesus’ righteousness is the key for us to be able to communicate with God. Therefore, no one can replace Jesus because no one is as perfect as Jesus.