Posted by: Aaron Allison | August 19, 2014

Missed the news lately?

2014 is turning out to be an eventful year . . .

Putin- Civil war continues in Syria, spilling into Iraq.  The Middle East has more instability than we have seen in decades.

- After the winter Olympics, and Russia‘s accidental diplomatic role in preventing an international war in Syria; Vladimir Putin is slowly, but steadily reasserting Russian influence through Soviet-style tactics both domestically and internationally.  An imperialistic Russia will effect world stability.

- Iran is being quiet, which means they could be quietly developing an atomic bomb.

- Racial tensions in America have remained docile for the most part in recent years, but we all have known that an eruption of mistrust can occur at any time. An example of this is in the small suburb of Ferguson, Missouri - which is about the size of Gallatin, Tennessee. The use of violent force sets in motion consequences that are difficult to contain.  I’m praying for Michael Brown’s family, the Ferugson community and the authorities involved in these matters.

Israel Flag- Hamas is proving once again to be a protagonist and terrorist group who stirs up trouble with Israel.  Disdain for Israel is in vogue. Israel’s government is not perfect, and they do make mistakes.  However, they have been a faithful friend to the United Sates, and they are an example to the rest of the world of religious tolerance and democratic values. Hate for the Jews has happened since Genesis, yet humanity falls into that trap every generation. Hamas is hurting the Palestinian people.

- The United States cannot seem get out of Afghanistan and Iraq.  These wars are costing us more than we are willing to pay.  America was not prepared to pay the price true success cost, nor could we afford to.  God bless those 5,281 American soldiers and their families who have perished to date from these two meandering wars.
Kenneth Bae - With all this we don’t have time to focus on the border crisis with Mexico, the crippling national debt in the United States, the danger of North Korea (pray for Kenneth Bae), the Benghazi scandal, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, communism in China, and dehumanizing practices in Africa (such as the genocide and civil war in Congo, South Sudan, Darfur and the wasteland once know as Somalia).  We are also holding our breathe that India and Pakistan will not go to war, as there relationship is always fragile. Is Europe losing its culture distinctive through the advance of Muslim extremism?   The evil sex trafficking of children in Europe and Asia is breathtaking.

So what is the most important?  The mass media determines what is important for us to focus on each day with what they decide to highlight on the news programs, newspapers and websites.  Remember #bringbackourgirls?   No one is talking about those missing girls now.  The news cycle ran its course.

I am sure I have overlooked equally alarming situations.

What is the solution?
– Effective leadership.  We need more of that.
– Morality. Relative truth is a disaster for humanity.
– Sound economic principals.
– The just use of the millitary.

I say, come Lord Jesus!  Jesus will lead this world with complete justice and righteousness.

For as the earth produces its growth,
and as a garden enables what is sown to spring up,
so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise
to spring up before all the nations. – Isaiah 61:11 (HCSB)

 

 

 

 

Posted by: Aaron Allison | August 14, 2014

Pray for the Leadership Summit

gls_grandmanse

Ever since the year 2000, I have attended the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit most years, and have regretted the years I had to miss this annual conference.  I’ve always participated at one of their satellite sites near my residency. These last eleven years in Nashville means that People’s Church in Franklin has been the host site by which I have experienced this wonderful event. The Global Leadership Summit is one of the highlights of my year. This event is like fuel to my leadership passion tank.

This year is no exception, as my wife Beth, CIL Operations Pastor Deborah Jackson, and myself will be filling our minds and hearts with great leadership insights from thought-provoking speakers.  These presenters come from both the church and corporate world, which brings quite a nice balance of the Lord’s wisdom.

The event occurs today and tomorrow, and though it originates from Chicago, it will occur literally around the globe through simulcast technology.

Pray that God will use this time for both the CIL team, and the tens of thousands of leaders around the world who will be experiencing this intellectual and spiritual event.  As the founder WCA founder Bill Hybel often says, “When a leader gets better, everybody wins.”  There are a lot of wins ahead of us!

Posted by: Aaron Allison | August 12, 2014

Why am I preaching about bowling?

My newest message series is called Bowling Together, but it doesn’t have much to do about the sport.  Instead, this series is about Christian community – something we all need.  Join me for part two of this series on Sunday (August 17).

To discover the meaning behind this series title, watch this video:

Posted by: Aaron Allison | August 6, 2014

Do “Apostles” exist today?

It depends on your definition.

Does the specific definition of apostles that are described in the New Testament exist today? No.

Are there special messengers for the LORD’s message today, that the word “apostle” could be? Yes.  We functionally call those messengers, missionaries.

In recent years there has been a lot of interest in studying Ephesians 4:11-12 which states:

And He personally gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachersfor the training of the saints in the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ

I have gone back and forth some in my working definitions of the term apostle, so I give you my current opinion with caution.  Yet, when faced with theological ambiguity, its probably best to choose a conservative position, which I currently take.

Much of the debate over the role of an apostle today is differences in nomenclature, and not a reason for further division in the church.

apostles-creed31. The narrow Biblical definition of an “apostle” seems to be a temporary position that no longer exists.

In order to be an apostle in the Bible, you must have:

a. Seen Christ physically (Acts 1:22)

b. Personally been appointed by Christ to be an apostle (Matthew 10:1-7, Acts 9:5-6, 1 Corinthians 9:1, 15:7-9)

c. The apostles’ letters were authorized as Scripture (with the exception of Mark, Luke, Acts, Hebrews and Jude – who were written by men close to the apostles, and apparently authorized by the apostles.).

We know that there were twelve original apostles appointed by Christ (the eleven plus Matthias), Barnabas, and Paul (Acts 14:14).  The original twelve are so important an unique that their names are inscribed on the foundations of the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:14).

There were likely other apostles, such as James the brother of Jesus, but there seems to be no apostles appointed after Paul.


2.  It’s not sinful to use the term “apostle” – just not helpful

There are powerful, Biblical ministers who call themselves an apostle.  While I don’t think using the term today is accurate or beneficial, it certainly wouldn’t be the exclusive reason for me to not receive from those who call themselves an apostle. Again, it can simply be a disagreement on terminology.

3. If you need the term “apostle” to be a functioning term, an apostle is a “missionary”

Some people simply cannot accept that a Biblical office is no longer functioning. For those who need a definition for the word apostle, it is good to refer them as a missionary.  A general meaning of the word apostle is the term messenger. This is used three times in the New Testament (Philippians 2:25, 2 Corinthians 8:23, John 13:16).

__________________

grudem-podcast* Note: The main resource that has guided my current opinion is Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology text.  Much of what I write is a summary of his research and interpretation.

Grudem, W. A. (1994). Systematic theology: An introduction to biblical doctrine. Leicester, England: Inter-Varsity Press.

 

Posted by: Aaron Allison | August 2, 2014

One week ago today . . .

BSB - 2014 - collageWe were in the middle of our 8th annual Back-to-School Blessing, and it was so fulfilling for so many reasons.  Here are a few reasons why . . .

- The event didn’t feel like condescending charity. The families we helped were neighbors, co-workers and classmates who just needed a boost after an eventful summer. The volunteers from CIL and the recipients interacted as friends, not as separated factions.

- So much prayer happened.  The prayer was authentic, sweet and so human.  The divine presence of our holy God was in the parking lot of the Goodwill that morning.

- There was joy in the recipients, with no trace of shame or embarrassment (as there shouldn’t have been!).  I believe the tone of our volunteers created this Christ-honoring culture.

- The gorgeous weather was a remind of God’s sovereignty, and our vulnerability.  We can’t control the weather, the seasons or our days. We think we can control our health and finances, but we’re vulnerable in these areas too.

For some reason, I believe I will always remember Saturday, July 26.  All seemed right that morning. BSB - 2014 - teenagers

BSB - 2014 - little girl

Posted by: Aaron Allison | August 1, 2014

What is Maturity?

maturity5

I don’t know what your definition of maturity is, but I’m sure you consider yourself mature.

In my current message series called Maturity, we are looking at key verses in Ephesians Chapter Four that helps us define maturity from God’s perspective.

If you missed the first two messages in the series you can listen to them here

http://indianlake.sermon.net/main/main/20145403

Or, listen to them on iTunes.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/sermons/id344996718?mt=2

Or, you can get the jest of the series very quickly in these two points:

- Maturity is demonstrated in unity.

until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son . . . – Ephesians 4:13 (HCSB)

- Maturity is being like Christ.

growing into a mature man with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness. – Ephesians 4:13 (HCSB)

Well, I have a long ways to go to be like Christ.  Maturity is not a destination, its a constant ideal to live.

I’ll share on this subject again this Sunday (August 3).  It’s going to be a great Sunday, with water baptism and Back-to-School prayer.

It’s not too late to be baptized, as we will have people doing so in both the 9:00 a.m and 10:45 a.m. service.  Let me know if you have any questions about water baptism. To learn more about water baptism now, click here.

This is a picture I post some years ago of my great-grandfather, Pastor James Tracy McKissick baptizing in a river in the early 20th Century.  I never met him, but I’m grateful for the Christian heritage in my ancestory.

McKissick Baptism

 

Posted by: Aaron Allison | July 23, 2014

Save One and the Pro-Life Healing

Aaron, Beth & Sheila

On Sunday (June 20) we had Sheila Harper, founder of Save One Ministries, join me to advocate a pro-life position in the area of abortion. Beth and I have been friends with Sheila for over 16 years. She was such a courageous and effective speaker.

Save One started as a local church Bible study, and has spread to over 140 Chapters in 14 different nations.

At CIL we believe the Bible makes a pro-life position very clear.  However, we don’t just want to oppose abortion politically, we want to be a safe place for conversation and healing for people dealing with these issues..

So, I am happy to announce that we will be starting an abortion recovery group on Wednesday, August 20, 2014.  The group will be led by Amy Moseley at her office at the Hunt Club office (Station Camp area).  The sessions will be from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m., so your children can attend Awana or ExitSeven youth while the recovery session takes palace. I believe God will use this group to bring healing and prevent future abortions.

More details to come.

 

Posted by: Aaron Allison | July 14, 2014

Back-to-School Blessing 2014

Back to School Blessing Logo - 2014

It’s time for one of the highlights of our summer at CIL.  Our annual Back-to-School Blessing is our way to tangibly show the love of Christ to families who need a boost to start the school year.  With your support, we will give out 200 backpacks full of needed school supplies for the new school year. All the important details are in the logo above, including a chance to sign  up as a volunteer through text.

Once again, Gala Johnson has done an incredible job finding discounts and making bulk purchases to keep our cost down.

However, we need your financial contributions to make this project successful.

If you can sponsor one or more backpack of supplies, each one cost $20.

If you want to give on-line right now, visit https://my.simplegive.com/g3/

If you would prefer to mail a check, our mailing address is: 1004 Drakes Creek Rd.  Hendersonville, TN 37075

Thank you for your consideration!  Many children and students will be touched by the love of Christ through this ministry.

 

Posted by: Aaron Allison | July 11, 2014

New Sermon Series – “Maturity”

maturity5

The summer break for our area is more than half-way over, and though I had productive trips throughout June for various reasons, I am happy to be settled in for the next many weeks.  I intentionally took some Sundays off this summer from preaching, and I enjoyed serving the congregation during our services in different ways. But, I love to teach God’s Word, and I look forward to this new season in our church.

This Sunday, I start a new series that I believe will bring a clear direction for our congregation.  The series is called Maturity, and we will be looking at passages from Ephesians Chapter 4.  This sermon series comes out of a time of reflection about the current condition of culture, the church and individual Christians. We will see God’s call to spiritual maturity, and that call will demand our response.

It is such a privilege to pastor and lead our congregation.  I love the people who make up CIL.

Posted by: Aaron Allison | June 27, 2014

Stonewall Inn and the significance of June 27

As American attitudes on homosexuality is rapidly shifting, June 27 may become a significant anniversary in our history.

STONEWALL 6.jpgOn June 27, 1969, patrons at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City’s Greenwich Village, clashed with police in an incident considered to be the birth of the gay rights movement.  Since that time “gay pride” parades have occurred on or near this date.

It’s important you know about this occurrence, because President Barak Obama made history during his inaugural speech in 2013 by equating gay rights with those of women’s and civil rights, by evoking the term “Stonewall.”

ABC news summarized this aspect of the speech on January 2013:

“Obama also mentioned the word Stonewall when citing milestones of the civil right struggle. It was a reference to a riot and subsequent protests over a police raid in June 1969 of the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City’s Greenwich Village. The president mentioned it along with the first women’s rights convention held in Seneca Falls, N.Y., in 1848 and the civil rights march in Selma, Ala., in 1965.

We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall . . . ” – Barak Obama

See the entire article here http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/obama-makes-history-citing-gay-rights-inaugural-address/story?id=18275341

I would imagine that references to Stonewall Inn will continue to be referenced as America works through the complexity of this issue.

I pray Christians will continue to look to Scripture for the source of our convictions and standards, and simultaneously be gracious to homosexuals in a Christ-like demeanor.

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