CFNI And The Lindsay Legacy

by Dennis Lindsay

CFNʼS TWELVE FOUNDATIONAL PILLARS

When Joshua was about to lead the Israelites into the Promise Land, Moses gave him a directive. “When you cross over, take twelve stones and inscribe upon them the rules for blessings and curses. And when the next generation asks the question, ‘What is this memorial all about?’ explain the blessings and the curses” (Deuteronomy 27:2-4).

This is what I believe legacy is all about, and why it is strategically significant to pass on God’s initiative to the next generation. This is why we have established the 12 foundational pillars at CFN as a memorial of remembrance for the staff, the student body and all the visitors who come to CFN. Through my parents, God founded the 12 foundational pillars that have guided us and provided the blessings of the Lord on this ministry.

“We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the LORD, about His power and His mighty wonders” (Psalm 78:4).

SPIRITUAL INHERITANCE

Spiritual inheritance is given freely to those who have withstood the trials and tests of adversity, put in the time, and paid the price. It is freely given by one’s spiritual forefathers. This means it is not to be spent on ourselves; it is given for building God’s Kingdom. We are to take what is here and pass it on to the next generation. Revivals often die and moves of God dwindle to nothing because they become “fatherless” or are not stewarded sufficiently.

WONDER: THE FOOLISH PLAN OF GOD

Consider the Christmas story. Imagine Joseph, the husband of Mary, saying: “Why me, a simple man of trade, and why Mary? She’s just an ordinary girl—and a baby in a stable? I’m not one to second guess what angels have said, but this seems strange.”

It also seems strange that Jesus grows up in obscurity, finally comes out of the “shadows” at age 30, gathers a mixed-bag of followers, who desert Him at the moment of His greatest need. He’s buried by a rich friend after his battered body perishes. A rag-tag group of frightened men and a few weeping women are his closest friends. Bizarre! Later, after rising from the grave, He commissions this crew of misfits to take the message of His life, death and resurrection to the whole world. They are called to live sacrificially and overcome evil with good. Yet, they turned the world upside down. This story seems so unbelievable, like so many of our own.

A WOMAN TO LEAD FOR 4O YEARS

Many were filled with wonder and apprehension when God chose my mom to lead Christ For The Nations. She carried the torch for 40 years after Dad suddenly and unexpectedly graduated to Heaven. With a German, Lutheran background, a Foursquare college degree and a Pentecostal, Texas heart, she learned to bark orders—kind of like when Jesus’ mother gave orders at the wedding in Cana. Yet, Mom had a grandmother’s heart and a heart after God. As a result of her dynamic management and leadership, the ministry took on exponential growth.

WHY ME, LORD?

Today, one might ask, “Why me, Lord? Why do you love me, Lord, and how could you ever use me to touch others?” When I think about myself in my early years of becoming President of Christ For The Nations, I am reminded that I had no formal training for this position. The Holy Spirit spoke to me, saying, “I know you don’t have any experience, but as long as you remember that, I will use you, bless you and provide a team of individuals who can lift and hold your arms up. I am filled with wonder why God selected me—the youngest of three children—to carry on this ministry.

The prophetic words continue to confirm my appointment in light of my doubts. Yes, I am filled with wonder, but I know it is just for a season, a short assignment. I serve while watching affirmations unfold that God is even preparing my three children for appointments, if they choose to accept.

PASSING THE TORCH

I’m blessed. I have an honored and respected family name. I have been handed a well-established ministry. All my life I have been exposed to the power of the supernatural. My parents worked laboriously and sacrificially. My inheritance came at no cost to me. Having served as President and CEO of Christ For The Nations for over 30 years, I realize I have been given the opportunity to bless future students and equip them for the ministry. I have been mentored and trained by a number of elders, and a General in the Lord’s Army—my mom.

Now, I am currently mentoring my children who have the legacy, heritage and call to continue serving in the ministry my parents founded. All three of my children were born and raised on CFN’s campus, graduated from CFNI and worked for the ministry as they were growing up. I believe I’m preparing them for leadership roles when the appointed time arrives, and they follow in their grandparents’ footsteps.

My oldest daughter, Missy, with a Doctor of Ministry (D. Min.), has a prophetic gifting and teaches with me. Hawni, my second daughter, has her Master of International Business Administration (MBA) and has the gift of management, much like my mom and my wife’s mom, who established our campus bookstore and managed it for 25 years. Hawni helps us strategize and organize key events as she has time. Our son, Golan, with his Master of Business (MBA), has become CFN’s Chief Operation Officer. After 30+ years and 101 weekly logistical meetings, I have been partially replaced by Golan. His newlywed spouse—Krissia (a CFNI grad)—has her degree in law and hopefully will be assisting with legal issues. They have given Ginger and me our first grandchild. She was named after Mom, Freeda.

It is interesting to see the strengths I believe God has given each of my children. Missy’s is righteousness and holiness, Hawni’s is excellence and professionalism and Golan’s is justice and compassion, and with his wife, Krissia, involved in law, we have a double dose of justice, along with her giftings.

Now, I am blessed to spend more time with God—praying, writing, teaching and reading His Word. My hobby of Creation Science is blossoming unimaginably. That is what I remember my dad doing every time I went into his room—praying, reading, writing another book or preparing a message.

Legacy is passing the baton to the next generation. Building a bridge for these younger warriors will enable them to carry on the ministry, to impact their generation for the cause of Christ. I look forward to what God will continue to do at Christ For The Nations with the next generation of leaders.

“Good people leave an inheritance to their grandchildren” (Proverbs 13:22).

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CFN Foundational Pillars: Integrity

By Dennis Lindsay and Missy Lindsay

WHAT IS YOUR RULER FOR MEASURING A CHRISTIAN’S GREATNESS?

MOM—HOW CRAZY CAN YOU BE?

I remember one weekend before Christmas, when I was about 12, I went shopping with Mom at a large department store, where she purchased a number of presents. The following week, Mom read in the Dallas newspaper that a robbery had taken place where we had been shopping. The manager made an appeal to customers, who had made purchases on the day of the robbery, to write another check to cover their purchases.

Mom looked at her checkbook and the receipts, realizing that her purchases were made on the day of the robbery. She wrote another check and mailed it to the department store. I thought, “Why would Mom do such a foolish thing because there was no way she would ever be accused.” However, I eventually learned that integrity is the same in the dark as it is in the light.

Much later in life, the IRS personally audited Mom, questioning her annual tax return because she had virtually given away her entire year ’s salary to charitable causes, living only on her Social Security. After several months of government scrutiny, Mom was exonerated from all suspicion of misrepresentation.

MY DAUGHTER MISSY’S MEMORY

“One of the great memories I have of Grandmother was when she called me over to her apartment to pray a blessing of impartation over me—she spoke of integrity. She said, ‘We pray, Lord, that you will set an example through her of her keeping her word. Let her word be her bond, so when she makes appointments, Lord, help her to steadfastly keep them.’ Since then I have always sought to keep my word, sometimes to a fault. I love what King David says about integrity. ’He who swears to his own hurt and does not change it.’ Integrity never changes. Grandmother wrote, on a yellow piece of lined paper, the very last words my father would ever hear from her, “Son, leave a legacy that no man can contest.” In other words, live your life above reproach. ‘For a good name is to be more desired than great wealth. Favor is better than silver or gold’” (Proverbs 22:1).

HOW DO YOU MEASURE A CHRISTIAN’S GREATNESS?

Is greatness based on a miracle ministry, with signs and wonders following, or is it dependent on those who lead large, prosperous Christian organizations, or those who have worldwide TV networks?

When we witness one who is anointed with power, authority and the gifts of the supernatural in operation, we tend to think that is all it takes. Jesus reminds us, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will never believe” (John 4:48). The bottom line is greatness in God’s eyes is not just based on being one who performs miracles.

JESUS PROVIDES THE RULER FOR GREATNESS

In Matthew 7:20, Christ winds up His Sermon on the Mount by warning individuals about being caught up in the “glory” of the miracle workers, calling them false prophets who come in sheep’s clothing. He then gives us the “RULER” for discerning who is great and who is phony — “. . . by their fruits you shall know them.” He didn’t say, “Look for great signs, wonders, miracles or the spectacular.” He simply said that men are to be judged by who they are, not what they do. “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign . . . ” (Matthew 12:39).

This does not diminish the miracles of God or the gifts of the Spirit. However, the Bible never says we are to gauge a man’s spirituality, his greatness or sincerity by these power gifts. Miracles can be mimicked; gifts can be imitated. History is filled with these cases. Integrity and the fruit of the Spirit can never be imitated. The fruit crowds out all selfish ambition. Gifts are external, but fruit is internal. The basic test for any ministry is not the gifts that are in operation, but the character of the individual and the fruit in their life.

BE FRUITFUL

Five times God tells us to be fruitful in John l5:2, 4, 5, 8 and 16, with the last verse saying, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit — fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in My name.” Fruitfulness here means character; furthermore, the seed comes from the fruit—not the breadth of the ministry, but the depth of the ministry.

HOW TO BE FRUITFUL

There are two basic principles for growing fruit in one’s life that are outlined in John 15. First, abiding in the vine — staying in the Word. There has to be a reciprocal relationship. The vine is dependent on the fruit, and the fruit is dependent upon the vine. Second, there must be pruning. This develops good fruit and is accomplished by obeying the Word of God. Discipline is better known as pruning. If we do not prune or discipline ourselves, then God will help us (Psalm 119:67, 71).

WHAT KIND OF A LEADER IS GOD SEEKING?

God seeks leaders with godly character. There must not be compromise. I’ve learned that there are three essential elements for becoming a great spiritual leader: Intelligence, Energy and Integrity. If you don’t have integrity, the other two will strangle you. Success is based solely on God’s assignment for you.

Gifts of the supernatural are not given because of one’s character, maturity or experience. Gifts are given because of one’s faith. There must be a balance between integrity and the gifts — without integrity it’s just a matter of time before you sink. “People with integrity walk safely, but those who follow crooked paths will slip and fall” (Proverbs 10:9).

A CFNI PILLAR:  INTEGRITY

Dad and Mom taught us many lessons about integrity from the Word of God. My dad founded the ministry of Christ For The Nations on the principles of integrity. Dad’s integrity was that of promoting other ministries, rather than his own. He gave the platform to others, becoming the megaphone of their messages and miracles in the monthly magazine he published, The Voice of Healing, now The Voice.

As one secular author, David Edwin Harrell, Jr., in his book All Things Are Possible, describes,

“Lindsay was particularly wary of those evangelists who seemed to have an inordinate ambition to magnify themselves and those who seemed to hope to amass money for personal comfort. Lindsay clearly saw and certainly expressed more openly than any other man the destructive and divisive excesses in the movement.”

Integrity was the key factor in Dad’s influence on my life — not wealth, fame or power, but the Word of God and obedience to His will. He treated others with dignity and respect, no matter their gender, color or culture. His life was a life of integrity and fruit of the Spirit. This is the legacy he left to his family, to the Christ For The Nations ministry and to the world.

 

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Leadership: Seeking a Title or a Towel?

The greatest king of Israel, David, did not seek the throne. God simply gave it to him. The same is true with Moses, Gideon, Isaiah, Esther and Paul; all became powerful leaders with great authority because God empowered them. What authority means from a biblical perspective is radically different from that of the world. Authority must be leadership embodying service. Jesus never spoke directly on leadership, but He did teach it by example. He was a servant leader in every sense. He led by serving those He recruited to carry out His mission, which is also why He was highly effective and respected as a leader.

 

> BY INVITATION ONLY 

The most basic principle for co-workers to accept a leader is when the leader humbles himself and waits on God to exalt him (Luke 14). As it was in Jesus’ day, many religious leaders still seek places of power and prominence among their peers. Jesus taught that “head table” seats are given “by invitation only.” Such honor must be accepted and recognized by co-laborers, even if the position was granted by the Board.

 

To earn authority and respect, one must be credited by individuals who recognize a spirit of servanthood coming from the leader. A humble spirit leads to being honored by others. What is amazing about servanthood is that those who may not even have a title or position of authority will be highly honored and respected by followers because of a sincere heart.

 

Philippians 2:3, 4, states, “In humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” How do we do this? By having the same attitude as Christ (verse 5)—dying to self and taking up our cross.

 

> POWER DOESN’T MEAN 

AUTHORITY 

Power is not a measure of authority, but a release of authority. The more you release, the more you gain. Jesus never sought earthly power or recognition. He simply came to do His Father’s will. He accomplished this through humility. The key phrase in Philippians 2 is “God exalted Him” (verse 9). This is so contrary to the world’s view of leadership and success, because humility and patience can be perceived as weakness. Yet we know, “humility comes before honor” (Proverbs 15:33), and we are to “humble ourselves, and He will lift us up” (James 4:10).

 

> RESPECT AND TRUST 

How does one learn humility? By staying close to Jesus. Humility is seen when one is totally dependent upon God and has learned to release their right of respect, power, authority and position. In order for relationships to flow effectively in an organization, there must be trust. Without trust there will be no respect, and without respect there will not be true authority of position established or sustained. Trustworthiness begins on a personal level. It must be earned. It is earned when co-workers feel they are respected for their own ideas, thoughts and opinions, even during moments of conflict. Without trust, a leader will never be fully empowered.

 

> RULE-OVER OR SERVE 

In the Kingdom of God, there is no place for anyone who uses their position alone as a means of authority. You can be firm in your role, but the key is to treat others respectfully.

 

Co-workers don’t want someone to just rule over them. They are looking for the leader to be more concerned about their feelings and opinions, rather than being manipulated and used as a means to an end. When co-workers sense true humility, they will follow the leader, and it will be God Who exalts the person. A servant leader will give in, even if it means giving up personal rights.

 

The world’s view of power stems from leadership positions from around the top of the flowchart. This is the way it was in Jesus’ day, both among the Romans and the Jews. However, this breeds competition, rather than cooperation. Love, service and openness are key concepts. Without relationship, followers will not follow, they will rebel. Jesus introduced servanthood by example, not by force, which means there is no place for one’s ego. Jesus corrected the disciples’ faulty view and laid out a principle for kingdom leaders in Mark 10:42-45. “…whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

 

> TITLE OR TOWEL 

In John 13, Jesus washed His disciples’ feet. Once again, He teaches his disciples by doing something that dumbfounds them, as well as leadership in the world. Throughout His ministry Jesus continually resisted the outward status that accompanies leadership. Although clearly a leader, He refused to pull rank as a leader often does. No matter what we feel we deserve from others, we can’t bend too low in caring for them. Our service doesn’t demean our dignity, but as Jesus shows us, it defines it.

 

Do followers and co-workers see the title or the towel? It is easy for leaders to misuse their authority in order to get people to do what they want. Jesus attacked the misuse of authority by the religious leaders of His day. They didn’t practice what they preached (Matthew 23:3).

 

The bottom line is that servant leaders are not afraid of surrendering their rights. In serving others, they fully trust God to be the source and controller of their lives. Jesus knew that His authority came from God. He didn’t worry about challenges to His position. It should be the same for us. Every challenge of authority gives us another opportunity to learn and practice a lesson in servanthood.

 

1. Jesus humbled Himself and allowed God to exalt Him. 

2. Jesus followed His Father’s will, rather than His own. 

3. Jesus never used His title or position to influence people. 

4. Jesus defined greatness as being a servant. 

5. Jesus served others, regardless of title or position, because He knew where His authority came from. 

6. Jesus left the head of the table to serve the needs of others. 

7. Jesus shared authority with those He called to lead and work with Him. 

 

How Jesus led is foundational for servant leadership. Service—not status or position—is the goal of servant leadership. 

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Celebrating Dr. Eric J. R. Belcher

CELEBRATING DR. ERIC J. R. BELCHER

August 2, 1924—February 19, 2013

As the President of Christ For The Nations, I have been blessed by having a team of leaders who are both gifted and anointed. These leaders have helped everyone at CFNI, when it comes to carrying the load of activities and assignments that are mandated by our vision and mission. In addition to their position and its specific requirements, I continually rely on them as partners who give me godly guidance in our work together, both spiritually and administratively.

God has been so faithful in providing me with this kind of support and encouragement through the men and women I’ve had the opportunity to work with for many, many years. However, I would like to share about just one of the numerous leaders who gave this kind of continual service to me and to the ministry of CFN.

Dr. Eric Belcher was one of our most outstanding leaders. He was also a leader who stood the test of time. He became an anointed vessel of wisdom and prophetic insight, particularly for the times we are living in. The last position he was responsible for overseeing was the CFN Association of Bible Schools, which allowed him to serve our 50 Associated Bible Schools around the globe. As a tribute to him, I would like to help acquaint you with his life and ministry, even though you have known him for many years.

Dr. Belcher also served as a vice president for Christ For The Nations. In addition, he served on the Executive Management Team, spearheading the Fellowship of Ministers and Churches as President, and serving as the international student advisor. He was also recognized as director of CFNI, emeritus, denoting his longtime service in a variety of teaching and administrative roles within our Institute’s three-year training programs.

belcher-memorialOne of his passions was to teach at CFNI, something he enjoyed for 30 years. Some of his course load included: Old Testament Survey, (First year class), The Holy Spirit, and The Book of Job (2nd year classes), Where The Church Is Headed, and Present Day Apostleship in the Advanced Leadership and Pastoral School, which was one of our third-year programs.

Born in Wellington, New Zealand, Dr. Belcher held credentials with the New Zealand Government Council for Christian Education and the New Zealand Churches’ Education Commission. He served on these federally appointed boards for 14 years, designated as the Pentecostal delegate. During this time, he coordinated the itinerary of the Rev. David Du Plessis (known as Mr. Pentecost) as he ministered in the southern provinces of New Zealand. Dr. Belcher was considerably involved in the charismatic movement as it spread throughout the country. His early connection with CFN was a result of The Voice of Healing magazine.

Dr. Belcher’s son, Robin, was born with a foot which was not fully developed. The-sole of his foot faced upward, rather than in the normal downward position. Shortly after his birth, one of the first Voice of Healing magazines came into their home, and after reading it, their faith arose. He wrote a letter to Gordon Lindsay asking for prayer for his son’s healing. Gordon replied by sending a prayer cloth (which he had specifically prayed over) to New Zealand. They put the prayer cloth in Robin’s foot brace, and one month later, when the brace was removed for examination, the doctor was surprised to see that the foot had healed in one month, rather than the five years of treatment he had formerly diagnosed! The Belchers felt a strong connection to CFN ever since then.

In 1978, the International Pentecostal Holiness (PH) denomination (USA) invited Eric to move from New Zealand to serve on their staff. With their acknowledgment and transfer of his credentials and credits, he was awarded a Doctor of Divinity Degree from Southwestern College of Christian Ministries—the International Pentecostal Holiness College of Bethany, Oklahoma. In 1981, this same denomination’s world mission department sent him to London, England, to start the International Training Center, which taught PH pastors from around the world, where he served for two years.

Dr. Belcher was well known as the one who headed up a trans-denominational group in Rome with the Catholic charismatic leaders for the purpose of theological discussions on how we functioned as non-denominationals. Dr. Belcher was a member of the Advisory Council for the International Charismatic Consultation and attended to the affairs and concerns of charismatic Christians at a trans-denominational level worldwide. He also served on the board of directors of Generals International, the worldwide ministry founded by Mike and Cindy Jacobs.

Recognizing the apostolic call on his life, we were always open to Dr. Belcher, along with his wife, Katie, to travel and minister as the Lord opened doors.

We were honored and blessed to have someone of Dr. Belcher’s caliber in our midst. He was a particular blessing to me; his counsel and guidance were always invaluable. He truly revealed the father’s heart of our God. He will be missed.

 

Dennis Lindsay

 

[author] [author_info]Dr. Belcher was predeceased by his beloved wife of 45 years, Melva Langley Belcher, Dallas, Texas, in August 30, 1992. Together they have 1 son and daughter-in-law—Robin and Jeanie Belcher of Fort Worth, Texas; 1 daughter and son-in-law—Rev. Philip and Janet Johnson of San Antonio, Texas; 4 granddaughters: Ashley, Sarah, and Katelyn Johnson of San Antonio, Texas, and Nina Belcher of Fort Worth, Texas; and numerous nieces and nephews here in the USA, New Zealand, and Africa.

Dr. Belcher is survived by his beloved wife of 13 years, Kathleen Forsythe Belcher of Dallas, Texas, and her four children. Three sons: David Forsythe and wife, Kari (Wis.), Robert Forsythe and wife, Laurine (Wis.), Dr. William Forsythe and wife, Monnica (Illinois), one daughter, Colleen Lark and husband, John (Colorado), and eight grandchildren: Jordan Forsythe, Carissa Forsythe, Nathan Lark, Jared Lark, Jonathan Forsythe, Daniel Forsythe, Joshua Forsythe, and Scarlett Forsythe.[/author_info] [/author]

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When Leaders Fail Us

As the saying goes, “If you’ve been in ministry or the Church for any length of time, you’ve probably been hurt.”

Like many believers, I’ve suffered some “battle wounds” during my life and ministry. There have been numerous times when a leader in ministry betrayed me or members of my family. Other times, moral failings of trusted leaders affected us in very hurtful ways. For example, a close friend of mine, who was married and an incredible worship leader, fell into homosexuality. My children attended a Christian school where the pastor and president of the school were caught in homosexuality. My son attended an “on fire” summer outreach, only to be deeply hurt when the anointed leader got divorced and left the ministry. None of this is ever easy to navigate through, but perhaps the most difficult is when the wounds come from “friends.” Three times, as President of Christ For The Nations, close friends attempted to remove me from office.

I share a few of my painful experiences to warn believers that the enemy is looking to remove whomever he can from the Kingdom of God. If he can’t do it through tempting us with something from outside the ministry, he will do it from within through a “friend.”

At the same time, we don’t have to look far in Scripture to see betrayal at work. When Judas approached Jesus on the night of His betrayal, Jesus called Judas “friend” (Matthew 26:50). How could He, knowing Judas’ intentions? This is a warning to all of us that even our closest, most intimate confidants can fail us.

Scripture warns us—challenges will come. The question is, how will we respond? Through my life and ministry, especially the trying times, I’ve learned that there is truth to help us to stand strong in our faith and guard our hearts in the midst of difficult seasons.

when-leaders-fail-us--seven-lessons

1. Express Grief

The wages of sin are costly. It is good to be real with God about our feelings of hurt, betrayal and doubt. We read, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” It all right to feel sadness over the results of sin and what Satan tries to do. If you put this off, you’ll only become bitter. Deal with it, and cast it into the sea of forgiveness.

2. Know The Church Belongs To Jesus

Jesus is the Senior Pastor; the Church belongs to Him. The Church is founded upon Jesus—He can grow it, or He can close it. So when things go from bad to ugly, Jesus is not surprised. Nothing Satan does can destroy the Church (Matthew 16:18).

3. Guard Yourself Against Judging

“Be careful not to judge, lest you be judged also. Do not judge or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged … (Matthew 7:1-2, NIV). Enough said.

4. Realize Not Everything The Leader Did Was Wrong

God speaks through imperfect individuals. When we are hurt, it’s easy to think ‘“The minister was living a lie; everything he said was tainted.”’ God was working something out in the individual that failed, while at the same time, He was working something out in His Church. God knew what was going on, and even though the minister was not perfect, he still reached His children with the Word.

Ministers should not have any moral failures, and even if they have a failure of some kind, God still works through them. God can even use Satan—consider Job. Look at Jonah; God was working his plan out with a nation, while he worked something bad out of Jonah. Then there is Peter, who became a leader of the Early Church, but still had problems with his leadership (Galatians 2). Ask the Holy Spirit to help you hold onto the things that are true, removing what was from man.

5. Examine Yourself Rather Than Others

When sin is exposed and a person is humbled before God and man, it is not God’s will for us to continue to condemn them. They are in God’s hands, and God will deal with them in bringing about repentance and restoration. At this point, it’s crucial to examine our own personal lives for anything hidden there. The bad news is that when sin is kept hidden, it flourishes, entangles and blinds as it grows in strength. The good news is that once it’s exposed, confessed and ready to be dealt with, sin loses its power and the prisoner goes free.

“When I kept silent, my bones wasted away … For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; … Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the LORD’— and you forgave the guilt of my sin” (Psalm 32:3 5, NIV).

6. Pray For Fallen Leaders

We all fall short and are capable of failing. Leaders are targets for the devil’s schemes—the greater the leader’s influence, the greater the fall. The overwhelming consequences of the fall create greater destructive power for the enemy. So leaders in the ministry need prayer support. I’m always blessed when someone tells me they’re praying for me.

When a Christian leader falls, pray that God will wholly restore, heal and rebuild the leader, the family and every person affected by the fall. Pray that through the devastation, God’s purpose will be completely accomplished, God will receive greater glory in the end, and that God’s people will be strengthened. The blood of Christ covers and cleanses all our sins, so extend forgiveness to fallen leaders.

7. Extend Grace To Fallen Leaders

The Bible teaches that love covers sins and offenses (Proverbs 10:12; Proverbs 17:9; 1 Peter 4:8). Both love and grace will help you remain quiet, instead of speculating about the circumstances or maliciously gossiping about the situation. Think about them as you would want others to consider you. You will prevent the devil from wreaking further havoc by keeping quiet and covering that person with love and grace.

“When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise” (Proverbs 10:19, NIV).

FALLEN LEADERS THROUGHOUT THE BIBLE

All of God’s chosen leaders were imperfect, just like we are. Moses and David committed murder. Jacob was a deceiver/con artist. Solomon and Samson had problems with women. Amazingly, God used prostitutes, thieves and every kind of sinner to reveal that mankind’s sinful condition is not His focus. His focus is love—His power to forgive and restore. God sees us all as valuable, no matter what. “All things work together for good to them who love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

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Evangelism Today Must Begin With Genesis One

Evolution vs. Creation

Evolutionists say:
The universe began with a hot big bang billions of years ago, and has expanded and cooled ever since. It has evolved from a formless soup of elementary particles into the richly structured cosmos of today.

 Scripture says:
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).

TRUTH POINT: According to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, disorder cannot give way to order. The process of entropy cannot produce complex systems.

Evolutionists say:
All organisms share common ancestors with other organisms.  Over time, populations may divide into different species, which share a common ancestral population. Far enough back in time, any pair of organisms shared a common ancestor.

Even secular scientists say:
“It’s not reasonable to expect the discovery of that critical single species, for its identification would require a complete series of ancestor-descendant fossils on both the chimp and human lineages… such complete fossil sequences don’t exist.” – Biology Professor, Jerry Coyne, Why Evolution is True, 2009

 Scripture says:
“Then God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping things and beast of the earth, each according to its kind;’” and it was so” (Genesis 1:24).

Evolutionists say:
Evolutionary change is a slow and gradual process that gives rise to diversity at every level of biological organization, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins. This claim is substantiated by the reportedly long, observable changes of organisms in the fossil record.

Evolutionists admit:
“The absence of fossil evidence for intermediary stages between major transitions in organic design, indeed our inability, even in our imagination, to construct functional intermediates in many cases, has been a persistent and nagging problem for gradualistic accounts of evolution.” Stephen Jay Gould, American Paleontologist.

 

THE NEED FOR CHANGE

The famous Russian tennis star, Ivan Lendl, won the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament in New York City in 1985. It was an especially difficult win since the U.S. fans were yelling for his well-known, American opponent, John McEnroe. After the game, the commentator asked, “Did you feel like Daniel in the lion’s den?” Lendl hesitated, and then said, “I’m sorry, I don’t understand?”
It wasn’t Lendl’s English that was the problem. It was his godless, humanistic education. Lendl didn’t have a clue who Daniel was. The well-known Bible story that every kid in America has heard since childhood was not familiar to this tennis star, who grew up in the Soviet Union.
The same is true with today’s young people, who have grown up in America’s post-Christian, humanistic culture. This also applies to hundreds of thousands of internationals who have immigrated to America from pagan and non-Christian cultures.
Can you imagine enrolling in a course listed as U.S. Presidents 101, and the professor begins with the death of John F. Kennedy? Then he continues with the Presidents who came after Kennedy. When test-time comes, the final exam begins with the first President of the United States, George Washington, and proceeds to our current President. Unless the student already had an understanding of the complete history of the American Presidents, they wouldn’t have a clue as to where to begin.

“KENNEDY” EVANGELISM

Kennedy” evangelism begins in the middle of the book. Kennedy evangelism starts by asking the question, “What if you were to suddenly die tonight where would you spend eternity?” Can you imagine preaching to pagans who have never heard the Gospel by beginning in the book of Matthew? No, one must begin in Genesis. Who would start reading in the middle of a book or begin watching a movie halfway through?
The same is true with evangelizing non-believers. The problem of comprehending the Gospel message of salvation becomes magnified because the listener has no foundation to understand the authority of Scripture. The un-churched, non-believer has no basis to respect God’s Word. If the individual has been educated by a humanistic educational system, then most likely the person has been immersed in the evolutionary worldview. This view accepts millions and billions of years for the age of the universe, that death is part of the natural cycle of creation, existing since the beginning of time.
If this is the case, then why would one need a Savior? If death has been around for billions of years and is not related or associated with man’s sin? What is the need of a Savior to die for my sentence if sin is not related to the origins of death? Is the story of Christ’s death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead just a nice Christian fairytale?

“KENNEDY” EVANGELISM DEALS WITH THE PROBLEM OF SIN

Christians often seek to evangelize others by starting with salvation—John 3:16 and the Gospel message. For earlier generations that worked. Most people had some kind of church experience in their background, even if they did not have a strong personal belief. But in today’s world, many people don’t even understand the meaning of biblical terms, let alone basic stories that children previously learned in Sunday school.

SIN AND SALVATION MAY BE MEANINGLESS

For example, the basic term, “sin,” makes no sense to people if they have no concept of a holy God who created us and who, therefore, has a right to require certain things of us. If people don’t understand sin and its connection with death, they certainly will not comprehend the need for salvation.
The evangelistic crusades of the 1950s and 1960s had great results and reaped many souls into the Kingdom of God. In the 1950s, the public school system taught the foundations of Christianity: The Creator, Creation, the Ten Commandments, sin, guilt, punishment, the Crucifixion, and Resurrection, and so forth. School holidays were centered around these events.
Evolutionism has undermined the very fiber of Christian morality in Western society by replacing the Christian foundation of America; there is no understanding of the basics. We may preach with all the fervor of a reformer, but only win a few.
With the bombardment of the evolutionary worldview in education from secular humanism toward youth, via movies, TV, magazines and music, the worldview paradigm has shifted 180 degrees opposite the biblical foundations that existed in America and Western civilization over the previous several hundred years.
One cannot assume that our churches will still exist on Christian soil in a Christian culture. We no longer live in a post-Judeo-Christian culture; we live in an anti-Judeo-Christian culture. Most of the principle stories of the Bible are either unknown to Americans or they bear little meaning or relevance in everyday life. Statistics reveal that 80 percent of the young people who become Christians today only do so because it seems like the best lifestyle; it’s not because Christianity is true.
Unfortunately, if they do not become immersed in the truths of Scripture it won’t be long before something new will appear more attractive. We need another Great Awakening. A key to such a revival involves sharing the Gospel message beginning with Creation in Genesis 1:1, and providing new Christians with a biblical worldview.
Ministering to the present generation must start at the beginning for them to know how to see the world from a biblical worldview. In a nutshell, the first book of Genesis presents a Christian worldview.
1. It explains Creation and the origins of life.
2. It explains the fall and sin of man and why there is evil in the world.
3. It explains punishment and the consequences of violating God’s moral code.
4. It explains the message of hope, redemption, and the restoration of all things.
By beginning at the beginning, people will have an opportunity to understand the origins of evil, the justice of God, the plan of redemption and the restoration of all things. Issues of sin, judgment, morality and purpose have their roots in the beginning of God’s Word: Genesis and the Creation account, along with the crucial events from Genesis 1-12, where God selects a man through whom the Messiah, the Redeemer and Savior of the world will come.

EVANGELISM THROUGH CREATION

Genesis 1-12 is the foundation of the Gospel. If there is no reference to the Creator, sin causing death and judgment on evil (Noah’s flood), and the promise of a coming Deliverer, the Gospel is without foundation. In Acts 2, Peter preached to the Jews, and thousands responded. This is just like the crowds during the 1950s crusades in America. In Acts 17, Paul preached to the Gentiles, and only a few responded. Why the difference?
The difference was the foundation, which the Jews already had, but the Gentiles didn’t.The people in the Greek culture had no understanding or foundation of the Christian faith. They responded, “What is this foolishness of the resurrection?” They believed in a similar version of evolutionism—finite gods were the creators. This is the same belief as humanism today.
Paul learned that one cannot begin preaching with salvation to the pagan world. So, he preached the foundation to impact them with the rest of the Gospel. Paul started at the beginning of the Bible: “You worship the unknown Creator. He is …”
If you start with the Cross and salvation, to the pagans and the secular humanistic worldview, it is foolishness (1 Corinthians).
“The God Who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of Heaven and Earth” (Acts 17:24).
Only after establishing who God is and why we are morally responsible to Him, did Paul talk about repentance and Christ’s Resurrection. This is the foundation in understanding the authority of God’s Word as truth. Now there is a foundation to understand both John 3:16 (in which God loved the world so much that He sent His Son to pay the penalty of death for our sin) and Romans 6:23 (which declares the wages of sin is death).

The above excerpt is from Chapter 8 in Dennis Lindsay’s
new book, Evangelism Through Creation. To place your order,
call 214-302-6276 or 1-800-933-2364.

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