Archives For Jesse Johnson

God wanted him to be a Lobo.

I’m sure you’ve heard of the NFL theological conundrum: if prayer works, and two opposing teams pray for victory, who will win?

Here is a variation of the question: In a game against the Steelers, Green Bay Packer’s receiver Jordy Nelson tore his ACL. After the game he made headlines when he told a reporter that in a regular season game he would have just rubbed dirt on it, but since it was pre-season he left the game, and now is likely out for much of the season.

Enter the theological dilemma: Green Bay’s division rivals, the Detroit Lions, have a safety who unsafely commented on Nelson’s injury. Glover Quin said that in any injury God is at work, and that all things that happen, happen for a reason.   Continue Reading…

This is the week where new seminary students report for duty—two hundred new students start at The Master’s Seminary in Los Angeles (and five at our Washington DC campus!), and as a pastor I watch new students leave for seminary every year.

Here is the advice I give them:    Continue Reading…

I have talked to a few people who don’t understand why many pastors are so angry with Planned Parenthood. There are many companies and doctors that do abortion, so why does so much of the anti-abortion effort get directed at Planned Parenthood? After all, they also do cancer screenings, STD tests, adoption referrals and birth control prescriptions…so what gives?

The video released this week provides a perfect explanation. Planned Parenthood is an organization dedicated to making money of the abortion industry. Our culture is a culture of death, and we have institutionalized the idea that a woman can kill a child as long as that child is inside of her. That is sick, evil, and an affront against the dignity of the image of God.

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But Planned Parenthood goes beyond simply participating in the abortion industry. They not only embody the evil of our country’s Moloch worship, but they refine it. This is why:   Continue Reading…

A few months ago I got to sit next to Congressman John Lewis on a flight from Atlanta back into Washington DC. If you are not familiar with him, Congressman Lewis is civil rights leader, and deserves much of the credit for getting African-Americans the right to vote. In 1963 he led the march across the bridge in Selma, was tear gassed by state troopers, and when he kneeled down to pray had his skull fractured by a police officer’s night-stick.

He is the one who, instead of being taken to the hospital, groped his way over the TV cameras and appealed directly to President Johnson. With his face covered in blood he plead for the President to call off the police, and to grant black Americans the right to vote.

Lewis has been beaten by a police officer on a horse, fire bombed while ridding on a bus, and attacked by a mob for riding a bus with white people. In fact, I recognized him when he sat next to me mostly because the scar from his skull fracture is still visible, even after 50 years.    Continue Reading…

Part of stewardship is caring for what the Lord has entrusted to us. Elders and pastors have a stewardship to shepherd their people, and they also have a stewardship to protect their church’s property and resources (building, finances, etc.) from lawsuits.

When the same-sex marriage case was argued before the Supreme Court this year, the US Solicitor General, Donald Verrilli, said that if the court rules for same-sex marriage (which they did) then tax-exempt status for churches “is going to be an issue.”

With that kind of clarity, churches really have no excuse for being unorganized.

[As a side note, I’m old enough to remember when the mantra of the gay-rights movement was “don’t like gay marriage? Don’t have one!” Ha. Those were the good old days].   Continue Reading…

July 8, 2015

Heart Surgery

by Jesse Johnson

Eric Davis normally blogs here on Wednesdays. He pastors Cornerstone Church in Jackson, WY, is married to Leslie, and has three daughters.

Eric Davis' Heart Surgery (Eric and Leslie Davis)

Last year Eric  found out that he was born with a rare genetic condition that affects his connective tissue. It’s called Loey’s Dietz Syndrome, and this condition has led to an aneurysm on his heart. His doctors at Stanford Medical Center have strongly recommended that he have an aortic root replacement–open heart surgery. His surgery is scheduled for tomorrow (July 9) in California. His recovery time is unknown, but will likely be a few months.   Continue Reading…

This past Sunday I spoke to the congregation at my church about the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling. Above is the 7-minute video, and below are the comments edited and formatted reading.

A few years ago the elders at my church asked the pastors to focus on equipping the congregation to deal with persecution. As part of our strategic plan, the elders wanted the members of Immanuel Bible to have a larger understanding of what persecution looks like globally, with an eye toward preparing our church for future persecution here in the United States.   Continue Reading…

Yesterday I looked at how the New Testament describes the office of a deacon. Today I want to argue this point: the Bible describes women as holding this office, and the church should follow the New Testament’s example in similarly recognizing women who are exceptional servants by identifying them as deacons.

The qualifications for deacons are listed in 1 Timothy 3:8-13. The key verse for this discussion is right in the middle: verse 11 says, “Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things.”

There are four different views on this verse, and I want to explain why I don’t find the first three interpretations convincing before defending what I think is the biblical view.   Continue Reading…

There are three offices described in the New Testament for a local church: elders, deacons, and members. While most evangelical churches agree on the identification of elders and members, there remains much confusion about deacons.

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In some smaller churches, the pastor is considered the elder, and the plurality of godly male leaders who work with the pastor are called deacons. In this sense, the word deacon is used almost synonymously with elder. In other churches, deacons are considered elders-in-training. Future elders are drawn from the deacons, and deacons exercise leadership, just not quite at an elder level. In this context, deacons are like elders-lite. Both of these approaches really miss the biblical model for deacons. Continue Reading…

Gnostics were a first-century cult that taught that matter didn’t matter. More precisely, they held that our physical bodies were vulgar and thus lacked value, while our inner spiritual state represented true reality. They taught that because Jesus was the perfect spiritual being, he wouldn’t have even had a physical body. If he would have walked on the beach, he wouldn’t have left foot-prints (which, if true, would radically change many Christian posters).

I think this was meant as a LGBT-rights poster, but it it can also be read as an argument against the T part of that acronym.

 

Gnostics are still around today, only the best place to find them is inside the transgender movement. The modern transgender movement seeks to differentiate between one’s biological sex and the concept of gender. Your sex is what you are born with, while gender is a social construct foisted upon you at birth by a society that (wrongly) assumes that your sex is related to your gender.   Continue Reading…