Friday, March 20, 2015

Inerrancy of Scripture - March 2015

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; (2 Timothy 3:16)

The Masters Academy International (TMAI) Symposium
Calvary Bible Church

Our church was blessed with the privilege of hosting a pre-Shepherds-Conference symposium on March 2nd where several well known speakers spoke to hundreds of pastors from around the world about missions in light of the inerrancy of Scripture.  The TMAI Symposium featured Dr. James White and Paul Washer, along with international speakers from locations including Latin America, Africa, and India.

The exact numbers of people attending varies, but between 500 and 700 men (primarily pastors) came, were blessed with fellowship, and were strengthened and exhorted to handle Scripture as the sole authority, the infallible and inerrant Word of God.

Participating in the proclamation of the gospel comes in different forms, and while one way is going out to the streets of Burbank, it would be a mistake to think that an evangelism team like ours is the standard for evangelism and that the end goal of every good Christian is standing on street corners with a loudspeaker or a fistful of tracts.

Everyone, indeed, is called to be involved in the proclamation of the gospel, but our Savior has created each of us with gifts, talents, and resources so that together, His Word goes forth.

The TMAI Symposium was an opportunity to participate in the furthering of the gospel by serving pastors who, in turn, will take what they have learned to their countries and ministries.

How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? (Romans 10:14, 15a NASB)

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. (Paul to the Philippians in light of their ongoing support of him and his ministry in Philippians 1:3-5 NASB)

Some from our team were blessed to be counted among the participants at this missions focused event.  Praise God for the literal swarm of men and women from both Calvary Bible Church and Grace Community Church who volunteered their time to setup, serve food, carry out trash, and otherwise help.

Our Lord made it a success in so many ways that a short entry like this cannot adequately express thanks to Him.  He granted wisdom to a team of people who had never organized an event like this, held back the rain until everyone had been served lunch and returned inside for the next speaker, gave people a heart to serve so no one was overburdened, safely brought pastors from all around the world, etc.  To be counted as one He used is a most humbling thought, indeed.

All glory to Him, and may He continue to bless the pastors who came and use this for the furthering of His gospel!

The audio for the majority of the TMAI Conference can be downloaded from their website:
TMAI International

Recommended Audio from event:
Mike Gendron - Establishing the Supreme Authority of Scripture in Roman Catholic Evangelism

The Morning Shift
NoHo Station

This morning, as our brother Paul was about to step on the box to begin preaching, a woman rolled up on her bike, unburdening her conscience about the loss of custody of her children due to her own drug abuse.

As she continued, she began insisting that Paul could help her by going across the street and mediating on her behalf.

This was not someone that Paul knew personally, nor could he vouch for her.  She also, albeit unintentionally (though certainly to our Enemy’s delight), was directly stopping the proclamation of the gospel.

As always, discernment is required in these matters and after a few minutes of discussion, the woman’s demands were declined and the gospel proclamation was able to begin.

In this sad story of the woman and Paul we also get a glimpse of a small, frightening reality of the gospel, and one’s position without Christ.  On our own, we are unable to stand for our crimes and must bear the full consequence of our sin.  As a result of the woman’s sin (drug abuse) she lost her children (consequence of breaking the law).

Not being able to justify herself in the eyes of the law, she pleaded with Paul to mediate on her behalf.  Paul, who did not know her (nor does he have a relationship with the government) was rightly unwilling to do so.  The woman left, continuing to bear the full weight of the consequence of her sin.

While our brother Paul is certainly not our Lord, nor his rejection as damning, we can hear the frightening echos from our Mediator in Matthew 7:23 to those who claim to be His, but aren't:

I never knew you, depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.

With no one to mediate for them, “workers of lawlessness” will be left to bear the full consequences of their rebellion for eternity.

This is why we go out - to proclaim salvation through Christ Jesus to a dying world with an eternal weight of deserved wrath waiting for them.

As it once was for us.

Come stand with us at 6-8 am most Wednesdays!
Watch for the Tuesday evening text announcement and please RSVP if you are coming, so we know what size of a team to expect.

Contact Steve for more details...

Abortion Clinic
Mission Hills

This week Don was joined by men who had traveled to Los Angeles for the Shepherds Conference.

Our good friend Tony Miano, who was used by the Lord to start this particular ministry a couple years ago before turning it over to Don, brought Pastor Chuck O’Neal from Beaverton Oregon along with his son and several others to stand with him and to preach the gospel.

Pastor Chuck, who has a regular ministry at a similar clinic in Oregon, is no stranger to this type of work - what a great encouragement for Don to fellowship with other equally committed believers!

Going to the abortion clinic ranks high on the list of "hard" evangelism in this part of the world where it’s still relatively easy to be a Christian in public.  Unlike witnessing on the street where those who walk by can hide under the general "everybody makes mistakes" justification umbrella, at the abortion clinic you are face-to-face with those who are intentionally, and often all too willingly, on their way to pay to have their baby murdered.

These are pre-scheduled, pre-planned, and pre-meditated killings - we know why they are there, and they know we know why they are there.

So with all pretense of being relatively good gone, and 200 feet between them and “cover” from the clinic, “patients” tempers flare quickly and fiercely.  It often takes a cool head, focused words, and a discerning and direct approach under this type of fire.

Praise the Lord that He has given us men like Don, Tony, and Chuck who stand up boldly on a regular basis to speak for the defenseless!

Every Wednesday and Saturday at 8-10 am
Reminder - the days have changed (see: February's Post)
10200 Sepulveda Blvd
Mission Hills, CA 91345

No Experience Needed and no need to say anything if you are not ready - come hold a sign, pray, and bring encouragement to those who are standing for the innocent.

Missions Conference
Calvary Bible Church 

The week that started with the TMAI Symposium ended with another conference. This one was hosted by the Calvary Mission Leadership Team specifically for the recognition and encouragement of missionaries supported by Calvary. The Evangelism Team was graciously invited to participate again this year, which was humbling for us all, considering the sacrifices being made by other missionaries in impoverished and hostile areas of the world.

This year our team was tasked with putting together the video to kickoff the conference.  Steve handled the editing, while our brother Mark eloquently explained, on camera, the reason we go out - to proclaim the sure hope we have in a risen Savior - and to encourage others to join us.

We will be posting a link to the video as soon as it is available for uploading.

The conference was well attended with a final count of 241.  This conference, held once a year, gives the members of our church body the opportunity to learn about, and fellowship with, local and foreign missionaries supported by our church.

See Calvary’s Missions Website for more information

Saturday Outreach

Every Saturday night before descending on downtown Burbank, we gather together in the Police parking lot to pray.

There is nothing that will be said on the box - no argument, no apologetic, no well-planned words - that will “win souls”.  Unless our Lord so chooses to move in the hearers, there will be none saved and no-one will hear what we have to say.  So this part of the evening is as crucial as the outreach, itself, as we praise Him for the opportunity to serve, and ask that His Spirit would give us wisdom in our encounters, and we plead with Him to be merciful in His justice, even as we repent of our own sins and attempts to do it on our own.

Regardless of an evening’s outcome, we always pray that we will honor our Lord in our actions and words, being faithful servants, clinging tightly to the Word as our authority and the actual words of God, inerrant and trustworthy.

We also have the opportunity to thank Him for the people He has brought us. How great is our Lord, who gives us not only the pleasure to be used to proclaim His gospel, but who provides laborers for the harvest!

This week the team was blessed to have first-timer Erin out with us.

Before praying, this week we took a few moments to talk about one team member's suggested “strategy” for what to do when we find ourselves in a long-term discussion with someone who has endless objections.

This type of "defense" is common and is a direct result of man's enmity with God.  It isn't an answer they are looking for, but an excuse to suppress the truth...or at least the one saying it.  It can come in all forms from all kinds of people - from those who consider themselves to be hyper-intelligent to those who believe themselves hyper-spiritual. Sometimes they are disguised in humble sounding words while others are laid bare in self-exaltation.  Unfortunately, the answer to the question of how to handle these all too frequent occurrences isn't always easy.

We must always be careful that such strategies don’t drive or hamper the proclamation of the Gospel. We don't go out to be applauded or for results, but rather to speak of our Savior and our Father's free gift through Him, knowing that through the hearing of His Word some will be called and some will be hardened. Thinking through these types of issues as a group gives us the opportunity to meditate on what the Word says, and to grow together.

Father, let us be found to have proclaimed too much and too boldly and too often of Christ, than to be found guilty of withholding the truth out of worry of wasting “our” time. Help us to find the balance of being faithful yet discerning servants, and grant us the wisdom we need for each conversation, that we might glorify and magnify your Son in our words and actions.

This evening we had five men available to be on the box, so we split off into two groups, straddling the light between Ross and P.F. Chang's.

Given the large size of this night’s team, we also had people handing out tracts at all four corners.

The night began as most, with men on the box and various one-on-one conversations.

As the evening progressed, Mark's preaching caught the attention of one young man.

Seeming at first to only half-care, he engaged with Mark, opening with a question regarding the "three" possible tomb locations (according to his "sources") from which Jesus could have arisen.

Much like we had discussed earlier, this man would have several questions throughout the conversation that really had no point except to be a wall. Mark countered each with Scripture (much to the man's chagrin), bringing him back to the gospel, reminding us all of man's state after we rebelled against God and of our need for a Savior.

What particularly set the man off, first to mocking, then to yelling, was when Mark told him that we were created to glorify God.

Most of what the young man said cannot be repeated, but centered on God being a self-absorbed “jerk” who created us just so He could be glorified.

Mark remained calm as he reasoned with him, which only caused him to become more agitated. He began screaming profanities and people gathered to watch.

 Even still, Mark lovingly and consistently brought him back to the Bible, proclaiming the need for a Savior not only to him, but to all who had stopped to stare.  Here was an example of staying close to God’s Word as the source, intentionally not bringing God down low to be cross-examined, but rather lifting Him high on the strength of His Word, alone.

As the man cursed and swore, not just at Mark but at people in the crowd, he declared his own goodness and right-standing before God.

How blind are those that have not been granted eyes to see!

That gave Mark the opportunity in conversations with him both on and off the box to show that what proceeds out of our mouth reveals our true heart’s condition.

In the end the heckler stomped off.  We can only pray that the Lord would use the scriptures Mark shared with him to soften and not further harden his heart.

While we've had angry hecklers before, this one had the whole crowd stirred up, chattering wildly among themselves, and engaging with both the heckler and members on our team. As has been mentioned in previous blogs, these types of encounters give us an opportunity we just don’t have on a “quiet” night.  Getting so many people to stop on a street corner was a welcome opportunity as others were able to hear the gospel. Many conversations happened during and after.

Police! Actually, this time it wasn't because of someone offended by us. A concerned lady in the crowd called 911 after the heckler and another guy in the crowd starting screaming at each other like they were about to fight.  The cop was very friendly, and stayed for no more than a minute.

This man, like several others, took pictures and movies with his camera.

He identified himself as a Jew who supported us from a first amendment standpoint (a common theme being yelled by other such supporters during the heckling). 

He said little, but did mention that he had a Christian friend who "already tried to convert him”.  Please pray for him.

Another “after-the-event” one-on-one is of particular joy as our sister had the opportunity to open the Bible with Harley and Luis, and walk them through the gospel.  They listened intently and humbly.  Sharon has asked that we pray for these two men, one of which in particular who seemed to “track” with what she was saying.

Often, after an intense heckler leaves, so do the watchers. But this night people milled around - some staying through two more gospel presentations. Praise the Lord!

Come Join Us - 6-9 pm
See the calendar on the upper, right-side of this page for our location each week...
Tracts and Bibles supplied!


Albert Mohler (audio): The Briefing - commenting on "Why Our Children Don't Think There are Moral facts"

Kevin DeYoung (video - at the Shepherds' Conference): Not one iota of the law will pass away

TMAI Symposium (audio): TMAI International

Join Us!

Please join us as we proclaim the glorious Gospel to a lost and dying world on the streets of Burbank, Glendale, Hollywood and beyond.


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