Pastor's Pen
Bringing praise to the Lord - Part 1
We often thank God for the material blessings He provides. If we ask Him for blessings concerning our physical well-being, we ought to also praise Him for His provision. Even greater than the physical blessings we rely on, we must praise Him for the spiritual blessings. Lamentations 3:22-24: “It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.” As we read Psalm 100, there are four things praising the Lord involves.

1. Bringing praise to the Lord involves our voice. Psalm 100:1, 2b: “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Come before his presence with singing.”

We must use our voice to bring praise to Him. Psalm 109:30: “ I will greatly praise the Lord with my mouth; yea, I will praise him among the multitude.”

We must use our voice to sing. Psalm 59:16-17: “But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble. Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing: for God is my defence, and the God of my mercy.”

We must use our voice to say good things. Ephesians 4:29: “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.12/7/2018 12:21:26 PM

Why Millennials Are Leaving The Church - Part 4
What is the solution to keep millennials from leaving the church? Unlike a business, the church if it is to remain faithful to God’s Word cannot change the fundamental purpose for existence. The church as the body of Christ is called to reach a dying world by preaching and teaching the gospel of Christ. This involves teaching about the condemnation of sin as defined in the Scriptures and the offer of salvation in Christ and building up of people by teaching the Bible. God sets the standards for right and wrong. A business can change and transform as society changes. The church must remain faithful to the commission of Christ. Does this mean that evangelical churches are destined to fail? No, the church is not headed for extinction. Christians must find ways to develop relationships with those outside the church and present the gospel. For too long, the church counted on the pastor to evangelize and disciple others instead of being active in this area themselves. Churches attempt to bring the unsaved in, so they might hear the gospel. This is the opposite of what took place in the early church. The early church shared the gospel wherever they went (Acts 8:6). Believers must say more than “God bless you,” and “I’ll be praying for you.” They need to provide solid answers for their faith. While it is easier to change the music, throw out the tie, and sit through a multimedia presentation, believers are called to go into the world and present the gospel (Mark 16:15).

“But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.” (I Peter 3:14-16)

Real faith is something lived out on a daily basis. Live out your faith. Get to know God and His Word in a deeper way. Be an example for millennials to follow.
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.11/18/2018 5:53:45 PM

Why Millennials Are Leaving The Church - Part 3
A fourth reason why millennials are leaving the church relates to having no investment in the church. Millennials tend to avoid commitments. They have grown up in a consumer society. There is no brand loyalty. Little motivation exists for commitment to any church or ministry. Those who put time in mowing the lawn, painting a classroom, teaching in Vacation Bible School, or visiting the sick invest in the church. By virtue of their involvement, they have a stake in the growth of that organization. Millennials’ attendance at church often differs little than their attendance at a movie theatre. They come, sit, watch, and leave. Any relationship which is of importance requires personal investment. For many millennials, they do not want to personally invest in church. Once again, some of this problem rests at the feet of the church. Churches often minister to children and youth by attempting to entertain them. Rarely do churches encourage children and youth to sacrifice and serve others beyond symbolic gestures. Millennials were raised being ministered to. The programs and activities were always about them. The transition from adolescence to adulthood did not take place. Adding to this that many young adults are putting off marriage and family, the transition period moved from their twenties to their thirties. The priorities of millennials often relate to them. Churches succeed or fail based on the sacrifices of their people. The common question millennials ask is “If I attend your church, what’s in it for me?” Even if the church were to change everything to make millennials happy, commitments would remain somewhat illusive. Attendance would be limited to what appeals to them at that time. It might be your church, another church, or even a trip to the beach. Getting millennials active in the church is essential to gaining their regular attendance.
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.11/2/2018 12:35:35 PM

Why Millennials Are Leaving The Church - Part 2
A third reason millennials are leaving the church relates to not understanding the consequences of sin. The character of God often is presented as a benevolent grandfather whose love and compassion causes Him to wink at sin. The Scriptures are clear that “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31). God will judge sin. Even in the life of those who claim to be believers, God will deal with sin. In some cases, people are aware of God’s judgment, but they choose to enjoy sin now. When the nation of Israel entered into the Promised Land, the Moabites sought to defeat them (Numbers 22). They hired a prophet by the name of Balaam to curse the nation of Israel. When God would not allow the prophet to curse the Jewish people, Balaam came up with a plan. The plan involved using the young girls of Moab to entice the young men of Israel to forsake their faith. The young men lost sight of their commitment to God and chose to seek pleasure. The world today through modern media is at war with God. Pornography can be obtained instantly through a variety of devices. Many have lost sight of the holiness of God. Their vision is obscured by the offerings of the world. Their standards have been polluted. With this comes a new attitude which tells God that He must accept them on their terms. The church bears some responsibility in making people feel comfortable by failing to address sin. America needs a spiritual revival; however, this will not take place unless believers start living for God and churches return to preaching the unadulterated Word of God.
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.10/19/2018 11:58:08 AM

Why Millennials Are Leaving the Church - Part 1
The first reason millennials are leaving the church is they possess no biblical foundation. Many attended church at one time. They were never given the proper understanding of creation. When these young people attended high school and college, they were inundated with scientific explanations concerning life which ignored the biblical account of creation. Their faith was challenged, and no answers were provided to show the scientific reality of the biblical account. For those millennials who did receive a solid foundation, there are other reasons why they have fallen away.

A second reason relates to no passion for the things of God. Church has become doing the same old thing the same old way. Instead of focusing on the purpose of church, leaders often want to change the church into something appealing by making it like the world. If the world feels comfortable in church, you have failed to address the topic of sin. Watering down the message of the Gospel will only weaken the truth. Church is not about doing the same old thing the same old way. Church is about God. We should be passionate about God. If we do not exhibit a holy passion for the things of God, how do we expect the next generation to be passionate about God? Perhaps we have failed to remember how great our salvation really is. Hebrews 2:1-3 provides a reminder: “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;” Faith fades when one forgets what God has done. Take a good inventory of what one gains with Christ. Forgiveness of sin and the blessings of salvation are priceless.
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.10/7/2018 6:00:37 PM

Bitterness - Part 2
What is the root that causes bitterness to sprout? It is often a stubborn heart. The root of bitterness springs up when one fails to maintain a proper relationship with God. Hebrews 3:12-13 warns believers to guard their heart and exhort others in the faith: “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” Hebrews 12:15 also warns believers to continually keep their heart tender and right with God: “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.” One can become bitter against God. When we forget the grace of God along with all that God has done and is doing in our lives, we fall short of the grace of God. This leads to our defilement. Bitterness is a destructive force. Bitterness makes us captive of sin.

How can we deal with the root of bitterness? The key is to get back to the grace of God. Stop allowing the little things of life to rob your joy. Stop allowing the failures of life to keep you from being tender and forgiving. Stop letting the things that are temporal push you away from God. The root of bitterness is much easier to pull when it’s small. If you wait to deal with bitterness, it will become entrenched in your life. For some, bitterness will even become a way of life. Deal with known sin on a daily basis.
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.9/23/2018 6:04:53 PM

Bitterness - Part 1
The first king of Israel was Saul (1 Samuel 9). Saul was from the smallest tribe in Israel. The tribe of Benjamin was almost wiped out by the other tribes during the period of the judges due to the defense of the Gibeonites. Many years passed and the tribe of Benjamin was once again in a right relationship with the other tribes. Choosing a king from Benjamin would go far to heal old wounds. In many ways, Saul was a good king. He secured the borders, chased out the Philistines, established the rule of law, centralized the government, and removed the idols from the land. Saul’s downfall came when he allowed bitterness to cloud his judgment. As David became successful, Saul became envious. Saul risked David’s life in battle; however, David always came back with a great victory (1 Samuel 18). Saul even attempted to take David’s life by throwing a javelin at him (1 Samuel 19:9-11). When Saul’s son Jonathan questioned the King over his hatred of David, Saul threw a javelin at his own son (1 Samuel 20:30-34). Saul allowed bitterness to cause him to spend the last half of his reign chasing David. Instead of using the opportunity God gave to Saul to be a good king, he allowed bitterness to destroy his life.

What is the root that causes bitterness to sprout? It is often a stubborn heart. The root of bitterness springs up when one fails to maintain a proper relationship with God. Bitterness comes when our eyes are taken off the LORD and placed upon what the world offers. Bitterness comes when we neglect our relationship with God. The root is not bitterness but leads to bitterness. Bitterness poisons. Bitterness leads to anger.
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.9/7/2018 1:00:07 PM