Dear Taisha, You need to seriously reconsider the direction of your life. I’m told you have a rough past but I don’t know you so I’m not going to speak to that. I will, however, speak to your future. I think it’s going to be an even rougher one. Your environment, from your work-life to…
Our Support for Art Azurdia Should be Pouring in
I have posted Art Azurdia’s full confession below. This was a very heartfelt letter that he typed on his WordPress blog page. I recently made the mistake of lumping Azurdia in with other pastors that have fallen during the #MeToo movement. I was terribly wrong in this judgement. The post has recently been deleted and I have greatly repented for it. Art is still a great Christian and his repenting heart bleeds through this open letter.
Art Azurdia at the Shepherd’s Conference
Art greatly sinned against his wife and family. This is no argument. From Wretched Radio’s Todd Friel, Azurdia is unqualified for ministry. I might actually disagree with this notion, but only time will tell. Art seems to be repenting for his sin and asked for our forgiveness. Of course we forgive him. We are commanded in scripture to forgive always. How many times has God forgiven you? He has forgiven me thousands and thousands of times and will continue to do so. To not honor that request from a fallen brother is hypocritical.
God bless Art and his family. I have been praying for them during this hardship. It is important that when a sound brother falls that we are there to help him through it. Art may not know who I am, but I have learned a lot from his teaching. This does not make me want to quit listening to his teachings, but it has tainted it for many.
We should also pray for Trinity Church through this difficult time. Our brothers and sisters are hurting. We should pray without ceasing.
Art Azurdia’s Public Confession
July 27, 2018
To my wife and family members, the elders and congregation of Trinity Church, the faculty of Western Seminary, and friends and colleagues both near and abroad . . .
Someone very wise once said: “Pastors must be the chief repenters in a congregation of repenters.” It is important that this proves to be the case now—not because I haven’t yet repented, but because my sin is of such a nature that I need to express my repentance to you.
Several years ago, prior to the inception of Trinity Church, I strayed from my wedding vows, breaking the covenantal bond I made to my dear wife thirty-six years ago. More recently, I again violated my marriage commitment. In both instances I engaged in adulterous relationships that were nothing less than acts of defiance to the will of my God and Father, as well as expressions of profound ingratitude for the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ that I prize so dearly.
I confess this sin and take full responsibility for it. There are no justifications, excuses, or rationalizations for my behavior. I, in acts of idolatry, chose sin over God. I am profoundly ashamed at the enormity of my rebellion, as well as the hypocrisy of exercising ministry while cloaking my sin in the shadows.
I am broken by the magnitude of my offenses to God, the devastation I have inflicted upon my wife, the grief brought to bear upon my children, and the disappointment I have produced among the people with whom I have been privileged to share ministry. Though it is entirely undeserved, I humbly ask you to forgive me for my betrayal of your trust and friendship. With each passing day the fresh awareness of this betrayal breaks my heart in greater and deeper ways, leaving me with nothing but a hope in the accomplishments of the cross to which I desperately cling.
Despite the profound grief and shame, I am deeply thankful to my heavenly Father for graciously exposing this sin and forcing me to turn from it. The promise that He chastises those He loves so that His children might share in His holiness gives me hope and comfort. My present and painful circumstances have become, to both my wife and me, the gracious verifications of God’s Fatherhood and my spiritual paternity.
Because of my sin I have disqualified myself from the office of elder. Furthermore, I have no desire to pursue ministry of any kind. My focus is entirely directed at making right the very thing I have ignored for too long: the well-being of our marriage. This long-term process has already commenced in meetings with experienced counselors and, under their supervision, will be extended to include a team of qualified people who will also contribute to the reestablishment and strengthening of our relationship.
This reprioritized commitment will require us to relocate—in large part, as a response to my wife’s desires and needs, and also to make ourselves available to care fully for my wife’s elderly parents. Consequently, she and I now resign our membership at Trinity Church, freeing the elders to give their entire attention to carefully shepherding the congregation through this season of challenge. Likewise, we are choosing to relinquish the remaining balance of the severance package so kindly extended to us by the elders so as to free Trinity Church from the burden of caring for our financial responsibilities.
I am certain that my sin has brought about waves of divergent emotions in many of you: hurt, confusion, sorrow, anger. All of these are appropriate responses to my failures that your Heavenly Father understands. Moment by moment I feel the heavy weight of inflicting them upon you. If, however, I may appeal to your mercy in Jesus Christ, dear friends, allow me to ask four things of you:
1) Please direct your anger and frustration at me, while extending love and support to my children (who have responded to my repentance and confession with kindness and compassion), and especially to my wife, who has revealed the depth of the gospel’s influence in her life by extending undeserved grace and forgiveness to me. Lori continues to display the likeness of her Heavenly Father in real and palpable expressions that overwhelm me with tearful humility and contrition. Though I have failed her egregiously, I love her deeply and desperately. With God’s help, our family will survive this season and eventually thrive for God’s glory;
2) Please pray for the elders of Trinity Church. I have wounded these brothers deeply, and now a great and unexpected responsibility rests upon their shoulders. Owing to the gospel and the restorative power of the Holy Spirit, however, they can lead Trinity Church into a stronger and more vibrant congregational life that will bear a unique and powerful testimony to the gospel and what it can accomplish;
3) Please pray for the congregation of Trinity Church. This is an extraordinary gathering of diverse people who are consumed with the priorities of worshipping the Triune God and declaring the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ. My wife and I have been the consistent recipients of her great love, support, and generosity. Beyond all compare, these eight years at Trinity Church have been our most joyous days in thirty-six years of ministry;
4) Never doubt the gospel and our great Savior, Jesus Christ. I have failed you profoundly, my dear friends, and I do plead for your forgiveness. I love you—albeit with a love that has been marred by great failure. But the gospel of Jesus Christ will never fail you. The fact is, its greatest glory proves most obvious in the context of sin and failure—in this case, my own great sin and failure.
We, in our brokenness and humiliation, now need your prayers.
God bless you,
[buzzsprout episode=’764902′ player=’true’]
Before The Arminian Doctrine…
Hello and welcome to the podcast! Today on our fourth week of “The Decree of Election” podcast series we are focusing on the Arminian Doctrine. Today’s reading will be from pages 498 – 501 of John MacArthur’s Biblical Doctrine.
Before we begin discussing Arminianism, we are finishing “The Basis of Election”. The highlight of this section is from Deuteronomy 7:7.
“It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the LORD set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples” Deu 7:7
There was nothing that Israel did to deserve God choosing them. It was solely from God and God alone that they were chosen.
“It is because the LORD loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers” Deu 7:8
Throughout our studies it shows that we are chosen by God and His Will alone. There is nothing that I have done to deserve salvation. There is also nothing that I have done to deserve salvation over another individual.
“just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will” Ephesians 1:4-5
It is by God’s Will alone that I have been saved. He predestined us for adoption. What an amazing feeling to be saved and adopted before the foundation of the world! What an amazing God that we worship.
Arminian Doctrine of Conditional Election
For the remainder of the podcast we are focusing in on the Arminian Doctrine. We will be reading the entirety of Dr. MacArthur’s discussion.
This text will be distinguishing the major differences between Calvinism and Arminianism.
If you believe in free will, this will be a podcast highlighting the difference in beliefs. This podcast will highlight the reason we believe in the election!
Amazing Grace! Saved a Wretch Like me
The most popular hymn in history, Amazing Grace, has such a deep, profound meaning. This hymn has stood the test of time as it has gone toe to toe against modern “worship” music. The deep, meaningful lyrics of this amazing hymn put any new worship song to utter shame.
Amazing Grace has grasped the hearts of millions of Christians since it was penned.
Amazing Grace is God-centered. The only discussion of self in the hymn is focused on our wretched souls.
Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.
Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promised good to me,
His Word my hope secures;
He will my Shield and Portion be,
As long as life endures.
Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.
The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.
When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.
The End of Days
I believe that it is only a matter of time until Christ comes back in the Second Coming. As this hymn states, “The earth shall soon dissolve like snow, the sun forbear to shine”.
Although we do not know the exact date of the rapture, it is evident that it will be soon. And although this hymn was written decades ago, this verse is more evident than ever before.
My Wretched Soul
The wicked and wretched soul that I possess should not have any hope for eternal salvation. My soul should be damned to hell for all of eternity for the sins that I have committed. I have sinned against my Savior, who bear the wrath of the Father on my behalf. Christ was the propitiation for my sin. He bore the wrath so that I may have eternal life!
The Final Verse
The most meaningful verse of this hymn comes at the very end.
When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.
Even in ten thousand years we will be singing God’s praise just as we had first arrived. What an amazing thought! I will spend eternity worshiping and praising my Savior Jesus Christ. The Lord of lords. The King of kings!
[buzzsprout episode=’762531′ player=’true’]
Most Influential: Jason A, Ryan Ries, Todd Friel
This YouTube channel is by far my favorite among Christian channels. Jason A focuses mostly on the latest Ted Talks, end time watch, and the Illuminati in music/Hollywood. Jason A is rather mysterious, however, as he never speaks or shows his face. His videos are solely based on the latest articles or news clippings. He edits his videos so well that you do not even realize you just watched a 20 minute video.
Attached below is my favorite video of his, highlighting Jared Kushner.
Live With Ryan Ries
Ryan Ries has a testimony that might make your skin crawl. However, it will also show you the power of the Holy Spirit.
Ryan was as secular as secular gets. He chased the lusts of this world and got to experience all of them. Drugs, sex, and alcohol consumed his life before turning to Christ in an airplane.
The video posted below is a chilling tale of his life before Christ. Ryan now runs a very entertaining radio program. The radio/podcast is called ‘Live with Ryan Ries”. He is live every Saturday night. Being based out of California I cannot listen to him live, so I settle for the podcast.
Ryan is very in tune with the current new age/ word of faith movement since he is based out of California. Ryan goes into these groups and atheistic circles to preach the true Gospel. I can see Christ using Ryan is amazing ways.
Wretched Radio with Todd Friel
The greatest Christian podcast award goes to Wretched Radio with Todd Friel.
I owe Wretched Radio at least a sliver of credit for opening my eyes to my wretched ways. Todd has a great way of preaching the truth without being judgmental. He has also introduced me to so many great pastors that fill up my YouTube playlists.
Todd Friel runs the radio program while also doing daily video clips. His “Too Wretched for Radio” series has been a great addition to my Monday afternoons. On Wednesdays, Friel is joined by Ray Comfort to witness to those that they can talk to live on the radio.